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…