How to Homebrew Sake

by Mutsuo Hoshido,

After the very hot summer, suitable season for Sake brewing is approaching. Following is the one of the simple Sake brewing procedures to enjoy Sake taste.


Koji is available at a grocery store in Japan during the winter time. Koji is sold as a cooking material to make "amasake", very sweet pasty liquid which has no alcohol and not as a homebrew material.



If real "Amasake" is available (sake sludge mixed with suger is not real amasake),directly pitch dry yeast in a bottle.You can brew Sake.

In Japan, at present, fermenting more than 1% alcohol without license is illegal. Before world war one, I heard that every family had been enjoying home sake brewing. It was the Japanese culture. But the war destroyed the culture too. At present,members of " Homebrew News Letter" is only less than 300. It is supposed that about ten thousand homebrewers exist in Japan. We do not always brew beers but sometimes Sake. Just two years ago the minimum amount of beer production was reduced from 2000kl/year to 60kl/year by the pressure from the USA. It was the beginning of small local beer brewers. We,most of general Japanese people, are wanting more pressure from the USA for free homebrew and for free trade. Commercial Sake brewers use very expensive materials such as 50% polished specially selected kind of rice,which looks very small crystal beads because of the excessive polishing process. We never eat such a rice, we usually eat normally slightly polished normal rice grown only for eating. When I visited Sake brewer near my house,the manager told me that he tried to eat that sake rice but that it was not tasty. Homebrew Sake is very simple to make and satisfactorily tasty if you do not compare with commercial real Sake. I heard that US Sake brewer produce only real Sake because of US tax law.Real Sake means Sake only from rice. In Japan, tax law allows mixture of so called industrial ethyl alcohol to Sake within a certain percentage. Real sake (Junmaishu) is very expensive.

I hope you enjoy homebrew Sake.

Mutsuo Hoshido,