Shuzō yōsui・jōzo yōsui・shikomisui

Sake-making water; brewing water; mashing water

Sake making requires large amounts of high quality water, and the term shuzo yosui (酒造用水, literally “sake-making water”), indicates all of the water used. This water is classified by specific use, such as water for washing rice, soaking, mashing and so on. Water used in brewing proper is called jozo yosui, (醸造用水, “brewing water”). So water for boilers and that used for washing tanks and brewing equipment is considered “sake-making water”, but not “brewing water”. In other words, the sense in which the latter word is used is narrower.

That portion of the brewing water which is used in mashing (“mashing water”, shikomi-sui) has a significant influence on moromi fermentation and sake quality. The following characteristics are held to be desirable for mashing water.


  • Contains a suitable quantity of potassium, magnesium and other minerals necessary for the growth of yeast.
  • Contains almost no iron, manganese or other elements which cause colouring.
  • Low in organic matter content.
  • Tasteless and odourless.
  • Colourless and clear.


Miyamizu has all these characteristics. The use of Miyamizu as mashing water and the fine sake which results from such brewing is one of the reasons for the advance of Nada sake.