Sunday, June 21, 2020

Korean beverages of yakju and takju

Korean traditional rice wines yakju and takju are generally brewed with nuruk as the source of the saccharogenic enzymes by natural fermentation.

This traditional alcoholic beverage can largely be classified by production stage into takju and soju. The most basic form is takju, fermented and cloudy. When the solid particles settle out it becomes yakju, which distilled becomes soju, the final product.

Takju is thick and unrefined, opaque, with low alcohol content. Most of it is called makgelli which means "recently filtered."

When takju is nearly mature, a beautiful layer of clear liquid will form at the top of the liquor jug where it has been sitting; it is called yakju and may be poured off, and includes varieties such as baekhaju and beopju.

The more common name for takju is makgeolli and this fermented rice drink gives off a milky, opaque color due to residues settled at the bottom and mixture of both sweet and sour taste. This oldest alcohol beverage in Korea is considered a healthy drink containing ten essential amino acids, dietary fiber, vitamin B and C and lactic acids (“Liquors”). The taste of makgeolli varies according to types of rice used and manufacturing methods and some are customized to fit the desired taste by adding various ingredients such as herbs, pine nuts, and black beans.

After soaking, the rice used to make yakju and takju is fermented with the traditional fermentation starter nuruk. 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.

Korean traditional rice wines are generally brewed using the parallel double fermentation process, with nuruk as the source of the enzymes and fermentation-causing microorganisms, including naturally occurring fungi, yeast, and bacteria. Mash, a small batch of specially soaked and prepared rice used to grow the starter culture, and nuruk are used to ferment yakju and takju, so these wines contain various live microorganisms.

Although not significantly, and lactic acid bacteria at initial stage of second fermentation decreased to at the end of second fermentation, respectively. For Takju, micrococci and yeast occupied 80 and 20% at initial stage of second fermentation, whereas bacteria and yeast occupied 35 and 65% at the end of second fermentation, respectively. Yeast occupied 88% throughout the second fermentation of Yakju.

Most Korean traditional rice wines such as takju and yakju have an acidic pH of 3.4–4.5 owing to the production of organic acids by the lactic acid bacteria.

Korea traditional alcohol has a long and proud history, and still plays a huge part in Koreans’ modern social life.
Korean beverages of yakju and takju

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