Tips on Preparing NURU-KAN Warmed Sake

Preparing Nuru-Kan warmed Sake at the best serving temperature can be a delicate process, and doing so at a business establishment with consistency poses challenges. The type of Sake, flavor characteristics and food pairings must all be taken into consideration. So, below are some key points in preparing the best Nuru-Kan.

Start out by finding the ideal serving temperature range based on the Sake flavor characteristics. Here are the general guidelines:

Sake with dry and crisp flavor → low-temperature range
Aromatic Sake → low-temperature range
Sake with low alcohol content (13% or less) → low-temperature range
Rich, Umami-packed Sake → higher temperature range
Sake with high alcohol content (16% or more) → warmed up to 113 °F (45 °C)
Light and refreshing Sake → serve chilled or at most, body temperature

NOTE: Neutral flavored Sake that pairs well with food, and mellow as well as rich Sake, are more forgiving, thus can be served in a wide range of temperatures.

Preparing Nuru-Kan:

There are several ways in warming Sake. Keep in mind that warming methods affect the flavor and texture of the outcome. The traditional and one of the most common way to prepare Nuru-Kan is by pouring Sake into a Tokkuri ceramic server or a Chirori aluminum mini-pitcher, then setting it into a pot of hot water. This is called the Yusen method.

While there are automated utensils specifically designed for the task such as Kan-Douko and Kan-Dokkuri, a saucepan or a kettle over a heat source will serve the same purpose.

(Photo Credit: Hakkaisan Brewery Co., Ltd.)

1. Pour Sake into a clean Tokkuri or Chirori.

2. Select a saucepan large enough to hold
Tokkuri or Chirori. Add water to a pot, enough to cover the bottom 3/4 of Sake containers and heat.

3.When water reaches 176 °F (80 °C), reduce heat to prevent overheating. Gently place Sake containers.

(Photo Credit: Hakkaisan Brewery Co., Ltd.)

4. Insert a thermostat inside the Tokkuri or Chirori, lightly stir the Sake, and monitor temperature.

5. At the desired temperature, remove Sake containers.

6. Wipe off excess water from containers before serving.

If transferring Chirori-warmed Sake into a Tokkuri server, pre-warm the Tokkuri to prevent Sake from sudden cooling.

Important Tips:

  • Pot size: the larger the pot, the more water it holds, which means a more stable water temperature.
  • Amount of water in the pot: add water deep enough to cover the bottom 3/4 of the Tokkuri.
  • Heating power: adjustable and steady heat source is required to prevent water temperature fluctuations.
  • Preparing Atsu-Kan Hot Sake: for Atsu-Kan, heat water an additional 20 °C more than the desired Sake temperature. So, to serve Atsu-Kan hot Sake at 140 ° F (60 °C), heat water bath an additional 20 ° C which is 80 ° C, or 176 ° F.
  • Sake vessel: the size, material, and thickness all affect how the Sake warms up. Keep in mind that the Chirori aluminum material conducts heat very rapidly.
  • Temperature control: with each addition of a Sake filled Tokkuri or Chirori into the hot water bath, the water temperature decreases accordingly, thus will take longer to warm the Sake.

YUSEN Warming VS Sake Kanki Heating Machines

Advantages

  • Mindfully displaying Yusen warming process in view of drinking/dining guests creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere that’s visually enjoyable.
  • Sake temperature can be customized easily with Yusen, while not when using a Sake Kanki machine.
  • Verses Sake Kanki that exposes the entire content to heat, transferring each serving to Tokkuri allows restaurants to keep an opened bottle of Sake in quality condition.
  • Businesses can offer multiple Nuru-Kan brands, since they can be warmed separately, in one pot.
  • While Sake warming machines require maintenance and cleaning, the Yusen method does not.
  • Compared to Sake servers, Yusen method retains more aroma and flavor of the Sake.

Disadvantages

  • Yusen requires attention to water temperature management. Unstable water temperature leads to inconsistencies in Sake serving temperatures.
  • Having multiple Tokkuri’s with varying types of Sake in one pot can be complicated to keep track of.
  • Compared to Sake warming machines, the Yusen method takes longer to warm the Sake, delaying service to the customer.