Raised in the spring and harvested in early summer, the ‘mugi’ (two-rowed barley) of Saga prefecture serves as the principle ingredient of the Mizunomai (the ratio is 67% barley to 33% black koji rice). The mugi is first polished to remove the husk - an exacting task that is seldom practiced by other distilleries - which eliminates undesirable impurities found in the grain and makes for a far smoother, purer and tastier spirit. The polished barley is then steamed and added to the original mash containing the fermenting black koji rice, forming the ‘second moromi’.

To secure the finest Saga barley, the Munemasa Shuzo Co. has a remarkably close bond with the local farmers. It is tradition at Munemasa to invite these farmers to participate in the actual making of the shochu.