山田錦
Known as the King of sake rice varieties.
About 30 % of the total production of sake specific rice.

五百万石
Slightly smaller than Yamadanishiki. Light aromas, flavours makes Tanrei Karakuchi style.
About 25% of the total production of sake specific rice.

美山錦
Grows in cool and mountainious conditions.
Sweeter, richer, and more robust.
About 10% of the total production of sake specific rice.

出羽燦々
Brand 'Dewa33' with local rice, water, yeast and koji.
Purity and depth of flavour with herbal aromas.
About 2% of total production of sake specific rice.

雄町
One of the oldest sake varieties since 1866.
Soft texture makes polishing difficult, but many ginjo sakes are made from Omachi.
Rich textrured, earthy and spicy with higher umami and less purity.
Delicious served warm.
About 2% of total production of sake specific rice.

米の構造
Husk: もみがら
Bran:  ぬか(玄米についてるやつ)
Germ: 胚芽
Endosperm: 胚乳
Shinpaku: Starch core

Non-sticky rice is consist of 80% amylopectin and 20% amylose (sticy rice is 100% amylopectin).
Steaming, gelatinizsation is the change of the starch molecule structure to easily break it into pieces.
Koji enzymes cut up the starch molecules into small pieces until sugar molecules are produced.
But koji enzymes cannot dissolve all the starch, this part is called limit dextrin.

Ideal soils for sake specific rice
・benefit from gluey substances, deposited by both plants and small animals, that help retain water
・contain a high percentage of clay particles (to retain water and fertilisers)
・Rich in nutrients especially nitrogen
・No volcanic ash

The rice growing year
3-5月  Growing seedlings 
 Seeds are not planted in fields directly, first grow seedlings til it grows to 15-20cm long.
 Farmers prepare the rice paddy and transplant the seedlings to the rice paddy.
4-6月 Transplanting seedlings into the field
 The seedlings are planted straight row to grow evenly and for easy weeding. If the field is overcrowded each rice will be smaller, if it's too widely spaced it does not grow even.
6-9月 Draining and re-flooding the rice paddy
 ・Constant floody paddy creates poisonous asids and gas which harms rice.
 ・Large grains grows in dry period.
8-9月 Appearance of the ear
8-10月 Ripening
 The quality and ripeness are assessibe by below 
 ・The color turns to gold
 ・3 leaves left on each plant
 ・15-20 stems in each ears
 ・The plant has  
9-10月 Harvesting 
  If the harvest is too early undesireble flavour remains in the sake, if it's too late the rice is too dry so it can be easily cracked.
9-10月 Drying, removing the husks
   The rice is dried until the moisture content 14-15%, then threshed to remove the husks.
 with this moisture content rice can be stored for long time. 

Ideal weather
Seedlings-appearance of the ears: Sunny and warm, 22c with sunlights and cool nights
Ripening-appearance of the ears: 20-25c in the day time and 9.5c in the night.
冷害: starch molecules branches, more glutinous.
暑い年: more protein and easy to crack

Quality of Sake spesific rice
Only graded rice can be used for premium sake.
・avobe special
・Special(Toku)
・1st grade
・2nd grade
・3rd grade
Graded based on 
・Moisutre content
・percentage of faulty rice(broken, cracked, or non-ripened)