Time for shibori ( 搾り)

Description of the sake pressing process (shibori).

After the moromi (main ferment) has come to the stage where the ferment has run its course or it is time to stop it from going any farther, it is time for shibori; that is the pressing or squeezing of the moromi to separate the lees from the sake. This is mainly done in three different ways in kura (breweries) today and probably more ways than Sunday by homebrewers.

The most common way to press is to use a machine called Assaku-ki often referred to as a Yabuta; the name of the main supplier of assaku-ki machines. The moromi is pumped into these machines where it is squeezed by an air bladder to force the sake through a fine mesh that holds back most of the lees. As the lees build up on the mesh more and more of the lees are held back because the lees themselves become a part of the filter. In the most common configuration, the filtering action is so good that it filters out the yeast as well as the lees and hence stops all further fermentation. Continue reading “Time for shibori ( 搾り)”