Ingredients of Premium Sake
Good water makes good rice. Good rice makes good sake...
...Good Sake makes people happy. A beautiful cycle of nature that the Japanese worship of ancient times and maintain. According to the ancient Japanese religion, Shinto, gods live in each appearance. In thunder, rivers and animals. To appease the wild spirit of the gods of nature and give thanks for the gifts, sake is brewed as an offering. In the old imperial city of Kyoto, there is a Shinto Shrein, dedicated to the god sake Matsuo-sama. Ceremonial sake is still brewed by priestesses. And in each brewery a mini-shrine is decorated in the production hall for prayer before work.
About 2000 years ago, rice cultivation from ancient China was conveyed to Japan. Applies to Japanese rice as a staple food. Previously, rice was used as currency. Also in the Shogunate era, until 150 years lords and samurai were measured for their power and performance with rice. Sake is unique in that it uses the precious rice for pleasure instead of saturating, even in wartime.
While much of the sake is made with normal table rice, the premium sake is brewed with special rice varieties which have favorable properties for fermentation. Sakamai (sake rice) are large grain by 25% as table rice and have a high concentration of rice starch. For the Sake-eyebrows just the rice starch is important. In addition to starch rice still contains fat and protein. Although they are a flavor carrier, but not desirable for the sake of production, because they can contribute to a penetrating and unschönem taste. In good sake rice starch in the middle is concentrated at the edge and other constituents. These are polished away by mechanical abrasion. The higher the Polierungsgrad to the original weight the fine, aromatic and precious is the Sake. While the wine grape variety for the flavor profile plays an important role, the selection of rice affects the taste of Sake directly. However, the rice affects the Fermentierungsablauf and thereby also the flavor profile. There are about 60 different varieties of sake rice and there are always more. However, the following rice varieties favorites for the production of premium sake stay:
Yamada Nishiki, grown in the southwestern regions of Hyogo and Hiroshima. The King of Sake rice is the rice variety most commonly used in the annual national competition of Sake. Sake of this rice is fruity, lively and elegant.
Gohyakumangoku, grown in the northwestern regions of Niigata, Ishikawa and Toyama. Light, dry and very refined Sake arises from this rice.
Omachi, grown in the southwestern regions of Okayama and Hiroshima. This gives rise Sake, which present themselves, calm, dry and with excellent acidity.
Miyama Nishiki, grown in the northern regions of Akita, Yamagata, Nagano. Sake with diverse tastes and beautiful acidity is brewed therefrom.
Water is 80% part of sake and decides on his body and the whole impression of the final product. Also, for each production run, a large amount of water is consumed. Therefore often breweries are built in places where an excellent water source is located. Japan is a wet country. Rain in the forest and snow melt water are filtered by the dense moss and the soil layers and reappears as pure mountain water. In the old village of Nada in Kobe Sake Sake is brewed with the famous water Miyamizu. The water is in Japanese ratio is relatively hard and high in phosphorus and magnesium, which are important for a proper fermentation. Sake from hard water is strong and has a clear structure. That is why it is called the Sake of Nada / Kobe "Otoko-Sake" (men's sake). In nearly 80km east of it lying Fushimi in Kyoto, however, a milder and smoother "Onna-Sake" (Ladies sake) is brewed from the soft water there typical.