Words to Know
Kakemai – steamed rice that is used directly in the moromi
Kanzake – heated sake
Kasu – the rice sediments left after pressing the moromi.
Kijoshu – sweet sake that is usually fuller bodied and complex. During the initial phases of brewing when there are three additions of ingredients to the moromi (sandan jikomi), the third addition of water is replaced with a blend of water and finished sake. This creates more alcohol at the beginning of fermentation which results in more koji enzymes remaining in the moromi at the end of fermentation. Thus the sake is sweeter and more viscous.
Kimoto – a traditional brewing method where the shubo is made by mashing the rice and koji into a paste usually with poles and allowing lactic acid to form naturally. Creates a higher acidity sake with richer, gamier flavors.
Kire – a term used when tasting sake that has a short, clean finish
Kobo - yeast
Koji – steamed rice on which koji-kin has been grown
Koji-kin – specific strains of the fungus aspergillus oryzae used to make koji. In sake production, koji-kin converts the starch in rice to sugars.
Koku – traditional sake measurement equivalent to 180 liters
Koshiki – rice steamer
Koshu – sake that has been aged generally for at least 2 years in ideal cold conditions. As sake ages, the sugars and amino acids react and the color turns darker to golden or darker amber hues. The taste profile becomes richer and fuller with more complex aromas of caramel, honey, nuts or spices. Some breweries have recently released koshu aged up to 25 years hoping to make an impact similar to the whisky craze in recent times.
Kyokai – literally “society” and with sake usually refers to the Brewing Society of Japan (Nihon Jozo Kyokai) whose main function is to research sake topics and also propagate pure yeast strains.
Kura (or “sakagura”) – a sake brewery
Masu – a small wooden box usually made of Japanese cedar (sugi) that can be used to drink sake, but historically used for measuring rice.
Miyamizu – famous sake making water from Nishinomiya City in Nada (Hyogo) which is rich in nutrients that enhance fermentation.
Moromi – the main fermentation or sake mash