There is a sake produced with neither brewery rice nor normal eatable rice. The sake is brewed with glutinous rice. It’s very rare to use glutinous rice and only a few breweries inherit the craftsmanship until this era.
Sake for special plan members in May is the one of them. Let’s learn the specialty of “もち米熱掛四段仕込み”.
Yodan jikomi 4段仕込み(four-stage preparation)
The mysterious Japanese words are divided into 2 points. The first one is Yodan jikomi 4段仕込み(four-stage preparation). Normally, breweries use Sandan jikomi 3段仕込み(three-stage preparation). The gap is simply one step more than normal brewing method.
To understand Yodan jikomi 4段仕込み, it’s better to understand normal way of brewing. This preparation is talking about the 4th step described in this page. Here is the reference.
“Add Koji, steamed rice, and water to shubo and then left for fermentation. A process unique to Japanese sake brewing takes place. It’s a three-step fermentation process over 4 days. The koji will convert the starch in the rice into glucose, which the yeast will use to create alcohol and carbon dioxide. The conversion of starch to sugar and sugar to alcohol happen in the same time and same tank”
In case of Yodan jikomi 4段仕込み, more steamed rice is added and it takes one more day to prepare moromi. This method makes the taste of sake richer and sweeter.
Mochigome Atsugake もち米熱掛(Glutinous rice)
Usually, steamed rice used to produce moromi is cooled and added in the moromi tank. However, just steamed hot glutinous rice is used in Mochigome Atsugake method.
Since it is said that the sudden temperature change of Moromi tank causes the degradation of quality, it’s very bold and challenging method too.
This change activates the yeast in moromi tank and accelerate its fermentation and converting starch into sugar. Along with this process, glutinous rice is melted into moromi.
As I mentioned in this article, Yodan jikomi 4段仕込み makes the taste of sake richer and sweeter.
Glutinous rice gives very mild and rich sweetness on sake’s taste. The taste is obviously sweeter than the other sake. However, it’s not just sweet. The aftertaste is very clean and crisp due to its sourness comes after the rich sweetness. The taste of IKIOIMASAMUNE JUNMAI GLUTINUOUS RICE もち米熱掛四段 is perfectly well-designed. It’s definitely worth to try.
Glutinous rice used to be used for brewing sake. However, brewers have gradually quitted using glutinous rice due to its sticky characteristic. In comparison with normal brewery rice, it’s difficult to produce high-quality sake. Also, clear and dry sake movement started in1960s advanced this trend.
However, 丸世酒造 didn’t stop brewing sake with glutinous rice. Grand father as previous brewery owner never changed his style to differentiate against other breweries and left words “Never stop brewing sake with glutinous rice”. They have inherited the words and the style.
Source）Blog of 丸世酒造