23.1 C
New York
Monday, June 24, 2024

Mugi Shochu – Fashionable manufacturers, Historical past, Shops and On-line shops

Welcome to the world of mugi shochu, a standard Japanese spirit with a wealthy historical past and a novel attribute that we’re about to discover on this article. So, what sort of liquor is that this within the first place, and what sort of allure does mugi shochu have? This time, we are going to introduce the fundamental data of shochu, the traits of this sort of shochu, and how you can drink it.


What’s Mugi Shochu?

Intro about Shochu

Earlier than we dive into what units barley shochu aside, let’s start with the fundamentals: what precisely is shochu?

In Japan, there exist two conventional varieties of alcoholic drinks: “sake” and “shochu.” The first distinction between them lies of their manufacturing strategies. Sake, often known as “brewed sake,” is created via the fermentation of uncooked rice, adopted by urgent. Alternatively, shochu is a “distilled liquor” made by fermenting numerous uncooked supplies resembling wheat, rice, and potatoes earlier than present process distillation. Whereas “brewed sake” derives its taste immediately from rice and is pressed as is, “distilled liquor” undergoes a distillation course of.

Shochu may be categorized into two teams primarily based on the distillation approach: “single distilled shochu” and “steady distilled shochu.” Barley shochu falls beneath the only distilled class, using a single distillation course of leading to an alcohol content material of 45 levels or much less. This methodology preserves the distinct aromas and flavors of the uncooked supplies. When particular elements like wheat, rice, or potatoes are employed for single distilled shochu, it’s known as “honorable shochu.”

Conversely, “steady distilled shochu” is produced via an ongoing distillation course of, yielding an alcohol content material of lower than 36 levels. This number of shochu boasts a transparent and gentle taste, making it a well-liked alternative for crafting fruit-infused drinks like chuhai and plum wine.

To seek out particulars about Shochu, click on right here.

What’s Mugi Shochu?

Mugi shochu (or barley shochu) is likely one of the high three shochu varieties, alongside potato shochu (imo shochu) and rice shochu (kome shochu). The elements used to make mugi shochu are “barley,” “koji,” and “water.”

Essential manufacturing areas

Barley shochu, primarily created from barley, finds its manufacturing facilities in Iki Island and Oita Prefecture in Nagasaki Prefecture, attracting consideration for its various flavors. Iki Island, usually thought to be the birthplace of barley shochu, produces “Iki Shochu,” acknowledged as a “geographical indication” by the WTO. Oita Prefecture, however, is thought for its lighter barley shochu manufacturers resembling “Oita Mugi Shochu Nikaido” and Sanwa Shuzo’s “Iichiko.”

“Iki Shochu” stands out for utilizing rice because the koji uncooked materials and mixing wheat and rice koji in a 2:1 ratio, capitalizing on Iki’s plentiful grain sources. In distinction, “Oita barley shochu” primarily depends on barley koji, with the emergence of 100% barley shochu within the Seventies, which drove the second shochu increase within the Eighties. The enchantment of barley shochu lies in its fruity aroma and crisp style, making it a well-liked alternative for inexperienced persons attributable to its approachable nature and affordability.

Featured flavors

“Iki Shochu” with rice koji affords a pleasant mixture of sentimental rice sweetness and barley aroma, whereas “Oita barley shochu” with barley koji boasts a refreshing, wheat-centric style. Each varieties complement a variety of dishes, making them versatile food-friendly liquors. Amongst mugi shochu, the “barley chocolate kind” explores the barley aroma and has attracted a loyal following.

Components of Mugi Shochu


Kyushu is a thriving hub for actual shochu manufacturing, boasting round 300 distilleries scattered all through the area. These distilleries craft shochu with distinctive flavors utilizing the bountiful crops grown domestically. The various elements discovered listed below are a key attraction of real shochu, carefully intertwined with the native tradition.

Oita Prefecture, residence to Sanwa Shurui, is traditionally identified for its energetic barley cultivation, making it a pure birthplace for barley shochu manufacturing. “Nijo barley” is the barley of alternative for making mugi shochu and can be a uncooked materials for beer and whiskey. Remarkably, you possibly can produce about 1.8 liters of barley shochu with an alcohol content material of 25 levels from simply 1 kilogram of barley.


“Koji” is a product that fosters koji mildew in grains like wheat and rice. This mildew does one thing fairly cool – it transforms the starch in these grains into sugar. Shochu molasses is made by taking that sugar and turning it into alcohol with the assistance of yeast. Furthermore, koji groups up with yeast to create a spread of savory and fragrant components, including depth to the flavour of shochu.

In relation to “Iichiko,” a sort of barley shochu, they use “barley koji.” This implies they add koji mildew to steamed Nijo barley to create barley koji, which performs a vital function within the manufacturing of this specific shochu.


The saying “the place there may be well-known water, there may be well-known sake” rings true in the case of crafting scrumptious barley shochu. Just like quite a few sake breweries situated close to rivers boasting glorious water high quality and ample water sources, the “Iichiko” manufacturing web site rests in a pure setting, making use of mild, high-quality groundwater in its processes. This groundwater reveals a “barely delicate” attribute, with a hardness stage of round 60 mg/l.

One of these water is good for sake manufacturing, containing decrease ranges of “iron,” “manganese,” and “natural matter,” which may be detrimental to shochu manufacturing. As a substitute, it’s wealthy in mineral parts that nourish the yeast through the fermentation course of, contributing to the top quality of the ultimate product.

The variations between Mugi Shochu and Whiskey

Maturation methodology

Whiskey and barley shochu, each primarily barley-based distilled liquors, exhibit variations of their maturation strategies. Whiskey matures in picket barrels, gaining an amber coloration and distinctive flavors throughout this getting older course of. It begins as a transparent and clear liquid. Alternatively, barley shochu adheres to strict laws stopping it from taking up an amber hue akin to whiskey. Consequently, it normally matures in stainless-steel tanks or ceramic vessels, versus picket barrels.

Manufacturing course of

Whiskey and barley shochu each use barley as their most important ingredient, they usually observe an analogous manufacturing course of with widespread phases resembling saccharification, fermentation, distillation, and getting older. Nonetheless, what distinguishes them are the alternatives in maturation strategies and elements used within the saccharification course of.

Enzymes and elements

One notable distinction between whiskey and barley shochu facilities round their saccharification processes. Whiskey employs “malt” enzymes obtained from sprouted barley, which activate the pure enzymes throughout the barley via germination. In distinction, shochu is guided by totally different laws, particularly the Liquor Tax Regulation, which prohibits the usage of sprouted grains in its manufacturing. Consequently, shochu depends on “malt” enzymes, often called koji, for saccharification. This distinction between “malt” and “malt” has a substantial affect on the flavour profiles of whiskey and shochu.

Historical past

Historical past of Shochu

Shochu manufacturing in Japan has a wealthy historical past, with distillation know-how launched within the mid-Muromachi interval (fifteenth century). The time period “shochu” emerged within the mid-Sixteenth century, with the earliest documented point out in 1546, suggesting that the methods have been seemingly transmitted to Kyushu through the Sixteenth century.

From the Muromachi interval to the Meiji interval, shochu manufacturing in Japan concerned single distillation, particularly Otsu-rui shochu, distilled solely as soon as utilizing a “Randaki” or Kabutama-style shochu distiller.

In 1826, through the Edo interval’s finish, Scotland’s Robert Stein developed a prototype, resulting in the invention of the “steady distiller” in 1830, improved and developed by Enius Cafe in Eire, and patented. This innovation allowed for mass manufacturing of whiskey.

Subsequently, the Ilges steady distiller, enhanced in England, was imported to Japan in 1895. This steady distiller facilitated the extraction of pure alcohol with out impurities, giving rise to Ko-class shochu.

Historical past of Mugi Shochu

Introduction of Shochu to Japan

Shochu made its approach to Japan over 500 years in the past, marking the start line for the historical past of barley shochu. Its origins are various, with potential influences from Thailand to Ryukyu (Okinawa), Korean distilled liquor, and even piracy in southern China. The oldest identified point out of “shochu” dates again to 1559 in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The Beginning of Barley Shochu

Across the Sixteenth century, barley shochu emerged, with manufacturing commencing on Iki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture. Again then, folks used to make use of rice and wheat as nengu, a type of taxation. Barley was excluded from nengu, resulting in its surplus use as a staple for shochu manufacturing. Throughout this time, folks additionally started to make use of for koji manufacturing throughout this time.

Evolution of Barley Shochu Components

The historical past of genuine barley shochu is comparatively latest. Its manufacturing methods are akin to different spirits like Awamori, Kasutori Shochu, Ameya Shochu, and rice shochu. Nonetheless, the selection of uncooked supplies and koji has advanced over time. Initially, barley shochu was made by mixing barley with wheat koji. Within the Meiji interval, rice was launched to koji manufacturing, step by step increasing its use. Black koji was launched in Iki in 1941, considerably remodeling shochu preparation. Iki barley shochu earned a geographical indication designation from the WTO in 1995, defining “Iki shochu” as “two-thirds barley and one-third rice malt.”

Mugi Shochu FAQ

What’s the most important distinction between atmospheric strain distillation and decompression distillation in shochu manufacturing?

Atmospheric strain distillation retains the uncooked materials’s traits and flavors, whereas decompression distillation produces a delicate aroma and a clear, impurity-free style in shochu.

How does the getting older course of have an effect on the traits of shochu?

Ageing shochu for 1-3 months after distillation can assist mellow the spirit, scale back any gas-like odors, and create a smoother, extra fragrant drink. Longer getting older durations can additional deepen the richness of the shochu.

make Mugi Shochu?


Koji Cultivation

Start by cultivating koji, utilizing barley and rice, with spring koji micro organism. This step is important for saccharification, and every brewery has its personal strategies.


Steaming the Grains

Steam barley and rice for about an hour to arrange for koji manufacturing. After steaming, koji micro organism are launched to the grains.


Making Koji

The koji-making course of usually includes induction, spreading and mixing (often called “床 momi”), slicing again, serving, temperature adjustment (“仲 job”), and last work.


Major Fermentation

Mix the ready koji with water and the primary elements (barley, rice, or potatoes) to create “main moromi.” This combination ferments for 5-7 days, fostering the expansion of high-purity yeast, enzymes, and citric acids.



Mugi shochu is distilled utilizing the only distillation methodology, which incorporates atmospheric strain distillation and decompression distillation methods. Atmospheric distillation retains the uncooked materials’s traits, whereas decompression distillation yields a delicate aroma and a clear style, freed from impurities.



After distillation, shochu is saved and aged for 1-3 months, with the selection of container influencing the ultimate product’s traits. Chrome steel tanks, turtle shells, and barrels are generally used.


Mixing, Water Cut up, and Filtration

Mixing includes mixing aged undiluted shochu with different tank shochu. Water is added to regulate the alcohol stage, and filtration is employed to take away impurities and stabilize the sake’s high quality.



Shochu is bottled in numerous sizes, starting from 1-sho bottles to small ones. The ultimate product is prepared for distribution and consumption.

Eating places/ Shops


“IMADEYA GINZA” in GINZA SIX at Ginza 6-chome is a spot for anybody who loves Japanese liquor tradition. We now have an important choice of Japanese sake, wine, craft shochu, gin, and particular vessels. Our retailer connects makers and prospects from all world wide. It’s a spot to take pleasure in and share the artwork of liquor-making and create a brilliant future. Come go to us on the 2nd basement ground of GINZA SIX.

Deal with: 104-0061 GINZA SIX B2F, 6-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Cellphone quantity: 0570-015-111
Enterprise hours: 10:30-20:30
Web site: https://imadeya.co.jp/pages/company/?index=2#outlets

On-line retailer

For individuals who wish to order or purchase Mugi Shochu in Japan, you possibly can mail it to your private home on-line on Rakuten. You’ll be able to try some outlets that promote them through Rakuten by clicking under.

And for many who wish to order or purchase however reside away from Japan. You’ll be able to ship them from Rakuten by following the steps under. Rakuten affords Worldwide Delivery Service, so don’t worry about how you can obtain your gadgets. Rakuten International Specific is a web-based purchasing service that permits customers to buy at shops in Japan.


First, you want a Rakuten ID. In case you are already a Rakuten member, you can begin utilizing Rakuten International Specific. When you’ve got not registered but, click on right here.

Get your private RGX handle

After signing up, you’ll get a Japanese handle: a Rakuten International Specific handle.

Store at shops in Japan

Now that you just get your self a private RGX handle (Rakuten International Specific handle). You’ll be able to store on-line in Japan, click on right here to buy Ochazuke (not solely Rakuten however different on-line shops are additionally included).

 When you could have determined in your gadgets, set the supply handle to your Rakuten International Specific handle.

Verify gadgets

After gadgets are shipped to the RGX handle, they are going to be packed into one package deal. You additionally obtain an e-mail upon confirming this stuff and fee.

As soon as the fee is confirmed, your package deal will likely be delivered inside a chosen interval relying in your delivery alternative.


On this article, we discovered about barley shochu, a novel Japanese spirit. Barley shochu is single distilled and carries the distinct flavors of its uncooked elements. With an alcohol content material of 45 levels or much less, it’s often called “honorable shochu.” In distinction, steady distilled shochu affords a milder taste. You’ll be able to discover these choices in specialty shops, liquor outlets, or on-line. So, why not start your shochu journey as we speak? Cheers!

Discover extra about Japanese drinks under!

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles