Shobun vinegar

Connection between humans and fungi with brewery
"Raising" that lasts for 300 years

By Emotion

2021.5.19

300 Where did your ancestors live and what did you do years ago?

We interviewed Mr. Seitaro Takahashi of Shobun Vinegar, which was founded in Enokizu, Okawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture, and can answer this question, which would be difficult for many people to answer.

The main building of Shobun vinegar, which is also a tangible cultural property designated by Okawa City

Vinegar is the oldest seasoning

When did vinegar start to exist in the first place?

B.C. 5,000 Vinegar appears in the literature of the year, The oldest seasoning made by humans It is said that. Some may think that salt is older, but salt was made by salt-making technology in BC. 2,000 It is about the age.

And to Japan Four ~ Five It was introduced from China around the century, and it is said that it was made in Izumi no Kuni (currently southern part of Osaka prefecture). 8 Manyoshu, which was compiled in the century, also has a song about wanting to eat sea bream with soy sauce and vinegar.

At that time, vinegar was a high-class seasoning, but in the Edo period, it became popular with miso and soy sauce to the general public.

Enokizu district, a key point of transportation at the clan border

The Enokizu district of Okawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture, is located in the Tsukushi Plain, the most downstream area where the Chikugo River flows into the Ariake Sea.

Okawa City is also known as a city of furniture. By that Key points of transportation It was very busy.

Furthermore, sake brewing is popular due to the large amount of rice produced in the Tsukushi Plain and the abundant water of the Chikugo River. 1600 In the mid-1980s 2 Started sake brewing at the time of Shirobei Daime 1711 A year Four I started the vinegar business when I was Seiemon Daime.

Hiyoshi Shrine near Shobun vinegar. There is an approach to the river to worship the god of water

Inoculum inherited for 300 years

"Vinegar" written to make sake bias To make vinegar, first make sake, then add acetic acid bacteria to the sake and ferment it to make vinegar.

Bacteria called "Kuratsuki bacterium" have settled in the brewery that has passed the age, and in Shobun vinegar, the biofilm is transferred from the tub to the tub each time it is prepared. Using the inoculum inherited for 300 years doing.


Since this bacterium lives in the delicate balance of the brewery, it is not the case that it can be moved to another place to make vinegar in the same way.

Even when we built a new brewery with Shobun vinegar, we brought wood and materials from the old brewery, and the fermentation became stable over a dozen years, and the goodness of the new brewery came out.

Says Mr. Takahashi.

The walls and ceiling of the building will be black due to the bacteria such as yeast and acetic acid.

Grow vinegar like parenting

In "static fermentation," which is the traditional fermentation method practiced by Shobun vinegar, fermentation occurs only on the surface that comes into contact with the air, so the fermented vinegar flows down the barrel and a new liquid level is created. Will ferment when it comes in contact with the air. for that reason, Oxidation takes time, but the finish is mellow increase.

Biofilm. When you hold your hand over it, there is a slight warmth due to the heat of fermentation.

However, even with static fermentation, it is not enough to just leave it alone.

There are good and bad things about the biofilm, and the fermentation craftsman regularly checks the appearance (how wrinkles are formed), fragrance, and temperature (the liquid temperature rises due to the heat of fermentation), and moderate fermentation is performed with a good biofilm. Occasionally open the lid to check for fermentation.

So, the work is like Like parenting is.

* Apart from static fermentation, there is also vinegar made by the quick brewing method (air is sent to the entire liquid to ferment it completely) in order to quickly make vinegar during the high growth period after the war. With static fermentation 3 Month, 8 What takes months, twenty four Since it can be done in about an hour, it is inexpensive and has a crisp acidity.

Raised in vinegar for 300 years

Since it was originally located in Shobun-cho in Enokizu, it is called Shobun's vinegar shop, and from there it is familiarly called Shobun vinegar. The vinegar of Shobun vinegar is used, and elementary school students come to play at brewery events and social studies tours.

It's good for your health, and it's because it's made sincerely with time and effort. 300 I think it has been loved by the locals for many years.

With the black vinegar barrel prepared by Seitaro Takahashi