Where can I get a small industrial rice polisher for sake rice?
March 3, 2014 1:23 PM   Subscribe

I am starting a craft sake brewery and I wish to make ginjo and daiginjo sakes. I need very polished rice!

I do have a source of polished rice (Calrose, 40%, milled at a huge farmers cooperative where I am but a pip-squeak customer and grateful to be one) but I wish to be able to produce sake from other kinds of rice and other levels of polish and on my own schedule.

So I would like to get my own rice polisher (or rice mill, I think they are the same thing.) I think I need something that a rice-growing village would have, not a monster that a major brewery would use nor a table-top unit that turns brown rice white for dinner. Where can I find such a thing for my little brewery?

Can I buy one from somewhere in the U.S? Should I try to import one from Japan, China, or India? Can I get one used to save a few bucks?

I am on a shoe-string budget of course. If it costs as much as a forklift, that's one thing... if it costs as much as a house, that's another. Also, extra thanks If I can be pointed to one that is UL listed so the inspectors here in California don't throw it out of my brewery for not being properly certified.

Many thanks!
posted by Captain Shenanigan to Technology (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I don't have an answer for you, but a couple people to consider asking would be Dave Arnold at Cooking Issues (not because I think he has specific expertise in this area, but he's likely to be able to refer you to someone who does), or perhaps Will Meyers at Cambridge Brewing Co. in Boston -- they've done a couple sake hybrid brews involving producing their own koji and might know of an answer.

Good luck, and definitely update this thread if you find something!
posted by j.edwards at 3:10 PM on March 3, 2014

Please do let us know if you find something but I think this may be a pretty tough set of requirements. There are plenty of small kura in Japan that can't justify having their own mill and contract it all out. But, I hope you can find it.
posted by Gotanda at 3:32 PM on March 4, 2014

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that's the answer. There seems to be a bit of a craft sake boom emerging. Maybe you can become the brewer who also provides milling for others in the area? That could be pretty cool.
posted by Gotanda at 3:45 PM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks BrandonW, j.edwards, Gotanda and anyone else who's brain-time I have taken up with this question!

It is crazy how many things I am doing for the first time that an expert could do better... if I were in a position to pay one. Finding and importing a machine from China is just such a thing, which I will do if that's what I have to do.

Enough people have asked me "Where do you get your rice from?" to clue me in that there is a market opportunity here to sell the excess production. If/when I get a mill I plan to do that, it would be silly not to.

Now I'll go scour the Internets for stories about ordering things from China, how to import, etc.
posted by Captain Shenanigan at 11:34 AM on March 6, 2014

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