Chinese yeast balls, Chinese wine yeast or Chinese / Shanghai yeast balls are called Qū or jiǔqū in Chinese. They are used to make traditional Chinese alcoholic drinks.
Chinese yeast balls | make your own rice wine (2 set)
What are Chinese yeast balls
Shanghai Yeast Balls, jiuqu, Jing Bau, Ragi balls, Chinese wine yeast are called Qū or jiǔqū in Chinese. They are used to make traditional Chinese alcoholic drinks. The original Chinese character also means something like ‘drink starter’.
Those drinks include huangjiu (based on grain), baijiu (spirits) and jiuniang (alcoholic rice pudding / pudding). Qu is the Chinese brother of more well-known Japanese Koji (from sake, miso and soy sauce), although they are not quite the same. Where koji usually only contains one fungus, Chinese yeast balls consist of a complex mixture of different fungi, yeasts and bacteria. They are dried in a ball of starch. The most common microbes are Aspergillus oryzae (known from koji starters) and Rhizopus oryzae (sometimes found in tempeh starters), a yeast Saccharomycopsis fibuligera and a rich variety of bacteria, including lactic acid bacteria. A rice ball can contain dozens if not hundreds of different types of microbes. In addition, it contains many enzymes.
The fermentation is extremely complex and still not fully known. Many micro-organisms are involved.
There is a long written Chinese history on the usage of Qū, dating back thousands of years. There are descriptions of it’s use in 37 wines and even fermented meats. The usage of qu in making vinegar, soy pastes and soy sauces is also documented.
Shanghai Yeast Balls, jiuqu, Jing Bau, Ragi balls, Qū or jiǔqū
- 2 rice balls
- Microbes: Not fully known. In any case Aspergillus oryzae, Rhizopus oryzae and Saccharomycopsis fibuligera
- They can be sold fresh or stored without significant loss of viability for up to three years
How do you use them?
- This is a product for fermentation adventurers. You can make rice wine with it, according to the (originally) Indonesian recipe for rice wine found elsewhere on startercultures.eu.
- Check out the great blog by Madame Huang’s Kitchen
Online English spoken workshop ‘how to make your own miso’
During this online master class, Dutch foodwriter and fermentation expert ‘Meneer Wateetons’ will teach you how to make your own miso. Thanks to a special form of fermentation, two very modest and rather boring ingredients come together to form one of the most beautiful, complex substances on earth. Mister Wateetons tells you exactly how that fermentation works and what you need for it, how you can make miso at home from now on, how you can speed up the process of making miso, how you can vary endlessly on these two basic ingredients and what kind of cool things you can do with miso. Click here for more info.