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Sake Terms

The following are a bunch of basic terms that have to do with sake. 

nihonshu - This the Japanese word for sake


koji-kin - This is a type of mold used to break down the starches in the rice so it could                       eventually be converted to alcohol by the yeast.


futsushu -  Ordinary sake or "table sake"

junmai - Pure rice sake. The ingredients in this type of sake are only rice, water, koji, and                     yeast. The rice in this sake has no polishing requirement.

honjozo - Sake that has been produced with a small amount of brewers alcohol.  The rice                    has been polished to at least 70%.


ginjo - Sake  that has been made with rice that has polished to at least 60%. It maybe                     made with out without brewers alcohol.


daiginjo - Sake  that has been made with rice that has polished to at least 50%. It maybe                    made with out without brewers alcohol. The labor for this type of sake is done                      without machines and is very demanding.


tokubetsu - This is a word for special in Japanese. It usually indicates that there was a                           "special" method used when producing the sake.


namazake - This is a type of sake that was not pasteurized.  


nigorizake - This is a coarsely filtered filtered sake.  The coarse filtering allows some of pieces                   of rice to remain in the sake.  It usually looks cloudy.


koshu - This is sake that been aged.


jizake - This is local sake.  


shiboritate - This refers to sake that been freshly pressed.


seimaibuai  - This is the Japanese term for rice polishing.  When we talk about the polishing                      rice in sake you usually see a percentage. If you see it has been polished 65%,                    that means there is 65% of the piece of grain remaining.  It mean the outer 35%                    was removed.  The reason it gets removed is to make it easier to get to the                          starches contained in each rice grain.


nihonshu-do - This is a number given to sake.  It is an indicates how sweet or how dry a sake                    is.  It is positive and negative numbers.  The lower the number the sweeter the                      sake tastes and the higher the number the dryer the sake tastes. 


SMV - This another term for nihonshu-do. It stands for Sake Meter Value.


sanmi - This is the Japanese term for the acidity of the sake.  

toji - This is the Japanese term for the brew master.  

kurabito - The Japanese term for the brewery employees making the sake

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