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Bai Mi Jiu (rec n pic)

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super Chief

Joined: 20 Jul 2004
Posts: 5174
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:42 am    Post subject: Bai Mi Jiu (rec n pic) Reply with quote

This is probably the longest post I will write. Bai Mi Jiu is Chinese Rice Wine. After so many years of trial and errors, asking so many people (which no one wants to share the knowledge!!!), I finally figure it out. And I once swore to myself that if I knew the answer to all the questions I use to ask others, I will spill it all out here.


There is actually no special recipe for this. Just that its very time consuming and you have to watch it like a hawk..or like tending to a baby who is constantly seeking your attention.

You have to have patience, loads of it. And must not be dismay if you don't see the results immediately. Should you fail in making rice wine, its not because your hands are 'dirty' or not cut out to do this. Any one can make wine. You just have to try and try again.

Some of the people I taught took 2 to 3 tries to get it right. Others could just figure it out after 1 lesson.

I am not a wine expert..just someone who spends umpteen times making wine and have alot more experience making it, having failures and found the answers..! Smile

...the recipe goes :

A good bottle of Bai Mi Jiu is actually cloudy, never clear like water.

This is Huang Jiu or Yellow Rice Wine..

How to get it turn yellow? Leave the wine in an earthern bottle like the one showned..and leave the bottle in the fridge for over 2 will get yellow wine..its AGED and very VERY sweet. Its to die for!!

Wine Yeast or Jiu Bing (Wine Biscuit)

Special Tools:
A large glass jar with a cover
A clean kitchen towel
Sieve, pot, clean glass bottles with cork.

Yields 700ml of wine
1kg glutinous rice
1 pc wine yeast

enough water to cook the rice

1. Wash the rice under tap water till it runs clear.
2. Add the washed rice into the rice cooker, add water(enough to cook it)
3. Once its cooked, remove to fluff up the rice and lay it out on a flat dish. This speeds up the cooling process.
4. In the meantime, pound the wine yeast into powder and set aside.
5. Put a bit of cooked rice in a deep bowl, sprinkle yeast powder over it.
6. Repeat this until all the rice and yeast powder are used up.

7. Put the rice/yeast mix into the large glass jar.
8. use your palm to press down the rice to the bottom of the jar
9. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel, follow by the plastic cover.
10. Do not tighten the plastic cover.
11. leave it at a dry, cool place, away from direct heat(cooking stove, window).

12. Check on the jar every day to see if there are water droplets collected...usually you can see this on the 2nd day.

Harvesting the wine:
1. Dish out the rice and put it on a sieve over a large pot.
2. Collect the wine in the pot.
3. Transfer the rice residue back into the glass jar, cover with a new(clean) kitchen towel, and the plastic cover. Leave it again to ferment.*
4. Store the wine in a clean glass bottle and tighten with a cork.
5. You can leave the wine in the fridge for several days, even years.
6. Due to our Singapore weather, do not leave it outside in room temperature. The wine will continue to ferment(there are still traces of the yeast in it.)

*each day you will get more wine from the rice residue. Never throw away the rice residue. You can use it for cooking or making the traditional Chinese steam cakes which are often use in Chinese deity prayers or ancestoral worship. I have been a Christian all my life..I just make the steamed cakes to eat for fun.. Smile

Important Notes
During the initial 7 days.. Do not attempt to open the jar to smell. And if you can, do not shake the jar or move it around too much.

The actual process takes slightly over a month..not really 21 days. How did it arrive at 21 days, there are 101 stories behind that. Thru experience, especially in our hot humid Singapore, 21 days gets your first good yield of wine.

To have a good and refined wine, you have to wait for 30 to 45 days.

The only time you need to watch this baby is during the initial 'gestation' period of 7 days. Should anything go wrong, it will happen only during the 7 days. If all is good, then wait till the wine fermentation to complete.

Day 1 :

Day 8: The bubbles you see are the gas it emits..shows healthy fermentation in progress.

After harvesting the wine in a bottle, you will still see the white stuff..that's the rice residue.

About Drinking the wine for Health
I made this now purely for my mom to drink as a form of tonic. To help with the blood circulation and keeps her body warmed at night. As she ages each day, she is less mobile and had pain in her legs and sometimes weak. The wine is taken at night, just before bedtime. She had it with ice so its easier to drink. She is not a wine drinker. Just 2 tbsp with 1 to 2 ice cubes.

She says it helps her to sleep better at night and less wakeful.

She uses the rice residue to marinate parts of a chicken and cook with sliced ginger as part of her weekly meals at home.

About making this in Singapore in November and December
Wine making is best in countries that have 4 seasons..! Singapore seems to be a place that is impossible to make wine with the same results all year round.

So the trick here is to watch the room temperature.

Best temperature for wine fermentation is 26 C. Any warmer, the yeast will die. The wine will turn into vinegar..!

If its too cold, the wine fermentation slows down by as much as 14 days. Since fermentation of this wine is measured by days.

So if you are making wine in Winter(any country that has 4 seasons), be prepare to 'wait forever' for something to happen in the jar!

Wine making in China is done with earthern pots and you cannot see thru it. And its made by Masters who pass down the knowledge to their children. They know if its gone wrong just by sniffing at the top of the jar.

For us, modern folks who goes to English schools to study Chinese, have to trust our eyes it took me over 3 years to figure this out..took countless photos, did this in different times of the year, using different ways to do it and found out why and what and how.

Now I can just do this with all my eyes tightly shut. And I still get good chinese wine for my mom, for my aunt and also my mother in law.

Sorry for the super long story..

The Lord is my Shepherd. I have EVERYTHING I need. Psalms 23:1
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Joined: 11 Apr 2006
Posts: 33
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not long at all Gina! Just very precise.. Esp for people like me..
Thank you lots! Am in melbourne & my mum just brought me some jiu bing.. So will try it out... Love the rice residue in dessert..
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Joined: 10 Oct 2005
Posts: 55
Location: Kuching, Sarawak

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, have done well! Your method is quite similiar to my hubby' s tuak making. Except that he add sugar syrup at later stage. Yes, a good wine can last many years. He has a 30 years old tuak still tasting good. Pantang or not this I am sure ;- never make wine same time with acar!
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Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


This is also similar to my MIL making. I had been taking this for my 2 children's confinement, 2 meals for the 30 days. I did not have many "confinement recpes".

Previously my Hakka MIL was also selling them to her friends, so perhaps she was good . Now I made with glass jar, 2 kilos per time for own consumption. island
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