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The traditional techniques of Shaoxing Huangjiu

2020-01-01

A few days ago, I had a meal with several friends of Beijing TV who were also fond of Shaoxing Huangjiu. Why is Shaoxing Huangjiu so excellent? What`s the mystery? Some people think that the secret is the water in Shaoxing, some people think that the secret is the unique climate conditions in Shaoxing, and some people think that the secret is the unique brewing techniques. Everyone has a point, and maybe there is no final conclusion. However, before we draw the conclusion, we need to talk about the traditional techniques of Shaoxing Huangjiu?

It can be proved by the wine vessels and rice unearthed in the Hemudu site that Shaoxing Huangjiu has a history of more than 6000 years. For thousands of years, brewing masters in Shaoxing have constantly improved techniques and formed unique brewing techniques: Using Jianhu Lake water, glutinous rice and wheat as raw materials, a kind of low alcohol fermentation wine is brewed through the saccharification and fermentation of various beneficial microorganisms in yeast and wheat starter.

Winemakers usually begin to brew traditional Shaoxing Huangjiu in the beginning of winter. The process is as follows: glutinous rice -- sieving glutinous rice -- soaking glutinous rice -- steaming glutinous rice -- cooling glutinous rice -- putting glutinous rice, clear water, rice milk wheat starter and yeast into the wine vat -- pre-fermentation -- post-fermentation (after pouring into the wine jar) -- squeezing -- static settlement -- boiling wine -- sealing the jar mouth -- aging. Because winemakers cool steamed rice by spreading them out on the bamboo mat, the wine-making method is called the [spreading method".

In the process of wine making, winemakers put cooled rice, wheat starter, yeast and water into a wine vat for saccharification and fermentation at a warm temperature. In order to ensure that various components can be produced duly in the fermentation process, it is necessary to mix all materials in time to adjust the temperature, send the oxygen into materials, and discharge the carbon dioxide. This is a key step which is quite difficult to master and must be checked by experienced winemakers in the brewing process.

In this process, saccharification and fermentation are carried out simultaneously, so it is called bilateral fermentation. The quality control process is complex and difficult. Winemakers should adjust in time according to various factors such as temperature, rice quality, yeast performance and wheat starter performance. For example, if the fermentation is normal, the proportion of various components in the mash will be balanced. The finished wine will taste fresh, soft and mellow and its quality will meet the requirements of various physical and chemical indexes of traditional Shaoxing Jiu. The pre-fermentation and post-fermentation of the spreading method will last for about 90 days. And compared with other methods of brewing semi-dry Huangjiu, the fermentation time of the spreading method is the longest. Therefore, the finished wine has a good flavor and high quality, and is popular among people of all walks of life.

After about three months of fermentation, the fermented grains have matured. At this time, the dregs of fermented grains have completely sunk, and the upper wine has been transparent, yellow and bright. It tastes fresh and mellow. And there is a pleasant smell of new wine without other impurities. It is worth noting that the fermentation has been completed if the quality meets the requirements of various physical and chemical indexes. The next step of wine making is squeezing which is aimed to separate wine from solid dregs. The wine squeezed out is called raw wine. However, the raw wine still contains suspended matters after squeezing. Thus, the static settlement must be carried out again to reduce dregs in the finished wine.

In order to facilitate the preservation, sterilization which is commonly known as [Jianjiu (boiling wine)" must be carried out. The name "Jianjiu" comes from traditional techniques of Shaoxing Jiu. According to practical experience, our ancestors knew that the mature wine was easier for preservation, so they boiled raw wine in an iron pot, which is called "Jianjiu". The effect of this step is to sterilize, which is aimed to kill microorganisms, destroy enzymes, and remain the various components in wine unchanged so as to prevent wine from deteriorating during storage. The other purpose of boiling is to promote the aging of wine and coagulate some soluble protein which will sink during the storage so as to make the wine color more clear and transparent.

The last step of wine making is [aging" which is conducted in a big vat. From ancient times, Shaoxing Huangjiu has been stored in the large pottery vat with a capacity of 25 kg. The wine can be stored for several decades in the pottery vat. And only when Shaoxing Jiu is stored in the pottery vat, will its flavor and taste be improved as the years roll on. However, there are also some disadvantages of storing wine in the pottery vat, such as high labor intensity in handling and stacking, requiring large storage areas, and more wine losses during storage. In addition, the appearance of the pottery vat is ugly.

ZHEJIANGGUYUELONGSHAN SHAOXING WINE CO.,LTD.
Business Type:Manufacturer
Product Range:Alcohol & Hydroxybenzene & Ether
Products/Service:Shaoxing wine , Fruit wine , Huadiao wine , Jarred Wine , Rice wine , Lao Jiu
Certificate:HACCP , ISO14001 , ISO9001 , Test Report
Company Address:Beihai Bridge Shaoxiang Zhejiang China, Shaoxing, Zhejiang, China

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