Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tobin: 18 Liter Bottles of Joy

There are three common ways to press sake, the shizuku press method being the most expensive.

Sake is scooped up and poured into cotton bags that resemble a pillow case.

The bags are hung with sake slowly dripping out of the bag, with the lees or kasu (rice solids) being left behind.

I've tasted shizuku press sakes on many occasions. It's clear that this is sake at its most elegant.

I helped by washing and rinsing the tobin; and the bags that would receive the sake; and held the bags as the toji poured the sake. This was interesting, especially since it was the 38% polish junmai daiginjo I was honored to brew, and then nicknamed, Grace Kelly. She's a beauty, and her picture on the side of the tank made everyone laugh. Not at Grace Kelly, but at the foolish kurabito who wanted to give the sake a nickname.

A surprise occurred in storing the tobin: an eerie, unknown to me, filamentous white substance had accumulated at the bottom of each tobin. This is called "ori" and it's a mixture of yeast, rice residue and stray esters (sake has 400 esters, wine has 200, which give sake an advantage on flavor and nuance.) I took many pictures to capture the appearance, see the at the end of this post.

We harvested the clear sake of each tobin, leaving the dregs behind to be poured into one large turbo-charged with flavor tobin. This sake is not bad! On the contrary, it's very much rich and savory in flavor. It is not elegant, like Grace Kelly, but rough around the edges, lets call her...Jane Russell.

No comments:

Post a Comment