Showing posts from May 31, 2015

笨麴餅酒第六十六 Chapter 66: Lumpy Yeast Cakes and Wine, Part 1: The Lumpy Yeast Cakes

I've finished a draft of an actual recipe!  Haven't tried making it of course, but this one goes all the way from raw grain, specifically broomtail millet , through to a finished product. The "lumpy" part of the title is because I can't find any better translation of 笨 - in modern Chinese, it means "stupid" but that seems like not the right translation.  A commentator leaves a cryptic note about the pronunciation of it, so maybe it's an odd usage, or a variant character. I'm breaking this recipe into two sections: one for the yeast cakes, and one for the wine.  It seems to be the case that most medieval Chinese fermented grain products, and indeed many traditional alcohols today, use a combined yeast and as pergillus starter called 酒麴 jiǔqū, which I'm translating as "yeast cakes."  They're solid balls or blocks of grain which the yeast and fungi needed to break down the starches in the target grains and then ferment the