Last Updated or created 2023-01-23

(I made makgeolli multiple times, pictures are of multiple dates.
I started with a workshop at a hackers event called OHM2013)

Much like sake, a fermented rice ‘wine’ .. see other post

Makgeolli is a traditional Korean alcoholic beverage made from rice and nuruk culture. In this workshop we will prepare the single fermented makgeolli called “Takjangdzu”. We will focus on a proper rice preparation which includes proper washing, drying and steaming (or boiling), cooling and subsequent inoculation of the rice by the active culture in this case nuruk. If everything goes well we will also harvest the takjangdzu which was already pre-prepared and taste it. The alternative options to using nuruk as a culture will be discussed, suggesting either kōji (Aspergillus oryzae) or yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

>Just quick one. I have checked the recipes which you shared with me quickly. The first recipe is close to the todays industrial style of production of Korean Makgeolli or the Japanese style of "rice wine making" because it uses koji                                                                                                                                                                                    

>The second recipe uses steamed rice (that is what we do at Susubori) and yeast. Using just yeast is not usual for Korea, we for example add yeast in addition to nuruk (for 1 kg of rice (chapsal - sticky ric
e recommended), we use 90 g of nuruk and 3 g of yeast (baker yeast I assume, no one knows which really annoys me). We wash 4-8 times the rice in cold water to get rid of the starch, let it steep for 2.5-3 hou
rs, dry it for 40 min and steam it for 20-25 min. Cool it down for 30-40 min to room temperature and transfer to the fermentation vessel (leave around 50-70% free place for air so 5 l wide mouth container suits well), add nuruk (90 g of wheat based nuruk, there are many different types) and yeast (3 g baker yeast should be fine) if you like and 1 l of water (rice ratio to water 1:1, that results in sweater type
 and more viscous beverage, if you go 1.2 (water):1 (rice) than you get dryer and more acidic beverage), mix well but gently not rupturing the rice grains, making sure that the nuruk falls apart             
>Let to ferment with slightly "open" lid on the container for 3 days, mixing every day properly, after that let to ferment for another 3-4 days (max 5-7 days all together) and taste regularly and harvest when you feel it is right. The harvest is basically straining the mixture through the "fine straining bag" and bottling. Bottle the liquid leaving around 10-15% of the bottle to air (carbon generation can be quite vicious) and keep refrigerated.                                                                                                                                                                                
>Anyway I hope it helps, by the way the recipe above is for single fermented makgeolli which takes in total less than 7 days and is more prone to be sour than the double fermented one.     

To brew your own:



  1. Soak rice in tepid water for 1 hour
  2. Cook the rice until it is about 80% cooked.
  3. Allow the rice to cool
  4. While rice is cooling break nuruk cake until small pieces and mix into water until it turns a mud-like color.
  5. mix in rice
  6. transfer mixture to an earthen jar (if unavailable a plastic jar will do just as well)
  7. cover jar with a paper towel, or light cloth and allow it to ferment for two days
  8. cover jar with lid and allow to ferment another two days
  9. stir the makgeolli twice per day throughout the whole fermentation process.


  • Add one tablespoon of sugar per liter of makgeolli to each bottle
  • Filter makgeolli mixture through a cheesecloth and pour through a funnel into each bottle
  • seal bottles if possible, and refrigerate until ready to drink


  • To be traditional, transfer your makgeolli into a kettle, and pour into a small, bronze bowl
  • Add water to taste
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