The second theme: ‘Nihonshu.’ Bob and his good friend and drinking veteran, Tetsu-san explore the world of Nihonshu (or Japanese sake) in Osaka. This time we take a step away from the Osaka city area to a quiet neighboring city in the prefecture called Takatsuki, which also has local brewery… How many drinks can Bob take before he falls over?
How to make Nihonshu
Nihonshu is made with white rice, rice-malt and water. The water is actually really important, would ya believe? According to Kotobuki Brewery, hard water with a high mineral content makes for great sake, more so than water that’s delicious to drink. If I had to sum up the brewing process simply, it’d go as follows;
- Polishing: The step where the rice is polished. Here, the Nihonshu rank is decided (Junmai to Daiginjyo), based on how much is polished off
- Washing: The rice-bran (all that powder from the polishing) is washed off
- Soaking: The rice is then soaked
- Steaming: It’s steamed
- Brewing: The steamed rice is mixed with the rice-malt and water, and is left to ferment in giant vats
- Pressing: The sake is pressed from the sakekasu (sake lees)
The Nihonshu get’s it’s ‘sweet’ or ‘dry’ flavor depending on when the fermentation process is stopped. The flavor changes ever so slightly with the fine details. The world of Nihonshu can go real deep, ya know.
Staff member at "Cafe de Osaka." Loves Osaka more than anything.
Kotobuki Shuzo (in cooperation)
A well known brewery located in Takatsuki city. Brewing their own Nihonshu brand “Kuninocho”, as well as a few styles of craft beer. Please inquire directly about brewery tours. 5 minutes from Hankyu Tonda Station.
Osaka-fu, Takatsuki-shi, Tonda-machi 3-26-12
Owner and manager of Nanpurakuten, a restaurant in Takatsuki popular with the locals. World traveller, marathon runner and veteran drinker, Tetsu is always trying to introduce people to the wide selection of drinks he has available.