When we started making Koji for Shochu distillation 5 years ago, we recognised the importance of the base ingredient. There is no where to hide when making Shochu, the craft really comes into play; the koji has to be great and fit for purpose (i.e not like Koji used in cooking), the fermentation has to be managed perfectly to produce all of the compounds and esters you desire, and then you have a single distillation with no adjustment to the final spirit. The spirit rests for along period and then the proof is in the results.
For our first release, we were fortunate enough that a friend (shout out to Matt @Melbourne Sake) introduced us to our idea of an ideal rice producer.
Reed & Co Owner/Distiller Hamish sat down and had a chat with Mac one of the family farmers from the Northern Rivers rice farm. They discussed farming practices, sustainability and of course flavour, koji and shochu.
This is low-fi a rough and ready recording of their chat, we hope you enjoy peaking behind the curtain and nerding out with us.