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types of sake



Herewith are the six commonly accepted sake categories:

Junmai : Sake that is made up of water, koji mold, yeast and rice that has been milled 30% with 70% of each grain remaining.

Honjozo : Sake that is made up of rice, water, koji mold, yeast and a portion of added distilled alcohol, and the rice is milled 30% with 70% of each grain remaining.

Junmai Ginjo : Sake that is made up of water, koji mold, yeast and rice milled 40% with 60% of each grain remaining.

Ginjo : Sake that is made up of rice, water, koji mold, yeast and a portion of added distilled alcohol, and the rice is milled 40% with 60% of each grain remaining.

Junmai Dai Ginjo : Sake that is made up of water, koji mold, yeast and rice milled 50% with 50% of each grain of rice remaining.

Dai Ginjo : Sake that is made up of rice, water, koji mold, yeast and a portion of distilled alcohol, and the rice is milled 50% with 50% of each grain remaining.

Now that you have grasped the fact that there are six major categories of sake, prepare for the idea that sake can be made in different fashions to produce more variations of sake. For example if a brewer were to leave in some of the rice polishings the result would be a cloudy sake commonly referred to as Nigori (unfiltered sake). If a brewer decided to store his freshly brewed sake in cedar tanks this would result in Taru (cedar sake). Or as most breweries in Japan do, if they release a sake that has not been pasteurized the typical two times - in most cases - then the result is Nama (unpasteurized sake.)

If brewers decide to age their sake longer than a typical fermentation cycle, then the result is Koshu (aged sake). If brewers are looking to try something different by adding more sake instead of more water to the brewing process the result is Kijoshu (dessert sake). And lastly if a brewer decides to allow his sake to reach peak fermentation without adding the typical amount of water to bring sake back to a diluted state of roughly 15%-16% alcohol level then the result is a sake that has a alcohol percentage along the lines of 17%-19% called Genshu (undiluted sake).

True Sake carries all of these variations and categories of sake, plus many other unique seasonal sakes and celebration sakes.