Chinese Bubod Straight from California

A bubod straight from California. It is of Chinese origin as evidenced by label unreadable by me. Hmm..! We have our own bubod here! In fact I have been keeping some that I reproduced myself from a few pieces I gathered from Mindoro.

chinese bubodIt is spherical in shape instead of flat oblong. A heavy protruding line is running around the middle. A sign that it is made of two halves fused to one. I imagine the mold they used is a small infant milk scoop. Each half is molded separately then fused together while still wet. It is porous and looks like easy to crush. Well! It should be as easy as I thought. It needs to be pulverized before mixing into rice intended for wine production.

Now I am wondering who invented it. Is it the Chinese, the Filipinos or any of our neighboring ASEAN countries? Maybe its origin is China. Remember from our history class. China has been one our biggest trade partner even before Spaniards colonization. The trade has gone too far to almost uncontrollable now. Almost everything I see is made in China. It is possible that this bubod is one of their trade product.

Chinese version has the same application as ours. Known as jiuqu, pinyin or simply as starter cake used for manufacture of Shoxing wine or Maotai. A wine derived from fermentation of rice, like Japanese Sake and our very own Tapuy.

I think setting up a little wine experiment on this is a good idea. A side by side setup with Philippine made bubod is nicer. Perhaps I would also try reproducing it.

Thanks to Ate Boots for giving me this.

Bubod Pineapple Wine Final Update

After over three weeks time. I visited the bubod pineapple wine trial again. No bubble formations observed. It ceased, signalling fermentation end.

The smell. The aroma was like a strong wine. The taste. It had a good wine taste, a taste resembling fruit cider. It was good if not too sour. Well, it is good if I label it as vinegar.

fermented pineapple bubod

Where did the sour taste came from? Maybe I was too careless. The pineapple juice got contaminated during the process. Or the bubod itself was also responsible for sour taste.

I guess I need to repeat this crude method in a more scientific manner. Well, the main purpose of this trial is to know whether the stored bubod was still viable or not. Trying to get a good tasting wine was supposed to be a bonus.

The Old Bubod Viability Update

a continuation of my previous experiment…

After seven days. I accidentally noticed that the PET bottle where I filled the mixture of pineapple juice, old bubod and sugar was beginning to bulge. Perhaps the bubod yeast began feeding on sugar and producing carbon dioxide. Maybe I closed the cap too tight that gas was building up inside.

Due to bulging, the bottle cap has reached the shelf sealing and started pushing down the glass rack. It will break for sure If I never noticed.

I removed the PET bottle from shelf carefully and loosened its cap. The rush of escaping air caused the juice to spray around wetting the floor and my hand. It smelled like pineapple wine.

bubbling fermenting pineapple wine

….. Yes! My old bubod is still good for fermenting wine. I am hoping for a nice tasting wine. Few weeks more and I can have a taste of it.

See Bubod Pineapple Wine Final Update.

More Than A Year Old Bubod For Making Pineapple Wine

Last July 15, I made my very own bubod from what Charming gave me. I stored it in clean fancy oval jar with a good seal but left it just beside my desktop computer for more than one year. The jar sure protected it from any contaminants but I doubt the room condition was not conducive to keep them dormant. I guessed they were permanently disabled.

cracked old bubod

The room where I stored the bubod was too warm during day time but too cold at night. The roof has no ceiling, allowing easy penetration of sun’s heat during hot sunny days. The gap between ceiling and roof and the opened door allowed quicker cooling when night time come. I was guessing the cold was favorable but the warmth was not. I should had stored it in refrigerator.

Doubtful, I still wanted to put it into test. Test if it can be used to make a pineapple wine.

pinya juice with bubod

Why pineapple? Bubod is intended for tapuy making.

This is a dual purpose experiment. A friend of mine is making high quality mango wine using bubod as fermenting agent. Maybe it is going to work on pineapple too. And, I can prove that bubod can be used to make good quality fruit wine.

To be continued…

See Bubod Pineapple Wine Final Update.

A Remodeled Bubod/Rice Wine Starter, Rice Bread?

Whenever I am working in front of my desktop computer, I just can’t help but notice the fancy oval jar. A jar which contains bubod that I cultured several months ago. Am I able to make a good rice wine using it? Are the organisms still alive? Are the two pieces of bubod my good friend gave me gone to waste? I should have stored it inside our refrigerator.

bubod in fancy oval jar

Thanks! I indeed hid some in refrigerator.

I was not really concern about its viability. Instead, I am getting hungry every time I see it.  I feel like getting one and crack it between my teeth. The bubod look like small but extra thick cookies. The surface texture is slightly rough. The color is a mixture of dirty white to brown. It crumbles when cut or pressed. Characteristics that are similar to cookies.

I have never tasted it yet though. Things might not go well. It might cause me stomach pain. Bubod is a plain ground rice added with various microorganisms. The thing is meant to break down complex carbohydrates to simple forms then transform it to ethanol. It is not food. It is a processing aid for making rice wine.

What if I borrow the bubod making process? Omit the addition of old powdered bubod and add some sugar to taste?

I kneaded three parts powdered rice and two parts brown sugar. Then molded it to saucer like structure. I made it much thinner to hasten drying. The sun was barely shining for past few days. I might have a hard time drying these.

rice saucers


The trial never went out well. The surface was getting white as it dries and the taste is nothing but a raw rice.

kneaded ground rice dried

Using Bubod To Make Fruit Wines

Can I use bubod for fruit wine making? Hmm… Lets do some analysis.

Here is a simple tapuy making procedure.

1) Boil balatinaw (a variety of red rice) in a large wok until cooked.
2) Cool and arrange in a wooven bamboo tray, bilao.
3) Sprinkle with powdered bubod. Cover with fresh banana leaves and store for three days or until mold growth is observed.
4) Transfer it to earthen jar. Cover. Store for 20 days.
5) Harvest the liquid as tapuy and the fermented rice as lepeg.

The bubod was invented by our ancestors for the sole purpose of making wine out of rice. Perhaps the discovery was accidental. Original tapuy are made of balatinaw red rice. Due to scarcity of this red rice, a short gluntenous rice  is widely used as replacement.

Tapuy making is a two process fermentation. First is the conversion of complex carbohydrates to simple sugars. It is carried out by the mold koji or Aspergillus oryzae. The next step is fermentation of sugar to alcohol. The responsible microorganism for this second step is yeast of Saccharomyces species.

The procedure above directed to add powdered bubod to freshly cooked rice – the first fermentation stage which needs Aspergillus oryzae. No direction to add yeast culture in second stage – storing in earthen jar for 20 days. From this, we can assume that both Aspergillus and Saccharomyces are present in bubod.

Then, bubod can be used in fruit wine making. The yeast will be active while the mold will become dormant. The conditions of wine making is not favorable for mold growth.