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Sake Glossary

Sake Glossary

Term

Meaning

Futsushu 普通酒 Regular, non premium sake.
   
Tokubetsu 特別 Means “special”. It is a designation that a special production process was applied to a Junmai or Honjozo grade sake.
   
Junmai 純⽶ Classification for premium sake made using only rice, water, yeast and koji – no additives or added alcohol. No min polishing ratio requirement.
   
Honjozo 本醸造 Premium sake with rice polished down to 70% or less and the addition of some distilled brewers alcohol.
   
Ginjo 吟醸 Premium sake with rice polished down to 60% or less and the addition of some distilled brewers alcohol.
   
Daiginjo ⼤吟醸 Premium sake with rice polished down to 50% or less remaining and the addition of some distilled brewers alcohol.
   
Junmai Ginjo 純⽶吟醸 Premium sake with rice polished down to 60% or less remaining. No additives or added alcohol.
   

Junmai Daiginjo 純⽶⼤吟醸

Premium sake with rice polished down to 50% or less remaining. No additives or added alcohol.
   
Genshu 原酒 Undiluted sake. Brewmasters usually add water to dilute the strength down to 15-16%. Genshu skips this step.
   
Kijoshu 貴醸酒 A complex sake that is made by replacing some of the water used in brewing with sake.
   
Namazake ⽣酒 Sake that has not gone thru pasteurisation.
   
Nama-Zume ⽣詰め Sake that is pasteurised only once before cellaring but not a second time before bottling and shipping.
   
Nama-Chozo ⽣貯蔵 Sake that is cellared without being pasteurized, but does receive pasteurization before being bottled.
   
Bodaimoto 菩提もと An ancient and complex fermentation starter method. Raw rice and a bit of steamed rice are left to soak in a small tub with water. While soaking, this water becomes rich in natural lactic acids given off by latic acid bacteria.
   
Kimoto ⽣酛 Describes a style of sake that uses the original yeast starter method. The yeast starter for Kimoto sake is rhythmically mixed using long paddles to combine yeast, water rice and koji into a starter mash that naturally promotes lactic acid development. Known for a robust and sometimes funky flavours with high acidity.
   
Yamahai ⼭廃 A yeast starter method that was developed after Kimoto. Yamahai allows for natural lactic acid production, but does away with the need for “Yamaoroshi” or the labor intensive macerating/mashing of the yeast starter using long wooden poles as done for centuries in the Kimoto method. Yamahai flavour profiles tend to be full bodied and funky with high acidity.
   
Seimai-Buai 精⽶歩合 Also known as rice polishing ratio. Indicates the percentage of the rice grain remaining after polishing away the outer layers of each rice grain prior to brewing.
   
Muroka 無濾過 Sake that skips the step of charcoal filtering.
   
Karakuchi ⾟⼝ To describe sake that is dry.
   
Nigori 濁り Coarsely filtered, cloudy style sake. What makes it cloudy? The coarse pressing of the sake mash leaves bits of unfermented rice solids in the sake that gives it a creamy or milky white appearance.

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