WHITE KOJI RICE & THE 1ST MOROMI
Production begins with the intricate preparation and then fermentation of our ‘white koji rice’. Locally grown rice farmed near the towns of Arita and Imari is meticulously polished to a fine pearl, steamed and coated with a microbe called white koji, which imparts unique flavors, distinctive aromas, and helps to break down starches into sugars. The white koji is given time to propagate over the steamed rice, and must be tended to by the koji master night and day. After 48 hours, it is ready to be mixed with soft spring water from nearby Black Hair Mountain, along with a touch of yeast, which helps to convert the sugars into alcohol. This fermenting mash of ingredients is known as the ‘first moromi’.
Koji is an essential ingredient in the production of shochu and helps to distinguish it from all other spirits. White koji is more mild than the black koji used in our 'Saga Barley' shochu. Using white koji here allows the flavors and aromatics of the lemongrass to be the feature of this spirit.