27 September 2010
El Día Primero
El Día Tercero
El Día Quarto
El Día Quinto
El Día Sexto
El Día Octavo
El Día Noveno
El Día Decimo
El Ultimo Día
Here's the plan of attack for this batch:
1) I'm ordering some Maiz de Jora from La Bodega Peruana. I think this should already have been germinated and dried (thus the Jora) - possibly even ground. I'll have to see when I get it. If that's the case, though, it'll take out at least 2 steps and about 5 days worth of waiting/work.
2) I'm making my own yeast culture. I started it today - basically just a wild yeast culture using a modified version of this recipe. Instead of using some kind of acidic juice, I'm using a live culture yogurt and adding a little bit of vitamin C. This should give me the acidic quality I'm looking for, and I'll get some nice Lactobacillus bugs in there too! This will give the resulting culture a nice tangy flavor which should be passed on to the chicha, I hope. Plus it'll be good for the stomach! :)
3) Once I have the corn, I'll grind it up using my trusty hand-crank mill (assuming it's not already ground, of course). I had to borrow one last time I made it, but this time I have my own to work with! It's not too hard - just takes a few grinds to get it down to the right texture.
4) Next I'll mix the ground corn with warm (~160 degrees F) water (about 1qt per pound) and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then I'll drain it and repeat, and finally let the water (upi or wort) sit overnight after discarding the ground corn.
5) The next day, I'll boil the upi/wort for about 3 hours after which I'll add some spices (cloves and cinnamon - maybe some cardamom?) and some sugar (piloncillo, which is basically a cone of dense brown sugar - it can be found in most grocery stores in the Latin American Cuisine section). Then I let it sit overnight again - to be sure it's fully cool and to let it break down the starches a little more.
6) Finally I'll pour the mixture into a container for fermenting (I'll probably use a glass jug this time instead of the jar I used before), pour in some of my yeast culture, and wait.
The last time I made it, the fermentation kicked in very rapidly and was basically done after only a day. I'm hoping it lasts a little longer this time, but I'm not too confident. I may not post semi-daily updates like I did last time, but I'll certainly keep you all posted on how it goes!
By the way, there are a few different kinds of chicha: chicha morada is a non-alcoholic soft drink type thing, chicha de jora (what I'll be making) is made from germinated corn (jora), and regular chicha is made from corn that has been mixed with human saliva (the word chicha means spit). I'm not making regular chicha because 1) I can order jora 2) it would take me days to produce enough spit to fully soak the corn and 3) I couldn't in good conscience share the final product with anyone if it has my spit in it.