after having soaked 2 cups of glutinous rice last night, i woke up this morning to start the process of making my second batch of jiu niang.1 i drained the soaked rain then put it back into the inner pot while adding 2 cups of water (1:1 rice to water ratio). the rice took less than half an hour to cook, most of that time just coming to pressure. while that was going on, i split a yeast ball in half and crushed it into powder. it wasn't exactly easy to split, so i ended up measuring the whole ball (about 10g) and weighing out half of that. my father told me when he makes a large batch of jiu niang using an entire 5 lbs. bag of glutinous rice (equivalent to 10 cups), he only uses 3 yeast balls. so using 1 yeast ball when i made my last jiu niang was too much, which may explain the accelerated fermentation. this time around i'd only use half.
once the rice was cooked, i rinsed it in cold water. this has the dual purpose of separating the grains as well as to cool down the rice so i can add the yeast powder. you want to get the temperature down to around 86-93°F or lower before adding the yeast (that's the low temperature on the yogurt setting for the instant pot); there no harm in having a low temperature but adding the yeast when the temperature is too hot might kill the yeast.
after mixing the yeast with the rice, i gently flattened the rice then made a hole in the center, before putting everything back into the instant pot. i set it to yogurt on low temperature with a timer of 24 hours. last time i used 30 hours but i'm going for a shorter fermentation time with the hopes of stopping the fermentation process at the starch-to-sugar phase instead of the sugar-to-alcohol phase.
i was going to make some homemade glutinous rice balls and have some of my old jiu niang for lunch, but i decided to go to the porter square star market and pick up some fried chicken on sale instead. my main reason was to catch a froakie that i spotted on the pokemon go radar. it was much colder than yesterday and i had to put on my hat and gloves to keep warm. when i got to star market, there were only a few pieces of chicken left, i had to settle for the oily leftover chicken.
coming back home, i bumped into victor. he invited me over to his house for coffee, i declined because i didn't want my fried chicken to get cold. later i realized it was better that i didn't go, since victor isn't much for mask wearing (he had an argument at star market early during the pandemic when he tried to enter the store without a mask).
i ate my fried chicken while watching the governor's latest press conference. he has way too many of these that it doesn't seem all that important anymore. today he was announcing massachusetts was reverting to phase 3 starting on sunday due to the post-thanksgiving case spike. restaurants could only be at 40% capacity (down from 50%) and indoor venues of large gatherings of people (like concerts) would be temporarily banned. after 3 pieces of chicken i felt completely gross, like my blood had been replaced with grease. i don't know why i continue to have this love-hate relationship with fried chicken. i never want to see another piece of fried chicken ever again!
in the late afternoon i went out for a short walk, to tag a few pokestops around the divinity school and harvard bio labs. i was taking some photos when my pixel 3XL just turned off on its own. from the indicator i still had some battery left, but i think the cold weather just killed it. i quickly walked back home to recharge.
my mother was having trouble with her phone today, called me with the cafe phone to ask me how to turn on the electric baking pan. of her phone, she said she couldn't turn it on or use it to take photos, and none of her buttons were working, but she could still receive calls. later she called me to back to tell me the problem was because she put her case on upside down, blocking the buttons.
even though i swore off fried chicken, i ended up eating the rest of it for dinner. i was going to make instant pot risotto (it'd be my first attempt using the pressure cooker), but the 6 quart instant pot was temporarily in-use with my jiu niang, and i totally forgot i had another 8 quart instant pot i could use. regardless, it's a good thing i finished off all the chicken, that means i can start fresh tomorrow.
1 instant pot used to have a full page instruction on how to make jiu niang in their manuals (e.g. 2018 IP smart manual, page 18) but they've since removed it from newer manuals. i've never once seen anyone make jiu niang the instant pot way, which requires steaming the glutinous rice then fermenting it in its own container. the way i'm making it is less involved, but if v2 doesn't work out, i may try the official instant pot method. i read that glutinous rice should be steam cooked instead of boil cooked like normal rices. but i figured since the glutinous rice was going to be fermented anyway into a kind of porridge, it didn't matter if it doesn't have the right sweet rice consistency.