Is sake fermented or distilled?
Sake is made from what grain?
Define what sake is.
A Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.
How many sake breweries exist today in Japan?
How far back does sake’s history go?
What are the 5 main ingredients of sake?
- Brewer’s Alcohol (not always used)
Finish this analogy:
Terroir is to wine as _____ is to sake.
Water has specific qualities (salinity, minerality, etc.) in different parts of Japan, and it’s the water a brewery uses that helps define its sake’s sense of place.
How many types of sake rice exist?
How many are used for premium-quality sake?
- >50 types of rice exist in Japan
- 8-10 types used for premium sake
Premium-quality rice used for sake in Japan can be specific to a _____ or a _____.
Region or village
What is Koji-Kin?
What does it do?
- A fungus native to Asia
- Converts starches found in rice into fermentable sugars
What is the role of yeast in sake production?
Metabolizes fermentable sugars into alcohol
Besides converting sugar into alcohol, what else does yeast impart in sake production?
Adds unique flavors and aromas
What is the abv range for sake?
15% - 22% abv
What is Brewer’s Alcohol?
A neutral, distilled alcohol that can be added to sake
Why is Brewer’s Alcohol added to cheap sake?
- Increase yield
- Stablize the sake to give it a longer shelf life
Why is Brewer’s Alcohol added to premium sake?
- To draw more flavor out of the product (the alcohol, or ethanol, is an effective solvent)
- Add richness
- Stablize the sake so it has a longer shelf life
The amount of Brewer’s Alcohol allowed to be added to premium sake is much less than what is allowed for cheap sake.
What are the first two steps in making sake (what do you have to do to the rice first)?
- Rice grains milled
- Resulting rice kernels are further polished so the starchy heart can be accessed (those starches in the center of the grain will be converted into fermentable sugars by the Koji-Kin)
What are the overarching classifications of sake?
- How polished the rice grains used to make the sake are;
- Whether a tiny amount of Brewer’s Alcohol has been added.
The degree of polishing determines the _____ of sake.
When rice is polished to make sake, what is being polished away?
Unwanted impurities, fats and proteins
The higher the rate of milling and polishing, the _____ the resulting sake quality.
The lower the rate of milling and polishing, the _____ the resulting sake quality.
- Higher polishing = more premium
- Lower polishing = less premium (cheaper)
What are the sake quality grades in order from good to premium?
What does the term Junmai indicate?
That no Brewer’s Alcohol has been added to the sake.
Which means that the only ingredients in a Junmai sake are water, rice, Koji-Kin, and yeast.
How much of the rice is polished away for a Junmai sake?
30% polished away
Or, 70% or the rice grain remains
How much of the rice is polished away for a Honjozo sake?
30% polished away
Or, 70% or the rice grain remains – the same as Junmai!
Is Brewer’s Alcohol added to Honjozo?
YES, Brewer’s Alcohol is added to Honjozo.
Honjozo and Junmai share the same rate of polishing (30%), but one has Brewer’s Alcohol added to it (Honjozo) and the other (Junmai) does not.
How much of the rice is polished away for a Ginjo sake?
40% is polished away
Or, 60% of the rice grain remains
How much of the rice is polished away for a Daiginjo sake?
50% is polished away
Or, 50% of the rice grain remains
What is the tippy top premium sake made?
Consider the polishing percent and whether Brewer’s Alcohol has been added.
No Brewer’s Alcohol added + highest rate of polishing = the most pure, clean and refined.
Namazake will always need to be refrigerated.
Nigori sake looks milky and it’s typically off-dry.