Fenjiu - One of the Top 10 Famous Alcohol Brands in China
How is Fenjiu Made?
1. Crush sorghums and liquor yeast
To produce Fenjiu Liquor, sorghums and liquor yeast should be crushed separately firstly.
2. Add hot water into crushed sorghums
Then add hot water into broken sorghums and blend them evenly. The amount of hot water should be of 60% to 70% of sorghums’ weight, and the temperature of hot water depends on weather and seasons.
3. Steam crushed sorghums to be gelatinized
After the mixed materials are put aside for a certain time, steam them to make them completely gelatinized even partially liquefied.
4. Add yeast
Stir the gelatinized broken sorghums while adding 30% of clear water. Pile them up for ten minutes, and cold them down to a certain temperature with special machine. Add broken liquor yeast after cooling.
5. Ferment in underground vats
The next step is to be fermented in underground vats, which is an ancient tradition to brew Fenjiu. These big fermentation vats are buried underground with the mouths uncovered on ground. Pour these treated materials into the fermentation vats and seal them for about 28 days. The vats should be sterilized in advance.
6. Distill to produce brut wine
Finally, add grain chaffs 28 days later, mix them well and distill them. When the steam is cooled, the clear liquid is flowing out from the wine pipe. This liquor liquid is the base wine, or is called first batch of Fenjiu Liquor. It will be stored in grades and blended with other batches before putting into the market.
Secrets of Making Fenjiu Liquor Tasty
1. Winemakers and workers must not only understand but also be proficient in the brewing techniques. They must operate accurately and carefully.
2. To make good liquor, the quality of the water must be great. There are springs of clear and great quality water near Xinghuacun for making Fenjiu since ancient time.
3. The quality of the raw materials must be good. The material selection of Fenjiu is very strict, and it is required to use sorghums with large full and solid granules.
4. The liquor yeast has a lot to do with the temperature and the seasons. It is best to use the liquor yeast made in the summer to brew Fenjiu Wine.
5. The devices must be clean and sterilized to avoid bacterial invasion and to make sure the good quality of Fen Chiew.
6. Ensure the moisture inside fermentation vats. Because moisture is related to fermentation and heat. Suitable moisture is good for heat preservation and promotes the aroma of wine.
7. The heat of steaming broken sorghums should be high, that to distill wine should be small. When the heat needs to be changed, adjust it slowly. Don’t switch it at one moment.
Three Brands of Fenjiu
There are three sub-brands of Fenjiu Group: Fenjiu, Zhuyeqing and Xinghuacun. Fenjiu and Zhuyeqing are the main businesses.
Fenjiu is what we have talked about above. It is the most popular. The main products include Qinghua (China), National Banquet, Glass Bottled, For Business (Black Jar), For Export, Gift Set, etc. Generally, there is 500 ml liquor in each bottle.
Zhuyeqing is a kind of traditional tonic wine based on Fenjiu Liquor, which could be dated to Northern and Southern Dynasties (420 - 589 AD). It is made from high-quality Fen Wine with more than ten kinds of precious herbs and Chinese medicines, having an effect of venting from lungs, promoting blood circulation, profiting liver and strengthening spleen. It is golden, translucent, aromatic, and has always been praised.
Xinghuacun is also called Laobai Fenjiu, which is produced in Xinghuacun and gets popular in recent years.
Origin and History
Fen Chiew has a history of more than 4,000 years. Up to Northern Qi Dynasty (550 – 577 AD), Fen Wine was praised highly by the emperor and became the earliest national wine. In the late Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD), it became famous again because of the popularity of a poem. Fenjiu Wine won the golden model at Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915, which made it well-known in the world. In new era of People’s Republic of China, the industry of Shanxi Fenjiu has developed quickly and the liquor is widely drunk in China.
Kweichow Moutai - the No. 1 National Liquor of China