How to Homebrew Sake

by Mutsuo Hoshido,

Homebrew Sake is very easy to brew using your simple cooking tools and you can enjoy Sake taste.

Homebrew Sake,we call 'doburoku', rather haze Sake, had been a culture of Japan and even under the previously strict control of Liquor Tax law,some Buddhist temples or Shinto Shrines have been brewing thier own 'doburoku' to serve their festival or ceremony.

Following is one of the simple Sake brewing procedures to enjoy Sake taste.


1500g(3.3lb) rice,


5g(0.18oz)citric acid


5g (0.18oz) dry bread yeast. Or equivalent amount of Beer Ale yeast,Wine yeast or Wyeast Sake

depending on you taste.

You will be able to get Kome-koji made from Koji or Koji-kin, a kind of white fungi, together with steam cooked rice at your grocery stores or homebrew stores. If you only can get Koji or Koji-kin, you can easily make your fresh Kome-koji together with steam cooked rice by yourself using your picnic ice box. Later will show you how to make Kome-koji. If necessary, I can send you some Koji or Koji-kin by air mail, because Kome-koji is too heavy and too easily going bad to send over the ocean.


Electric rice cooker(steam cooker is better).

Basket to cut water.

10liters(2.6gal) enamel or stainless steel deep cooking pot with lid.

(Equivalent plastic or glass container can be used.)

Big spoon(stainless is better) .


1.Wash and soak the 1500g(3.3lb) rice for about five hours and then put the rice in a basket for at least 20 min. to cut water.

2.Cook the rice with 1800ml(0.48gal)water using the rice cooker. Steam cooking is recommendable for better taste. I used a pressure cooker to steam cook rice using stainless steel bastket suspended in it.

3.After cooking the rice,cool down the rice to 30deg C(86deg F).

4.Melt the citric acid with 2.4liter(0.5gal) water in the enamel cooking pot. Citric acid will prevent the contamination of bacteria and add slight sour taste to your Sake. Depending on your taste, you can reduce the Citric acid. Also you can use Lactic acid or you can use a Lemon or Lime juice.

5.Add 400g koji and well melt it by agitating with the big spoon.

6.In thirty minuets, add the cooled cooked rice and well mix by agitating with the big spoon.

7.Pitch the yeast and place the lid on the pot and keep it at room temperautre. Lower temperature will cause slower and longer fermentaion and will result in better taste.

8.Stir it at least once a day. In two or three days you can enjoy very nice Sake aroma. Be careful about bacteria contamination. I used 70% ethyl alcohol spay around the pot and to myself every time.

9.In two weeks fermentation will seem to end.

10.Filter the sludge using a sterilized basket or cheese cloth.

11.Enjoy the filtered Sake. Do not drink too much. Alcohol content is two to three times more than beer. Cooling the filtered Sake is the best way to taste. If you want crystal clear Sake,separate the further sludge by decanting. This will greatly reduce Sake yield.

12.Remaining sludge can be used to cook vegetable pickles in a refrigerator. A cucumber is the most suitable vegetable. Of course you can put white fish meat and then grill them.

How to make Kome-koji from Koji or Koji-kin.

1.Wash and soak the 400g(0.9lb) rice for about five hours and then put the rice in a basket for at least 20 min. to cut water.

2.Steam cook the rice. Steam cooked rice looks slightly transparent, not white.

3.Cool down the cooked rice to 30deg C(86deg F). Put the rice into an enamel or stainless steel thin moistened cheese cloth or cotton cloth to prevent drying.

4.Put the container in a picnic ice box together with 35deg C(95deg F) warm water bottles to keep the inside at 30deg C(86deg F) for 40 hours. The amount of the warm water will preferably be a least 8 litters(2 gal). If necessary, change the warm water to keep the temperature constant. In 10 hours,mix again the mixture of the cooked rice and Koji using a cooking sparula. Already you can notice the whitened rice and get good aroma. I used a digital thermometer to measure the temperature inside. Very useful.

5.Further keep the mixture at 30deg C(86deg F) for 30 hours.

6.You can get white colored Kome-koji covered with white fungus.

If real "Amasake" is available (sake sludge mixed with suger is not real amasake),directly pitch dry yeast in a bottle.You can brew Sake.

Homebrew Sake is very simple to make and satisfactorily tasty if you do not compare with commercial high

class pure rice Sake. I heard that US Sake brewers have to produce only pure rice Sake because of US

tax law. Pure Rice Sake means Sake only from rice. In Japan, tax law allows mixture of so called industrial

ethyl alcohol into Sake within a certain percentage. Pure rice sake (Junmaishu) is very expensive.

I hope you enjoy homebrew Sake.

Mutsuo Hoshido,