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Sake, also spelled saké (/ˈsɑːkeɪ/ SAH-kay US also /ˈsɑːki/ SAH-kee) [1], is an alcoholic beverage made through a parallel fermentation process using grain, water, koji (Aspergillus oryzae) and yeast.


Traditional method (in progress)

Milling Rice is milled to remove fats, vitamins and proteins which can cause flavors that are undesirable in traditional sake. Since these are concentrated near the surface, and starches toward the center, removing the outer portion is necessary to minimize these precursors.

Rice milled for sake is referred to by percentage, where the number indicates the remaining amount of grain. Sake quality categories are generally determined by rice milling percentage with 80-70% milling being table sake and 50% milling being premium-grade sake.

Steaming Rice is steamed, not boiled, for both koji propagation and fermentation. The rice is first washed to remove excess bran, then soaked to desired weight. Afterwards rice is steamed for the amount of time to get the surface hard and the center soft.

Koji Propagation Aspergillus oryzae spp. is propagated on steamed rice. The process is done at 28C - 36C and 70-90% humidity. Higher temperatures will yield more amylase enzymes, whereas lower temperatures will yield more protease enzymes. This process usually takes ~48 hours.

Water Miyazumi - heavenly water is often written about as the gold standard in all English texts. It contains [insert ion chart]

Starter (Moto) Ko-on Toka Shubo [2] (高温 糖化) - High Temperature Starter

Day 1

-Heat water to 60C

-Add koji

-Add steamed rice

-Maintain temp @ 58C


-5-8 hours saccharification

-lower temp to 40C

-add lactic acid to 5pH

-cool to 25C

-add yeast

Day 2-6 Propagation

Main Ferment

See also


Using Koji in Beer Fermentation

See also:


Commercial Sources

Alternate Molds

Rhizopus oryzae - produces isoamylase, protease, urease, ribonuclease, pectic lyase and plygalacturaonase [3]

Rhizopus oligosporus - can produce an antibiotic against gram-positive bacteria [4]

See Also

Additional Articles on MTF Wiki

External Resources


  1. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2011. p. 1546. ISBN 978-0-547-04101-8.
  3. Petrič, Š.; Hakki, T.; Bernhardt, R.; Žigon, D.; Črešnar, B. (2010-11-01). "Discovery of a steroid 11α-hydroxylase from Rhizopus oryzae and its biotechnological application". Journal of Biotechnology. 150 (3): 428–437. doi:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2010.09.928. ISSN 0168-1656. PMID 20850485.
  4. Kobayasi, S.Y., Naoto O., and Takuya K. 1992. Purification and Characterization of an Antibiotic Substance Produced from Rhizopus oligosporus IFO 8631. Biosci. Biotech. Biochem 56(1):94-98.