All ingredients are produced in Japan
The order of priority in sake (or shochu) making is said to be “One, Koji; Two, Moto (first mash); and Three, Tsukuri (second mash)”. However, OCHIAISHUZOJYO regards “Materials (ingredients)” to be the Number 1 priority, and their shochu is made entirely from high-quality ingredients produced in Japan.
The sweet potato shochu ingredients—Kogane Sengan, Murasaki Masari, J-Red, and Benikirara sweet potatoes—are all produced by contracted farmers in Miyakonojo City using “green manure cultivation”. In this cultivation method, after the sweet potatoes are harvested, the leaves and vines are ploughed back into the soil and used as fertilizer for growing oats, sunn hemp, and other plants for use as powerful green manure fertilizers. The high-quality sweet potatoes cultivated in this way have a low moisture content and have condensed, firm, and tight flesh.
The koji rice is grown in Kyushu, while the barley is grown in Saga Prefecture.
Focus on production
“Traditional three-koku pots ” used since the distillery’s establishment
The pots used for the first mashing are “traditional three-koku pots” that were made more than 200 years ago. Each of these ceramic pots hold approx. 540 liters (1 koku = approx. 180 liters). Nowadays, very few pitters in Japan make pots of this size, so these are extremely valuable. Used since the distillery was established, the pots are essential for producing high-quality shochu. Burying the pots 80% in soil makes it easy to manage their temperature, maintaining stable fermentation.
Furthermore, dividing the ingredients among small pots for mashing enables the moromi mash to circulate evenly within each pot, maintaining good-quality fermentation.
Fermenting and aging slowly over time
Tanks buried in the ground are used for the second mashing and stirring is kept to a minimum. Fermentation is carried out slowly and continuously over time, with the temperature monitored closely. Doing this brings out the flavor of the yeast even more. It is precisely because good-quality sweet potatoes are used that extending the fermentation period is possible.
The aging process following distillation is also taken slowly over time, and even products other than old shochu aged for three years or more are aged for a minimum of a year and a half before shipment. This is because we believe that aging the shochu for this amount of time is essential for giving the shochu the aroma, taste, and softness as it slides down the throat that is necessary for enjoying the deliciousness of shochu during meals.
|Address||1626, Aza Maeda, Ooaza Kagamizu, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan|
|Tour of a Warehouse||Brewery/distillery tours are available (advance reservation).|