How to Make Makgeolli at Home – Momofuku Peachy Keen

How to Make Makgeolli at Home


  • 5 cups short grain rice, washed and soaked in cold water for at least 2 hours
  • 1½ cups nuruk (starter culture)
  • 1 package of dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar (optional)

It’s tricky to make at home, but the team at Majordōmo has been trying, and failing. Here’s what we’ve learned―with a little help from their favorite food blog, Maangchi.

Step 1 – Cook the rice

Step 2 – Dry the rice
Chances are you’re trying this at home you don’t have an electric dehydrator. Spread the rice in a shallow basket set in breezy, sunny place, or place in the refrigerator, and let it dry for a few hours until each grain is hard on the outside but still moist on the inside.

Step 3 – Begin the ferment
Place the dried rice, nuruk, yeast, and 8 cups of water in an ongii or any earthenware crock. Our ongii at Majordōmo are made by Adam Field. The importance here is breathability―the vessel needs to be able to breath. When you cover it, place a cotton cloth to further help with air circulation. Then, let it sit. After several hours, stir the thick paste with a wooden spoon, then recover overnight.

Step 4 – Keep on stirring
When you uncover the next day, you will see a lot of bubbles, and the mixture will be thinner. Stir and cover again. And keep on stirring a few times a day for the next few days. By day 4 or 5, there will be fewer bubbles, and the mixture will have separated: clear liquid on the top, milky and more solid on the bottom. The solution―just keep on stirring for a few more days.

Step 5 – Ready for drinking
By day 8 or 9, the top liquid will be clear and amber in color. This means it is ready to drink. Strain into a large bowl. Be sure to press solids with your spoon to get as much liquid as possible out of them before discarding. Add 8 cups of water and sugar to taste, if desired.

Strain one more time, then jar, and drink chilled. Homemade makgeolli lasts in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.