Moro-haku (“both white”)

The process of making sake using white rice for both koji-mai and kake-mai (and also the sake resulting) is called  moro-haku. Although this is taken for granted in modern brewing, sake was made using brown rice (genmai) in days when rice polishing (sei-mai) was more difficult.

By the Muromachi Period (1338-1573), temples in Nara had invented so-called Nanbu Moro-haku, using white rice for both koji and kake, but, prior to this, nigori sake known as kata-haku (片白, “single white”) – which used brown rice for koji and white for kake – was the standard.

Moro-haku became widespread in the first half of the 1600s. Developing new brewing techniques and using white rice at all stages, the methodology of Itami Moro-haku was established, and the low-acid sake was well received. Later, the development of sui-sha sei-mai technology in Nada made high levels of rice polishing (ko (long “o”) seihaku (高精白)) and the polishing of rice in large volumes possible, bringing further prosperity to the region.