Last month I stayed in a homestay in Sichuan Province that was owned and run by a Tibetan family. At dinner they served an amazing barley wine made from Tibetan barley that they called "qingke" barley. Though it wasn't as syrupy, it tasted a lot like port or sherry, owing to how sweet it was, but the taste was slightly more earthy than fruity. Anyway, we were thrilled to learn that they made this themselves and also sold dehydrated packets of the Barley Wine in their restaurant that would be easy to make at home. At the restaurant we bought three packets. Each one weighs about 350 g and is vacuum sealed. The barley inside is wet and I assume it is already fermented. The shelf life, according to the owner, is three months, and we bought it only a month ago.
There were no written directions, but the owner explained quickly how to reconstitute the wine. She said that 5 minutes in 1 kilogram of water (1 liter), hot or cold, would do the trick. She didn't mention sugar, but I assumed that if it was not sweet that I could add it to taste.
We came back home and opened a packet and dumped it into 1 liter of cold water and waited five minutes. We tasted it and it tasted like... nothing. Like water with a hint of something glutinous and vaguely fermented added in. Couldn't taste alcohol and it was not sweet, either. We decided to drain the water and pour a liter of boiling water over the mixture, but after five minutes the result was nearly the same. We tried sweetening at the end but all it tasted like was sugar water, nowhere close to what we had at the restaurant.
I've looked online and I can't find any resources on how to make this work. Can anyone tell me how to reconstitute vacuum sealed packets of Tibetan Barley Wine? Related information and tips would be more than welcome.