Talk about sake
White Koji MoldWhite koji mold was discovered in 1924 as a mutation from black koji mold by Gen-ichiro Kawachi, the father of modern shochu, when he was researching on koji molds in the hope of making more refreshing shochu. Though it is called white koji mold, the color is actually slightly reddish, and it seems to be named after the fact that it was whiter than black koji mold. The scientific name Aspergillus Kawachii Kitahara comes from the discoverer Gen-ichiro Kawachi and Dr. Kakuo Kitahara, who demonstrated that it was the new species.
Just like black koji mold, white koji mold generates a lot of citric acid and inhibits the growth of bacteria. The big difference is that white koji mold is easier to handle. People say spores of black koji mold would turn the nostrils black, so that the faces, clothes and tools of toji workers used to get black and dirty. However, with the use of white koji mold, there was no need to worry about that so that the work environment dramatically improved. This reputation gradually spread, and many manufacturers started using white koji mold after 1945. Shochu using white koji mold creates a light and mild taste. It brings out a unique charm different from black koji mold. In recent years, they started developing sake that brings out such flavor, and the acidic and sweet flavor reminiscent of white wine has attracted attention.