日本酒を知る

日本酒を知る

日本酒の造り

日本酒の8割は水

You might have heard the phrase “Nada, the otoko-zake (man (or masculine) sake), Fushimi, the onna-zake (woman (or feminine) sake)”. Being appropriate for sake brewing, the water of Nada in Hyogo Prefecture used to be valued as miyamizu (water obtained in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture). It is medium-hard water containing large amounts of minerals, and has no iron that would be harmful for sake brewing. As the fermentation easily proceeds, it becomes a sharp and dry sake. On the other hand, water of Fushimi in Kyoto Prefecture is soft water called go-kosui. It becomes a soft and smooth sake. The former one is called otoko-zake, and the latter one onna-zake.
日本全体がほぼ軟水ですが、酒の8割を占める水は酒の味に影響が大きく、同じ場所でも水脈が違うと、水質も異なり、違った味の酒となります。造り手にとっても水が変わると苦労が多いといいます。
酒の味に影響があるばかりか、酒造りから機器の洗浄まで、水無しには成り立たない酒蔵。水の豊かな地は自然も豊かで、酒蔵を訪れたことのある人は、その環境の良さに心を癒されたことも多いと思います。