“Tipping the steamer”; koshiki-daoshi
Koshiki is a large tub used to steam rice. The sake brewing begins with rice polishing, rice washing, and then rice steaming in a koshiki with a large amount of vapor for about an hour. After that, the rice is cooled to a suitable temperature and seed koji is spread on part of the rice. Steaming rice in appropriate ways is important as it makes difference in the quality of sake. So steamed rice is checked in a tense atmosphere.
In spring, the brewing reaches the final phase. After steaming the last rice and doing a series of operations left, all the brewing ends. The koshiki is tipped for washing after having been used every day for more than half a year and this action is called koshiki-daoshi, tipping the steamer. At the present day, many breweries use rice steaming machinery instead of koshiki, but even so, regardless of operation, the word koshiki-daoshi is used as the important day to express the final day of sake brewing, and to represent a celebration to thank for the safe completion of the year’s brewing.
When fall comes, a new sake brewing season starts. The koshiki which was tipped in spring is set up again, so steaming the first sake rice of the season is called koshiki okoshi (setting up the koshiki) or hatsu goshiki (first koshiki) . From this day on until koshiki-daoshi, a large amount of steam rises almost every day in the sake breweries.