Watching Bubbles and Bubbles – Continued Story

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 in Hiroko's Blog

This is the last segment of sake production blog which I have started before my Japan tour. The photo comes from the brewery which our group visited in Kyoto. The left bottom photo is the fermentation tank in which you can see the bubbles, bubbles,…the sake brew master, Morimoto-san, is 73 years old. Look at his smooth, no-rinkle face. He enjoys a bottle of sake! each night after his work. According to him that is the trick to his smooth skin and good health.

Now the Mother of Sake is ready, so lets transfer it to a larger tank. We will add additional Koji rice, steamed rice and spring water to the tank. After five hours or so water-absorbed rice expands, so the mixture is stirred. On the third day and the fourth day additional Koji rice, steamed rice and spring water are added to the tank. What is happening in the tank is two separate chemical reactions. Amylaze in Koji rice dilligently converts starch in steamed rice to glucose. Yeast grabs any available glucose and convert it to alcohol and carbon dioxide. During the fermentation the sake makers diligently observe bubbles which form on the surface of the mixture in the tank. Bubbles changes from striped one, to large waterish bubles, dense rocky foam, highly built-up form (it is stirred occasionally to prevents it from spilling), declining foam, disappearing foam. At the end of the production alochol reaches as high as 20%. Sake is then filtered, pasteulized and bottled. A delicious sake comes a long way.