Kōji and water mixture (prior to mashing)

Before mashing (shikomi), a fixed quantity of water is placed in the mashing vessel, and then a fixed quantity of koji (and, only in the case of the first hatsu-zoe stage, also shubo,) is added and thoroughly mixed. The result is called mizu koji . It is done to leach out the koji enzymes into the water in preparation for yeast growth. It is normally prepared at 7-8℃, and mashing is completed one-to-nine hours later by the addition of steamed rice.