Okay, don’t panic and don’t throw it away!
Once makgeolli has been decanted and sugar added, several changes begin to occur. The first is that the hitherto watery consistency of makgeolli changes and it very quickly becomes thicker and more creamy. Ideally, it may even be frothy. An unwanted change however, is the rapid development of a ‘gluey’ smell and taste which lowers the drinking quality.
This gluey-ness is temporary and will decrease over several days along with a decline in sweetness which can subsequently be re-adjusted. From my experimentation, a gluey-ness arises when the mash is decanted while there is still busy fermentation and thus, when sugar is added, some heavy chemical reactions occur. The ideal time to decant depends on the temperature at which fermentation has taken place. Hence, wait until the peak of fermentation is passed before decanting. My 6-7th version of the recipe have produced excellent results with no ‘gluey’ transition or if there has been one, it has been very slight. Adding sugar also increases the level of gas so always check bottles on a daily basis to avoid any unwanted mess. Don’t under estimate the explosive force that can build up in a bottle! I recently experimented with adding pineapple to makgeolli and was treated to a fruity shower. My memory of this experience, as revitalizing as it was, as I was stood in boxers at 7am, on a Sunday morning, was of a column of white which shot out the bottle and almost hit the ceiling
©Mister Makgeolli – 努江虎 – 노강호 2012 Creative Commons Licence.