Yesterday, we bottled a new batch of sake, a Junmai-shu, and while some of will be sold as nama (unpasteurized), some of the bottles were destined for pasteurization and storage over the summer to mature. Today, Suda-san (in the photo) and I therefore set about the task of pasteurizing about 350 bottles (1.8L) of sake which involves heating up the sake to 65C for about 15 min using hot water.
As you can see from Suda-san’s expression, placing and removing fairly heavy 8-bottle cartons of sake in and out of hot water is quite fun. The other method used to pasteurize sake here involves running the sake through coiled tubing in a large tank containing hot water, which is then bottled. For higher quality sake, bottles are heated individually, for regular sake, it’s the tube. And that’s the story of pasteurization at the brewery.