N A O E S H O Y U
P R O D U C T I O N P R O C E S S
1. The soybeans are soaked and steamed to soften them up.
2. The wheat is roasted and cracked to open it up.
3 - 4. A seed mold agent called Aspergillus Oryze is mixed in together with the wheat and beans. This starts a seed culture called koji that is kept in aerated stainless chambers for three days at a steady temperature and humidity.
5 - 6. This koji is then transferred to vats, mixed with salt water and moromi, a bacteria and yeast to make a red-brown lumpy mash mixture.
7. This moromi is then left for at least six months to fully ferment.
8. The moromi is then painstakingly layered between nylon sheets in a huge 20 foot tower and pressed to strain the liquid out. This resulting liquor is nama shoyu, or raw shoyu. It tastes pretty harsh but also has a deliciously fresh, roast wheaty taste and aroma.
POINT: at this stage the only by-product of shoyu production (the dry cake left over from the beans and wheat after the liquid is drawn off) appears as almost pure fiber. It's an environmentally sound procedure that's sold off as a mixer for animal feedlots.
9 - 11. This liquid is then skimmed to remove oil, pasteurized and shipped in bulk to the various shoyu houses to be blended to their own secret formula, bottled and distributed.