Seoktanju 2

Homebrew #09 – Seoktanju 2

This is my second (or is it third?) stab at making Seoktanju, and if you remember from my post Homebrew #06, you know that I haven’t had a good track record with this recipe. A pichia yeast infestation forced me to pitch four liters of sool last go around. It was an unquantifiable melange of…

Homebrew #08 – Podoju

I didn’t think I’d return so quickly to fruit-infused makgeolli but then here came grape season and my relatives had decided that I needed a box (not a bunch—a box!) of Gapyeong grapes. What to do with so many grapes? Make booze, of course! It helps that I had already seen a successful grape makgeolli brew over…

Kettle Pic

Takjoo Journals’ Second Anniversary

Two years ago I stopped by a corner store in my neighborhood and and bought a weird, plastic bottle of booze. After a few bemusing sips, I thought, “I need to remember this makgeolli so I never, ever make the mistake of buying it again.” Thus, Takjoo Journals was born! But, I am grateful for this bad bottle because it has led me to…

Makgeolli Origins (Groove Magazine)

MMPK’s own Julia Mellor with a write up on Korean traditional alcohol that goes beyond makgeolli and the ubiquitous green bottles. If you’re looking for a little background on where brewing begins in Korea, this is the perfect start. From the Groove Magazine article: At the heart and soul of all Korean traditional alcohol is nuruk, without which…

Beobju

Homebrew #07 – Beobju

Not only is Beobju fun to say but the translation is also pretty stellar: Beobju literally means Law Booze. The most famous example of this by-the-book tipple is Kyodong Beobju, which comes in a ceramic bottle decorated with an iconic blue crane. According to their website, their family recipe goes back to the early 17th century!…

Seoktanju

Homebrew #06 – Seoktanju

If you’re wondering what Seoktanju (석탄주) tastes like, look no further than the modern-day expert, Midam Brewery. I was fortunate enough to meet Mrs. Midam and try her brews at the 2016 Wines & Spirits Expo. As she poured me a cup of her delicious Songhwa Takju, I timidly said that I was brewing Seoktanju. She asked me how…

Cheongmyeongju

Homebrew #05 – Cheongmyeongju

For presenting itself as blue collar, beer can be awfully snobby. Sure, beer can be your average pilsner or lager, but look at all the ways it shows off: porters, IPAs, imperial IPAs, dubbels, tripels, bocks, saisons, sessions, sours, stouts, weizens, dunkelweizens… All right, already. We get it, beer! Well, wonju is no slouch either. There are a ton…

Homebrew #04 – Strawberry Infusion & Mango Infusion

As makgeolli pushers try to reach a younger, hipper demographic, you see a lot of joomak offering different types of fruit makgeolli. But, it’d be a stretch to call these infusions. They’re more like the caramel macchiato frappuccinos of the makgeolli world: concoctions of market makgeolli blended with ice shavings and fruit (if your lucky) or…

Homebrew #03 – Hwanggeumju 2

The first time I told people I had made Hwanggeumju, a Korean person asked me if I had made the name up. Nope, it’s the real name. Translated it basically means Yellow-Golden Wine; I would probably call it Ambrosia as it is easily the best recipe I’ve ever made. Good thing because it’s probably the most labor…

Double Downyangju

Homebrew #02 – Double Down-yangju

Everyone’s first step down the road of makgeolli brewing is the danyangju. If you don’t know what that is, check the post on Makgeolli Brewing Terms. Suffice it to say, it’s a single-step fermentation process that is the easiest, simplest recipe a homebrewer can make. If you’re interested in getting an exact explanation of the recipe, check out the…