Chinese rice wine 糯米酒 are mainly used during confinement and general cooking of wine chicken dishes like "Ka chang ma" and "Ginger wine chicken". There are various methods to make Chinese wine. Traditional recipes are mostly "agak agak" or just rough estimates. sometimes they are successful and sometimes not. This lead to a lot of Pantang and taboos. For example, you cannot make wine on certain days of the month or when a woman is having her period.
The recipe that I now use have been tested by myself and I have also given them to a few friends to try. They have all reported success even on their first attempt without any taboos. The recipe can be ratio and would suggest you to try using one kilo first until you are more confident.
(This may be reduced according to ratio)
6 Kilo Glutinous Rice
18 pcs small wine biscuit ** ( see below)
3 bottles Chinese white wine.( ½ bottle per kilo of rice) ++ see notes below
150ml water more or less
** used the round type for wine biscuits. The ratio is 3 pieces for every kilo of rice.
1. Cook all the Glutinous Rice and let it cool down completely, preferably overnight.
*Letting it cool overnight to make sure all the rice have cool completely. If continue other steps by using the hot rice will cause the wine to become sour )
2. Get ready the wine biscuit and crushed into powder form.
4. Get ready a Ceramic pot (I used a large pryrex glass bowl with lid for 1 kilo rice) and start with 1st layer of wine powder then 1 layer of Glutinous Rice…cover with another layer of wine powder.
5. Repeat Step 4 until all the Glutinous Rice & wine powder are finished.
6. Finally Pour a little bit of water on the top of those ingredients
7. Cover it nicely and keep at a dark cool place but not airtight, the yeast fermentation need to breath.
8. On the 3rd day open and pour the Chinese white wine into it to make it more 'thick and tasty. ++(see notes below)
9.Close the jar (not air tight) and leave the jar in a cool place to ferment for 21 days.
10. Open up after 21days. Stir wine and strained out the wine into a clean pot or bottles. Discard the residue.
1) Keeping the wine longer than 20days will further the fermentation and may result in sour wine.(vinegar)
2) With good result may produce 10 - 15 bottles (1 liter) sweet & tasty Chinese rice wine.
3. Once bottled, wine may be kept for 1 or 2 years. The wine ages in its container and changes from a milky white color to cherry red while developing a sherry-like flavor.
++Use ordinary Chinese white wine. Some white wine sold in Chinese Oriental Shops which were imported from china were salty. No worries, my friend informed me on her second attempt she used these salty white wines and also with good results.
The final Rice Wine would not be salty. She informed that upon opening on the 21st day, the wine were very sweet but without any wine smell. She just bottled it and eventually as the wine age in about another three weeks, the wine smell became stronger and tasty.
See related how to make Chinese red wine (sarawak)