You may see extra words in the sake label. They are telling you the characteristic of the sake. If you know the meaning of the word, you can enjoy sake more and more!
1. Making yeast starter To make yeast starter, there are many variations.
It is a starter made through an intensive process of difficult labor called Yamaoroshi, in which rice and koji are pureed together to encourage the conversion of starches to sugars. In modern sake-making, this method is used only about 1% of the time.However, some brewers have revived the method because it produces sake with a deep aroma which is also suitable for warming.
It is one of the two traditional kimoto-kei yeast starter production methods without the laborious Yamaoroshi step of hand mashing the rice. Yamahai means abolishing yamaoroshi, which gives insight to how strenuous the manual labor involved was.
When alcoholic fermentation is finished, a variety of tasks are performed, from pressing moromi to bottling. Often these tasks are indicated on the label. There are several different pressing methods.
Traditionally, the moromi is placed in to cotton bags and laid in a large box made of wood. A lid is pressed down, squeezing liquid through a hole at the bottom of the box, leaving the sake lees behind in the bag. This is the popular method. This pressing is divided into three sub-baches; arabashiri, nakadori / nagkagumi, and seme.
It is the first free-flowing sake that runs off before any pressure has been applied to the cotton bags. Clarity is little bit cloudy and taste is wild and fresh and aroma is rich.
Nakadori / Nakagumi、中汲み㸧㸦中取
It is the second batches of sake which are pressed slowly from the box as increasing pressure is applied on the lid. This batch is the best part of the sake and well balance of aroma and taste.
It is the last batches of sake. In this part, squeeze sake under strong pressure. This contains the highest alcohol percentage than Arabashiri and Nakadori. Taste is very complexed therefore you can enjoy rich and strong taste.
Fukuro-tsuri (Hanging cotton bags)㸧㸦袋吊
Fukuro-tsuri is also known as Shizuku-sake(drip sake) or tobingakoi where the drops of sake are collected in a bottle. This drip method has a more elegant and complex flavor and usually uses for high end sake.
Nigorizake use laugh cotton bag to filtering the sake. Therefore the clarity is cloudy. Taste is really different by brewers.
The pressed sake sits in a tank for white to allow sediments called Ori to settle at the bottom of the tank.
It is sake made by contact with lees which sank to the bottom of the aging tank. This type of sake contain rice umami more than others.
It refers to clear sake that has not been fine-filtered with activated carbon. The main purpose of filtration is to make clear sake. By not filtering with activated carbon, the loss of certain characteristics may be avoided. This type of sake clarity is light yellow and aroma is stronger than filtering sake.
Generally, pasteurization process is done twice, once after filtration and once again before bottling.
Sake without pasteurization is called Namasake. It is necessary to avoid heat or UV and handled with great care since the quality can easily deteriorate. This type of sake has fresh taste.
It is heat-pasteurized only once, after aging right before bottling, this type of sake is known for its fresh flavor.
It is heat-pasteurized only once, right after the filtration process and before aging. This method is usually used for Hiyaoroshi.