Shochu is made using microorganisms: kouji mould and yeast fungus. Living creatures are working hard to make delicious shochu. Rice and water, which are the prime materials of shochu, are used to create an environment for those microorganisms to work comfortably. By applying the kouji mould to steamed rice in order to cultivate the kouji (malted rice), and then adding water and yeast, moromi (rice-mash) is made. More steamed rice and water are then added, and the mash is again fermented and distilled. This method is called “two-stage fermentation”, since it requires the mash to be made twice. This fermentation using rice-mash is an excellent technique that is distinctive to Japanese liquors.
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