2 minutes read
Sake, you might have heard about it. It’s the national alcoholic drink from Japan made from rice. Over the last couple of years’ popularity of this drink (together with the cuisine) took off, with the more high-end restaurants putting a spotlight on it.
The main product to make Sake is rice. Special Sake rice is polished to remove the outer layers of the seeds exposing the starch that the seeds contain. Then it’s washed, soaked & steamed to soften the rice. The rice is then sprinkled with a mold, called Koji that converts the starch into glucose (sugar).
All the rice is then transferred to an open fermentation barrel, wherein yeast, water & more steamed rice is added to start the fermentation. After roughly 4 weeks, more rice, yeast & water is added to start a 2nd fermentation lasting a week.
When the 2nd fermentation is finished, the Sake is pressed, filtered & pasteurized to stop further fermentation or other spoilage. It can then either be matured in vats or bottles, depending of the type of Sake the Sake brewer wants, or bottled and ready for shipment.
Sake can be categorized in 2 categories, bulk Sake & special designation Sake. Bulk Sake can be seen as your normal table Sake, but the special Sake is under divided into 8 categories whereby the most important variety of how fine the rice seeds are polished. The more, the better.
Also as with wine, Sake has different types as well, with some even served warm:
- Kunshu Sake: fruity, served between 8-15C.
- Soshu Sake: light & fresh, served between 5-10C.
- Sonshu Sake: rich & dense, served between 15-18C or warm 40-55C.
- Jukushu Sake (most expensive): rich with spicy notes, served between 15-25C