We call it the ancient rice farmer’s sake. A really old form of sake when rice farmer’s would ferment rice in claypots, and due to lack of technology, would drink the fermented rice beverage straight out of the pot without pressing (filtering) out the rice solids.
ICHIDAN JIKOMI is a method traditionally used to brew doburoku. Ichidan translates to ‘one level’ and describes the way that all the additions are thrown into the fermentation vessel all at once. This allows less alcohol level and more sweetness unlike modern sake that are high in alcohol and dry. Modern sake uses three level method called SANDAN JIKOMI which is used to for our Gravity sake.
Due to the thickness of this beverage from rice solids that are still present, we hand-bottle our doburoku bottle by bottle in pressure-safe bottles.
Homebrewing is presently illegal and forbidden in Japan, which means people cannot make doburoku at home like they used to long ago. Now the government issues doburoku production permits to a limited selection of breweries, making it a difficult beverage to get your hands on. Due to we are not limited by the laws of Japan, we are able to produce and introduce this historical beverage to Americans.
SAKE or NOT
In Japan, saké (pronounced sah-kay) is actually not called sake, and sake means ‘alcoholic beverage’ in general including beer, hard liquor, wine, etc. Sake is actually called ‘nihonshu’ or ‘seishu’ in Japan and is limited in definition to pressed sake or partially pressed sake called nigori sake. Therefore, by Japanese law, doburoku cannot be called ‘nihonshu’ or ‘seishu.’ This is mainly due to taxing purposes. In the US, sake is recognized by the government as a term that defines any Japanese alcoholic beverage made of rice. Technically, doburoku is unpressed sake and we are not limited by Japanese alcohol laws, therefore we call our product sake to not confuse American consumers and make this historical beverage more accessible.
Doburoku comes in many forms: puréed, still, carbonated, pasteurized, unpasteurized, etc. Our favorite style of Doburoku is unpasteurized and naturally carbonated in the bottle to offset the sweetness and the thickness which we achieved in our pressurized bottle. Due to the high levels of pressure in the bottle, there is a specific direction to opening the bottle safely on the label.