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36 Cards in this Set

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Nigori-zake meaning?

Literally 'cloudy sake'

Why is Nigori-zake cloudy?

Presence of lees

What styles of sake can be nigori?

All styles

Why is 'unfiltered' an innaccurate description of Nigori sake?

Because legally all sake must be filtered. Nigori is filtered coarsley enough that lees remain.


Only a small amount of lees remaining to add some texture


Small amount of lees remaining to add some texture.

What are the two terms for small amounts of lees in bottlings - really to only add a bit of texture?

Usa-nigori and sasa-nigori

What important consideration is there when serving nigori-zake?

Lee's settle at the bottom of the bottle so it is important to gently tilt the bottle before opening to disperse the lees evenly throughout the liquid

What important consideration for storage of Nigori-zake is there?

It has a much shorter shelf life and must be chilled. Lees can discolour the sake and impair the taste if it is stored at too high a temperature.

Happ-oshu. Meaning?

Sparkling sake.

When did sparkling sake become popular and why?


-Sake was going through a percieved uncool phase in Japan as an outdated old persons drink. This was some breweries way of trying to reenvigorate interest.

Name the 3 methods used for making sparkling sake?

- Carbonating

- Bottle Fermenting

- Live Nigori

Explain the method of Bottle Fermenting Sparkling Sake?

Then Explain what it looks like, serving and market?

- Fermentation is stopped at 5-10ABV rather than 17-20.

- It is then filtered and bottled

- Secondary fermentation then happens in the bottle

- raised ABV by 1-1.5 and produces carbon dioxide that gets suspended causing bubbles

- the yeast and sugar present for this to happen means the final product is usually cloudy

- Uncommon to discorge as Sake yeast doesn't floculate like wine yeast

- Usually sold unpastuerised as premium product in champagne bottles

4 Points

Then 3

Why isn't bottle fermented spakling sake normally disgorged?

Sake yeast doesn't floculate (clump together) like wine yeast

Explain the Live Nigori Method of Sparkling Sake?

- Basically the same as bottle ferment except the filtration is extremely coarse so more is left in the sake.

- It is extremely unstable as yeast and koji are still present - usually limits it to local markets

- Alcohol changes day by day so can't be labelled for export

- Must be very careful when opening as essentially disgoring a bottle so up to a 3rd can be lost

Why don't you see any Live Nigori outside of Japan?

- Extremely unstable due to course filtration and presence of yeast and koji so can't travel far well

- Alcohol is increasing everyday so it can't be labelled for export

When is live nigori available on the market?

November-December with the rest of the Shinshu


Aged Sake

Other term used for Koshu?

Jukesei-Shu - meaning matured

What is the principle behind aging some sake?

The reaction between sugar and amino acid causes the further integration, softening or texture and development of new flavours.

Variables that effect aging of sake?

- Time

- Vessel

- size of vessel

- temperature


What correlates with Koshu's aging potential?

High sugar and acid

What style of koji is normally used to produce Koshu?

Extreme So-haze - to create higher sugar and acid

What flavours are common in Koshu?

Toffee,nuts, molasses, mushrooms, soy, pickled veg

Typical Ginjo Koshu traits?

Colour and flavour deepend but with suprising freshness and subtley of development aroma's

IF carefully stored at cooler temperature in small vessels

Length of time before usually called a Koshu?

2 years. But this is not legally defined.

If age is stated on the bottle of Koshu - what does it legally have to mean?

That the youngest blending component is that age (rounded down). Like English Rum.


Noble Ferment Sake. Sweet.

When was Kijoshu invented?

1973 - by a Japanese doctor who was inspired by an old legal document mentioning lusciously sweet sake

Kijoshu Method?

And common traits.

-On 4th day of Moromi build (tome-zoe) sake replaced water addition.

-Making the ration 100:60:70 Rice:Water:Sake

Rather than

-100:130 Rice to Water

- Sake added must be same grade as rest of Kijoshu

- Any seimaibuai can be used but commonly have a polishing ratio of 60:70percent

- Extra sake means alcohol is risen so it can't finish fermenting all the sugars

- Tend to have higher malic and lactic acid

- Commely aged to take advantage of high sugar and acid

What does Kijoshu tend to have higher levels of?

Malic and lactic acid


Aged in Japanese cedar wood

Where does Taru-zake have it's roots?

Edo period Japan. Sake was shipped to Edo (Tokyo) in large cedar barrels.

How long is taru-zake usually held in wood for?

1-2 weeks. It is especially strong.

When did Taru-Zake fall out of favour? And why?

1920's and 30's. When glass became common and technology to make less harsh sake that needed wood aging

What is the typical barrel size for Taru-zake?

72L (4to in Japan). but 36 and 18 are also common