CraftGene Craft_vol.0

Why do not you travel in Japan to see craftsmen? There are many charms in the rural areas of Japan to satisfy you.


>> P.7

KESENNUMA7CraftGeneRaisingthetemperatureupanddownin0.5Cincrements.Fermentationproceedsfor20-30daysuntilreachingmaturity,withcarefultemperaturecontrolthroughoutthattime.Junmaisakeiscontrolledat7-15degreesCelsiusandginjoiscontrolledat5-12degreesCelsius,thetemperaturebeingincreasedin0.5degreeintervalstofermentit,thendroppeddownagainby0.5degrees.Inordertoboostthetemperature,thetanksareswaddledinmassiveelectricblankets.Tolowerthetemperature,theyarewrappedwithwater-cooledpipes.Carefullytendingtoeachprocessproducesgoodsake.“Oncethebrewingbegins,Igetinordinatelyconcernedwiththeweather.Atthestartofwinter,thetemperaturecanswingwildly.”“Sounderstandingthosechangesandcontrollingthetemperaturecomesdowntoexperience,right?Itlooksquitechallengingandmustbeoneofthemostimportantsteps.”“That’scorrect.However,weknowthatnoneofthisispossiblewithouthigh-qualityrice.Sothefermentationisimportant,butitallcomesdowntotherice.”Themashisthenstrainedandheatedto63degreesCelsiusbeforebeingbottledasrefinedsake.Eachprocessistreatedwiththesamelevelofcareanddecision-making,aseriesofsmalliterationsandrepetitions.YethearingMr.KashiwaandthestaffatOtokoyamaHontenemphasizetimeandtimeagainthatthericeisfirstandforemost,Icametoseewhatsakeisallabout.“Ittakestimeandexperiencetodeveloppropersake.Andyouneedpatience,too,right?”“Yes.Thatbeingsaid,it’snotsimplysomethingwhereifyoudoitlongenough,yougetgoodatit.Youhavetohaveasenseofwhereyouaregoingandwhatthedestinationis.Brewersintheoldendaysdidnotreallyanalyzethings.Inmydays,wesimplywatchedtheoldmastersandemulatedwhattheydid.Butthenewpeoplecominginhavestudiedthebasicsoffermentationinagriculturalcollege,sotheypickthingsupquickly.”“Interesting,somanybrewerstodayarecomingoutofagriculturalcolleges.”“Whileyoumaylearnthefundamentalsincollege,youwillstillstruggleuponenteringanactualbrewery.Youhavetolearnbydoing.Wehaveourownapproach,andotherbrewerieshavetheirown.It’sallsake,buttherearesubtle--butessential--differencesineachsake.Thisiswhatmakesthemunique.IhadtoremindmyselfthatOtokoyamaHontenisacompany,afterall--OtokoyamaHontenCo.,Ltd.Therefore,eventhechiefbrewerisbutoneemployeeamongmany,andtheprocessmustbeconductedasaprofit-makingenterpriseandaccordingtoplan.Iaskedhimamorebusinesslikequestion.“Ipersonallylikeboldsakemadewithoutaddedalcoholorsugar.ArethereanysakebrandsyoupersonallylikeinJapantoday?”BecauseitisSAKEofKesennumaMr.Kashiwalookedintothedistanceandsaid,“Youknow,thereare,yes,”noddingseveraltimes.Sosakebrewerslikesaketoo,itseems.Itstandstoreason.Iwonderedwhatbrandshehadinmind.Heseemedtobeenjoyingthethought,judgingfromhisexpression.“Intermsofrecenttrends,sakewiththeuniqueginjoaromahasbeenpopular.Thesebrewshavearicharomaandcleantaste.Sowhenmanagingacompany,producingthosesortsofbrewswouldleadtosales,right?Atthesametime,it’sonlynaturalthatbrewerswouldwanttoexplorethedimensionsoftheirownpreferredsakestyle.Whatdoyoudoifyourpreferencesdon’talignwithwherethecompanyisgoing?”Mr.Kashiwathoughtforsometime,thenspokeslowly,deliberately.“Itcomesdowntodiscussionandworkingourwaythrough.Rightnow,though,themanagementandIarealignedonthings,sowedon’treallyhavedifferencesofopinion.”“IsthatbecauseOtokoyamaHontenhasestablisheditsownstyle?”


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