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Super-flat rice polishing techniques promise a bright future for ginjo sake
Super-flat rice polishing

Diagram: Comparison of polishing methods

Comparison of polishing methods

Conventional rice polishing (spherical)

Conventional rice polishing

The easiest part of a rice grain to polish is its length; less easy is the width and finally, polishing its thickness is the most difficult. With polished rice of X% (pound for pound), the length of the grains will have been shortened to less than X% of their initial length, and the width and thickness will remain larger than X% of their original thickness. This means that too much has been taken from the length of the grain while not enough unwanted material has been removed from the width, and especially not from the thickness.

This method is used for nearly all modern rice polishing.

Grain-shaped rice polishing

Grain-shaped rice polishing

This was long considered the ideal in rice polishing: an X% ratio would mean length, width and thickness would all be polished down to X% of the original grain. However, as the unwanted outer portions decrease fairly evenly inward from the surface, even grain-shaped rice polishing has a tendency to remove too much from the length and not enough from the width or thickness.

Flat rice polishing (equal-thickness rice polishing)

Flat rice polishing

This is currently believed to be the ideal: the same amount taken from each surface of the grain, resulting in a flat grain.
With this method, the length remaining is greater than the polishing ratio of X%, and the thickness remaining is smaller than X%.

Super-flat rice polishing (developed by Daishichi Sake Brewery)

Super-flat rice polishing

The aim is to prioritise the removal of unwanted material from the flatter, thicker portions of the grain which have the largest surface area, thus minimising the total amount of unwanted material, and offering a further degree of flatness.
Daishichi Sake Brewery developed and implemented this method.

Achievements by Daishichi Sake Brewery's super-flat rice polishing technique

Awards received at Connoisseur Contests etc.

1999The first Kimoto Junmai Daiginjo to receive the top gold prize (overall top place) at the Tohoku Refined Sake Contest
2001The first Kimoto Junmai Daiginjo to receive the gold prize at the National New Sake Contest (the only such sake with this achievement in Japan)
2003Our Kimoto Junmai Daiginjo receives the gold prize for the second time at the National New Sake Contest (the only such sake with this achievement in Japan)

Awards received for technical expertise

1999Science and Technology Agency Director-General Award (the only rice polishing operation to receive this honour)
2000Fukushima Prefecture Excellent Technician Award: Fukushima Master Craftsman (the first rice polishing operation to receive this honour)
2003Brewing Society of Japan Brewing Technician Award (currently the only rice polishing operation thus honoured)



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