Sake is a fermented alcoholic beverage of Japanese origins. Sake is referred to as rice wine, however the brewing process is more like beer, as rice starches are converted to sugars before fermentation begins.
There are two processes involved in making Sake
1. Firstly Malt Rice must be made. Rice that has the correct mould growing on it will act like malt and convert additional rice (starch) to sugar. Malt rice is made by introducing the Sake Starter to steamed rice and allowing the mould to grow on the rice in warm (30C) dark conditions. This process can take approximately 30 hours. After that time a white mould with fibres can be seen on the rice.
2. Once the malt rice starter is made, this is then added to more steamed rice with added water. Wine yeast and citric acid are introduced which will break down the rice to a white fermenting slurry. Cooler fermenting temperatures will produce a better tasting brew. Around 18C is an ideal temperature.