i biked to belmont, bringing with me my jars of jiu niang so my parents could try them again. even though i think my jiu niang is sweet but with a carbonated kick, my father said they tasted off. my earlier jar is sweeter with more carbonation, but my latest is mildly sweet with a sour smell reminiscent of kombucha. it also doesn't have any of that characteristic jiu niang smell. later i watched a few jiu niang making videos on youtube with my father. some of the cooked rice looked very dry, not as wet as mine. my father thinks the problem is my rice is too wet because i soak it overnight. soaking is only necessary for steaming glutinous rice, not necessary when boiling, which is how i cook the rice. he told me next time to cook the rice directly without pre-soaking first.

my mother told me she's seen birds at the feeder, which was nearly empty. i filled it up with fresh sunflower seeds. as it was about to rain, i put a plastic bag over my bike seat to keep it dry for my return home later in the evening. for lunch i had some leftover rice porridge with my korean kimchi and an almond pastry. even though temperature was in the 40's, it felt raw because of all the cold moisture in the air, and the sunroom felt like a refrigerator. i found out today that my mother has been using her new phone on data since getting it, because i hadn't connected it to the house wifi yet (fortunately we have an unlimited data plan).

my father gave me an update on the noisy air intake duct of their next door neighbors' high efficiency furnace. they installed an inline noise reducer and seemed to work, because my parents haven't heard their furnace since. it still makes noises - at about 20 decibels - but they can't hear it anymore when they're indoors with the windows closed. the only time my father heard any noises was standing outside right next to their intake duct. the contractor who installed the noise reducer was so impressed he offered to do it free of charge and told his colleagues about this amazing product that they've seen before. that's because sound reducers fall under the purview of indoor marijuana growers, who often need ways to hide their grow rooms, whether it's to reduce the sound from noisy ducts or filter out tell-tale smells.

my parents made another scallion bread. my mother didn't put enough yeast and the dough never managed to rise, despite later putting the dough near the radiator. the bread was still good, not as fluffy, denser.

after dinner i biked home. the rain had stopped but there was still a mist in the air, enough to soak the sleeves of my jacket. at least it was warm (temperature still in the 40's), but the combination of rain water and condensation fog on my glasses made it hard to see. basically i navigated through fuzzy halos of light, and my memory of where the potholes are on the streets.

after a shower i went ahead and started v3 of my jiu niang. not having to pre-soak meant i could cook the rice tonight and leave it to ferment. i washed 2 cups of glutinous rice until the water was nearly clear. not sure if this is necessary, but it made me feel better. to the washed rice i added 2 cups of water then put it in the instant pot on rice setting (low pressure 12 minutes). the cooked rice seemed a bit drier, but honestly, if i did a side-by-side, i don't think i'd be able to tell the difference. i rinsed it under cold tap water to lower the temperature, but also to add some additional water to the cooked rice. once the temperature was below 80 degrees, i sprinkled half a yeast ball powder all over the drained rice and mixed everything together. instead of fermenting in the inner pot, i packaged the cooked rice into 2 quart-size wide-mouth jars. this allows me to better gauge the fermentation progress and having them in jars means less clean-up. the plastic lids have silicon rings but i didn't twist them on super tight. i discovered that my 6qt instant pot can fit 2 quart-size jars and still manage to lock the lid. i set it on yogurt low temperature 24 hours. by tomorrow night i'll be able to know if i'm successful or not.

i did a load of laundry tonight, finally washed my bedsheets along with some towels. however, i plan on sleeping in the guest bedroom tonight, haven't slept there in a long time. it's my preferred bedroom of choice during the cold winter because it's so warm.