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So, I don’t mind follow the rules…if I know why I am doing or not doing what I am doing or not doing :smiley: . Much of sake making’s rule are tradition, and make no mistaken, I understand they work…but I wonder why on a few. I’m wondering if people would chime in if they have actual knowledge, think they have an answer or have similar questions. Doing something without knowing why feels like superstition and brewing by superstition (only stir clcokwise, with your left foot behind your right foot) doesn’t feel right. So,

  1. During the yeast addition during Moto, why don’t you stir it in?
  2. Why don’t we use crushed rice (maybe too sticky?)?
  3. Why don’t we make the steamed rice into a slurry? I seem to recall Dray mentioning giving some black rice some ‘blender treatment’.

Those are the three that currently come to mind.



I don’t think I did that with black rice.

Putting the yeast in from the packet and letting it sit for the first part is to allow an acclimation of sorts, since the moto is a balance of ‘bugs’ and yeast. Some of this is known to work on that balance. I wouldn’t quite chalk it up to superstition on that one.

Crushed/cracked rice will interfere with koji growth

With proper rice, cracking grain is a signal something went wrong/was abused in the process. Maybe cracked rice won’t soak the same amount of water/absorbs too much when steamed …Most home brewers at 10 lbs may not see a difference, but regular batch sizes found in a kura may cause wrong water/rice/koji ratios.

If rice cracks when added to water/steamed, maybe milling got too hot which would have changed the proteins a bit in the rice, attributing off flavor? Dunno.

Rice breaks down during ferment due to enzymes attacking the structures of the rice. If the rice was crushed before hand, it would be analogous to a super fine crush of grains… sure, it will mash, but good luck lautering. I believe it would impact the pressing later on. There is a balance between pressing out the sake and getting every sugar possible out of the grains. If you like nigori sake, go for it :wink:

I put my black rice sake into my own press, and due to press designs… well I need to work on the press a bit.

Sorry Dray. Right you are. It was not you who used a blender :smiley: It was here I saw a mention:

Thanks for you answers - about what I was coming to surmise, but nice to hear it nonetheless.

Oh, I was not really chalking any of it up to superstition…it was merely analogy.


I hear ya, I know what you mean.

If brewing beer is at times very scientific/engineer like during process, so is Sake.

Unfortunately much of the information that leaks out about Sake is Folkloric like…

That’s why I like Taylor’s Guide, it makes it practical. Sake and stepped nutrient additions/process and lagering technique all are very close to each other.


  1. During the yeast addition during Moto, why don’t you stir it in?

I do, every time. My moto starts with water, then lactic acid, mix, koji, mix, yeast, mix, steamed rice, mix.

  1. Why don’t we use crushed rice (maybe too sticky?)?
  2. Why don’t we make the steamed rice into a slurry?

Making a paste will provide too much food for the yeast at once. It’s really a balancing act with koji enzymes, yeast and temperature. The koji grows into the grain and doses out food for the yeast slowly as scarification works. “if such a high concentration of sugars is supplied at once, sake yeast would not ferment it.” (KODAMA, YOSHIZAWA)


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