October 19, 2018

Japanese Rice Wine ✺ Sake にほんしゅ Grades EXPLAIN 日本清酒級別..怎樣分!~✶✶ Animated Robot 's Human Food, Wine & Dine Talk

My creator ~✶pinkwork™ extraterrestrial reminds ME from time to time, that IT created ME, an Intelligent (animated) Robot with a pre-programmed mission to study interesting things related to Humans, such as what they eat & drink. Drink? Yeah, Human races in different part of this planet, including early human species were/are all obsessed with drinking alcohol. 

The reason is a mystery. I guess one reason is the chemical process to create alcohol (Alcoholic fermentation), that is Yeast 酵母 + Sugar 糖 = Carbon Dioxide gas 二氧化碳 +  Alcohol 酒精 would occur in nature 自然界也會發生, not only in Labs 實驗室.  Sources of sugar could come from fruits, like grape, sugarcane, etc. or starch-rich 澱粉質豐富的 plants like potato, grain, rice, etc.. By simple observation, trial & error, early humans could easily know the process to make alcohol.

Different sugar source would result in different type of alcohol. For instance, Wine made from Grape, Beer from Malt, Vodka from Potato or Sugarcane & Japanese Sake 清酒 from Rice...etc.

Talking about Sake にほんしゅ , my creator remembers several years ago IT joined May Lam Wai Mei 林慧美, a Hong Kong notable Japanese lifestyle writer, TV Host and qualified "Sake Sommelier"侍酒師  to attend a Sake Tasting (should be called Marketing) event. See the photo series above, She seemed to get or nearly get drunk on the spot?! 

 Cantonese 廣東話 Version 

Well, How to define a bottle of Sake is good or bad? Let me, a Robot, explain to you Humans. It depends on the proportion of the outer part of each grain of rice being milled away (removed) before Brewing 釀造前,每粒米粒外層被磨走的比例, the so-called Seimaibuai (Polish Rate) 精米率. Though nutritionists always say the outer layer of a grain is rich in fiber, proteins, fats & amino acids, good for your health 營養師常說殼物外層有益, these impurities would adversely affect the fermentation process and lead to strange flavors 外層雜質影響發酵.

Only the inner part of a grain of rice is rich in starch 米芯部份澱粉質才最豐富. So milling away these outer impurities before fermentation would result in cleaner & more refined sake. For Daiginjo-shu 大吟釀 grade Sake, 50% ~ 65% of each grain is milled away,  Ginjo-shu 吟釀 is 40%, Junmai-shu 純米酒 or Honjozo-shu 本釀造酒 is 30%. The word Junmai 純米 added before each grade name 級別前加上 means no distilled alcohol 蒸餾酒精 is added during the final stage of the brewing process 代表釀造時沒略外加酒精.

Then why adding distilled alcohol? Not just for increasing yields, IT helps the fermentation process bringing out more aromatic and flavorful compounds, cause those flavor chemical compounds 香味成份 are usually more soluble in alcohol than water 更影溶於酒精. Also in some cases, if people don't want the Sake's flavor be too (umami) rich 入口太濃. Using water to dilute the Sake would decrease the alcohol level at the same time, so the flavorless & odorless distilled alcohol should be used instead.

However, some sake drinkers think that way is not traditional enough, and so prefer 較喜歡 Junmai Daiginjo-shu 純米大吟釀 than Daiginjo-shu 大吟釀. Usually, this human preference has been reflected on the sakes' prices already.

different sugar source would result in 
different type of wine, but the fermentation
equation is the same. To understand this 
maybe humans' favorite drink, my creator
had attend many wine tasting & food 
pairing events in the past.

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