Formulating the Rice Fermenting Yeast
For thousands of years, the Ifugaos have been making the mouth-watering rice wine, or baya, which comes in different colors and tastes. Such variation, according to a research project titled Technology Development for a Sustainable Rice Wine Industry in Ifugao by Jamaica Bumindang and this writer; resulted from the application of an indigenous rice fermenting yeast called binokbok. How come?
It’s because aside from ground rice-it could be glutinous or non-glutinous and refined dried roots of onwad plant (Bidens Pilosa), binokbok is also made of sugarcane juice, ginger juice and hot pepper. Application of these ingredients in different proportions is optional, and affects the taste and color of rice wine.
Thus, the procedure to make rice wine could not be standardized unless we develop a stabilized procedure in making binokbok or fermenting yeast cake. This writer made it possible by focusing the first of the series of studies for the research project on “The Fermenting Yeast Cake Formulations and Their Effects on the Characteristics and Quality of Rice Wine.”
According to the study, the potency of binokbok depends on the proper preparation, formulation of ingredients, and processing of patties. Likewise, the roots of onwad plant, which is often hardly found, must have been thoroughly washed and dried before formulating the yeast cake. Below is the procedure to formulate fermenting yeast cake.
1. Place the needed amount of finely milled rice into a bowl.
2. Mix the chopped or pounded onwad roots.
3. Pour in the sugarcane and ginger juices (optional).
4. Dilute the flour with approximate amount of water.
5. Mix all ingredients until the mixture became dough.
6. Form the dough into patties and set aside.
7. In another bowl, pulverize a sizeable piece of an aged yeast cake, or mother rice yeast. This is the product of the onwad-ginger formulation.
8. Rub the surface of each patty with the mother yeast powder until fully coated 9. Arrange the patties in a tray and let stand for three days to have them undergo fermentation.
10. Sundry the fermented yeast cakes.
Formulated yeast cakes should be aged for at least one month before using them. The longer the yeast cake is aged, the tastier the wine becomes. At present, succeeding studies are being undertaken to know the effects of the formulated binokbok on different variables.