Showing posts from July, 2015

Finished Lumpy Yeast Cake Wine

I've actually made some lumpy yeast cake wine!  It doesn't even taste bad:
In the jug.
The texture is pretty interesting, with a few distinct layers.
Spread on a cheesecloth - I had doubled it but had to take out the second layer because it wasn't draining. Draining.  After draining.
And poured.  It's quite opaque.
When I was straining it, it had a pretty strong rubbing alcohol aroma, but after straining it's mostly gone, and what's left is a mostly clean aroma with a hint of soy sauce. It has a very full mouthfeel (maybe it's too thick and I should have added less grain), with both some residual sweetness and a sharp acidity.  After swallowing, it leaves some yeasty notes, and some estery aroma that I associate with alcohol that needs to be aged more.  It seems fairly alcoholic because it leaves a little bit of a burn in my throat, but I don't really care to dig out all the equipment I'd need to measure it.  Maybe for a later batch!  Comme…

Historical Unit Sizes

In the recipes so far, I've been working on the assumption that 10 sheng is one dou, and ten dou is one dan, based on the entries for those characters in A Student's Dictionary.

I'm writing up the lesson plan for the class I'm teaching at Pennsic (Zidian and Cidian: Chinese Dictionaries) and as I was paging through Wang Li's Classical Chinese Dictionary, I noticed that one of the appendixes has unit conversions.  What's more, it has dated unit conversions, with a list of textual and archaeological evidence to back them up.

This doesn't really change the recipes since they scale, but it's interesting.  What volumes are the recipes actually calling for?

According to Wikipedia, the Qiming Yaoshu was finished in year 544 CE and took perhaps ten years to write.  This places it during the Eastern Wei dynasty.  Unfortunately, there is no entry for the Wei dynasty at all, but it's one of the Southern and Northern Dynasties (南北朝), which we do have an entry f…