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New method of producing Khmer wine scares drinkers

Khmer wine, or rice wine, was first produced hundreds of years ago. It may not be as popular as beer in the Kingdom today, but Khmer wine is making a comeback.

Sok Mony Udam, a 20-year-old sophomore studying medical science at International University, helps his parents make wine.

To make rice wine, Udam said that the producer must follow specific rules. First, the winemaker needs to cook rice. Once it is finished, he or she must sprinkle the wine ingredients over the rice and store it in a jar for a day. Afterward, water is poured in the jar and stored for two more days. Then the rice is extracted by fire to evaporate the wine, and it is allowed to flow though a pipeline that steams the alcoholic fumes in a cold temperature.

Altogether, 20 kilograms of drained rice yields about 30 litres of wine and takes around two to three hours to distill.

The production process seems complicated to many people. Therefore, some producers turn to new methods to save time and yield a higher quantity of wine. The new technique uses ingredients imported from Vietnam and does not require the winemakers to cook the rice– they just sprinkle the ingredients on rice and store it in a jar for a few days. When this method is followed, 20 kilograms of rice yields more than 40 litres of wine.

However, Udam’s family prefers the traditional way over the easier method.

“It looks too fast,” said Udam.

“Since it is a chemical ingredient, it will impact the consumers’ health. And the old procedure is good because users like it more than the new one.”

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