The process of Sake brewing

Gonda Sake Brewery prides itself on using a time honored traditional recipe to brew Sake.

Gonda Sake Brewery has kept uncompromising brewing methods since the establishment over 160 years ago.

We improve and enhance the traditional Sake brewing process while honoring the age-old methods we have inherited.

We nurture the Sake carefully and with the patience one invests in raising a child.

Our hope is to develop a rich local Sake that the people of Kumagaya-city take pride in.


01Rice milling

The Sake brewing process begins with rice milling.

In Gonda Shuzo, the milling differs depending on the type of Sake. In order to produce clearer taste, we mill rice grains down to 50 to 60% to eliminate the outer surface that results in impure taste. We use rice such as Sake-Musashi produced locally and Yamada-Nishiki as an ingredient. Sake-Musashi was developed after 12 years of study to find suitable rice for Sake brewing and is now cultivated mainly in Kumagaya-city City.



One of the indispensable factors in Japanese Sake brewing is “yeast” and we use the type of yeast developed locally in Kumagaya-city.

We take pride in using local resources for brewing at Gonda Shuzo.



After completing the process of Moromi, we proceed to the multiple parallel fermentation process referred to as Heikofukuhakko.

This saccharification process is uniquely carried out in the Japanese Sake brewing process exclusively, unlike other liquor such as beer and wine.

We allow the Sake to ferment for 30 days in this process while executing precise temperature control.



From the beginning, Gonda Shuzo has used a method called Funagake to extract Sake. This method allows the Sake to drip from a specialized fabric bag that contains sufficiently fermented Moromi laid out inside a wooden boat-like receptacle called Fune. It is a thorough and moderate method that takes several days to complete.

Using the Funagake method for Sake extraction, the fermented Moromi is placed in a special fabric bag and multiple bags of Moromi are stacked flat in a container referred to as Fune, which means boat in Japanese. This is a time-honored method used for years to separate Sake from Moromi and Sake-lees. It takes a couple of days to separate 3.5L of Moromi from Sake by letting it drip slowly from a bag. The Sake produced here in this way is considered fresh, or “Shiboritate”. After the process, there is only a small amount of Sake-lees left in the bag.
All Sake brewed and sold at Gonda uses this method of Funagake-Shibori.