New Batch

The season’s first sake has been pressed and it is now time to start another batch (this will be batch #5).  The first step is to make a yeast starter culture, which requires koji, steamed rice, water, and yeast. So the first step in making sake is to make koji (after growing the rice, of course) as it takes about 2 days.  Although mentioned before, koji is a mold (Aspergillus oryzae) that when cultivated on rice at high temp (over 30C), secretes enzymes that turn the rice starch in sugar.

To make koji, the milled rice (we are using Hitogokochi milled to 60%) is washed for 1 min in a pressure washer in 10kg units, and then soaked for about 10-12 min.  Once the rice has absorbed the right amount of water (around 30%), it then allowed to sit overnight. Tomorrow, this rice will put in the koshiki (large steamer) and steamed for about 1 hour. Until tomorrow then.

Soaked rice that is waiting to be steamed

2 Responses to “New Batch”

  1. 1 Will Auld January 3, 2010 at 03:18


    Me again 🙂 This is the second time that you have mentioned soaking the rice for about 10-15 minutes. The procedure I am used to soaks rice milled to 60% for an hour for best results and over night if needed. How long was the soaking time used at Sakahan (a.k.a Mukune) brewery?



    • 2 gjnewton January 10, 2010 at 01:04

      Yes, at our brewery, 60% milled rice is soaked for about 15 min (it varys slightly with the water temp, which is usually around 15 C). Sakahan was very similar. Both breweries aim for a 33% increase in weight (dry vs. wet),
      so if you want to check how much water is absorbed by your rice, I recommend weighing it before and after soaking.

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