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The Ingredient-Sakamai- is Everything

Sake-brewing rice, generally called “sakamai”, or sake rice, differs from table rice. Though rice protein and fat are elements to make rice taste good, they may create zatsumi (an unfavorable taste) for sake brewing, so they should be polished away before use. Both kojimai (rice for making koji) and kakemai (rice used for main fermentation) are used as sakamai. Rice having shinpaku, the center of grain which contains a lot of starch, will be suitable for kojimai to propagate koji mold inside the grain.
Sakamai is mostly grown at agricultural experiment stations in each prefecture, in accordance with local climate and natural features. The king of sakamai is Yamadanishiki developed in Hyogo. The high quality product is grown in a special A-district in the north-west part of Hyogo. Gohyaku Mangoku was born in Niigata and has a high shinpaku manifestation rate. Omachi, revived in Okayama, has a rich taste and flavour. Miyama Nishiki, born in Nagano, and others including Aiyama, Gouriki, Wataribune, Sakekomachi, Hattannishiki are popular among sake fans.
On the other hand, with the advanced brewing techniques, table rice can now make high-quality sake.
The rice is divided into five classification from 3rd grade to extra special, and other is out of standard.
Premium sake is required to use polished rice of the third grade or higher.
One of the highest rice plant is Omachi. It grow up to more than 1.6m.