Retrieving something pure out of chaos – sake

© Ueno Gourmet

Polishing is precision work

© Ueno Gourmet

Master brewers - highly esteemed

Religiously worshipped and popular for drinking games

© Ueno Gourmet

Technology leap of the 20th century

© Ueno Gourmet

Yoshiko Ueno-Müller, © Ueno Gourmet

"A good sake brings happiness"

The classification of premium sake is determined by the Japanese Ministry of Finance. It depends on the degree to which the rice is polished. Six levels are being differentiated.

Junmai
Polishing ratio: No specifications, better bottlings are generally polished to less than 70%
Additions: Brewed purely from rice and water

Honjozo
Polishing ratio: Less than 70%, better bottlings with addition "Tokubetsu" less than 60%
Additions: Up to 10% brewer's alcohol

Ginjo
Polishing ratio: Under 60%
Additions: Brewer's alcohol, on the last day of fermentation
Process: Long-term cold fermentation at 5-14°C

Junmai Ginjo

Daiginjo
Polishing ratio: Less than 50%, often down to 35%
Additions: Brewer's alcohol
Process: Very cold fermentation, at 5-9°C

Junmai Daiginjo
Polishing ratio: Less than 50%, often down to 35%
Additions: None
Process: Very cold fermentation, at 5-9°C

Futsushu is a standard quality, to which alcohol, glucose, glutamate and a few other things may be added. It accounts for approximately 80% of the produced sake and is known for causing a hangover.