How To Make Rice Wine

I’ve always been captivated by the art of making wine. Although most people think of wine as being made from grapes, there are actually many different types of wine that can be made from a …

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I’ve always been captivated by the art of making wine. Although most people think of wine as being made from grapes, there are actually many different types of wine that can be made from a wide range of ingredients. Rice wine is one example, offering a unique and rich flavor that can enhance various dishes. In this article, I’ll guide you through the steps of making rice wine, sharing my own tips and expertise along the way.

Gathering the Ingredients

The first step in making rice wine is to gather all the necessary ingredients. You will need:

  1. 2 cups of glutinous rice
  2. 2 cups of water
  3. 1 cup of yeast
  4. 1 cup of sugar
  5. A clean glass jar

It’s important to use glutinous rice for this recipe, as regular rice will not produce the desired results. You can find glutinous rice at most Asian grocery stores or online.

Preparing the Rice

Once you have your ingredients ready, it’s time to prepare the rice. Start by rinsing the rice thoroughly under cold water to remove any impurities. Then, place the rinsed rice in a large bowl and cover it with water. Let the rice soak for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. This soaking process helps to soften the rice and break down the starches, which are essential for fermentation.

Fermentation Process

After the rice has soaked, drain the water and transfer the rice to a steamer. Steam the rice for about 20-30 minutes until it becomes soft and sticky. Once steamed, spread the rice out on a clean tray or baking sheet and let it cool to room temperature.

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Now comes the fun part – fermentation! In a clean glass jar, combine the cooled rice, yeast, and sugar. Stir everything together until the sugar and yeast are well incorporated into the rice. Cover the jar with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band to allow air to escape during fermentation.

Place the jar in a warm, dark place and let the fermentation process begin. The ideal temperature for rice wine fermentation is around 25-30 degrees Celsius. During the next few days, you may notice bubbles forming in the jar, which is a good sign that fermentation is taking place.

The Waiting Game

Patience is key when making rice wine. The fermentation process typically takes about 10-14 days, although it can vary depending on the temperature and other factors. During this time, it’s important to keep an eye on the jar and check for any signs of spoilage. If you notice any unusual smells or discoloration, it’s best to discard the batch and start again.

After the waiting period, your rice wine should be ready to taste. Use a fine strainer or cheesecloth to separate the liquid from the rice solids. The resulting liquid will have a slightly sweet and tangy flavor, with subtle hints of rice and yeast. It can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient in various culinary creations.


Making rice wine at home is a rewarding and delicious endeavor. While it does require time and patience, the end result is a unique and flavorful wine that can elevate your cooking and bring joy to your taste buds. So why not give it a try and embark on your own rice wine-making journey? Cheers!

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John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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