Elwood 5566

The Death of Nolto – When Less Equals More

Posted in Education, Korean children by 노강호 on April 27, 2012

a study room (공부방)

So many Koreans and students like to utter the phrase ‘TGIF’ but generally do so without any emotional content. My boss actually uses the phrase ‘thank God it’s Monday,’ and she’s not joking! The use of ‘TGIM’ suggest a lack of cultural understanding and is a little like uttering ‘phew’ when you’re about to run up a hill rather than when you’ve reached its summit. But such lack of emotion is understandable, after all, for many Koreans Saturday is simply another working day and hence ‘TGIF’ or ‘TGIM’ are pretty much the same.  ‘Thank God it’s Friday,’ (TGIF) is even the name of a Korean restaurant franchise whose mantra, ‘it’s always Friday,’ couldn’t be more depressing for customers who have to work on a Saturday and for the staff it’s probably their most hated day of the week.

For middle and elementary school students, nol-to (놀토), ‘play Saturday,’ is dead. Now, every Saturday is a ‘play day.’ Of course, like so many things Korean, all isn’t what it seems! Holidays are never really holidays, family vacations never really vacations – at least by Western standards, and exams are only ever final if you’re in your last year of university. In the demise of the ‘nol-to’ lurks a wolf in disguise whose emergence should come as no surprise.

some of my students now spend every Saturday morning in a 'library' (돈서실) and for a treat, go to academies in the afternoon!

The new Monday-Friday study week came into effect at the beginning of this academic year, in March, and resulted in the termination of state school Saturday study for all but high-school students. However, the changes seem to offer little real benefit to students as classroom contact time was increased and in some cases, vacation time reduced.

The reaction to the death of the elementary and middle school ‘nol-to,’ by my students was mixed and if anything, slightly more students seemed to prefer the old system where  daily study consisted of six lessons instead of seven. And to cloud the issue and perhaps weaken opposition, it seems that schools have some individual leeway in allotting the extra hours they must now incorporate into their timetable.

While ‘nol-to’ was universal for school students, I used to sense they were special days. The bathhouses for example, were always busy with children especially in mid morning and afternoons, in the streets and downtown there always seemed to be a buzz in the air and the batting cages and trampolines were occupied.

Was it the case that the ‘nol’to,’ because there were only two a month, were sacrosanct? Yes, some children studied on them but they generally seemed relaxed and were imbued with a sense of holiday. I very much suspect that now Saturday school has been banished, students will gradually be compelled to academies, study rooms, and tutors on every Saturday and worse, on Saturday mornings. Indeed, I already have students who now study in either ‘study rooms’ (공부방), or ‘reading rooms’ (독서실) from early Saturday morning until after lunch – on every Saturday.

academies, academies, everywhere - plus study rooms and 'libraries'

And so it would seem, that many students have been hit with a double whammy; not only have their weekly school hours been increased and in some cases holidays lost, but every Saturday is either at risk of becoming simply another day of study, or is so already!

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Spring Blossom in Kyeong-ju

Posted in Nature, Photo diary, seasons by 노강호 on April 22, 2012




purple crocuses with closed bloom Français : D...

purple crocuses with closed bloom Français : Des crocus violets, avec leurs fleurs fermées. Italiano: Infiorescenze chiuse di piante del genere Crocus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


‘Spring Festival’ in Cheonan, 2009


One of the most spectacular places for blossom is the old city of Kyeong-ju and nowhere is it more majestic than on the edges of the lake.


on the edge of the lake


the lake is home to several large hotels


through the blossom


towards Kyeong-ju city




they had the same design pleasure boats 12 years ago


the fountain


Jun-hee and Sun-hee


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Moving on to Haidong Gumdo

Posted in Hae Dong Gumdo, Martial Arts, taekwondo by 노강호 on April 18, 2012

I’d love to pick up studying taekwon-do in Korea. Not that crappy WTF style (which I’ve also studied to red belt) which seems to simply churn out an endless succession of spinning kicks which look great but have as much potential as a feather boa. And then there’s the total lack of handwork!

one of my instructor’s swords. I’ve seen plenty of replicas and blunt blades, but in the presence of a genuine, live blade, one is struck by both their beauty and frightening potential.

Yes, WTF, has it strong points, it has its share of superb practitioners and I’m sure there’s a suitable school somewhere near where I live but I’m annoyed that in the birth place of TKD, the only type of TKD taught is sport taekwondo. I’m 56 and don’t want to jump around a gym doing nothing but back kick-turning kick, back kick-turning kick, or some other flashy combination and churning out a pattern a month so I can dan grade in ten months. I’ve done the kicks to head height and smashed my feet into sand bags with quite impressive power and along with an abdominal hernia, it has ruined the backside of a few pair of trousers. Now it’s time for slightly gentler training and in any case, low level kicks which smash a knee joint have always been more effective as a means of self defence.  But in the home of taekwondo – not only is it impossible to find a school which teaches traditional taekwondo – but it is impossible to find anyone who knows anything but the WTF exists.

And how many Koreans adults have you met that study TKD? When you tell  a Korean you’re studying a martial art its like telling a westerner you’re favourite PC game is Barbie Homemaker; it’s simply not taken seriously. Martial arts are for kiddies  and most Korean men are WTF ‘have-beens’ with a third or fourth degree black-belt earned in less time that it took me to grade to first dan (ITF) in Europe.

another ‘live’ gumdo blade

I hate everything about WTF, I hate their stupid uniform, I hate their boring patterns, I hate the boring training methods, all the running around the gym and jumping over obstacles and a plethora of other tactics designed to entertain kiddy classes and which have mutated Korean WTF schools into sporty kindergartens with accompanying infant grand-masters. Of course, this is just my experience of Korean WTF, I’ve never trained in a European WTF school. And I hate the way you can kick someone to the face but you can’t punch it. When I was at my peak, my kicks were all dangerous and far superior to my hand techniques but with WTF it seems the feet, despite being the key note of TKD, are ineffectual. Most of all, I hate the way the WTF has re-written history so that in Korea WTF taekwondo is simply taekwondo! No other form of taekwondo is acknowledged.  And worse, in Korea, WTF is a business; it is simply about making cash – but then many organisations can be accused of this.

S0, I decided to take up  a new martial art and one which has only recently begun to appear in the west – namely Hae Dong Gumdo. It too attracts criticism but I’m not bothered. I want the dan grade as quick as I can get it and in most martial art schools in Korea you can do a dan grade a year. At 56 with 30 years of on and off experience in TKD, I will always feel inferior to the days when I was at my best but with Gumdo, I can be better today than I was yesterday and I’ll be even better tomorrow. After only three lessons I’m already progressing but in TKD (ITF), I’m always a shadow of my former self.

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Diary: Jack, 12

Posted in Images of Innocence, Korean children, Teaching by 노강호 on April 16, 2012

Every now and then I’m handed a piece of writing from a student that encapsulates not just the uniqueness of the Korean way of life but captures some universal element associated with childhood.

박민수 영어일기. Sunday I went to the Homeplus (Tesco) with my family. First I cut my hair. Next I bought bananas, Nintendo battery, soccer ball and we bought many things.

My hair is very bad because I say: ‘don’t cut short!’ cut small! But hair dresser make mistake he cut very many hair. Now I am ashamed and very very ugly. I want to wear cap and return time.

Jack (2010)

박믄수 영어일가. I was told off by my mom because I was late my academy because I playing soccer. I be beaten with broom. I cry because my mom is very stronger looks like bear. Maybe I had many bruis on my bum. It was my mistake. Sometime all people make mistake. So broom is unfair. Fortunately, today is very many academy so I not get beaten.

Jack (2012)

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My First Lesson in Haidong Gumdo

Posted in Haidong Gumdo by 노강호 on April 16, 2012

the entrance to my new school

I was slightly worried about my first gumdo lesson mainly because I’m six-foot six and the dojang ceiling is not high. I was worried that first, my sword would gouge chucks out of the ceiling and second,  that having to lower my stances would make my legs ache. The leg ache lasted a few days and now, several months down the line, I’ve only brushed the ceiling with a sword tip twice.

The biggest problem, and it is one that still persists, are the aches from muscles in the wrist and around the elbow joint. However, the aches haven’t been severe enough for me to cancel or change my training routine. The wrist ache is on the little finger side and is caused by letting the blade swing to far out and then, when your arms stop your wrists take the strain. Despite constantly working on the problem, by controlling the arc of the blade with the arms and the wrists locked in place, the ache hasn’t entirely gone and I’m sure some pain is caused by having to extensively rotate wrists especially for upward slashes. I initially remembered finding some positions quite unnatural and uncomfortable but over time the body adapts.

gumdo, taekwondo, piano classes, an English academy and a maths school

For a good six weeks I had quite sore arms around the elbow joint most especially around the brachioradialis muscle. The ache is greater in the right arm is definitely caused by the constant practice of drawing the sword and re-sheathing it. Both the movements involve extending the sword so that most of the strain is on the elbow joint.  I’ve been using a fairly heavy mok-geom (목검) which increases the workload on the muscles. I’ve since noticed the muscles in that area are taut and perhaps even slightly increased in size. But even two months later there is still some residual ache.

The basic cut technique that caused the most problems was a horizontal slash at waist height (평베기 – pyeong-begi)). Not only is the wrist problem caused by the technique, but my sword didn’t travel on a level plane and when it passed the point of cutting, would rise upwards. I started to cure this bad habit by slashing along a piece of string I’d set up at waist height and focusing on the movement of the arms more like that of a punch.

Currently, I’m still working on this and you can see my notes on it in anything related to mija-begi (미자 베기 – 米), or horizontal slash (평베기 – pyeong-begi)

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RSM Jennings-Bramley

Posted in 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, Munster ?-74, Obituary by 노강호 on April 16, 2012

Occasionally, but especially when an Old Comrade has died, I search the internet for a face. Often, I remember names but might not be quite sure of faces and hence I try to find an image to attach to a memory. Eddy Scott was a recent case in mind and I’m not sure if the face I have in memory is that of Eddy or not. I find it amazing that despite all the available social networks, little or nothing exists of so many regimental members.

I was quite shocked to learn Guy Jennings-Bramley had died. How could anyone who knew ‘JB’ forget him. As is often the case, the relationship you have with individuals back in the time you served differs from the one you end up with. I often thought JB was a ‘tosser’ simply because he was the RSM and like all RSMs, he was an irritation. RSM’s, Drill Sergeants, PTI’s etc, were not supposed to be loved and if they were they probably weren’t doing a good job. But time mellows and years down the line, your memories are quite different. I suppose people have the same view towards old school teachers who harshness mellows as nostalgia and sentiment pervade.

RSM Brittain, Britain’s most famous RSM. Unfortunately, I can’t find a photo of JB.

‘JB’ was an incredibly smart soldier, one of those individuals who wore a uniform well. Along with his good looks and slicked back hair, he always seemed to look more of an officer than a SNCO and cut a quite different figure from the stereotypical, ‘old school’ type of RSM immortalised by the likes of RSM Brittain. However, I affectionately remember what a ‘pain’ he was as an RSM.

I remember JB most around the 1980’s when we were stationed in Imphal Barracks, Osnabruck. In the daytime, whenever you had to walk past RHQ, you took your life in your hands. I frequently remember ‘JB’ bellowing out of his office window at a passing soldier who wasn’t smart enough or was walking in a sloppy manner. Apparently, he gave his own wife a ticket for parking outside RHQ, a rule he strictly policed. Whether this was regimental rumour or fact, is irrelevant because it is totally inline with ‘JB’s’ reign as RSM.


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‘Korean Boy’ – You’re Brilliant!

Posted in Entertainment by 노강호 on April 15, 2012

‘Korea Boy’s’ (Dong Won-kim) cover version of Maria Carey’s, Touch My Body, went ‘viral’ on Youtube in October 2008. Yea, it’s old news but only having recently discovered him, I decided he needed a post.

Here’s a sample…

I’m sorry, I find the translations funny and yes! I know it’s politically incorrect but when the person adding the translations isn’t extensively elaborating, it’s amusing and I’m afraid the reality is this is how some Koreans render their ‘Engrish.’

Despite the attempts to ridicule Korean Boy’s pronunciation, the fact is his diction is often clearer than that of some native speakers and besides, the lyrics of most pop song are meaningless anyway.  This guy clearly loves to perform, is incredibly at ease doing so and watching his video you feel his passion. As for his singing, I doubt many of the ‘haters’ who’ve commented on Youtube could match his range and stay pretty well in tune at the same time.

After a chuckle reading the sometimes exaggerated translation, I have found myself simply listening to Korean Boys singing as background music and without reading the lyrics to distract one from what is basically an excellent musical performance. Dong Won-kim,  I admire you  – ‘Fighting!”

An unadulterated version from Dong Won-kim’s Youtube

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The Many Faces Of Korean Rice Wine

Posted in Korean rice wine by 노강호 on April 12, 2012

the ambiguous world of rice wine

After ten years of on and off research and frequent questioning of Korean friends, I’ve decided to make my own mind up on the relationships between tak-ju (탁주), makgeolli (막걸리), dongdong-ju (동동주) and cheong-ju (청주). First, let’s clear up part of the nomenclature problem. Westerners generally refer to Korean alcoholic drinks made with rice as ‘rice wine’ or ‘rice beer.’ There is much controversy, often passionate, about which label is appropriate but it’s all fairly pointless as there are various types of ‘rice’ wine some clearly resembling a wine, others not. I suggest ‘wine’ is a better description as it is not only more commonly used, but the historical purpose of brewing rice based alcohol was to obtain the more valued cheong-ju (청주) which is sometimes called yak-ju (약주). Cheong-ju was a valued alcohol for the ruling yangban class and was an important accessory in ancestral rites, as it still is today. Cheong-ju, once siphoned from the mash, is approx 10% ABV and closer to a wine in this respect, than a beer. It is then subject to further treatment before it is ready to consume. Dongdong-ju, at 14-16% ABV, is even stronger and is often ‘flat’.

just a few of the vast array of available brands

The problem with the ‘purist’ approach is that the same basic recipe produces four different types of alcohol and though you can make makgeolli (though it is possibly strictly tak-ju) without making dongdong-ju, this necessitates watering the brew down either at point of inoculation or when decanted. This is no different in practice to the old custom of watering-down wine. It is not just confusing and academic to insist one type is a ‘beer’ and another a ‘wine,’ but somewhat culturally prejudice. Even among beers there are anomalies we accept – ginger beer, root beer for example and there has been a long history of watering down wine while still calling it ‘wine.’  However, this is just my opinion!

shopping for makgeolli

Some confusion also confronts Westerners over the Korean names of rice wine variants, the following are the main ones but there are also others not forgetting ‘drunken rice drink,’ the term coined by manufacturers of makgeolli being exported to the West.

Dongdong-ju (동동주) is often called nong-ju (농주).

Makgeolli (막걸리)  is sometimes called tak-ju (탁주). It should also be noted that makgeolli can be made from wheat and other grains.

 I have pieced my understanding together from the wealth of information, often contradictory and sometimes wrong, on the internet. However, where at one time there was no information available, there is now at least enough to corroborate facts and arrive at better informed, though possibly still wrong, conclusions. I guess I’m tired of waiting to learn the differences and decided to make an ‘educated’ opinion. Much of the information I have trawled has come from brewing forums in the USA where there is a large, and possibly more reliable, Korean-American population.

the golden hue of dongdong-ju

Many Westerners are confused by the ambiguous use of terms such as makgeolli, dongdong-ju and tak-ju but this shouldn’t worry you because Koreans are equally as confused. There is a consensus among Koreans that they are all made from rice and that dongdong-ju has rice floating on the top and is often yellower in colour but that is about all they are able to tell you. In general, Koreans are no more knowledgeable about the intricacies and processes involved in making rice wine than Westerners might be about making wine.   My first dongdong-ju recipe came from a western source that claimed the name ddongddong-ju (똥똥주) was coined ‘because rice floated on the top of the drink like small turds.’ The author had confused his ‘dong’ with his ‘ddong’ (동-똥) and subsequently let his imagination run away. More importantly, his recipe failed though after some changes I managed to get it to work as my Recipe 3. And though dongdong-ju is quite distinct from makgeolli, most Koreans will tell you they can’t taste or tell the difference.

While all sources in English, and indeed with Koreans with whom I’ve spoken, suggest a basic recipe, there is confusion over whether one mash produces four different drinks or to do so requires four different mashes of the same recipe each treated a little differently. Tak-ju (탁주) and makgeolli (막걸리) are often described as the same drink whereas other sources claim they are marginally different; next are cheong-ju (청주) and dongdong-ju (동동주) which are very different. Once you start thinking about the recipe in any depth you begin to realise the number of possible permutations and it suddenly dawns on you not only why there is so much confusion, but why it is easier to simply clump everything together under the heading ‘makgeolli,’ ‘rice wine’ or even ‘rice beer.’

first stage – with a rice cap and comprising cheong-ju

stage 2, the rice cap has fallen away leaving dongdong-ju – in this case the cheong-ju wasn’t siphoned off

All sources agree on three ‘tiers,’ but there are clearly permutations:

All ‘tiers’ of the basic recipe combined (Clouded. Is it makgeolli? Is it tak-ju?)

2nd and 3rd tiers combined (is it makgeolli? Is it tak-ju?)

1st tier (cheong-ju, or yak-ju, 10% ABV, clear)

2nd tier (dongdong-ju, or nong-ju, 14-16% yellowy, rice floating in drink)

3rd tier (makgeolli, milky)

3rd and 1st tier – (does this exist or have a name?)

There are plenty of resources corroborating the nature of the 1st, 2ndand 3rd tiers, namely cheong-ju, dongdong-ju and makgeolli. However, how they are arrived at is still ambiguous. Are the various ‘tiers’ siphoned off to produce four different drinks or are separate recipes used?

Here’s what I think. Firstly, if you use a separate batch of mash for each variant, what do you do with unused material? If you’re making cheong-ju, what do you do with the rest of the mash? I really don’t think you’re going to chuck it out! The idea that one mash was used to produce a number of variations sits much better with household economics and with theories of social organisation; cheong-ju was both consumed by the yangban and has always been important in ancestral rites. Dongdong-ju (often called nong-ju, 농주), was traditionally drunk by farmers. ‘Nong’ (농) actually means ‘agriculture.’

rice cap at close quarters

Further, the rice floating in dongdong-ju would suggest a siphoning process because if you filter the rice sediment, as you do makgeolli, there is no reason for there to be rice floating in the drink. This would also explain why the colour of dongdong-ju is yellowy because the yellow hue develops as the rice cap which forms on the top of the mash, slowly diminishes until only odd grains remain floating. By this stage peak fermentation is over. If you want makgeolli you can actually bottle up without waiting until fermentation is fully over and while the liquid is still milky in appearance. Most times I’ve drunk dongdong-ju, it’s been stored not in bottles but a large plastic container or bucket and has been flat rather than fizzy for several reasons: it has been fermented longer, stored differently but more important – post peak fermentation comes to a standstill once separated from the enzyme rich sediment. For this reason it is often totally flat.   According to some sources, subsequent batches of rice and inoculate are added to a primary batch of mash, sometimes up to twelve times, greatly extending the period of fermentation and increasing the ABV to around 20%. Personally, I find high ABV dongdong-ju as harsh as ‘extra extra strong’ brew’ type lagers.

Now, some recipes advocate squeezing the collected rice into the dongdong-ju. I am tempted to suspect this is actually the start of making makgeolli! My reason for this is that makgeolli produced from the pressed mash is weak and insipid. If dongdong-ju is in the region of 16% ABV and the dongdong-ju-logged mash used as the first pressing of makgeolli, two subsequent pressings in which the mash has been re-hydrated with water, will lower the ABV to about 5-7%, the regular ABV for makgeolli. It takes about half the amount of water as the initial yield to sufficiently wash the mash over two pressings. Makgeolli is the total product of mash once the dongdong-ju has been siphoned off. Hence dongdong-ju is collected via siphoning or some other means of removing the 2nd tier whereas makgeolli is the product of ‘pressing.’ This explains why dongdong-ju is a golden hue with rice particles floating on the surface, while makgeolli, filtered, contains no rice and fine, milky silt from the yeast.

Carlsberg Special Brew – the British dongdong-ju?

Dongdong-ju is quite distinct from makgeolli, not just in terms of colour and rice grains, but because of a much higher alcoholic content. That it is not the same as makgeolli and as different as farmer’s scrumpy is from lager, is apparent from the way it has been ruralised, yokelised and ridiculed. Certainly, up to ten years ago, there was much amusement in the idea of a westerner drinking dongdong-ju and it is still considered a ‘rough, unsophisticated’ drink. The sort of drink associated with bumbling yokels. Though the slur is diminishing, this has meant that for a long time drinking makgeolli in public (you can rarely buy dongdong-ju), for example outside a 24 hours convenience store, was considered ‘bad behaviour.’ You can drink beer or even a soju with impunity (unless perhaps you’re a teacher) but makgeolli, because of its association with dongdong-ju, is seen as uncouth.

metropolis makgeolli – reinvented

However, in major cities makgeolli has recently become a very trendy drink and suddenly, via fruit additives, cider, yogurt, schizandra etc, it has been elevated to a rank more in line with a cocktail.  In a cross-cultural comparison, dongdong-ju has occupied the same dimension as cider in British culture, associated with Somerset farmers in white bibs, with ruddy complexions, a sheaf of straw stuck in their mouths and a glass of ‘scrumpy’ in hand, or worse, as the   ‘special’ or ‘super’ brew of British lagers; the sort of lager where potency is more important than taste and whose consumption is associated with the coarser end of the social strata. While the ‘west country’ cider stereotype is quaint and rural, Carlsberg Special Brew, nicknamed ‘tramp juice,’ is stark and urban. What distinguishes makgeolli from dongdong-ju, and here is something many Koreans don’t know; is that it is simply much stronger.


So, where does that leave tak-ju? I’m tempted by the idea that anything collecting after the first ‘tier’ of cheong-ju has been removed, or even containing it, is tak-ju. However, maybe I’ve got it all wrong and if so, your erudition is warmly welcomed!

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For more information on makgeolli and makgeolli recipes go to the Mister Makgeolli page in the side bar.

Makgeolli Recipe 1. Quick Guide

Posted in Food and Drink, rice wine (beer) by 노강호 on April 11, 2012


For an in-depth account of the process go here: Making Makgeolli – Recipe 1.

(1 cup = 180ml. T = tablespoon 15ml, d = dessert spoon 10ml and t = teaspoon 5ml)

6 cups of rice (glutenous Korean or sushi rice)

2 liters of water for post inoculation plus 1 liter if you want to dilute. You will also need water for cooking the rice.

1 cup of wheat yeast (nu-ruk – 누룩). I cup amounts to 100g.

1t of yeast (효모). I’ve found instant dried yeast works best

2 cups of sugar (or honey or corn syrup) and depending on taste, you may want to add more as fermentation continues.

Milton’s Solution or some other form of baby utensil sterilizing liquid.


Rice cooker or pan, large glass jar (though plastic is useable), large rubber band, a spatula, a small bowl, a spoon, a cloth for covering mash and a muslin bag.

For decanting –  a funnel, about four 2  liter bottles (Coke bottles are the best), a ladle, a large plastic bowl into which you are going to squeeze the mash.


Wash the rice and cook as normal. When cooked, allow the rice to cool to temperature where it won’t scold your hand. Now, if you are cooking the rice the European way, in a pot on the cooker, you will need to drain off any excess water before letting it cool.

STERILIZING EQUIPMENT – sterilise and boil utensils.


If your nu-ruk is in a block, you will need to break shards off and soak it in luke warm water for an hour and then either mush it up or put it in a blender. Do not soak it in hot water as you will kill the enzymes! Put the nu-ruk in a small, sterilized bowl, add a little water and thoroughly mix it into a paste.

Now fill you jar with 2 liters of water and add the rice to this and then add the inoculate. Mix it thoroughly. Put the cloth and elastic band over the mouth of the jar and store.


Stir the mash with a sterilized ladle once in the morning and again in the evening.


Equipment etc – a large bowl, a muslin bag, anti insect cover if needed, a funnel, sugar (or honey, corn syrup) and optional water (l liter)

Pour the mash into a sterilised muslin bag and then proceed to squeeze liquid out of the rice into a clean bowl. Sugar (honey, corn syrup) can now be added plus additional water if you wish to lower the ABV.


Put the filtered makgeolli into plastic bottles used for carbonated drink. Keep in a cool place just to make sure no spillage is going to occur, before refrigerating.

The makgeolli is actually ready to drink but leaving it a few days at room temperature will allow some further fermentation and maturation. After a few days you may want to add extra sugar or even dilute with more water – it depends on your individual preferences.

Prior to serving, shake the bottle as it contains sediment. Be careful opening the bottle! On more than one occasion I’ve received an invigorating makgeolli shower!

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Makgeolli Troubleshooter

Posted in Food and Drink, rice wine (beer) by 노강호 on April 11, 2012

Failure of the inoculate to initialize – no activity takes place in the mash or it stops. This is likely to occur if the temperature is too high or some unwelcome micro-organism manage to infiltrate your sterilization process. Unfortunately, you will have to try again. With failure of initialization, mold is usually present floating on the surface of the lifeless mash.

After adding sugar, the makgeolli has a strange gluey taste – this is caused by excess yeast or nu-ruk which then reacts with the sugar to cause a temporary ‘gluey’ taste. However, this will subside so don’t throw it away just yet! Check here!

The mash manages to escape the jar and begin floating across the floor – silly-Billy, you used either too much nu-ruk or too much yeast. Mop-up – the overspill is better than an invasion of mold.

The makgeolli has separated in the bottle– this is quite normal. Shake the bottle before serving.

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