Chinese Practice: Ordinary Rice and High Temperatures

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Traditional Chinese brewing begins with soaking the mold preparation in water for several days, and then proceeds with the periodic addition of ordinary cooked rice over the course of an initial fermentation that may last one or two weeks at a temperature around 85°F/30°C. At the end of this phase, the mash is often divided into smaller containers and held at cooler temperatures for weeks or months. The liquid is then pressed from the solids, filtered, adjusted with water and colored with caramel, pasteurized at 190–200°F/85–90°C for 5–10 minutes, matured for several months, then filtered and packaged. The high-temperature pasteurization helps develop the finished flavor.