Museum of Sake Journal Summer 2015 - Page 7

WHAT IS SPARKLING SAKE? Sparkling sake has been a growing category, helping to attract a new target audience as traditional sake was becoming out-dated to young communities. As its production method is not tightly defined and no standard label term exists, different producers create various styles of sparkling sake from various categories from Futsushu to Junmai Daiginjo, with alcohol contents ranging from 4-5% to 16-17%. Different levels of sediment from clear to thick lee remain, while sweet dessert styles with SMV of -25 to -90 to average off-dry sake styles can be produced, with price points varying from entry level to nearly £100 a bottle. Sparkling sake can be made by two methods; second bottle fermented style or carbonated style. Second bottle fermented sparkling sake is made the same way as regular sake; fermentation is halted earlier than is usual when the alcohol is only around 5 to 10 %, as opposed to the 18 to 20 % of normal sake. The sake is then pressed to different degree and bottled. Within the bottle, a secondary fermentation takes place that produces carbonation. In order to create the secondary fermentation, a significant amount of sugar and yeast is needed, hence sparkling sake tends to be little cloudy. (It is not common to disgorge the sparkling sake as sake yeast does not cluster together.) Based on how much further the fermentation takes place, the balance of alcohol content and residual sugar content varies in the final product. Most of the sake made with this method is sold unpasteurised (Nama) and marketed as premium in champagne-style bottles, or sold as ‘active Nigori’ with a much higher amount of lees remaining in the bottle. Another method of making sparkling sake is by injecting carbon dioxide after the sake is made and pressed as regular sake. Sparkling sake made in this method tends to be clear coloured without any remained sediments, and most are sold pasteurised. SECOND FERMENTATION IN BOTTLE (OPTIONAL INBOTTLE PASTEURISATION) Because of the storage issues with unpasteurised sale, the sparkling sake category abroad is stil