A Shubo fermentation tank.

The shubo (also known as Moto, Fermentation Starter or Yeast Starter) is a small starter batch of sake that is used to grow a vibrant yeast colony, before the fermentation is moved to the main and larger fermentation tank. During the time of shubo production, the temperature is often varied to stress the yeast to ensure the strongest survive. Creating the initial yeast colony in a small batch also helps to crowd out and create less opportunity for unwanted bacteria and wild yeast to gain any kind of a foothold in the starter.

There are several methods for making shubo. To learn specifics about shubo production and ingredients, you can learn more by exploring the shubo production method links below:

Sokujo: The so-called “modern” or “fast” shubo method where lactic acid is added manually at the beginning of making the shubo.

Yamahai: Created in 1909, this is an update/alternative to the kimoto method that still allows for the natural build up of lactic acid but and does not require mashing the rice with long poles.

Kimoto: The original old school shubo production method that allows for the natural build up of lactic acid and requires mashing the rice with long poles to encourage scarification.

Bodai-moto: An ancient version of shubo production that could be considered a pre-cursor to the kimoto method.

See Also:
Fermentation Starter
Yeast Starter

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