hist-brewing: Historical Wine Sweetening

AlannnnT at aol.com AlannnnT at aol.com
Mon Aug 21 15:05:37 PDT 2000

In a message dated 8/21/00 2:21:21 PM US Eastern Standard Time, 
xtal at sigenetics.com writes:

> I thought Sake wasn't a beer because it is fermented via bacteria rather
>  than via yeast. Is there another reason?

Actually, Sake can sit on the fence on this one. Sake is made with Rice, 
Yeast and another fungus called Koji, or Koji Kan, depending on form. Also, a 
touch of citric acid when I make it. (NOT Bacteria)

The Koji is a mixture of the fungus and some rice. Kind of like starting your 
yeast culture. Ordinary rice wine can be made without the Koji, and is 
perhaps less complex. Since there is good Sake and cheap Sake just like in 
all other types of fermentables, no one answer is perfect. 

Yeast is also fungus, so maybe that makes Sake twice as likely to be a beer. 
I personally don't consider Sake beer because it doesn't have any hops, spice 
or bittering agent of any kind. Also, when fermentation is finished it starts 
out about 18% v/v, and you usually cut it with water to a more wine like 14 

That's one opinion anyway. 

Alan Talman

Lurk mode back on.

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