@ @

Square One
Masuichi Honten
The Club
Amazing Sake
Oke Brewing
Masuichi's History Q&A
250 Years of Masuichi
@ Links | Contact - Frequently Asked Questions | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Company Overview | Internships
Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery 807 Obuse, Nagano 381-0294 TEL: 026-247-2011 FAX: 026-247-6369
E-MAIL: info@masuichi.com
Roughly 70% of rice is starch, the main ingredient of sake. The microorganism that breaks this starch down into sugars (dextrose, maltose, and so on) is called koji. Finally, the thing that converts those sugars into alcohol and acids is an enzyme called shubo. Thus it can be said that sake-making is the chemical process of converting (fermenting) starch into alcohol. Also the acid produced is invaluable for giving the sake flavor but it can also be combined with more alcohol to produce a fragrance called ester.
The rice we eat is usually polished about 8%, but the rice used in making sake is polished at least 30%. For premium ginjo sake, it is polished between 40 and 60%, sometimes as high as 70%. This process involves removing the excess proteins and fats near the surface of the rice, leaving behind only the starch inside. Excess amounts of fats and proteins add unpleasant tastes, detracting from the overall fragrance and flavor of the sake.
The material that is created in tanks or vats by fermenting steamed rice and rice in which koji has been propagated in water, then adding pure cultured yeast is called shubo or moto. Furthermore, this moto is mixed with water, steamed rice, and koji affixed to rice in a larger tanks or vats and fermented into moromi. From this unfiltered nigorizake and doburoku are born. Refined sake is created by filtering this. This type of sake was first made in the middle of the Edo period.