Preparation of Moto

The process of preparing sake followed in the large breweries of Itami and Nishi-nomiya is very nearly the same, and may be easily divided into distinct periods, but sake is also very frequently prepared in much smaller establishments, in which case, properly speaking, only two divisions can be noticed, viz. the preparation of moto, and the principal process. The chemical changes which occur will be very easily understood after the details which have been given in the preceding part, but it will not be found possible to make a distinct separation between the solution of the starch and the actual fermentation as can be done in beer brewing. In that industry the starch is converted into sugar and dextrin during the operation of mashing, after which the diastase is destroyed by boiling before the fermentation is allowed to begin, but in the manufacture of sake these two processes go on at the same time, except during the first few days. In this respect, therefore, the brewing of sake differs from that of beer, and it may, perhaps, be one of the reasons why the former liquid is so much more alcoholic than the latter.

As carried out at Itami and Nishinomiya sake brewing consists of the following series of processes:

1. Preparation of moto

2. Preparation of soye

3. Preparation of naka

4. Preparation of shimai

5. Filtration and clarification

Of these that which requires most care and is most liable to fail is the first, the preparation of moto.

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