GLOSSARY

 

Aruten – a process of adding brewer’s alcohol to the mash to improve flavor and aroma of sake, increase yield, and/or to preserve quality

 

Daiginjo – super premium grade of sake with rice polish ratio of 50% or less; usually light and highly fragrant

 

Doburoku – sake before pressing.  A “cloudy sake,” the original form of sake of the old days

 

Genshu – Undiluted, raw sake.  May reach natural alcohol content up to 20%

 

Ginjo – premium grade classification of sake with rice polish ratio of 60% or less; usually light and fragrant

 

Gohyakumangoku – one of four major renowned premium sake rice varieties, which is known to yield clean and light sake

 

Honjozo – a sake grade classification, containing a slight addition of brewer’s alcohol

 

Jizake – “Regional Sake” referring to fine artisan sake produced by the microbreweries

 

Jozo alcohol – brewer’s alcohol, referring the alcohol added to the mash

 

Juku-shu – one of the four sake flavor profile types established by Sake Service Institute, referring to sake with fragrant and depth.  Mainly aged sake fall under this category

 

Jun-shu – one of the four sake flavor profile types established by Sake Service Institute, referring to sake with full body and subtle fragrance.  Mainly Junmai grade and sake produced using traditional kimotokei-shubo fall under this category

 

Kimoto – one of two traditional kimotokei-shubo, and involves the labor intensive yamaoroshi process

 

Koji – a fungus used in producing a number of foods that are both fundamentally and distinctively Japanese:  soy sauce, miso and sake

 

Kuchikami-no-sake – “Mouth-chew sake,” an ancient form of sake produced by men and women who chewed rice and spit it out into a pot, where natural occurring enzymes in saliva took its course to convert rice starches into fermentable glucose

 

Kun-shu – one of the four sake flavor profile types established by Sake Service Institute, referring to highly fragrant and light sake – Daiginjo and Ginjo grade sake fall under this category

 

Kurabito – brewery works, often times farmers and fishermen turned seasonal sake brews-men, leaving their hometowns in the down months in the fall until springtime

 

Moromi – “sake mash” produced by adding rice koji, water and steamed rice into shubo (fermentation starter)

 

Moto – fermentation started, also known as shubo, containing high concentration of yeast created by combining steamed rice, rice koji, water and yest

 

Namazake – 100% unpasteurized sake.  Sometimes referred to as “nama-nama

 

Nihonshu – literally means, “Japanese Sake”

 

Nigori sake – “cloudy sake,” a coarsely filtered sake which lets some sake lee sediments through to produce a cloudy, milky color sake

 

Rice koji – steamed rice inoculated with koji mold, which produces enzymes necessary for breaking down rice starch into fermentable glucose

 

Sake kasu – sake lees separated from liquid (sake) after pressing sake mash

 

Seimaibuai – rice polish ratio, and the base for sake grading system.  The lower the polish ratio (rice remaining ratio), the higher the grade

 

Seishu – literally means “clear sake,” is the legal product name for sake in Japan

 

Shubo – “Mother of Sake,” and the fermentation starter created with the combination of steamed rice, rice koji, water and yeast

 

Shuzokoutekimai – “sake rice” used exclusively for sake brewing, versus table rice used in foods

 

Sokujoukei-shubo – the modern, and more prominent of the two techniques for producing the fermentation starter.  Also referred to as “sokujo-moto” for its quick production cycle duly through use of commercially available lactic acid

 

Sokujo-moto – abbreviation of “sokujoukei-shubo

 

So-shu – one of the four sake flavor profile types established by Sake Service Institute, referring to the light and smooth sake.  Mainly Honjozo and name or “draft” sake fall under this category

 

Taru sake – sake aged in a wooden barrel, usually Japanese cedar, infused with the distinctive aroma of the wood

 

Toji – Brew-master who manages the entire sake brewing process and staff

 

Yamadanishiki – one of four major renowned premium sake rice varieties, which is known to yield complex and fragrant sake

 

Yamahai or Yamaoroshi-haishi-moto – one of the two traditional kimoto-kei-shubo production methods, this one without the laborious “yamaoroshi” rice mashing step.  “Yamahai” means “abolishing yamaoroshi,” which gives insight to how strenuous the manual labor involved was

 

Yamaoroshi – the old practice and the labor intensive manual mashing of rice with oar-like paddles to aid saccharification during shubo production