Sake is Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice. Although sake can be brewed using other material such as oats, barley, millet, potato, and sweet potato, and anything that contain starch, commercially sold sakes are all made from rice.
Sake is the only alcoholic beverage in the whole world that can be served hot or cold.
Sake is unique because it has many astonishing health benefits. To those who can not drink alcohol, the same effects can be obtained by eating very small amount of sakekasu, which is lees of sake fermentation, sold at Japanese groceries. How to eat sakekasu is explained in the recipes page.
Sake brewing at home is not illegal in most of developed countries except Japan. However, home brewed sake is not only delicious and economical but has another advantage that true taste of pure sake can be enjoyed without affected by many additives of preservative contained in commercially sold sake.
A forthcoming book, “Sake and Shochu Brewing Manual”, explains not only how to make sake at home in details but also about the effect of changing several parameters in brewing sake, for example, effects of changing yeast, how to make sweeter sake, or very sweet sake, and how to change flavor of sake, and other effects.
Shochu is beverage with high alcoholic contents made by distilling sake. However, rice is not the only material to produce shochu. Indeed, sweet potato is more widely used. Shochus made from barley, oat, and buckwheat have unique flavors.
Distilling sake to make shochu is prohibited by law in many countries, but there are some countries where distilling is totally legal, or semi-permitted (more details in the forthcoming book, Sake and Shochu Brewing Manual). In the United States, the law of distillation varies from state to state, but still it is prohibited in most of the states. However, distilling for alcohol is permitted in the chemistry laboratories which have special permissions from the state government. Of course, breweries have license to distill alcohol legally.
If the law permits where you live, you are encouraged to distill sake to make shochu. You can create many different kinds of shochu, which is impossible if you buy shochu only from Japanese groceries.
Koji and Sakekasu
Koji is an essential ingredient in brewing sake. Koji can be purchased at a Japanese grocery store but it is expensive. Therefore, it is encouraged to make it at home using rice and kojikin (koji spore). The material cost of making koji at home is less than 10% of that of koji sold online.
Koji is also very useful for Japanese cooking. The culinary technique of using koji is applicable to western cooking, too.
Sakekasu is sake lees or sake pressing residue. Sakekasu has a great impact to good culinary skill as well. Sakekasu has amazing medicinal benefit for health and longevity, details of which is in the books.
Why you must home-brew sake
If you like sake, home brewed sake is delicious and very cheap to make.
To take many health advantages of sake, one does not have necessarily to drink alcohol. Knowledge and byproducts of sake brewing is more important. By brewing sake by self, you will handle koji and sakekasu by your own hands.
Drinking sake, and using koji and sakekasu in cooking is a way to the healthier life and longevity.
Purposes of this website
This website and the books supplement each other. This website and the books are intended to provide much information on how to brew sake and shochu, and how to apply koji and sakekasu to cooking for good health.
The advantage of this website is that updating information is easy and fast.
Fresh Koji. Rice grains are completely covered by koji fungus, aspergillum oryzae.
Koji under microscope. Notice hairy fungus covering rice grains.