Apr 19, 2009

Hiochi Sake Tastes Good?

"Hiochi" is a phenomenon in which alcohol-resistant bacteria turns sake cloudy and make sake bad, and, of course, such a phenomenon is not wanted by brewers. I hear hiochi caused bad brew in many breweries, not a few of which in turn went into bankruptcy in olden days.

Yesterday, I drank at the home of my acquaintance and happened to have a chance to drink sake damaged by hiochi.

This sake was a yamahai-junmai sake. The sake tasted quite strong in lactic acid on the first palate, and I guessed this was because of the strong yamahai yeast starter. And, actually I liked the sake.

Then, a woman said admiringly, "Look, this sake is a bit cloudy!" A guy, who was working for a sake brewery as the brewery master, noticed, "This is a perfect example of hiochi! I have never seen such a wonderful example before."

The brewery master told, "I have had some chances to observe hiochi phenomena before and hiochi lactic acid bacteria in late years do not affect the flavor of sake very often." He continued, "Sake itself turns cloudy but some people like the sake, saying the sake become milder." According the brewery master, hiochi bacteria that fermented so perfectly as one in this case were quite rare recently. He told us that he wants to bring this bacterium to his company and keep it as a good sample, but he, regrettably could not do so because it was dangerous to bring such a strong bacterium into a brewery.

Today's Kimono
One of my acquaintances made me a kimono, which was made from ordinary cloth instead of tanmono, genuine kimono cloth. First, I liked purplish color kimono, but purple-based cloth is rare as material for men's kimono and it was difficult to find good cloth. However, finally she found cloth with a striped pattern.
This kimono looks purplish as a whole, but actually no purple color is used. From a close look at the striped pattern, you will find various colors, including red, yellow, green, white, black, and brown.


Tokyofoodcast said...

How did the sake with hiochikin tasted like? Were you able to try it?

I am very curious if sake really becomes milder with hiochikin???

Ichibay said...

It tasted a little bit like yogrt, and I drank some cups of it.
Since this is one example of hiochikin, we can't say hiochikin generally makes sake milder. Probably, some hiochikin varieties make sake milder, others make terrible. Or, though I am not sure, the combination of sake and a hiochikin variety may influence the resultant taste.

Tokyofoodcast said...

Thanks! It's a rare opportunity!