Episode 68 Show Notes

Episode 68. Another week, another sake miniseries! This time around, John and Timothy look at the sake production step known as “shibori” or squeezing the mash in a little more detail. At the end of fermentation, this step separates the freshly born sake from the left-over rice solids. There are a few different methods to make this happen, and this week, we look at the classic “fune” method. One of the most traditional ways to press sake, the fune is a large and long rectangular box into which the brewers stack up fabric bags, known as “fukuro”, that are filled with sake mash. Pressing with a board from above, the bags get squeezed and the fresh sake is collected from a spout at the front bottom of the fune box, while the rice solids are held back by the fukuro bags. This is a hands-on and labor intensive way to press sake. For some breweries, they press all their batches with a fune, while other breweries reserve fune pressing for only their more premium sakes. To finish off the work of fune pressing, listen in to learn all about the “Fukuro Punch”, which sounds like a yummy cocktail, but unfortunately, is not. If you’re interested in learning more about squeezing the mash, we hope you’ll stay tuned to our complete shibori series over the next few weeks – but of course, no pressure!

Skip to: 00:19 Hosts Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to the show from John and Timothy

Skip to: 01:14 Sake Education Corner: Sake Pressing – Fune

This video shows a good view of the “Fune” press. this rectangular box can be made of wood or stainless steel. Sake mash-filled bags are layered into the fune box and pressed from above. the sake is then collected from the fune spout. The bags. hold back and reserve the sake lees, or “kasu” – that is the left over unfermented rice solids. The fune is one of the most traditional ways of pressing sake:

Fune at Izumo Fuji

This week, Timothy and John tasting Izumo Fuji Junmai sake and this photo shows you the actual vintage fune press from this brewery:

The vintage wooden FUNE press at Izumo Fuji Brewery.

Skip to: 14:50 Sake Introduction and Tasting: Izumo Fuji Junmai

Izumo Fuji Junmai

Alcohol: 16.0%
Classification: Junmai
Prefecture: Shimane
Rice Type: Yamadanishiki
Seimaibuai: 70%
SMV: +4.5
Acidity: 1.8
Brewery: Fuji Shuzo (Shimane)
Brand: Izumo Fuji
Importer: Joto Sake
Sake Name English: Ancient Shrine

View on UrbanSake.com: Izumo Fuji Junmai

Purchase on TippsySake.com: Izumo Fuji Junmai
NOTE: Use Discount Code “REVOLUTION” for 10% off your first order with Tippsy Sake.

Skip to: 27:28 Fukuro Punch
The “Fukuro Punch” is a way of cleaning the cloth bags or Fukuro, that are used to press the mash. the bags are filled with water and the open end is twisted shut. Then, like an accordian, you punch the two ends of the bag together, forcing the water through the the fabric under pressure. This is a way to ensure that the fine fibers of the bag are cleaned of all left over residual sake mash. and it builds upper body strength.

Fukuro Punch!

Skip to: 32:47 Show Closing

This is it! Join us next time for another episode of Sake Revolution!

Episode 68 Transcript

John Puma: 0:22
Hello everybody. And welcome to Sake Revolution. This is America’s first sake podcast. That’s right. You did tune into the right podcast. I am your host, John Puma from the Sake Notes. also the administrator over at the internet, sake discord in the corresponding R/sake subreddit, uh, over with your friends at Reddit.

Timothy Sullivan: 0:44
And I am your host, Timothy Sullivan. I’m a Sake Samurai, a sake educator, as well as the founder of the Urban Sake website. And every week, John and I will be here tasting and chatting about all things, sake and doing our best to make it fun and easy to understand.

John Puma: 1:02
Wonderful wonderful, Tim. Um, you know what I think we haven’t done in a bit and I get a little, I get a little antsy when we don’t do this for a little

Timothy Sullivan: 1:11
Um, I feel like you’ve got me in a corner. John,

John Puma: 1:14
Ha very great. Good. Uh, yes, a perhaps a sake education corner.

Timothy Sullivan: 1:21
how about that?

John Puma: 1:23

Timothy Sullivan: 1:24
I think it’s very pressing that we get to this important topic. Insert groan here

John Puma: 1:33
Um, yeah, pressing. Um, so there are where we want to get into every nook and cranny about sake education or at some point. On the show. And so, yeah, it is time to get into the three pressing methods

Timothy Sullivan: 1:53
And this combines two of my favorite things. sake education corner, and a mini series.

John Puma: 2:00
oh yeah, because we get to do three of

Timothy Sullivan: 2:02
Yes, this is going to be a mini series about how sake is pressed. Yes.

John Puma: 2:09
right now, real quick. What what’s that going to do? what’s that going to bring to the table? The different pressing methods.

Timothy Sullivan: 2:17
Yeah. Well, if you. Envision the sake mash, the fermentation mash bubbling away. it’s a, the color is like melted French vanilla ice cream, like a little bit off-white and it’s got chunks of rice in there and the aroma is just wafting this beautiful sake, fruity aroma. And in order to get the alcohol out of there, we need to separate the unfermented rice chunks that are left over. From the beautiful freshly born sake. So in order to separate the alcohol from the leftover rice, that didn’t break down, we need to do a step that we call pressing. And there’s two words that they use to describe this in Japanese. One is Joso and the other one is shibori and shibori means squeezing. So that’s like the literal translation is squeezing. So we’re going to.

John Puma: 3:11
So I can’t just, I can’t just poor. What is in the, tank into, into my glass and start drinking and say, this is sake.

Timothy Sullivan: 3:21
Well, if you did, then you would have doburoku, so that’s completely unfiltered. Unpressed sake and that’s actually not legal, usually in Japan. So you have to do some type of pressing or squeezing. Or filtration in this step in order to separate the alcohol from the unfermented rice. And, you know, people often ask about cloudy sake at this juncture, when, when you, when you, well, what’s cloudy sake then, well cloudy sake, or nigori is coarsely filtered sake. And the clear stuff is like a finely filtered sake. so just know it’s called Shibori or squeezing, and it’s separating the alcohol from the unfermented rice. Three primary ways that we do this. And today we’re going to talk about probably what I would consider to be the most traditional methods. So we’re going to start with that.

John Puma: 4:14
All right. So we’re getting, we’re getting the big boy out of the way.

Timothy Sullivan: 4:18
It’s not the most common method nowadays, but it’s what I would consider to be the most traditional method. That’s what we’re going to talk

John Puma: 4:25
All right. And, and what do we call this? This most traditional method?

Timothy Sullivan: 4:29
Well, it’s called pressing by fune F funy. fune. We’re going to put the fun in fune today.

John Puma: 4:40

Timothy Sullivan: 4:44
Well, at least I’m making myself laugh.

John Puma: 4:47
two guys, without kids, we get a lot of dad jokes on this show.

Timothy Sullivan: 4:52
Yeah. So fune, it’s also called sakabune. So sometimes F’s changed to be in Japanese. So Saka, bune, or. Simply fune. Now, you write this kanji character out, it’s the Kanji character for vats or tub, but it’s pronounced differently in the context of sake fune actually means boat

John Puma: 5:20

Timothy Sullivan: 5:22
So if

John Puma: 5:22
like literal boat.

Timothy Sullivan: 5:24
a ahoy matey! Boat,

John Puma: 5:28
All right. So they call them all right. Why they call it a boat? I’m going to buy it, Tim. Why they call it a boat?

Timothy Sullivan: 5:39
Well, the way the fune press works. I want you to imagine a deep, long rectangular box. So you’ve got two short ends and you have two long ends, and let’s say it’s about four or five feet deep. And this rectangular box, very roughly. It looks like, a boat.

John Puma: 6:03
This seems like a stretch.

Timothy Sullivan: 6:05
a bit of a stretch. but the way that the fune works is that they have this long rectangular box. And originally they were made of wood and modern ones are made of stainless steel and they take these bags called fukuro bags or sacks, and they, they look like. Pillowcases. All right. So they’re narrow and kind of long, and they have one end open they fill the pillowcases or the fukuro with the, the mash. So it’s the rice and the sake, everything mixed together. And they lay them down side by side in this rectangular box called the fune and then they start stacking them one on top of the other. So the. Sacks or bags start to pile up inside this narrow rectangular box and they stack them all up one on top of the other.

John Puma: 6:57

Timothy Sullivan: 6:58
if you need a visual of this, just check out our show notes at my favorite domain, SakeRevolution.com.

John Puma: 7:06
have to say you’re doing a nice job so far of painting a word picture for me.

Timothy Sullivan: 7:10
right. You can picture this. Yeah.

John Puma: 7:12
uh, this, this, small. Vaguely boat like, uh, structure and, um, and the bags are, are, are laid in there on top of each

Timothy Sullivan: 7:25
Yep. And they’re

John Puma: 7:26
We’ve got our bags, we’ve got our boat. What’s next?

Timothy Sullivan: 7:28
Right? So what’s going to happen is the weight of the bags. All sitting on top of each other is going to naturally press down. And this rectangular box has a hole in the front, the short end at the bottom. So there’s like a drainage hole at the front bottom. So as the bags kind of weigh each other down, the liquid is going to come through the fabric of the bags and the rice solids are held back inside the bags. And then the, the fune is slightly tilted towards the front. And then clear sake comes out the little hole at the front bottom, and that is how they. Initially start to do this pressing method, but after a while, right.

John Puma: 8:14
I, I, I know how gravity works and then we’re missing something very critical because the bags on top, while they are providing weight for the bags on the bottom, that there’s nothing gonna squeeze out the sake that’s there. So, um, unless I’m horribly mistaken, uh, something else needs to happen. And what is it?

Timothy Sullivan: 8:31
Yep. So gravity is going to do a little bit of a job for a while, and then it’s going to stop coming out because the pressure is just not going to be enough. So what they do is they take a board and they lay it on top of the box, the same size, roughly as the top opening of the box. And then they apply pressure from above. And this is going to squeeze all the bags simultaneously, and they’re going to start to press down. And as these bags get squeezed, more liquid is going to come out of them again. Rice solids are held back inside the bag and then the liquid flows out the opening in the front bottom,

John Puma: 9:06

Timothy Sullivan: 9:07
and then they press down and

John Puma: 9:08
at that point it literally gets squeezed.

Timothy Sullivan: 9:10
Literally, this is our literal squeezing. So this is, shibori or squeezing. And yeah, so this, this is a process using this fune or this, rectangular box pressing. Um, have you ever heard of, I think there’s a sushi method that have you ever seen that box? Press sushi.

John Puma: 9:31
Of course, uh, I happen to really like pressed sushi actually

Timothy Sullivan: 9:34
Yeah. So this is, if you can picture that press sushi. This is a kind of a similar idea to that where the board is on top and it starts to press. Yeah.

John Puma: 9:45
Now you mentioned that this is the most traditional method, does that mean? And based on the technology that we’ve been discussing so far, I’m beginning to lean that way. Was this the first method for, for pressing sake?

Timothy Sullivan: 9:57
well, this, this is the first method I believe that was used kind of commercially. now the very first funes were made of wood and the original ones had a lever on the top. So instead of using like a hydraulic press to push that board down, they would have a lever that would jut out to one side and they would actually attach rocks, large rocks to ropes and they. Hang the rocks on the far edge of this lever. And that would pull it down. So this lever would come out to the side. And they would hang rocks and this would pull the lever down and it would press on the board. before they had hydraulics. This was the original method for pressing down on the fune And there’s a handful of breweries that still use this pressing method with the, with the rocks hanging on the lever.

John Puma: 10:51
But, but I imagine there’s probably a lot more that still use the hydraulic press to do it.

Timothy Sullivan: 10:57
Yes. So in the early 20th century, the hydraulic press kind of came in into use, and that was much more. Easy to navigate. And then a lot of funes got upgraded to stainless steel. And, um, the other episodes in this series are going to look at alternate methods for pressing. But this one is probably the, as I said, the most traditional and you see it in small breweries and some breweries use it for their finest sake. So they’re going to press certain grades of sake with maybe a small fune. And the other grades of sake are going to use a more automatic pressing method, more mechanized. So some breweries reserved the fune for their higher grades of sake and some smaller breweries use fune for everything. So it varies from brewery to brewery.

John Puma: 11:51
All right. Very interesting. I know you’ve spent some time at, more than one, uh, sake brewery. do you have any hands-on with the fune?

Timothy Sullivan: 12:02
Well, the brewery where I worked, the food was used for the most high level sake. So I was not allowed to actually operate the fune, but I was in attendance and I was an

John Puma: 12:15
They let you, they let you watch fune, but they wouldn’t let you use it. They were, were they afraid you’re going to break it? What happened?

Timothy Sullivan: 12:21
Well, high stakes pressing was going on. So.

John Puma: 12:27
Was it a high pressure situation? Oh, no, I’m doing it.

Timothy Sullivan: 12:33
it was a high pressure situation. Yeah. Yes. but, well, there’s one other aspect to the fune that I think is really important to talk about and that’s all pressings are not created equal.

John Puma: 12:46

Timothy Sullivan: 12:47
there’s we talked about, the stuff that runs out just under the pressure on its own, then they start pressing down a little bit and then they, at the end, they really squeeze it down. So there’s three phases of pressing and they’re considered different qualities of sake.

John Puma: 13:01

Timothy Sullivan: 13:03
So the stuff that runs out by gravity alone, that’s called arabashiri. I’m sure you’ve heard of that. A lot of sakes is that right? Or, namas are. Called arabashiri and that means rough run or the free run. So that’s the stuff that just comes out by gravity alone before they apply any pressure. And because it’s first, some people may think, oh, that’s probably the best, but it’s not considered the highest quality. It’s a little bit brash and a little bit rough around the edges. It’s actually called the rough run. And, uh, that’s often used for Nama or unpasteurized sake because it’s zingy and bold and brash and green and, not the most mellow of the pressing stages. So that’s the arabashiri now. What’s considered the most desirable is called nakadori. So naka means middle. So this is the middle pressing and that’s when they first begin to apply gentle pressure. And that is really the most desirable pressing they get towards the end. And they’re applying a lot more physical pressure to the bag that’s called the seme and the seme pressing is the final bits. That’s also not considered the most desirable. So the nakadori and the middle pressing is really where it’s at. And I’ve actually seen some sakes that brand themselves as the Junmai nakadori, or the middle pressing to indicate that it’s like the, the highest quality part of the pressing.

John Puma: 14:34
Oh, yeah, I am actually, I’m familiar with a brand that uses nakadori in the title of one of their more their sakes. So that’s really interesting for me to learn where that comes from.

Timothy Sullivan: 14:45
Yep. So we’ve got arabashiri, nakadori, and then seme,

John Puma: 14:50
thing I really like is that we don’t just do theory. We do practical application and, um, sadly, or maybe not. So sadly it does not mean we’re going to be pressing our on sake tonight. Uh, but I do understand we’re going to be drinking sake tonight that was made using a fune.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:10
Yes. I found a brand for us taste that uses an old school wooden fune that they meticulously maintain, they are very dedicated to handcrafting and part of that, which they state on their website is the maintenance of their very old wooden fune press. And this is a brand that we actually have tasted before. This is izumo Fuji.

John Puma: 15:39
Ah, yes, our old friends Izumo Fuji. Um, I believe last time we tasted there, junmai ginjo in episode 50. Oh. Because it was 50% mill. And so we were very clever.

Timothy Sullivan: 15:52
this was our 50th episode celebration. sake was the Izumo Fuji Junmai Ginjo. So if you’d like to go back and hear what we said about that sake, you can listen to episode 50, but we’re revisiting Izumo Fuji and today we are tasting the Junmai.

John Puma: 16:12
Excellent. Excellent. Yeah. I’m really glad that we’re, we’re getting to try another sake from this, brewery. I happen to really like the Junmai Ginjo,

Timothy Sullivan: 16:20
Hmm. Well, do you want to give us the stats for the Izumo Fuji Junmai?

John Puma: 16:26
sure, sure, sure. So, this is the Izumo Fuji Junmai, made in Shimane Prefecture. the seimaibuai or the remaining rice after milling is 70%. The nihonshudo is plus 4.5. So we’re looking at something pretty dry, not probably not going to knock our socks off a dryness, but it’s definitely gonna be a little bit up there. Acidity 1.8, that’s a tiny bit of a notch higher than we are used to. 16% alcohol. So right in the middle there, and yamadanishiki rice. And, um, we happen to know that they used a Fune to make this, uh, and if you really want to get into the weeds there shubo method, which we did a, I might say lovely set of episodes on is a sokujo.

Timothy Sullivan: 17:19
That’s right. So this is from Izumo City. In shimane and the Izumo shrine is one of the most revered and most ancient Shinto shrines in Japan. And they say that every October, all the deities from around Japan returned to Izumo and answer prayers from that shrine every year. And the Fuji of Izumo Fuji is Mount Fuji, which is the one of the ultimate symbols of Japan. So they named their brand Izumo for the city. And that famous shrine near their brewery, and then Fuji for the ultimate symbol of Japan through Mount Fuji. And this brewery is run by the Imaoka family. The current president is only the third generation and it was founded in 1939. So this is our baby in the world. of sake breweries? Reese?

John Puma: 18:15
Spring chicken. is izumo Fuji.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:19
Yeah. Yeah, and they have, I think, four or five brewers. So it’s a small staff and they are sticking with their old wooden fune. So these sakes are pressed using this more traditional method and that speaks to their overall philosophy of how they make their sake. They are not modernizers as far as the equipment goes,

John Puma: 18:46
as the opposite of some of our, uh, our brand focuses recently.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:52
Exactly. That’s right.

John Puma: 18:54
Very interesting.

Timothy Sullivan: 18:56
Yeah. Well, let’s get our Izumo Fuji. Junmai opened up and in the glass.

John Puma: 19:05
Yes, let’s do that. All right. So we’ve got this port, Tim.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:10

John Puma: 19:12
let’s talk about that complexion and color.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:17
Yeah, mine has just a hint of a yellow color to it. Very, very, very gentle yellow cast.

John Puma: 19:25
Yes, very central yellow cast. I am seeing it, you know, it’s very clear though, apart from that, nothing, no haze.

Timothy Sullivan: 19:32
No, no, no. It’s very clear. And let’s give it a smell.

John Puma: 19:39
Hm. That is really interesting. I liked it. I was expecting something a little bit more plain, a little bit more pure ricey, given the 70%, but this is a lot more interesting than that. Isn’t it?

Timothy Sullivan: 19:55
Yeah. It’s, it’s primarily fruity in nature. A little bit of, I get, you know, normally we say like melon or honeydew, but I get pear. If you think about like apple or pear that crisp, seeded fruit.

John Puma: 20:13
Like, uh, like Asian pear specifically, or like

Timothy Sullivan: 20:16

John Puma: 20:17
uh, like a honey crisp apple almost.

Timothy Sullivan: 20:21
All right. Well, it smells delicious. It looks delicious. I’m gonna go ahead and give it a taste. Hmm, very interesting. More ricey-ness coming across on the palate. you know, it’s interesting back of the bottle says this is an ‘Umami” type sake with a ricey sweetness on the palate and a crisp finish. And I was like, how umami driven, can it be with this aroma of this like pear and apple aroma, but there’s this base note of rice on the palate and just a hint of fruitiness around the edges of the flavor, but primarily. It’s a very pleasant and very grounded rice flavor. And this is, I don’t know if you agree with me, John, but this is not umami driven. The way that a Kimoto or Yamahai or super funky ricey one is going to be. This is more, a very gentle, soft and pleasing rice aroma, and a hint of fruitiness on the edges of that. And just really lovely. Yeah. Uh, there’s a depth here too, that I really like.

John Puma: 21:34
Yeah. am also surprised when I was, uh, smelling it earlier, I was expecting a lot of rice. I didn’t get it. and then when I sip it, there’s the rice. And, and, you know, as you mentioned, the fruit is still there. I think it’s still present. It’s still at the edge. It’s still saying hello, but the rice be kind of becomes the star and there is a nice bit of depth to it. And the dances with that fruitiness, it’s really nicely balanced and there’s a lot of interesting things going on. Nothing really. distracts from the rest. It’s really in harmony. And it honestly does remind me an awful lot of the Junmai Giinjo, uh, which I think is almost, it’s almost like a drier version of that. That’s one thing I’m getting from this. The one thing I’m really noticing is that it is quite right.

Timothy Sullivan: 22:27
That’s a great way to put it. I really liked that, John, but the, the other thing I want to call your attention to is the acidity. And I find that that acidity comes through at the end to kind of button everything up. Really unique, really interesting sake and super delicious.

John Puma: 22:44
I don’t get as much of the crisp finish that they described in the tasting note. I do think that, you know, the acidity does, perhaps have it linger a little bit. usually when we, when we say crisp on the show, when we talk about it, we’re talking about something that kind of is an, is a definitive finish and kind of sometimes leaves you a little wanting for more, but also like ends. Flavoring, I kind of almost definitively and sets you up for whatever you’re going to do next. Be it food or more sake. Uh, and here I am feeling like it’s lingering, after that acidity still very pleasant, still, really nice, but just a little bit different than, than some of that. Some of that language came across or though just what I’m getting out of it knows I’m just one guy.

Timothy Sullivan: 23:32
Yeah. Well, it’s a really interesting interpretation of what Yamada Nishiki can do. It’s giving us the fruitiness in the aroma, a nice riceyness on the palate, bright acidity on the finish, just all around. Super interesting and engaging. Not boring, not light, just something it’s like a sake. You can really sink your teeth into. That’s super easy drinking. I love it.

John Puma: 24:02
Now, let’s talk about food for a minute, what are your thoughts?

Timothy Sullivan: 24:06
Well, it’s super approachable. Junmai sake. And like I said, very interesting, good depth of flavor. And I think you could pair very widely and broadly with this, and this is one of those sakes that you can kind of bring in and it’s a clutch hitter,

John Puma: 24:27
Okay. All right. Okay. I think I see what you’re saying

Timothy Sullivan: 24:29
I’m just, I’m thinking about my favorite foods, which is like yakitori, which I love. And I think that would be fantastic with this.

John Puma: 24:36
Hmm. All right. So you’re saying this is a bit of a Jack of all trades, then as far as food pairing.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:41
Absolutely. I think this is a real pinch hitter and you can, you can bring it in. And this is a sake I would bring to a party if I didn’t know what they were serving. I think this is a pleaser

John Puma: 24:53
love the way you put that. That is fantastic.

Timothy Sullivan: 24:55

John Puma: 24:58
Yeah. I don’t know if it’s a, it was just me, but I desperately want to have this with some, with some sort of like a katsu.

Timothy Sullivan: 25:07

John Puma: 25:08
I just, I’m just feeling, I just feel like it’s going to play really well with, with the crispiness and the oil a little bit. And I just think it’s going to, it’s just making me think, uh, like pork katsu or something like that

Timothy Sullivan: 25:21
and that, that katsu sauce, that brown sauce that they put on katsu it’s come on. It’s the most delicious part. And it’s, it’s umami. Distilled umami. And that would bring out the bottom note of this sake, that, that hint of umami that you get on the mid palate that would really come out with that katsu sauce that I love. Oh my God. It’s so good. katsu is one of my favorite Japanese foods love it. that’s a good call to that katsu.

John Puma: 25:53
I’ve been a fan, but I really developed much more of an appreciation for it over the past year or so. And so I don’t know why, but right now I’m just like, oh, this, this sake just makes me think of that particular dish. And it’s giving me strong, strong desires for it.

Timothy Sullivan: 26:11
how do you feel about the katsu? Sando

John Puma: 26:14
I am somewhat inexperienced with the katsu.

Timothy Sullivan: 26:17
what we have to

John Puma: 26:18

Timothy Sullivan: 26:19

John Puma: 26:21
but I’ve enjoyed both of them.

Timothy Sullivan: 26:23
So the katsu Sando for our listeners who may not know It’s a deep fried breaded pork cutlet sandwich. So you get some nice soft white bread. You get the panko crusted, pork cutlet, maybe some shredded cabbage on there. And then that delicious sauce. It’s so good.

John Puma: 26:46
I have to say, I took me a little bit of, um, it took me a little bit of encouraging to go there because in my head I felt like, you know, it’s like, to breaded for cutlet and am I am like that’s, it’s already breaded. It’s already has the bread. I do not need the, does not need additional bread. Uh, I, I do realize that that chicken parm is a thing. Guys, you don’t have to write in. So, uh, for me, yeah, I just I’m just like, well, you know, no, I don’t know about putting bread on bread. On breading. and then I did it and I was wrong and I needed to shut up. That’s

Timothy Sullivan: 27:19

John Puma: 27:19
down to. Sometimes you, you might think that something doesn’t work in your head and you try it and you, and you realize no, maybe I was wrong.

Timothy Sullivan: 27:27

John Puma: 27:28
This is really nice. So, um, so Tim, you mentioned earlier that, uh, you were not allowed to operate the Fune, but they did let you watch, that’s the next best thing to, to actually working at what, what were your takeaways from that? Did you have any, any fun stories from that? Yeah.

Timothy Sullivan: 27:44
well, it’s easy to say they take these sacks are these like pillowcase shaped bags and they fill them with mash and they lay them in the box. But how do they actually make that happen and watching it in person, it was a high wire act that made me very nervous and I understood why they didn’t want me. The the below, below the intern person, why they didn’t want me doing it? Basically, there is a pump that you have a flexible hose and the hose comes right over the fune. A and then there’s a special nozzle that has two handles on either side and you twist it one way and it opens and you twist it the other way and it closes. So they hold the pillowcase bag underneath that. They twist it to the right. And the mash flows into the bag, and this is all balancing above the fune box. And then when it’s filled to about 70%, they twist it to the left and it stops the flow of the mash into the bag. Then they have to hold the bag and gently lay it down in order stacking them like bricks. One next to the other one on top of the other. And they have to, turn the faucet on and off. Fill the bags while dangling over the box. And then when they’re filling the bottom row, they actually bend at the waist and are halfway down into this four-foot deep box laying these bags one on top of the other. And then they have a flip fold at the end of the pillowcase shaped bag so that the mash doesn’t run out. So they fold it under and then over so that it kind of seals the edge of the bag. And then they have to smooth it out and make sure that they are as evenly stacked as possible. And then when you’re all done and everything is all pressed out, guess what you have to do? This is, this is what they did. Let me do was clean the bag. So

John Puma: 29:45
Lucky you.

Timothy Sullivan: 29:46
when everything is pressed out, you have the unfermented rice Kasu or the solids leftover in the bags. You have to turn them inside out, get the kasu out, save that, and then you have to wash the bags multiple, multiple, multiple times to get every last micron of sake Kasu or the

John Puma: 30:06
and, and that’s an intern job.

Timothy Sullivan: 30:08
That was my job.

John Puma: 30:11
I have to say. I don’t feel so bad about not having done the high wire act myself. Um, number one, that sounds incredibly precise. And number two, my lower back is, is hurting thinking about this, but I’m just, ah, Ooh.

Timothy Sullivan: 30:25

John Puma: 30:26
not sound like a good time. It sounds like a pretty good way to build some upper body strength though.

Timothy Sullivan: 30:31

John Puma: 30:32
But wow.

Timothy Sullivan: 30:33
And let me just tell you one last thing about the cleaning job, because this was the cherry on the sundae for this, this work, the way you cleaned

John Puma: 30:42

Timothy Sullivan: 30:44
the way you cleaned the bags is called the fukuro punch or the. The sake mash, sack punch. And what you do is after all the kasu’s out and you’re you fill it with water, you twist the end, that’s open, you, twist it closed, and then you press it with two fists, like an accordion and squeeze the water through the bag. And. Pushes water through all the fibers to get every last bit out. And I had to do this for every bag we used. I had to do the fukuro punch. I had to do it three times for every bag.

John Puma: 31:22
Uh, is this just like water or it’s like a cleaning solution in

Timothy Sullivan: 31:24
No, it’s water. Just pure brewing water. That is it. And it is cold and it can get into your boots if you’re not careful. So.

John Puma: 31:35
So clearly we need to make a cocktail

Timothy Sullivan: 31:39
Called the fukuro punch

John Puma: 31:40
called the guy. Absolutely. What do you, why, why, why has this not happened yet? Fukuro punch needs to be a cocktail and well, next step, next week’s episode. We’ll figure out what the fukuro punch is. And then we’ll try to

Timothy Sullivan: 31:51
Yeah. Calling, calling all bartenders.

John Puma: 31:54
All bartenders. If somebody, please tell us what the fukuro girl punch is. if somebody comes at us and has an idea of what the Fukuro punch cocktail should be, I will make it on the show

Timothy Sullivan: 32:07

John Puma: 32:09
I’m putting a challenge out there. I want to, I want to do this.

Timothy Sullivan: 32:11
All right. Well, punch, it is all right. Wow. That was fun. Who knew that the Fune could be such a wild ride? ride

John Puma: 32:22
thought you were going to take the low hanging fruit and say, who knows? It could be so much fun. I didn’t say that that’s getting deleted

Timothy Sullivan: 32:33
Okay. Yes. I think we had a lot of fun with the fune.

John Puma: 32:40
Yeah, exactly. Well, that was, that was a lot of fun. Uh,

Timothy Sullivan: 32:47
Alright, well, John great tasting with us always. And I want to also thank our listeners for tuning in. We really do hope that you’re enjoying our show. And if you’d like to support Sake Revolution, the very best way you can help us out would be to back us on Patreon Patreon is our community of listeners and we are a 100% community funded podcast. We thank you so much for your support. And we hope to meet you soon on one of our live zooms.

John Puma: 33:17
That’s right, and another way to help us out in a big way is to. Give us a review on your podcast platform of choice that still has a huge impact. Uh, gets a show out there. People see it on their suggestion feeds and it gets new eyes on our show and it really does help. Also. It makes us feel good to read the reviews, I think. Right.

Timothy Sullivan: 33:41
Right on.

John Puma: 33:42
Excellent. So after you’re done writing your review, please then, uh, go out and tell your friends, tell your family, tell the family dog and get them all to subscribe. Scribing means that every week when we put out a new episode, that shows up on your device of choice and you don’t miss any of them, not one. It’s great. It’s a really good system. I’m big. I’m a big fan.

Timothy Sullivan: 34:06
And as always to learn more about any of the pressing topics or sakes that we talked about in today’s episode, be sure to visit our website, SakeRevolution.com for all the detailed show notes.

John Puma: 34:18
And we know you have sake questions that you need answered, and we want to hear them. Please reach out to us at [email protected]. We need those recipes and those recipes. until next time, please remember to keep drinking sake and Kanpai.