Production Method


Production Method

An overview of the shōchū production process

  1. Washing and soaking – The rice used to produce the kōji is washed and soaked.
  2. Steaming – The rice is drained, and then steamed continuously in a steamer.
  3. Cooling – The steamed rice is cooled down to a suitable temperature.
  4. Cultivating kōjiTanekōji, or mold starter, is added to the cooled rice. The kōji is ready around two days after the starter has been added. Kōji comes in three varieties: black, white, and yellow.
  5. Preliminary preparation – Shōchū yeast and 100% spring water are added to the malted rice. The shōchū yeast multiplies, and the preliminary moromi (yeast mash) is ready in around one week.
  6. Harvesting – Fresh sweet potatoes grown with tender loving care on our contracted farm are harvested.
  7. Selecting – Sweet potatoes are accepted from each region and washed. They are then sorted by hand, and damaged areas are removed.
  8. Steaming – After selection, the sweet potatoes are steamed carefully in a steamer.
  9. Cooling – The steamed sweet potatoes are cooled.
  10. Crushing – The sweet potatoes are crushed and then sent to a tank where the secondary moromi is prepared.
  11. Secondary preparation – Water and steamed sweet potatoes are added to the preliminary preparation, which then takes around two weeks to ferment.
  12. Distillation – The moromi is added to a still and heated by steam, and the alcohol that evaporates is cooled in a cooler to produce shōchū.
  13. Storage and maturation – The shōchū is stored and left to mature for a fixed period of time (usually around three to four months).
  14. Blending – Shōchū from each tank is blended to produce a spirit of uniform quality.
  15. Bottling – The shōchū is put into product containers. Each product is given a visual inspection to check for contaminants, cracks, and other defects. Products that pass inspection are labeled and packed into cases.
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