130 Years' Self Cultivated Yeast - Brewer's Interview by Asahara Shuzo
The season of sake nouveau came in this year finally! It's the best time to enjoy just freshly produced vibrant and young sake. The first brewery SAKEMARU introduces in 2018 is Asahara shuzo located in Saitama prefecture.
Their specialty is its self-cultivated yeast. Let's get to know the concept for this sake nouveau and their challenges for 2018.
Q. How's the freshly produced sake in this year?
Because it was very early to get cold in this winter and colder than last year, we could brew sake in the ideal environment. Therefore; the quality of sake got more sophisticated.
Q. Asahara shuzo produces beer and sochu and so forth. Do you learn something from the brewing of other alcohol?
Yes, we sometimes get the hint to improve the quality of sake or produce the brand-new sake from other alcohol.
Other alcohol helps us to reconsider the sake brewing from the other angles and have a deeper understanding of the sake brewing.
Q. It's said that method called "high-temperature saccharification" is taken to produce shubo, Could you explain us this method?
Usually, the conversion of starch to sugar and sugar to alcohol happen at the same time and same tank and the amount of yeast increase carefully and gradually.
"High-temperature saccharification" is the method to make the saccharification and sterilization at the same time with keeping the temperature of tank high. After this step, we add a lot of fine yeast.
By this method, shobo becomes much cleaner and purer.
Q. You said designing is the most important thing, which accounts 50% of entire sake brewing. Why you chose Hattannnishiki brewery rice, which is Hiroshima's signature rice for this sake? What did you pay attention to the most?
We have the self-cultivated yeast, which has 130 years history. We have been testing the matching between our signature yeast and brewery rice. Usually, sake brewed with Hattannishiki tend to be richer and milder, however, we had a strong confidence to extract the fruitiness of rice out with using our signature yeast.
Also, we paid closer attention to process this rice, because the grain of rice is very large and easy to break.
Q. How is the best way to enjoy this label?
Chilled is the best to enjoy label. Please enjoy the aroma with the wine glass.
Q. Please tell me your new challenges in this year.
1. Produce sake with the visionary brewery rice "Chihonomai" born in Miyazaki prefecture.
2. Take a new try and error to produce koji for the quality improvement.