First pressing of the year

The pressing of the first batch of the year is known as hatsu-age, and it is the custom in the industry to hold a celebration to mark the safe pressing of the first new sake (shinshu). Once the mash has matured, it is filtered with a filter press to separate seishu and sake kasu. This process is known as joso or funa-age. This latter term dates back to the days when pressing was done by stacking saka-bukuro filled with moromi into a wooden boat-shaped vessel (known as fune (槽)), then applying pressure from above.


Other key moments of the brewing season are as follows.


Moto hajime (酛始め).
The mashing of the first batch of yeast starter (shubo or moto) of the year. This is generally considered to mark the beginning of the new season, and is marked by suitable celebrations.

Marks the point towards the close of the season when the mashing of the final batch of moromi is finished, usually marked with special celebrations to give thanks for a safely finished mashing season.

The point at which the final batch of moromi is pressed, marked by festivities to celebrate the safe completion of sake brewing.