Monday, February 11, 2008


A sake brewery located in Chiba pref. It was the first time to see a chai. This chai makes sake with organic rice since 1956! It's almost like Bio Dynamiques. Of course, they do that naturally. It seems completely different from recent organic movement. Somehow, It reminds me Gerard Schueller and some wine makers.

This is my first trip to Oohara. The funnel draft was used before, but there is the other one.

The giant round something on the left photo is called "saka bayashi", which means new sake coming. The middle photo was a wooden pot(barrel) to steam the rice. Nowadays, There are less people using and making this type of pot, but the wooden pot has several advantages. it can absorb extra moisture while steaming. I've told that the moisture is quite important to brewing sake.

After steaming, about 20% of the rice move to a room called "koujimuro" and resting(growing?) with their temperature, about 35 to 40 degrees C. The room controls the temperature. There is a couple of phases. and become "Kouji". We ate them, tasted little sweet and tasty when we chew on them.

This is called "Shubo", which is a ingredient to brew sake, made with 7% of the steamed rice, water(called shikomi-mizu) and lactic acid bacterium. This brewery makes the shubo by a unique way, called "Kouon-yamahai", one of Yamahai, but completely different. Usually, yamahai is made in low temperature, about 8 degrees C. but Kouon-yamahai is made in high temperature, about 55 degrees C. it's an opposite idea. The both way means the same, to keep away the other bacterias from developing. We also tasted the shubo and tasted like yogurt and little sparking. and this shubo has energy, You can see they are live, moving! I recorded it with digital camera. but I don't know how to upload on this blog. That's sorry!

As for the rest, All ingredient comes together and become sake. there is one dangerous point in this phase, brewing sake in this pot, if people fall into it, they go straight to die by the lack of oxygen. Sometime, It happens sadly.. After the brewing, Just squeeze the sake and finished.

We've tasted some sake and koshu(aged sake). In this chai, 1984 to now, They makes koshu almost every years. It's like whiskey. The color is nice. The taste can't be judge by seeing the color and vintage. Each vintage has characters. I really appreciate the Kidoizumi brewery.

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