Gumi Subscription Banner

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

The timing worked out perfectly. I was running an Organic Sake theme in April for Sake Gumi, the monthly sake club I program at the shop. So closing out the last day of the month with the event Going Organic with with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice was kismet.

We invited Yoshi and Lani of Den Sake and Wendy of Luna Koshihikari Rice to talk about organic rice and sake. 

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Kayoko poured sake for guests as they filed in to hear the presenters talk.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Wendy discussed how she got into developing the idea for organic Koshihikari rice. She shared with us the statistic that both wine and rice are $5 billion industries in California, yet most of us know little about rice farming.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

She also explained that for the organic Koshihikari rice, the proteins, lipids, and starch are scattered throughout the rice grain. On the other hand, for sake rice, proteins and lipids live on the outside of the starchy core. This means that polishing away the outer portion of sake rice is crucial. However for the organic Koshihikari, less polishing is required since the three elements are distributed evenly throughout each rice grain.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Next Yoshi talked about how he used a low polish of 90% (meaning 10% of the outer portion of the rice grain removed) to convey the flavor of the rice in the sake for his newest release Den 90. He was surprised that the resulting sake was as fruity and delicate as it was despite such a low milling rate.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

As the discussion transitioned into a Q+A session, Kayoko served guests the rice that Wendy had prepared in her donabe.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Yoshi answers some questions about the make up of rice. Here, the outer shaded area represents the concentration of lipids and fats in sake rice.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Bottles of Den 90 were enjoyed.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

A captive audience.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Kayoko passed out tastes of the rice.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Taste of the rice were accompanied by tastes of cucumbers pickled in Den's sake kasu (the byproduct of the sake-making process).

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Yoshi shows us the sake kasu, which was surprising dark brown in color.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

The crowd extended outside of the bar area.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

We gave away half-pound bags of sake kasu to interested parties.

Going Organic with Den Sake Brewery and Luna Koshihikari Rice

Thank you to everyone who attended. We had so much fun hosting these Bay Area dynamos and sharing tastes with everyone. And it proved that everyone is crazy for organic rice and sake!

If you missed this event, don't despair – we've got a lot of events in the pipeline and you can keep up on the latest here.