about DASSAI

making process

1 "Yamada Nishiki farm"

Sake is made from rice, water and koji. Especially rice is one of the most important things for making sake. Yamada Nishiki is a type of rice, and as it's called the "king of sake making rice", since it generates a well-balanced aroma and rich flavor. Due to the increasing demand of Dassai, we have increased the number of contracted rice farms now located in 9 different prefectures; Hyogo, Okayama, Yamaguchi, Shiga, Niigata, Tokushima, Tochigi, Ibaraki, and Nara.

2 "rice polishing"

To own a polishing factory for a sake brewery is quite rare. We have 16 polishing machines at our factory, operating 24/7. During this step, the brown rice is blown between the several huge stones inside each tall machine to be milled down to a minimum of 23% of its original size. The more you polish, the smoother and cleaner the flavor becomes. Gently and slowly, so not to break or burn the rice, it takes more than three and a half days to be polished down to 23%.

3 "water"

The water used for Dassai is extremely soft and clean and comes from the brewery's well which is 60 meters deep.

4 "rice washing"

Removing the rice powder generated from polishing and letting the rice absorb water. We measure the time by using stopwatches, in order to control how long the rice absorbs water.

5 "rice steaming"

About 2,000 pounds (900 kg) of rice is steamed at a time. Steamed rice is used for three different purposes, koji, shubo, and fermentation. The best condition of the rice grains used for koji is a hard outside and a soft inside.

6 "rice spreading"

This is a koji room, kept at 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) all the time for growing koji mold on rice. So what is koji? Sake is made by fermentation like wine, however rice does not inherently contain the sugar required for fermentation. Koji is the step to convert the starch in rice to sugar by using koji mold. This is a very essential part of making sake.

7 "spreading koji mold on rice"

When the rice is flattened and dried from the rice spreading, at this moment, the koji mold is spread onto rice evenly, with a "keep out" sign hung outside the door to protect the powder-like koji mold from the outside air. No one even talks during this mysterious moment.

8 "check 24/7"

The rice's temperature and humidity are monitored 24/7 in order to let the mold grow well within the rice. Normally the rice is covered completely within two to three days.

9 "cultivated sake mold rice"

When the koji mold grows in the rice grains, it looks white and has a sweet taste like a chestnut.

10 "Shubo"

Literally "alcohol mother" or "sake starter". Lactic acid, phosphoric acid and potassium are added to water, which is then combined with koji, steamed rice and sake yeast. In this fermentation step, the temperature is carefully managed.

11 "mixing and fermentation"

Increasing the total amount of shubo by adding water, koji and steamed rice combined in a large tank (3kl for Dassai 23 and Dassai 39, 5kl for Dassai 50) to slowly ferment for 35 days.

12 "flavor check"

conditions of each tank are recorded daily, and constant flavor checks are necessary.

13 "centrifuge"

DASSAI was the first sake to use this machine to press sake. It makes flavor even smoother and cleaner.

14 "pasteurization"

the sake is pasteurized and tehn immediately cooled down in order to maintain the quality.

15 "shipping"

after everything is done, the sake is shipped all over the world. All of these efforts are for your enjoyment. Thank you!
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