Can you use spit to make wine?

Can you use spit to make wine?

Using saliva to make alcohol

In Japan Kuchikamizake was still drunk up until the 1930s. It translates as ‘mouth chew sake’. The fermentation process was traditionally started by the spit of a virgin girl.

How does it work?

The enzymes in the spit break down the carbohydrates in the rice into sugar which is needed to make alchohol. In two weeks you can have a 7% wine!

But the Japanese were not unique. Tribes in the rainforests of Peru have also made a popular alcoholic drink called Masato from spit for thousands of years.

It is made by chewing yuka root and leaving it in jars to ferment. The amylase enzyme in the saliva breaks down the carbohydrates in the Yuka into glucose which feeds the natural yeast from the air and makes alcohol. The result is not very tasty but the Peruvians add fruit and spices for flavour and the final drink is said to taste a bit like sherry.

In Norse Mythology vikings spat into a cauldron to start the brewing process for mead. The spit was said to create a being known as the Kvasir, one of the wisest beings in the world who is able to answer any question.