At this time of the year, when the weather is bitterly cold, the cold brewing of sake has begun at the Takeda Sake Brewery in Niigata Prefecture’s Joetsu City’s Oogata Ward.
Well known for its signature brand “Katafune”. The cold brewing season at Takeda Brewery started on the 20th of this month. The coldest season of the year is said to be ideal for sake brewing because it is difficult for bacteria to breed.
On the 24th, about 250 kilograms of sake rice was steamed to make koji, the raw material for sake. After steaming, the brewers unraveled the rice by hand on a table to cool it down. The temperature of the rice is about 103 degrees Celsius.
After this, the rice is taken to a hot and humid room called a koji room. There, the rice is sprinkled with koji mold and carefully mixed together. The koji fungus breaks down the starch in the rice into glucose.
It is said that the quality of the sake depends on how it is made, and the temperature and humidity are adjusted for two days.
Currently, the demand for sake is decreasing due to the Corona disaster, so the Takeda Sake Brewery has reduced its production to less than 400 kegs, about 70% of what it was before Corona. In spite of the severe situation, Mr. Takeda is trying to make new attempts in sake brewing.
In the spring of this year, we are planning to start a project in which elementary school students will be able to participate in everything from rice planting to rice harvesting, and we will use the rice to make sake as a gift. We would like to further promote this as a local industry. I would like to convey the taste of the raw rice even more with our special sweet sake, Katafune.”
The cold brewing will continue until early next month.
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