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Shubo (Yeast Starter)
Shubo: The yeast starter determines the flavor and aromas of the sake.

At our brewery we have equipment that allows us to take the yeast from a particularly good batch of sake and save it, cultivating and reconstituting it later.

Naturally we do use different strains of yeast. But making sure these do not get mixed is a big part of controlling the yeast starter and moromi that calls for great effort.
Shubo (Yeast Starter)
"Yama-oroshi Haishi" yeast starter
The main method of brewing sake today uses a step called "sokujo moto," or "fast-brewed moto," in which lactic acid is added at the beginning.
There is however another, much more labor intensive method that takes about am month to prepare, known as "yamahai."

Our toji revived the use of yamahai brewing methods at our brewery,
which brings out a settled acidity in the flavor. This is very much enjoyed by sake afficionados.
"Yama-oroshi Haishi" yeast starter
Big bubbles in a tank of fermenting sake
During fermentation, the mash will bubble up quite a bit. There are names for each of the various appearances the foam will take as fermentation progresses. "Rock foam," "high foam," and "falling foam" are a few of these, with the final being "big bubbles." From long ago toji have said that the bigger these big bubbles, the better the sake will be. At our brewery, our brewers can often see bubbles as large as 40 centimeters.
Big bubbles in a tank of fermenting sake
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