The kome-koji is then added in in a proportion of about 30%.
This is a movie of the moromi in Action. I was hoping that you would be able to hear the bubbling of the moromi, but at least you can see it in action. the voices in the back ground are Katsumi-san, and another Hokkaido sake store owner who joined us for a couple of days.
This is what a Yabuta press does for about 10 hours.... Exciting stuff.
The kasu is then neatly stacked, packed into 15 kg boxes and shipped off to sake stores, like mine, to be sold as sake kasu for Amazake (sweet drink make by mixing the sake kasu with water and sugar usually consumed warm; very tasty!). In my opinion, one can not truly understand the full taste of a sake until you have eaten that sake's sake kasu. Why? The sake kasu is half of the sake it'self. The sake you buy in bottles is only half of the taste, the rest of it is still trapped in the kasu.
After you have pressed the sake, the next thing you do (for a shiboritatte anyway) is to put the sake into bottles! Before that, however, one must ensure that nothing falls into the bottles, and that means cleaning the roof. What's the best way to reach the roof? A fork lift of coarse!
This is the bottling machine that they use at the brewing facilities. Like I mentioned in the first post, Daishinshu is broken up into two locations, one for brewing and one for offices and bottling, so I don't know if they have a fancier bottling/labeling/capping machine at the other location (as I didn't visit the other location).
As the bottles go around the machine they are filled with sake. The bottles are placed in and taken out of the machine by hand.
Then passed to a table where the tops of the bottles are checked for chips and cracks, and the amount of sake in the bottles is added to or subtracted from as needed. The bottles are then capped and boxed.
Here is a wider angle view of the bottling. The boxes to the right are full of empty bottles.
Someone asked me the other day "So now that you have been there, what makes Daishinshu sake so good?" My reply, well maybe it's the hard work, or the fun working environment that keeps everyone in high spirits. But if you really want to know, I think it's the classical music they play to the brewing sake.
Well it's getting into the new Years rush here in Sapporo,
Wishing everyone happy holidays and a prosperous new year!
Just remember, Christmas may be ruled by wine, but New years, sake is king (here in Japan anyway)!
See you next time!
Meishu no Yutaka staff