At Boksoondoga brewery in South Korea, makgeolli — an alcoholic fermented rice beverage that’s milky, effervescent, tangy, and candy — is hand-brewed with a variety of tender loving care. As proprietor Park Bok-soon enters her brewery’s fermentation room, she greets the onggi pots with a pleasant “Hey guys, how have you ever been?” and is answered by the slight pitter patter of effervescent, fermenting rice. This is only one instance of how she treats her product with respect. “Deal with even a single grain of rice as treasured,” she mutters as her accomplice pours the grains right into a bowl.
Park begins her day hand-washing native rice 10 instances earlier than she steams it al dente. The rice is left to chill whereas she readies the nuruk, or fermentation starter. For the nuruk, wheat flour is fermented for 20 days, and pressed firmly right into a sq. form that holds