【Kasutori Shochu 粕取り焼酎】Japanese Grappa : Spirits made of Sakekasu 酒粕
In Japanese Sake brewing process, there is a squeezing process called “Shibori”(絞り) or “Joso”(上槽). In Shobori process, breweries use varieties of squeezing methods to extract Japanese Sake and leave so-called “Sakekasu”(酒粕) the sake lees after Shibori.
Kasutori Shochu is quite rare even in Japanese market, and some people consider it as a bad alcohol, because there was a fake products in the market. Nevertheless, as breweries tend to brew Junmai or Ginjo more, the quality of Kasutori Sake has been increasing.
This time, ikki delivers the information about the distilled alcohol made of Sake lees called “Kasutori Shochu”(粕取り焼酎).
History about Kasutori Shochu
Kasutori Shochu was traditionally made in North area of Fukuoka prefecture and Shimane Prefecture. After Sake brewing process, there are approximately 10% of alcohol contents left in Sake lees. In Kasutori Shochu, breweries distill the Sake lees and extract the alcohol.
Since 17th Century, Kasutori Shochu was made as an alcohol beverage, but also as a medical application such as a disinfection. In addition, it was concentrated and added to Sake moromi to keep the Sake for a long time. This kind of fermented alcohol was called “Hashira Shochu”(柱焼酎).
For farmers, they use Kasutori Shochu lees as a fertilizer, so Kasutori Shochu has traditionally been used in harvest festivals. They use Rice for Sake, and Sake lees for Kasutori Shochu. And then, use Ksutori Shochu lees for rice. They cherish this cycle and drink Kasutori Shochu after the rice planting, so it has been also called as “Sanabori Shochu”(早苗饗焼酎).
*Sanabori means the break after rice planting
2 types of Kasutori Shochu
As mentioned above, Kasutori Shochu is made of Sake lees, but precisely there are 2 types of Kasutori Shochu.
Seicho Kasutori Shochu 正調粕取り焼酎
The traditional method. Add rice hulls to Sake lees before the distillation process. There will be a bitter taste from rice hulls.
Ginjo Kasutori Shochu 吟醸粕取り焼酎
Add yeast and water to Sake lees to ferment again and distill to extract alcohol. It leaves the ginjo flavor into Kasutori Shochu.
How to enjoy Kasutori Shochu
Mostly enjoy at room temperature or on the rock or with water added.
If you are not in favor of strong alcohol or alcohol taste/flavor, please add sugar, syrup or honey. You can enjoy easily with sugar added.
Hope you learn.
See you in the next articles!