-0.5 C
New York
Wednesday, February 21, 2024

My Makgeolli Undertaking with Vino Vargas Winemaker

Are you prepared for one thing unbelievable??  You realize that I all the time love to enhance a recipe and being a scientist in my earlier life, I like to nail down issues in order that the recipe minimizes the prospect of failure. So, a dream of mine was to work with an actual grasp in making my present Makgeolli recipe higher (if potential) or at the least study extra in order that I might help my readers have higher success.

I additionally wished to see if I can discover a method to produce a extra fizzy glowing Makgeolli as a result of I simply love fizzy, bubbly drinks! Like this video beneath! 😝

BTW, in case you don’t know what Makgeolli is or in case you are curious concerning the contents of Makgeolli, you may learn extra in my Final Information to Makgeolli (its style and content material) put up. As a result of there’s nonetheless a lot data for me to research and likewise I wished to do one other spherical of experiments earlier than I share my conclusions, this put up will solely discuss my undertaking objectives and an outline of my first spherical of experiments

So… and as it’s possible you’ll know, I’ve grow to be mates lately with an exquisite vineyard proprietor couple Vicky and Pedro Vargas of VinoVarfuel vineyard in Paso Robles, California. They’re the sweetest couple you’d ever meet they usually make wonderful wines which might be simply one in every of my favourite wines to pair with meals!!

And in my typical, camera-shy vogue, I forgot to take an image with Pedro! I’m so unhappy however imagine me, I used to be there!!

pedro vargas sitting behind containers of makgeolli
Pedro Vargas with our Makgeollis

Along with the truth that they’ve a brilliant cute barn cat named Boots and two very hungry, lovely chickens named Sassy and Ginger! And sure, Sassy positively has an angle.

chickens and cat at the vino vargas winery

Nicely… I requested the wonderful award-winning winemaker Pedro Vargas if he would be capable to assist me out. And would you imagine he stated YES??!!! 😲🙀 I nonetheless can’t imagine it.. I’m simply sooo honored!! So I visited the attractive Vino Vargas vineyard – talked to Pedro about what I learn about Makgeolli, having them truly style some business ones with some...Pajeon in fact they usually each loved it!

After which I realized from him how he approaches a brand new wine.. it’s so wonderful to study what goes within the thoughts of a winemaker.. btw, do you know that totally different strains of yeast are used to deliver out totally different fragrances and flavors from grapes to make wines? And so Pedro thought that we may apply among the similar strategies right here.

Wow.. what an idea!!

BTW, in case you are ever close to the Paso Robles space, it’s best to NOT miss visiting and tasting Vino Vargas wines. And I’m not saying this as a result of they’re my mates neither is it as a result of they’re serving to me with this undertaking, I signed up for his or her wine membership BEFORE we even grew to become mates. I actually actually really feel that they actually have splendidly scrumptious, approachable (and reasonably priced) European-style wines. I particularly love their glowing wines with Korean BBQs and Rosé with spicy Korean meals! Extra about wine pairing with Korean meals later within the put up.

What’s my Makgeolli undertaking about?

For years I’ve acquired numerous questions from folks about my Makgeolli recipe and whereas virtually all of them had been about how they had been profitable in making Makgeolli at house with my recipe, I’ve had just a few who had points and I’ve been eager to method the recipe in a extra scientific method with extra particular knowledge reminiscent of the precise alcohol and sugar content material and extra.

In brief, I wished to search out solutions to the next questions –

  1. What impacts the success of Makgeolli probably the most? Why does it fail?
  2. What modifications can I make to enhance my present recipe extra when it comes to consistency?
  3. Is the 3-layer take a look at or the # of days a superb dependable take a look at to find out if the Makgeolli is prepared? Are there different indicators or exams that may inform us when it’s prepared?
  4. What occurs in case you let it go additional than 10 days?
  5. How a lot alcohol and sugar content material can a home-made Makgeolli normally have? How does it change over time?
  6. How are you going to make a extra fizzy Makgeolli?

PLEASE be happy to ship me e mail, remark right here or on my social media you probably have different questions that you really want me to discover.


On January 22rd, (2022), I made 3 batches of Makgeoll. We continued to ferment for a couple of month (34 days) and we measured the brix firstly, throughout (though unsure how correct) after which when it was absolutely fermented, Pedro will measure the brix and alcohol degree by sending it to a lab!! (Wow my Makgeolli is getting a particular therapy!!

Makgeolli A – my recipe (Nuruk Solely)

Makgeolli Y –  my recipe + 1 tsp baker’s yeast

Makgeolli VV – Makgeolli J1 + 1 tsp wine yeast (at Pedro’s suggestion)

For the threerd one (VV for Vino Vargas), Pedro advised utilizing a pressure of dry wine yeast that he likes to make use of for wines together with Nuruk. He additionally advised that we strive fermenting absolutely all the way in which to the top when a lot of the sugars would have transformed alcohol at which level, you have got a extra correct method of measuring alcohol.

Issues I realized ALREADY!

  • Via Pedro, I realized that it’s truly very arduous to measure the quantity of alcohol precisely throughout fermentation except you ship it to a lab as a result of the devices that you may get can’t precisely measure each. What you may normally do is measure the BRIX (sugar degree) firstly to calculate the potential alcohol degree had been it to totally ferment after which the top outcome could be despatched to the lab for probably the most correct alcohol numbers.

Apparently, the house take a look at kits for measuring sugar are now not actually correct when there’s the presence of alcohol within the drink. And I’ve certainly skilled that after I measured it with my easy refractometer. Though days have handed, the Brix degree was the identical. Additionally as a result of the refractometer used the sunshine and makgeolli is a cloudy liquid, I feel it should additionally get in the way in which.

  • I additionally realized that baker’s yeast is just not the most effective for brewing if you wish to get the next alcohol content material Makgeolli. Baker’s yeast will begin to die off when alcohol reaches about 9-10% in accordance with this supply however I do know Makgeolli could be a lot larger than that.
  • Including further yeast (baker’s yeast or wine yeast) to Nuruk positively quickens the fermentation and relying on the kind of yeast, it’s possible you’ll find yourself with totally different ranges of alcohol and taste.

THANK YOU Vino Vargas Wines!

I actually wish to thank Pedro and Vicky for all their help, assist and steerage all through this undertaking. I by no means imagined in my wildest goals that Pedro would do all of this for me – you might be simply an amazingly form particular person and a unbelievable winemaker! And possibly now it’s possible you’ll grow to be a Makgeolli maker?!! Haha..

And right here’s what Pedro wished to say about our Makgeolli Vargas Undertaking –

“Through the years I’ve made many kinds of wines, together with extra lately glowing wine. Though I take pleasure in sake and different comparable drinks, I by no means considered making any. That’s till our good good friend JinJoo Lee came over with some batches of Korean Makgeolli. JinJoo is a superb chef and well-known meals blogger and wished to see if I used to be concerned about working along with her to refine her Makgeolli recipe. I stated sure earlier than I even tasted the Makgeolli, however was for certain satisfied after we sampled some retailer purchased Makgeolli. The style is exclusive and barely much like sake, however for me there was a really acquainted style of a rice drink made in Mexico known as Horchata.

In comparable method to after I analysis a brand new wine, I made a decision to grasp the fundamentals of Makgeolli beginning with the variations between this rice-based drink and wine, which is a grape based mostly beverage. One enormous distinction is that when grapes mature, they include portions of glucose and fructose which is definitely fermentable by yeast. Rice then again is a grain that comprises starches which were saved as a part of the plant metabolic course of. This starch have to be damaged down into fermentable sugar earlier than any kind of fermentation can happen.

And so, my newest experimental journey has began. This time I’ve an ideal companion in JinJoo! Collectively we’re going to determine how you can make a good higher Makgeolli.

Keep tuned!”

Pedro Vargas

BTW, in case you are ever concerned about studying about how Champagnes are made, Pedro lately launched his 2nd version of his Stars in a Glass : Making Méthode Champenois Glowing Wine. I LOVE LOVE his champagnes (as a result of it’s a lot much less acidic than most and is made with basic french strategies) so I do know the e book goes to be wonderful! I’ll positively be shopping for one!

As I stated above, if you wish to strive some actually good well-balanced wines to pair along with your meals, you must strive Vino Vargas wines.

Favourite Korean Meals and Wine Pairings

Spicy Korean meals (particularly with Gochujang) – Vargas Costa Rosa Rose is the right pairing for this. Pedro, Vicky, my husband and I attempted the rose with some gochujang dip and all of us agreed it magically goes nicely with it. Definitely, stands as much as the robust gochujang salty and spicy taste and creates a beautiful pairing! Right here’s are my recipes that use Gochujang.

Oysters, caviar, abalone, bbq pork ribs and different spicy Korean meals – Vargas Paso Doble, Blanc de Blanc Glowing wine (Champagne) – Completely crisp, flavorful however not bitter so it’s simply so nice to drink. I paired it with some soy glazed abalone right here and it was unbelievable! 2021 SF Chronicle Worldwide Wine Competitors Silver Medal winner!

Bulgogi or Kalbi Aargon Grenache or Tres Bien GSM Mix each pair rather well with the basic Korean bulgogi flavors. Grenache is a tender and velvety purple with berries and plum notes witha silky end. The GSM mix is a full bodied purple mix of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre grapes that has an exquisite raspberry and floral notes with a really clean end.

korean pan fried abalone plated with a bottle of champagne and glass

Nicely, I hope you might be as excited as I’m about my Makgeolli undertaking and PLEASE be happy to ship me e mail, remark right here or on my social media you probably have different questions that you really want me to discover!

Till my subsequent Makgeolli put up!

Take care XOXO ❤️


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles