Mizuho no Kuni no Sake, Japanese Sake
Challenges continued by long-established stores that carry culture


World's oldest aging period 50 Long-term aged sake of the year "Momotose" 1970 "of 2021 Fukumitsuya, a long-established store in Kanazawa, will be released only in sales channels this year. Fukumitsuya's sake brewing is a series of challenges that go beyond long-term aged sake efforts.

There is an expression that "Utai falls from the sky", which shows the high degree of culture of Kanazawa, which the common people were familiar with Nogaku. In fact, when you walk along the lush green streets where many museums are lined up, you can feel the culture permeating your life.

1625 (Kanei 2 ) Slowly walk from the center to Fukumitsuya, the sake brewery that was founded in the year and has the longest history in Kanazawa. 20 About a minute. The water that is indispensable for sake brewing at Fukumitsuya is dug in the site after the rain that fell on Mt. It is pumped from a well with a depth of 150m.

Fukumitsuya has been around since its establishment because there is water that is ideal for sake brewing that stores this mineral content. 400 For years, he continues to brew sake without moving the brewery. * By the way, the water sampling area in Kuramae is called "Megumi no Hundred Years of Water" and is open to the public, and restaurants in the city also come to fetch it.

"Hundred years of grace" that can be used for general water sampling

Fukumitsuya sake brewing

We asked Mr. Kazuhiko Itaya, the chief executive officer of sake brewing, about the sake brewing of Fukumitsuya, which consists of five stages (rice preparation → koji making → sake mother making → moromi making → mash squeezing).

Kazuhiko Itaya

1. 1. Rice preparation (polished rice, washed rice, soaked rice, steamed rice)

Fukumitsuya's sake brewery Four The floor. The sake brewing process is located on the floors from the top to the bottom, and it is a mechanism that allows you to work efficiently while maintaining the optimum state at each stage. In the rice preparation performed on the top floor, the rice cake is finally made from steamed sake rice, and the steaming condition is confirmed by its aroma and texture. Early in the morning, Mr. Itaya worshiped at an outdoor company on the top floor before steaming rice, and vowed that he would "work seriously today."

2. 2. Jiuqu making

The koji room, which is a place to sprinkle seed koji on steamed rice and propagate the aspergillus, is the core of sake brewing. room temperature 30 ℃ or higher, humidity 90 In a room that is more than%, delicate work is done day and night (when preparing the highest peak Junmai Daiginjo) 100kg Only a few seed koji spores are used for steamed rice 1g Less than a grain of rice with spores Four , Five Technology to evenly attach the pieces is required). Steamed rice is about temperature controlled and maintained 2 It becomes koji in a day, and when you put it in your mouth, you can feel the slight sweetness like chestnuts.

Steamed rice becomes rice jiuqu by seed jiuqu

3. 3. Making sake mother

Sake mother, also known as 酛 (original), is cultivated by adding sake yeast to steamed rice, water, and jiuqu. This yeast has the role of converting the glucose produced by the jiuqu into alcohol. Fukumitsuya's sake brewing, which has been engaged in yeast research and development from early on, uses its own yeast, and the amount of yeast it possesses is about. 300 It extends to stocks. The 酛 made in this way 1ml for, 2 , 3 There are 100 million yeasts.

Put steamed rice and rice jiuqu in a traditional wooden tub

Yeast cultured in a flask

Yeast is cultivated at a high density, and bubbles gradually form.

4. Moromi preparation

To the sake mother 3 Add water, jiuqu, and steamed rice in batches and add mash. In this process, rice starch is converted to glucose by jiuqu, and yeast converts glucose to alcohol, resulting in "parallel double fermentation". The rice in the tank is finished in a glossy mash while emitting large and small bubbles. The preparation period is about 20 In the day, Mr. Itaya describes this fermentation period as "prayer and tension."

Confirm the fermentation condition of mash with scientific component analysis and five senses

5. Moromi squeezing

Squeeze the fully fermented mash and finally bottle it. Moromi is alive and only 1 It is said that the taste changes just by shifting the day of squeezing.

Bagged and squeezed mash

While being guided around the brewery, Mr. Itaya said, "Sake is not something that is made, it is something that is born." Mr. Itaya, who taught me the points of "rice / water", "microorganisms", "Kanazawa's climate / warehouse", "time", and "helping people", says that the work of nature is especially important. The sugidama and shimenawa on the eaves of the brewery also show that the protagonist of sake brewing is nature, not humans.

"Junmaizo" with only rice and water

"Junmaizo" is indispensable to explain Fukumitsuya, which is a long-established store that continues to innovate. Junmai brewery is a brewery that makes sake only with rice and water. You may be wondering, "Is it natural?", But the composition ratio of pure rice sake in the production of sake is twenty three % (Heisei 30 There is only the year of sake brewing (National Tax Agency), and other than that, it is sake that contains brewed alcohol and seasonings.

By the way, there are about sake breweries in Japan 1400 It is said that there is, of which about 50 The brewery is a pure rice brewery. 1 Mangoku (converted to a single bottle) 100 Fukumitsuya is the first pure rice brewery in Japan to produce more than 10,000 bottles. Brewed alcohol is rice 1/10 Because it can be procured at the cost of 2001 When he declared Junmaizo in the year, he was told that "Fukumitsuya would collapse."

Also, Fukumitsuya 1960 In addition to working on contract cultivation with farmers in Hyogo prefecture from soil preparation to sake rice (Yamada Nishiki) in 1980, we have hired brewers and agricultural university graduates since the 1980s, and have been a tradition from seasonal labor brewers. It is evolving while inheriting the technique of. The brewer who works with microorganisms is not a salaryman but an artist.

From these efforts, you can see how advanced Fukumitsuya is. All to make delicious sake from rice and water. I would like to sincerely support the challenge of Fukumitsuya.