Our Passion for Tradition and Quality

KISAICHI’s 100 year history

Protecting Japanese food culture through vinegar making

Since founded in 1921, KISAICHI has been maintaining its skills and technology to develop products in pursuit of quality, safety, and health. In particular, we are focusing on brewing sake lees vinegar for Edomae sushi, and we continue to preserve the traditional production of sake lees vinegar with the surface fermented method using wooden barrel.

The traditional lees vinegar fermented in a wooden barrel is a the real treasure of Japan.
We would like to deliver the flavor and taste to Sushi chefs continuously.
And we would like the people tasting sushi to feel its history and inspiration.
With that passion in mind, we are working on making vinegar every day. Our motto is “learn the way from the wooden barrel”.

The Key of “light and pure; mellow and aromatic” is Sake lees

Japanese sake is closely related to vinegar making. In order to make the clear and pure taste of Ginjo sake and Junmai ginjo sake, it is important to ferment it at low temperatures and squeeze the fermentation broth gently and carefully. And, the broth after gently squeezed becomes sake lees, which contains rich Umami essence such as the rice starch and the undecomposed protein. Using the high-quality sake lees, we make the sake lees vinegar and the red vinegar. In the way, KISAICHI’s vinegar is “light and pure; mellow and aromatic”.

Our Manufacturing Method of Vinegar

Traditional Fermentation Method using the wooden barrel “Ohoke” (The surface fermentation method)

The sake lees vinegar prepared in a wooden barrel is a feature of Kisaichi. We use Ginjo sake lees from the brewery in the Echigo area, famous for its light and dry Ginjoshu. We begin with maturing the sake lees at our factory for more than three years to strengthen their Umami and flavor.

After the maturing process, we extract only the umami ingredients from it, and put in wooden barrels with the brewing alcohol made from sugar cane. And, we add our own acetic acid bacterium which has been passed down for generations. This acetic acid bacterium slowly breaks down the alcohol into vinegar over two to three months. After the fermentation, the stock solution is transferred to the other wooden barrels and aged for another two to four months to finish a rich lees vinegar with a cedar aroma.

Technological Fermentation Method using the Acetator (The aerobic submerged fermentation method)

Reserving tradition, Kisaichi also actively incorporates the latest technology. One of them is a German-born technology called “the aerobic submerged fermentation method”. By rotating the turbines at high speed at the bottom of the tank and supplying air while generating fine bubbles like beer, the system allows acetic acid bacteria to proliferate in liquids. The fermentation efficiency is higher than that of the surface fermentation method, and the stock solution in the tank can be vinegared in 24 hours.

This fermentation method is used in the production of pure rice vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar becomes more than 10%, resulting in a refined and pure flavor.