Sake is also known as rice wine, it is rather made in a similar way to beer, using ‘rice’ instead of ‘barley’.
Here’s how its made:
Rice used for sake is different from the one we normally eat. Sake Rice (Sakamai), also known as Shuzotekimai is larger than rice grains that we normally eat. Sake rice contains less fat and protein and has greater absorbency, thus suitable for sake making. Having said that, the rice we normally eat is often mixed, in small proportion, with the sake rice in sake making process. For most Ginjo and Dai-ginjo sakes, only sake rice is used.
Water is also impeccable to sake making. Water accounts for as much as 80% of the sake ingredients, so sake breweries are very fussy about the quality of water to produce their ideal sake flavours and aromas. It’s sometimes the case that Sake breweries are located near the rivers or headsprings from which they use water for making their Sake.
Koji is a type of mold, playing an important role in the fermentation process. It converts starch into glucose. A type of mold as Koji is, it is no harm to human body just like yeasts. Koji is also used for making soy sauce, miso, mirin, vinegar and other Japanese alcoholic beverages such as Shochu and Awamori.
Yeasts (Kobo) are used in the fermentation process, converting glucose (sugar) into alcohol. Yeasts play a crucial role in determining the aromas of Japanese sake. This is why the type of yeast used is often listed on the label of a Sake bottle. Most types of yeasts are stored and provided from Brewing Society of Japan.
Lactic acid is also added, determining the acidity of Sake.
Alcohol (abv) 15-20%