woke up this morning to check on my sweet rice fermentation. it'd only been 23 hours, but i wanted to take a peek to see the progress. when i opened up the instant pop, i was not happy with the result. there seemed to be a layer of white and black mold on the surface of the rice. white mold is okay, but black mold means there's a problem. i didn't smell any characteristic jiu niang alcohol aroma, and when i bravely gave the rice a taste test, it tasted sour, with no hint of sweetness or alcohol. there was no yeast ball fermentation at all. it's as if i left the rice outside in the heat and it naturally got moldy after a day. i didn't want to give up though, so i set the instant pot for another 30 hours of low yogurt heating, figured i'd check on it again later tonight, but i wasn't optimistic it was going to get any better. i think maybe my yeast ball was too old and lost its potency. when the yeast ball doesn't grow fast enough, other bacterias take its place i don't get jiu niang.

in belmont i asked my father about my jiu niang. he said maybe i had the temperature on too high when i first introduced the yeast ball. he also agreed that maybe the yeast ball had expired. he said if there's black mold the sweet rice has gone bad and i'd have to throw the whole thing out. instead of mixing in the yeast ball water, my father rinses the cooked rice in cold water to cool it down. then he just sprinkles the yeast ball powder all over the rice which he fermented in a stock pot. it takes about 2-3 days before he gets jiu niang.

for lunch i had a egg pancake, followed by some suancai with pork floss in a mantou bun, then later some black glutinous rice tangyuang (with sesame filling) in jiu niang broth. i also noticed that the stock google camera app had updated its interface: now the camera zoom is either 1x or 2x and in video mode there's the option for slow motion and time lapse (which used to be in more).

i introduced my mother to the queen's gambit today and stayed in belmont long enough to watch all 7 episodes again, not leaving until 8:30pm.

using the cheesecloth i got him, my father managed to drain out the liquids from his fermenting glutinous rice. this was rice that my godmother's son jack brought so my father could make jiu niang. but something went wrong - either too many yeast balls, or my father believes an incompatible type of glutinous rice - and instead of converting the starch into sugar, the yeast went directly into alcohol production. not wanting it to go to waste, the liquid could still be saved as rice wine, which my father ended up bottling. but instead of refrigerating, he left it outside to ferment some more, and the wine started to carbonate. when my father went to open up the bottle to sample the wine tonight, it exploded out, nearly emptying half the bottle. as for the wine itself, it seemed to have a high alcohol content (similar to wine at least, 10-14%), and had a sweetness that wasn't there before, kind of like a fizzy milky alcoholic glutinous rice drink. because of the carbonation and the sweetness, it'd be easy to accidentally drink too much and become drunk.

for dinner my mother cooked up some frozen rice cakes and tofu from the fridge with the leftover korean hot sauce i made last night. my father and i cooked another steak, got a chance to use the new work light. as if that wasn't enough, my mother also made some fried rice.

i checked my sweet rice when i returned home. the mold was even worse, i had no choice but to dump everything out. fortunately i still have enough glutinous rice for 4 more tries. i just need to get some fresh yeast balls or yeast cake powder.