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I know that many people are very concerned about foods, sake, any products coming from Fukushima. Please read the message from Daishichi Sake Brewery of Fukushima, Japan. You will know how they protect their sake and brewers from the nuclear accident. I visited them last November, and saw the systems. Also, I felt their strong love and pride for their work and products. I went there to encourage them as one of their supporters, but actually, on the contrary, their beautiful smiles and passions encouraged me….
Measures taken by Daishichi because of the nuclear reactor accident in Fukushima Prefecture.
The nuclear accident in Fukushima and the resulting contamination by radiation have caused worries in Japan and abroad. Hereby we would like to assure our customers that we have taken all possible measures to prevent our sake from being affected. We can state with the strongest conviction that our products are completely safe and radiation-free.
The measures we have taken are described below.
Location of Daishichi
The Daishichi Brewery is located inland, 60 kilometers from the nuclear facility. This is not a directly affected area, but because of the initial hydrogen explosion in March, radioactive matter was spread over a wide area, including ours.
Emergency measures taken at the time of the accident
|As soon as we heard the news about the nuclear accident on March 11, we immediately stopped air conditioners and ventilators and covered the windows and air ducts in plastic sheets to keep the inside of the brewery and storage areas airtight. In that way, we prevented that radioactive dust particles hovering in the air would enter the building.||
Permanent measures taken after the accident
★ We have installed high-performance filters on all ventilation openings and air ducts. No dust can enter from the outside.
★ We have installed high-speed shutters and air curtains at the entrances of the bottling plant and products warehouse, so that no air can enter from the outside.
★ We have obtained a NaI scintillation survey meter (Hitachi Aloka Medical) and thoroughly check the rice, the water and the products according to the standards set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
|（Photo: high-performance filter）||（Photo: air curtain）||（Photo: measuring equipment）|
The environment inside the company
The walls of the brewery consist of 25 cm thick concrete. In addition there are fire-resistant tiles and hollow concrete blocks, making a total of 32 cm of protection from the outside. The sake storage area has even thicker walls in order to keep the products cool. No radiation can penetrate these walls. As described above, we have closed all openings and doors with high-performance filters and air curtains. The environment inside the brewery is kept very clean.
About the water
| Our brewing water comes from a well inside our building called “Naka Ido.” Radiation can not penetrate the soil, even in Chernobyl radiation elements were not found beyond a few centimeters of depth. So the water in our deep well is safe – the more as it is located inside our brewery building so that there is no contact with the outside atmosphere. Since the spring of 2011, we have had this brewing water several times thoroughly checked with a germanium detector. No radiation matter was found.
Also, the tap water we get from the municipality of Nihonmatsu (used for washing our implements, etc.) comes from a deep well at the foot of Mt. Adatara and does not pass through any open waters. The Municipality of Nihonmatsu regularly issues monitoring certificates of the city’s drinking water and there has been no radiation matter detected in it.
About the rice
The rice Daishichi uses as ingredient for sake mainly comes from the Aizu-Wakamatsu area in western Fukushima (Gohyakumangoku rice), from Toyama on the Japan Sea coast (Gohyakumangoku rice), and from Hyogo Prefecture in Western Japan (Yamada Nishiki rice) – all areas distant from the nuclear facility. In Nihonmatsu we have our own rice field “Mutenden” where our staff produces organic rice. In 2011 we have not used this field, but instead have been busy with soil cleaning. We have obtained a NaI scintillation survey meter (Hitachi Aloka Medical) and throroughly check the rice according to the standards set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Based on our own strict rules, we only buy rice from areas where no radiation has been found and check this per lot and producer thoroughly by once again measuring it ourselves. We also measure the rice after it has been polished in our factory and we again measure the finished sake. So there are double and even triple checks. We also operate a machine that checks the color of the rice grains, and removes all foreign elements from the white rice, including green and bad grains. In other words, we only use carefully selected, excellent grains. We put our utmost efforts in guaranteeing the safety of the rice we use.
Our top products as the ginjo sakes Myoka Rangyoku, Houreki, Shoka, Minowamon, Masakura and Kaiden and the plum sakes Gokujohin and Kimoto Umeshu are bottled immediately after fermentation and pressing and put in cool storage for maturation and shipping. Our Kimoto sake is known to mature with time and spends ample time in our warehouse. The above mentioned products being shipped now are brewing year (BY) 2007 for the Myoka Rangyoku, BY 2009 for the ginjo sakes, and BY 2010 for the plum sake. These products are completely free from any influence of the nuclear accident.
Our Junmai Kimoto, Junmai Kimoto CLASSIC, Junmai Kimoto Yamada Nishiki, Karakuchi Kimoto, Kimoto and Seishu Daishichi are kept in storage tanks after fermentation, for periods of 10 months to several years in order to mature. When these products are ready for drinking, we bottle and ship them. Products now being sold all date from BY 2010 or earlier.
Only our Yukishibori Namagenshu and Yukishibori Sparkling Nigori were produced in 2011. Of course, we have thoroughly checked the ingredients and produced the sake under completely safe conditions. A radiation check by the Hightech Plaza of Fukushima Prefecture (with a germanium detector) has found no radiation whatsoever. We will also have our other new products checked by outside, public organisations.
On top of that our bottling facility is the first anoxic bottling line in Japan. Bottling takes place in anoxic, hermetically-sealed conditions and there is no contact between the sake and the air outside. As described above, on top of that we keep a clean environment by the use of high-performance filters and air curtains.
★★All Daishichi’s products are safe★★
As demonstrated above, we can state with conviction that all Daishichi’s products are completely safe.
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NYC: January 2012 Hakkaisan Restaurant Week
January 23rd to January 29th 2012
Start your year off right by joining us for Hakkaisan Sake Restaurant Week from January 23rd to 29th in NYC. You can get some amazing specials that feature Hakkaisan Sake sold at a special price! The participating restaurants this month include Sun Chan and Decibel. For updates be sure to Like us on Facebook!
Lots of love, sake, and shochu to all of you on the planet!!
新川 智慈子 Chizuko Niikawa-Helton
President, Kiki-Sake-Shi (Certified Sake Sommelier by Sake Service Institute)
SAKE DISCOVERIES, LLC
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