In our first batch of the season, we are making a ‘Honjozo’ (本醸造) and are using the rice cultivar ‘mutsuhomare’ (むつほまれ). (Tomono shuzo mainly uses a cultivar called ‘hitogokochi’ (ひとごこち), well known in Nagano prefecture, but not for honjozo.)
Rice arrives at the brewery pre-polished (for mutsuhomare 35% of the grain has been polished away) in 30 kg, triple-lined brown bags (see photo below) and is stored in the 100-year old warehouse beside the new brewery.
Of the two buildings, I much prefer the older one, as it has so much character- earthen walls, large beams, uneven floors, a real history. Anyway, the first step in sake brewing, after growing and polishing the rice of course, is washing the rice- and this means hauling 30 kg bags of rice around, a work out indeed. If I stay in the sake brewing business, I will never need another gym membership!