Koji loves Koji-muro which provids them Tokyo summer-like weather – high temperature and heavy hujmidity. Sometimes you see in the sake production photos that sake makers who are working in the koji-muro is naked from the weist to the top. That’s the best to wear. Koji, which is fed on cooked rice, multiplies and produces enzyme such as amylayze. Amylayze, then, breaks down starch in the rice into glucose. This process generates much heat in the rice. If the temperature of the rice goes up too high, koji dies, so at about every 10 hours interval workers walk into the Koji-muro and toss the rice to cool it off. The labor even falls on beyound midnight. Proper Koji Rice making requires patience and experience. As time passes each grain of rice is covered with snow white fuzz, and sweet and very fragran smell permeates through the Koji room. At the very end the koji rice is no longer moist and sticky, but rather dry and separate.
Good news is that you can purchase already made koji rice packed in a plastic container here in America for your own sake production. If making of own sake is not for you, definitely try to make nutritious, mellow sweet delightful amazake drink. You can find the recipe on my May, 2012 blog. I use rice cooker to control the temperature of amazake production. By the way amazake’s direct translation is “sweet sake”, but it it not alchol drink. Amazake is for all of your amily members. Amazake strawberry shake….excellent. Or, make a fancy cocktail with amazake for your next wild party.