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About Japanese SAKE

A Beginner's Guide to SAKE - About Japanese SAKE

What is Japanese SAKE?

Like wine or beer, SAKE is another type of brewed alcoholic beverage. It was born in Japan and is made from rice, rice malt, and water as its main ingredients.

Since rice, the base ingredient of SAKE, does not contain sugar, SAKE is produced using a brewing process known as multiple parallel fermentation that requires simultaneous saccharification through the addition of rice malt and fermentation through the addition of yeast.

Multiple parallel fermentation is a method only used for SAKE.

Fermentation is performed slowly at a low temperature, so it requires time and effort, but the process results in a variety of delicious tastes and aromas.

SAKE is the culmination of unique Japanese techniques and delicacy. It also contains many different nutrients.


  1. Rice

    Brewer's rice is different from standard rice eaten for meals.

    Differences from standard rice are:

    1. The grains are larger

    2. The center of each grain, or shinpaku, is larger

    3. The amount of lipids and proteins, which distract from the flavor, is lower

    Because of these different characteristics, there are some cases where brewer's rice costs approximately 20 times the price of standard rice.

    The properties of the SAKE will vary depending on the type of brewer's rice used (Yamadanishiki, Gohyaku Mangoku, Biyama Nishiki, Omachi, etc.)

  2. Water

    Water makes up approximately 80% of the ingredients within Japanese SAKE, and there is also a large volume of water used in the brewing process.

    Since the taste of SAKE is greatly affected by the quality of the used water, most breweries are located in close proximity to rich sources of good water.

  3. Yeast

    Yeast has the important role of turning the water into SAKE.

    Since yeast contributes to the aroma and taste of SAKE, it can be used to imitate the smell of grain using its fruity ginjoko fragrance.

    The different varieties of yeast are so plentiful that the actual number is not known.

*Reference: Atarashii Nihonshu by PIA Corporation

A Beginner's Guide to SAKE

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