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In order to reproduce a traditional Turkish drink recipe for Boza. Which has a thick consistency, low alcohol content (around 1%), and a slightly acidic sweet flavor.

I'm repeating this two step recipe in batches. First batch is with the starter, subsequent batches are using the "boza" from the previous batch.

Millet Wild Yeast Starter:

  1. Grind some millet grains into flour (i.e. using a coffee grinder).
  2. Mix 50 g millet flour with 50 ml water.
  3. Keep covered with a cheesecloth and wait for it to ferment for 2-3 days.

Boza:

  1. Cook 50 g millet grains with 550 ml water.
  2. Blend into a slurry which has a thick consistency, let it cool down to room temperature.
  3. Blend in 50 g of sugar and start the fermentation either by inoculating with old Boza or the starter (50 g).
  4. Let is ferment for 3-4 days.

I'm trying to understand the reason why the following is happening:

The first 2 or 3 batches, I end up having a "Boza" with a very very thin consistency akin to water; after the 3rd or 4th batch or so the final product starts to get the desired thick consistency and further batches after that keep producing the same desired results.

I initially thought, the problem with the first batches could be caused by an enzyme like amylase (from the millet flour used in the starter) breaking down the starch and thus reducing the thickness. To test this idea, I've heated the millet flour to 135C (just shy of browning) and kept it there for more than an hour to deactivate enzymes like amylase that might be present. Still the results were the same, the first batch turned out to be as thin as the first batch from the other iteration.

What's the underlying reason for the first batch turning out this thin?

  • I don't know about the thinness thing, but the recipe is highly unusual. All recipes I have seen start with flour, which is baked, then mixed with water, then mixed with sugar (sometimes cooked at that step), and finally innoculated. The grain thing makes me doubt your whole recipe, unless there are regional differences. – rumtscho Oct 23 '19 at 15:54
  • @rumtscho instead of cooking the flour with water, the grains are cooked with water and then blended to break-down the grains. The steps should be producing identical results in terms of the pre-inoculated product. – zetaprime Oct 23 '19 at 16:00
  • That's the point I was making I saw what you are doing differently, and the process is so different, that the probability that it will produce equivalent results is close to zero. – rumtscho Oct 23 '19 at 16:02
  • I think the main difference is baking part, and I can with absolute certainty tell you that even with the baking, the processes are producing equivalent results pre-inoculation. And even using the above recipe and inoculating with boza I had brought in from Bulgaria (the roasted one) I get desired results. – zetaprime Oct 23 '19 at 16:09

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