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Final Information to Makgeolli – Tastes and Content material

Makgeolli is a Korean rice wine that was historically home-brewed. The complicated and strong flavors of this drink pairs splendidly with all Korean meals however most splendidly with flavorful meals like Kimchi and Korean BBQs.

Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine) Tasting
Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine) Tasting

What’s Makgeolli?

Makgeolli (막걸리) or Makkolli is a standard Korean alcoholic beverage (술 sool) brewed from rice and a fermentation starter referred to as nuruk 누룩. It’s historically a ‘quick’ or ’emergency brew’ which may be prepared in 7-10 days and is made in a single step fermentation (Danyangju 단양주). Within the previous days, folks brewed it in every house and served as on a regular basis drink in addition to for particular events like weddings.

BTW, in English, Makgeolli is also known as ‘Korean rice wine’ however truthfully if you happen to requested me, I might say it ought to be referred to as ‘rice beer’. I say this primarily due to the way in which the beverage is made. Wine is usually produced from crushed fruits which have already got the sugars that naturally result in fermentation. Whereas Magkeolli, the rice grains are first cooked to transform the starches contained throughout the grains into sugars that the yeast can devour.

I’ve learn in some on-line posts that as a result of Makgeolli has a low alcohol content material of ABV from 6-11%, it’s just like beer however that’s actually not right. As a result of the 6-11% ABV is artificially made by diluting the unique wine. Authentic do-it-yourself pure Makgeolli has truly round 16% ABV (see my submit for the way I bought this quantity) which is way larger than most beers.

What does (unique) Makgeolli style like?

This Korean rice wine or rice beer is a milky and infrequently fizzy drink having a posh taste profile that additionally has candy, bitter, with even a bit little bit of bitter tastes. Do-it-yourself model is much more complicated and has a depth of taste that’s each clearing and appetizing. It may possibly even have a fruity, dusty, floral aroma with a little bit of chalky texture. It’s a nice filling drink that tastes nice by itself however even higher with Korean meals.

Historical past of Makgeolli

That is the oldest alcoholic drink in Korean delicacies that dates again to Goryeo (고려) Dynasty (918-1320) and a few say there are traces of this wine even again to the Three Kingdoms period (57 BC to 668 AD). Makgeolli is a brewed rice wine, historically made from simply 3 substances: rice, water and nuruk. Nuruk is a singular fermentation starter that accommodates yeast and micro organism that break down the rice to supply alcohol – making this rice wine an alcoholic drink.

Makgeolli was thought of a “farmer’s wine (Nongju  농주)” due to the excessive dietary content material and carbonation, it was an excellent refreshing power drink for farmers. After I was a baby, I distinctly bear in mind seeing farmers and building employees consuming this white coloured drink in a shallow bowl (사발) each afternoon throughout their break.

Farmers or different labor employees (like for building) would get fairly upset 😝 in the event that they didn’t get this drink throughout their snack time. I bear in mind my mother listening to an earful from a building employee one time when she introduced them some pink bean pastry and milk for snack —

“How do you count on us to do all this tough work when there’s no makgeolli!!?”

“WE NEED MAKGEOLLI to maintain us GOING!!!”

Subsequent day, makgeolli and buchimgae (pancakes) was served and all was proper on the earth once more… 😝👍🏼😝

After I noticed that scene, as a child, I believed that they had been all perhaps alcoholics??!! However I understand right this moment this was greater than a easy alcoholic drink for them, it was a part of day by day life for these arduous working Koreans. Makgeolli helped the employees regain their power with its diet and well being advantages to proceed for one more few hours earlier than their arduous day was over.

Makgeolli vs Soju – Which is healthier? How are they completely different?

Soju is a distilled liquor made by distilling alcohol from fermented grains like rice, barley, candy rice within the previous days however in fashionable days, they’re distilled from different starches like corn, candy potatoes, and many others. So soju has a really clear, gentle and in someways virtually tasteless when in comparison with Makgeolli.

I might say Makgeolli is much more of an fascinating drink than Soju. However Makgeolli is a bit heavier tasting because of the milky mildly yogurt like candy bitter flavors so no matter you favor.

Makgeolli Alcohol Content material

Commercially bought makgeolli often accommodates between 6 – 9% alcohol content material. Conventional brews begin with 12-18% alcohol content material however in recent times, corporations began to dilute the unique wine with water to decrease the alcohol content material right down to 6-9% in order that they may promote to a wider viewers and likewise make it simpler to export.

table setting of Makgeolli with Muk Muchim with bowls
Makgeolli Tasting at my Sister’s house in Seoul – with Muk Muchim

Methods to Drink and Retailer Makgeolli

  • Serve COLD (white wine serving temperature works) in small, shallow bowls or solely fill cup partially
  • Blended – you’ll often see sediments on the backside of the bottle. Gently combine by turning bottle the wrong way up and up a couple of occasions.If unpasteurized, it could sort of explode. Open and shut the cap, repeat to let the gasoline out a bit at a time however not the content material.
  • Unmixed – Some favor to drink the highest clear liquid with out the rice sediments. Let sediments settle to the underside and DO NOT combine however simply fastidiously pour the highest clearer liquid out. This can even cut back energy of the drink.
  • Shelf Life – pasteurized ones are good for even few months. Unpasteurized, Saeng (Draft) ones are completely different. Some draft wines are good for 30 days and even as much as 60 days. All of them should be refrigerated and even with refrigeration, it’s going to proceed to ferment with style altering over time. As soon as opened, it’s best to devour inside couple days.
  • Pair with grilled meats, kimchi, or jeons like kimchi pancake, bindaetteok,and pajeon.

How is Makgeolli made?

makgeolli served in korean ceramic goblet
makgeolli Korean rice liquor closeup

NEW!! Take a look at my Makgeolli recipe submit if you wish to make it your self. You too can watch my youtube video on the right way to make it!

The fundamental makgeolli recipe is sort of easy in idea as a result of it simply entails steaming rice then mixing the cooked rice, water (often in 1:1 ratio) and nuruk (which is a brewer’s yeast produced from wheat cake). You brew for 7-10 days whereas stirring the primary 3-4 days after which filter when achieved. Throughout fermentation, you will notice bubbles within the combination which is the carbon dioxide

And you then both drink it straight or dilute with water 1:1. The precise ratio of the rice, water and nuruk nonetheless, can fluctuate from recipe to recipe.

I’ve achieved in depth testing to provide you with the perfect recipe so please strive it!!

2 plastic jars of Makgeolli fermenting on Day 5
Makgeolli Day 5

FYI – these are 2 bottles made throughout a Makgeolli making class in Seoul, utilizing the identical recipe however by completely different folks. BTW, in case you are inquisitive about makgeolli making and also you get to go to Seoul, I extremely advocate this class.

** NOTE, the content material could also be completely different for exported variations they usually may change with time. Please reconfirm the content material before you purchase or drink.

As of 6/4/2018 I’ve confirmed (through cellphone name to headquarters!! – sure, the issues I do for you all!) that every one exported wines by Gooksoondang not comprise Aspartame!!! However I couldn’t affirm whether or not it was the case for home wines…

The above desk is roughly ordered when it comes to their value (in Korea). The final 3 makgeolli’s are from craft breweries that declare to make use of no Aspartame and solely good high quality substances. And their value exhibits it as they’re all about 10 occasions (sure! 10 occasions!!) costlier than the primary 6, ranging round $1-2 in Korea. The center 3 vary round $2-4.

Makgeolli Well being Advantages

If made the standard means with no pasteurization, makgeolli has nice well being advantages. The most important profit is that makgeolli (if not pasteurized) has tens of thousands and thousands of stay cultures in simply 1 ml. Primarily it has 2 sorts of yeasts – Pichia and Saccharomyces after which the very well-known probiotic micro organism Lactobacillus plantarum (most frequently present in yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut).

Though.. as one places it, the quantity of the beverage it’s important to drink to get the complete advantages will simply make you an alcoholic… LOL.. 🤣😂

As well as, it’s excessive in fiber, vitamin B, C and low in ldl cholesterol. Nevertheless, it’s also excessive in carbohydrates which leads to about 54 kcal for 100 ml.

The upper calorie content material was truly a great factor within the previous days when Koreans didn’t have a high-calorie food plan. Observe that the stay cultures exist solely in Saeng (Draft) Makgeolli 생막걸리 and NOT in any that say Salgyeun Takju 살균탁주.  If it doesn’t say it’s Saeng 생, it may nicely be pasteurized. An excellent cause why you wish to make your individual at house if you happen to can not get unpasteurized ones.

Till just lately, virtually all bottled makgeolli’s had added sweeteners like Aspartame. Though Aspartame has to this point been decided to be protected and has not been proven to have any antagonistic well being results, many Koreans have began to criticize the usage of Aspartame in these drinks.

As a result of this new development, there are actually many corporations and craft breweries in Korea that make makgeolli with out Aspartame or different synthetic substances. In my desk under, you will notice that there are a couple of that don’t embrace any synthetic or unhealthy sweeteners. And to me, these few should not solely higher high quality but additionally style the BEST.

Makgeolli Style Profiles

These style profile sources are from a Korean web site referred to as http://www.jurojuro.com/ aside from Handmade Makgeolli which doesn’t seem within the web site since it’s fairly new and isn’t bought at shops however solely at choose Makgeolli bars. So these numbers are primarily based on my recollection of the way it tasted.

What are my favorites?

My high 3 could be Go, Handmade and Boksundoga. By way of style solely, Handmade by Sulawon is by far essentially the most scrumptious, strong and sophisticated. It tastes really do-it-yourself and the substances are simply merely 3. However it isn’t low-cost. Additionally will not be obtainable broadly even in Korea. UPDATED 9/25/2023 – It’s not clear if the Sulawon remains to be in enterprise. I used to be not capable of finding it on-line after I checked.

Boksundoga is sort of fabulous in that it tastes like Makgeolli champagne. I LOVE fizzy drinks so this was a really enjoyable drink to have. However I used to be disenchanted to be taught that it contained Aspartame and the worth is excessive – within the $10 vary.

Kooksoondang‘s Go/Yetnal wins the #1 SPOT for each my husband and I, as a result of it’s dry and never candy, has an exquisite fruity but additionally musty, a bit bitter with a full physique. It’s not very sparkly although..

Kooksoondang Saeng Makgeolli bottle
Kooksoondang Saeng Draft Makgeolli

Now, I do know not one of the above can be found within the US. Within the US, our favourite is Kooksoondang Saeng Draft Makgeolli 국순당 생 막걸리 (the inexperienced bottle). It’s a bit on the sweeter aspect however it’s totally stay with lively cultures and has a great stability of flavors. If there’s one factor I might advocate is that you simply keep away from the pasteurized 살균탁주 because it has no large well being advantages. The style is smoother although, it’s at all times as much as you. 😉

Nicely, it was lots of work however I hope you discover this information helpful. Please let me know the way you prefer it and share with your mates if you happen to can! Please keep tuned for my upcoming submit on the right way to make makgeolli and my latest journey to Seoul.

Geonbae! 건배! Cheers!

XOXO ❤🍻 , JinJoo

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