At over 200 pages, even though it was printed in 1992 Sake USA by Fred Eckhardt remains in such high demand that used copies go for quite a premium price. This is one of the only books on the English language market to talk in depth about how to brew sake.
This book is definitely the most technical of the books I own on sake. Where other books take a friendly, casual tone in helping you learn about the Japanese rice beverage, Sake USA is full of charts and graphs which can at times be hard to understand. On the other hand, this book has some GREAT photographs in it. You get to see a variety of sake set styles, and in depth pictures of how sake is made. A photo really is worth a thousand words!
For example you get to see photos of polished and unpolished rice side by side. You get photos of what the different stages of sake production look like, and some of the more famous breweries.
There are step by step instructions - with photos - to make your own sake, letting you know everything from how to cook the rice to how to handle the finishing. You even get instructions for making special flavored sake.
The Appendices are thorough in listing a glossary of terms, a bibliography, charts of conversion tables, and other helpful information.
This is a DENSE book and it doesn't even go into the traditional "fluff" that dates quickly, like lists of current bottles to drink, sake bars that are open, stores to buy sake in, or so on. Even though this book is from 1992, it is still completely useful. Anyone who wants to make their own sake definitely should get this book. Someone who wants an in depth look at how sake is made - including photos! - will be really happy with this.
The downside here is that it is written for that technical market. Casual readers who just want a "quick and easy primer to sake" probably want to go for one of the other books on the market with that aim. This book is for those serious about how sake is made, and it does its job well.
Author: Fred Eckhardt
Publisher: Fred Eckhardt Communications
ISBN Number: 0960630287
Buy Sake USA from Amazon.com
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