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Types and categories of Japanese sake

Reference: Sake Service Institute (SSI) www.ssi-w.com

  • Japanese sake is first divided into two categories based on ingredients: honjozo and junmai. Honjozo is sake that has a small amount of pure distilled alcohol added, whlie junmai is made only with rice, water and koji.
  • The sake is then divided into more categories based on the rice-milling rate. The rice is milled, and the sake is made with the remaining core. The mill rate measures the weight of the rice after milling compared to the weight before milling. The smaller the ratio, the more the rice has been scraped off or polished.
  • The more the rice is polished, the more rice need to be used to produce the same amount of sake. The milling process is delicate work. Sake with lower milling rate is usually more expensive and tend to have light and clear flavor.

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