I could find funny distillation story about shochu so please read and image it with shochu or any distilled alcohol!!
Temperature control is extremely important in shochu brewing. Aspergillus oryzae and yeast have a limit of tolerable temperature.Because it is a living thing, it will die if the temperature is too high.
What microbes produce differs between comfortable temperatures and extreme temperatures.
It is the professional skill to create a delicate taste by giving a harsh test at a certain stage in a comfortable temperature full of love.
Therefore, it is now necessary to use a thermometer or to analyze moromi.
Professionals put their hands into koji or moromi to feel the temperature, smell the odor or put it in their mouth to check the quality.
You can put moromi and koji in your hands or mouth, but it doesn’t work for cooling water for distillation.
Because you can’t put hot water in your mouth.
At present, a thermometer is inserted into the dripping port of the distillate to adjust the cooling water supply so that it reaches a predetermined temperature.
But how did they control the temperature in the days of old-fashioned distillers without thermometers?
The Tsuburo type distiller, which was widely used in the area south of Kagoshima, has a structure in which the bottom part of koshiki with cooling water is cold and the top part is hot, so the inside temperature is not known.
In the past, people used to pour cooling water based on experience and intuition, but it turned out that there was a wonderful wisdom in it.
Before the Japanese rule in Taiwan , funa (crucian carp) was used instead of thermometer.
Even if steam rises from the upper part, the bottom part is cold, so the crucian carp is still alive. When the poor crucian carp floats up after death, it means that the bottom of the crucian carp has become hot, so it is necessary to always pour water to prevent the crucian carp from floating up.
What wonderful wisdom. I didn’t know that it was love for crucian carp that determined the quality of sake! Hats off to Taiwan natives!
There are so many shoch in Kagoshima pref I guess more than 3000 kinds of shochu now.
So shochu maker needs to make ‘Characteristic products’.
That moment some of shochu maker uses ‘old type of distillation machine’.
This 鶴見 Tsurumi is normal regular shochu and 1800 ml regular price is about 2,200 JPY.
But this 兜 鶴見 Kabuto – Tsurumi is distilled by old type of distillation machine (calls Kabuto-shiki).
This one 1800 ml price is about 3,740 JPY.
Customers want to get ‘the old distillation limited type’!
This is Kabuto-shiki distilaation machine design !
Glocal BAR Vibes / Nori