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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Cheongju: Korean traditional rice wine

Rice wine is a generic name referring to alcoholic beverages made from cereals, mainly rice, in east Asia. The beverage is known as ‘rice wine’ in the West because its alcohol content is approximates that of a wine.

Depending on how fermented alcoholic beverages are filtered, Korean traditional alcoholic beverages are divided into two categories: Cheongju (Yakju, clear rice wine) and Makgeolli (turbid rice wine).

Cheongju refers to clear rice wine, which is produced by filtering the fermented mash with the aim of improving taste and fragrance.

Significant differences in processing methods exits between traditional and industrial brewing of Cheongju. The industrial method follows Japanese Sake brewing process using Koji and heats, meanwhile traditional methods use natural-fermented Nuruk as the starter. Nowadays, Cheongju (Jakju) is mainly brewed with Japanese yeasts and rice Koji.

Fermentation produces a harmonious blend of tastes and colors due to the sugars, amino acids, organic acids, and volatile flavor compounds produced by this process.

Cheongju comes in a variety of flavors and fragrances that depend on the proportion and preparation method of rice, the main starch used for its creation.
Cheongju: Korean traditional rice wine

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