Due to the unique structure of a grain of sake rice, brewers are able to better control the type of beverage that their sake turns out to be.
A light bodied, floral and mildly sweet sake will have been made with less of the outer layers, a more polished grain.
A rich, umami laden sake will generally be made with a less polished grain.
A grain of white table rice, the kind that we eat, is generally polished to 90-92% of it’s original state, just enough to take off the brown fibrous husk. No more polishing is necessary.
A grain of sake rice, however, will be polished according to the following classifications:
- A Junmai classification requires a ratio of between 70%-60%. This means that at least 30% of the grain is polished away.
- A Ginjo classification requires 60%-50% remaining grain.
- A Daiginjo classification as stated above requires at least 50% of the grain to be polished away. How low you go is up to the brewer and the equipment he/she has to work with.