Sake experiments

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

I’ve been homebrewing beer, mead, and wine for a while now – but, the one item on my list yet to try at home is Sake. I am in no way an expert on the beverage, but I really do enjoy the dry/fragment beverage. So, let’s dive in…


For anyone who stumbles across this: I am not trying to create a “how-to”. Rather, this is my attempt to distill the complicated process down in terms that a homebrewer can understand. Hopefully, I can chime back after a few weeks/months with an update on the success.

There is a lot of conflicting information out there. Here are a few of the resources that I found helpful during my initial research.


For 3 gallons of 18-22% ABV sake:


  • Rice: 10lbs (polished japonica – can try different types/polish). All rice measurements are the pre-cooked amounts.
  • Koji kin (Aspergillus Oryzae spores)
  • Sake yeast (Wyeast 4347)
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Good water
  • Bentonite clay

Day 1 – Prepare koji:

Prepare enough koji rice for the entire process. Will need some up front, plus some for each rice addition 

  • Cook 2.5lb of rice and cool to 100F
  • Mix in kin and maintain about 90F
  • Stir every 12 hours for 2 days until white mold fibers appear
  • 3/4th should be refrigerated for immediate use – or – dehydrated and frozen for later use

Day 3 – Moto: 

Starter of koji and yeast mixture

  • Add 1/4th fresh koji, .5lbs of rice, and water to cover.
  • A bit of yeast nutrient & yeast to start fermentation 
  • Hold at fermentation temps (60-75) for 2-3 days to get it going

Day 7 to 10 – Moromi: 

Add rice and koji slowly over 4 days, doubling each time. This is traditionally done in distinct stages. 

  • Day 7: Hatsuzoe 1lb rice + 1/4 koji + water
  • Day 8: Odori (do nothing)
  • Day 9: Nakazoe 2lbs rice + 1/4 koji + water
  • Day 10: Tomezoe remaining 4lbs of rice + 1/4 koji + water!

There should now be about 4 gallons of the mixture. With the active ferment, any heat source can be removed and it can go as low as 50F.

Day 14ish – Yodan:

As fermentation slow, the liquid can be strained into a carboy and allowed to complete the fermentation. Alcohol should be 18-22%

Day 21+:

Add bentonite to clarify (for 3 days) and filter if wanted. Sake can then be pasteurized by bringing it to 140F. This sake can be aged for up to 6 month before bottling. 

2 Responses to “Sake experiments”

  1. gabriel nagmay (dot com) | Archive » Sake log Says:

    […] Just keeping track of the initial sake experiments: […]

  2. gabriel nagmay (dot com) | Archive » Sake log (take 2) Says:

    […] Just keeping track of the initial sake experiments: […]

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