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Tuak

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Tuak

This article is about one fermented beverage known as tuak. For the other, see palm wine.

Tuak is an alcoholic beverage made of fermented rice, yeast and sugar and drank in parts of Indonesia such as Sumatra, Sulawesi, Borneo, and parts of Malaysia such as Penang Island and East Malaysia. It is also referred to as rice wine. The beverage is a popular drink among the Ibans and other Dayaks of Sarawak during the Gawai festivals, weddings, hosting of guests and other special occasions. The same word is used for other drinks in Indonesia, for example the palm wine of the Batak people of North Sumatra.

Preparation: cooked glutinous rice is spread thin and left to cool on flat surfaces, metallic utensils are usually used. An equivalent weight of yeast (ragi) is added, which will produce bitter Tuak. For sweet Tuak, a smaller proportion of ragi is added. The yeast is pounded into powder and mixed with the rice after it has cooled and the mixture is left to ferment in jars for anything between 3 and 10 days. During this time the solids separate from the liquid and usually float on top of the mixture.

Sugar is added to boiling water (typically 1 kg of sugar to every 2 liters of water, but the mix can be varied depending on the preference for the level of sweetness) and the cooled syrup is added to the fermented mixture. The Tuak is ready to be served or as with the locals, it is preferably left to stand for another 10 days for the taste to mature. The longer the Tuak is kept, the more matured it would become. Tuak can be stored for long period of time, over the course of time the colour darkens and an aroma of honey develops. Provided the content of either alcohol or sugar is high enough, the rice wine can be stored for many years in sealed bottles. [1]

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