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Steaming all rice in one go

Hey guys,

Have anyone experimented with steaming all rice for all additions in one go and then keeping the rice refrigerated until it is ready for use?

What would be potential drawbacks of this approach?

Hi Claes,

A similar thought crossed my mind the other day. It seems like some time and energy* could be saved that way. I think it would make the whole process easier too. But how would it affect the quality of the sake?

Condensation in the storage container might be a minor concern. You might loose that nice soft inside…hard outter shell result that one gets from fresh steamed and slightly dried rice. *There would be a very slight cost associated with refrigeration too. Scaling this idea up to a small kura size would probably get pretty complicated though.

I’m interested to hear other people’s thoughts about this too.


I think in a kura that is continuously producing sake that the issues related to requirements of repeated rice steaming is irrelevant as long as a proportional amounts of sake batches is started at proper time intervals.

The issue is more relevant to smaller scale kuras/home brewers, where a daily supply of steamed rice is not a necessity. In these cases one day can be reserved for rice steaming. This reduces the workload by reducing the amount of times that the brewer must prepare/clean-up steaming equipment.

One issue is related to temperature control during sake brewing and the moisture content of the steamed rice. In a video
on sake brewing,before rice is added to the fermenter, the brewers reduce the temperature/moisture content of sake rice after steaming. This process is carried out for a varied timeperiod corresponding to the stage of fermentation. However, this is a video on producing the highest grade sake at very traditional methods, and there may be more modern methods for producing similar sake. Either way, I am sure most of us would be pleased with some sake that is just of half the quality of the sake produced in the video.

Best regards,
Claes Nilsson

Hey Claes,

I was wondering if you have thought more about the single shikomi preparation.

I have been thinking about making some larger (2.5X - 4X) batches and would definitely appreciate just having to wash, soak, steam, cool the rice once instead of 3 separate times.

My concern is mainly with the storage of the unused steamed rice for 1+week (making koji plus sokujo moto). How to keep it clean and fresh until Tomezoe? I guess I could cool the rice, put it in vacuum sealed bags and refrigerate it.

Have you experimented with this yet?



Hi MPFBrewer,

I actually did try out storing processed rice in a refrigerator during my last attempt on brewing sake. After steaming and cooling of the rice, I stored the rice in aluminium trays covered with dishcloths.

The rice was stored in a refrigerator for just about a week without any noticable spoilage. However, the rice had lost some moisture, probably due to contact with air. The finished saké turned out bad, but that was probably due to other factors.

  • Claes

Do you think this could have been mitigated by storing in something more airtight, like ziploc freezer bags or tupperware?

I think so, definitely.

What about freezing the steamed rice in bags? I know that food in my fridge tends to dry out, even in bags and tupperwares, after about 3 days. Seems like the freezer takes a week longer to achieve the same (bad) result.

Anyone wanna take a guess as to what freezing steamed rice would do to the process? The best I could figure is that the kernel might split and/or crack (on a cellular level, like an apple does) if there was enough water content inside. That said, I don’t know if steaming gets THAT much water into the rice; seems like my rice sucks up any moisture it comes into contact with (namely the rest of the mash)…

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