What is Japanese Sake?

Sake is a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage that is made from the fermentation of rice, water, yeast and Koji-bacteria.

It has a long history in Japan spanning over 1000 years and has since spread all around the world to be enjoyed by many. Japanese sake (Nihonshu) is a unique type of fermented alcohol beverage that is not a wine, nor is it exactly a beer, or a spirit.

Japanese Sake is a versatile drink that can suit various occasions and meals but goes especially well with Japanese food (Washoku), can be enjoyed with a wide variety of meals, seasons and temperatures such as chilled, room temperature, warm or very hot (Atsukan).

How is Sake Brewed?

Much like more common types of alcohol such as beer and wine, sake is a fermented beverage made by fermenting rice. Sake is made from 4 main ingredients: rice, water, yeast and rice koji.

Koji is a specific type of mould spore called Aspergillus Oryzae mould that can be cultivated on rice which is a crucial part of the
fermentation process. Specific types of each ingredient can be chosen by the brewer to achieve a wide range of tastes and aromas.
Sake-making is quite a complicated and laborious process that requires many steps to complete.

In general, the process can be broken down into the following steps:........

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About Sake Rice Polishing

Grades of sake refers to the designated sake grades which are determined by the polish ratio and the ingredients of the sake. First of all, sake can be split into two categories based on whether or not a sake can be called ‘Junmai’.

Junmai means that the sake is made with only rice and the natural biproducts of the fermentation process.

This distinction is important as some sake has additional brewer’s alcohol which is mixed to enhance and balance the sake flavours. This type of sake is referred to as ‘honjozo’ which is graded separately to Junm

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