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[ShochuTimes] Koji is really important for Shochu

Do you remember how to make Shochu?

There is one important material calls ‘Koji’ 麹

This time close up about Koji!


What’s a Koji?

Koji is a starch source which has koji-kin living within it. When we make Sake , Shochu, Miso and Shoyu(soy sauce) we always use Koji.

The one which breeds mold (koji mold) in steamed rice is called koji. Koji serves to decompose starch and protein in steamed rice into glucose or amino acids so that yeast can use it. The main body of koji is composed of enzymes such as amylase and protease, and this enzyme performs saccharification.

For simple understanding

※Koji turns starch into sugar and yeast has the role of transforming sugar into alcohol.

We use 3 kinds of koji for making Shochu.

White koji

Black koji

Yellow koji

What is the difference?

Yellow koji 黄麹

Yellow koji is usually used for sake brewing. Originally we used yellow koji for shochu making, but in warm Kyushu district in warm weather the possibility of corruption during mash fermentation was high and quality control was difficult.

So , so many maker use black koji.

But due to recent improvements in production technology, maker uses yellow koji these days and the taste tend to be fruity , sweet and really smooth.

Black koji 黒麹

Black koji was originally used for brewing Awamori in Okinawa, but Genichiro Kawachi brought Awamori ‘s Aspergillus oryzae from Okinawa back to Kyushu. When using black koji, citric acid fermentation is prosperous and it has the effect of preventing breeding of bacteria in the process of fermentation.

Using black koji is suitable for Kyusyu area where is high-temperature.

When making sweet potato shochu with black koji, it tend to be solid wild , rich and dry taste.

White Koji 白麹

Black, white and yellow name are from the color of their spores.

There was a drawback that the spores of black koji fouled the workplace.

White koji born by mutation from black koji , and it solved such a problem of workplace and became widely used.

When making sweet potato shochu with white koji, it tend to be gentle, mild, soft scent and smooth..

Vibes Point

You could understand we use 3 kinds of koji and each koji makes each taste. So how we select Shochu by koji?

Please refer to my opinion

When we eat Sashimi , I want to choose yellow koji or white koji shochu because these two type shochu are smooth and easy taste so fits sashimi.

When we eat rich taste meals like a steak , I want to choose black koji Shochu. Because black koji shochu tend to be rich so it will not be beat by rich oily steak.

If you see the bottle and find 白 , it is normally made by white koji.

If you see the bottle and find 黒 , it is normally made by black koji.

If you see the bottle and find 黄 , it is normally made by yello


Glocal BAR Vibes / Nori