A Pictorial Look at the TwinBird Rice Mill

A Pictorial Look at the TwinBird Rice Mill

Back in August I posted an article about milling rice with the TwinBird Rice Mill. However, I was not able to include any pictures that could prove useful to those of a mind to construct their own mill. I committed to doing so and I now have the needed pictures.

As we shall see this arrangement seems like it can point the way to a very workable small rice mill that would handle, say, 20 lbs. of rice. Anyway, let’s take a close look at this baby. The TwinBrid mill is designed to run in the kitchens of Japan, handles 4 go (180ml) of rice at a time and runs on 100 Volts, 150Watts at 50-60 cycles. This makes it a good fit for US kitchens as well. The picture below shows the mill and its control panel. The left side is used to indicate the starting state of the rice to be milled, from white rice at the top to brown rice at the bottom. The right side is used to indicate the level of milling desired. Given this, I believe the setting shown gives the longest mill time setting.

TwinBird Mill
TwinBird Mill

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Milling your own rice with the TwinBird Mill

This article discusses how homebrewers might use the TwinBird Mill to polish / mill their own rice for homebrew sake.

Rice milling is arguably the first step in sake brewing. For some, it may be the rice harvest or even the entire process of growing the rice. Then for others, most home brewers, milling is not much more than the story we hear about how the pros do it.  However, under the current situation this is hardly acceptable. As home brewers, we have, to my knowledge, only two options for milling levels; standard white rice (approximately 91-93%) and a rice milled for Ginjo grade sake (60%). For those who would like the chance of brewing other classes of sake other options are needed.

TwinBird MRD570
TwinBird MRD570

Recently, I got a rice mill from Japan; the TwinBird Mill. It’s not meant for sake but for home use with table rice. I was not sure that it would be able to mill the rice down as much as I wanted. That is that it would be able to mill rice to level far past those used for table rice. I wanted to be able to have rice ever where from table rice levels (about 90%) to daigingo levels (less than or equal to 50%). Maybe even lower levels. Could the TwinBird do the trick? The short answer is yes, but… Continue reading “Milling your own rice with the TwinBird Mill”

Nihonshu-do (日本酒度) or Sake Meter Value (SMV)

This article discusses Nihonshu-do (SMV), Buame, Plato and specific gravity for sake Brewing.

Nihonshu-do also known as SMV is the way we measure the sweetness to dryness level of a sake. The word nihonshu-do itself can be broken down into three words Nihon Shu Do with the English counter parts being Japan Alcohol Degree (as in position on a scale). So Japanese Alcohol is Sake and Degree or Meter Value taken together represent the main metric used to characterize sake. At first glance this measure is relatively simple and this is as it should be for sake aficionados. A -4 SMV value for a sake implies it is quite sweet while a value of +10 would be very dry. Its use in brewing reflects its more complicated nature.

SMV was originally based on the Heavy Baume scale created by a Frenchman in the late 1700s. However, the heavy baume scale is only valid for liquids that are equal or heavier than water and this is not the case for sake. For this reason nihonshu-do has the same slope as the heavy baume scale but is not the same. When nihonshu-do and heavy baume are used to evaluate the degree of sugar in water they directly represent the amount of sugar by weight in the solution. While the baume scale is pretty much obsolete today, similar scales like the Balling, Brix and Plato scales are all attempts to measure the amount of dissolved solids in solution with more accuracy, i.e. the grams of solids in 100 grams of water. However, where Baume was working with a sodium chloride solution Balling, Brix and Plato specifically worked with sucrose solutions. Continue reading “Nihonshu-do (日本酒度) or Sake Meter Value (SMV)”