1.Recommended for First-Time Sake Brewers
As the developer of MiCURA, I recommend "NANA" for those who are brewing sake for the first time. While our Crisp from the Kotohajime series, allowing you to create classic junmai ginjo with a basic three-stage brewing process, is a great choice, NANA is actually my top recommendation.
NANA might have a few more steps, but honestly, it's the most enjoyable to make. The guidebook (How to Brew MiCURA "NANA") is not only comprehensive but also fun to read, with its detailed information and more extensive photographs. Its quick production time of just 24 days adds to its appeal. Moreover, NANA simplifies the challenging pressing process in home brewing, allowing even beginners to confidently brew their own sake.
For traditional sake types like our Kotohajime series and X PRO, the final pressing step is crucial. Using a pressing tool, as introduced in our guides, is the most efficient way to extract the sake and increases yield. Of course, you can also press without pressing equipment, using weights, but it requires a bit of know-how. Our guidebook (How to Brew MiCURA) elaborates on these techniques, complete with QR code-linked videos.
In contrast, NANA offers an easy finishing method for those who prefer a casual approach to sake brewing, ending with an active nigori sparkling without the need for pressure pressing. Just using a strainer makes it incredibly user-friendly.
Active nigori sparkling sake, with its short shelf life, is a rarity even in Japan and nearly impossible to find overseas. NANA allows you to brew this unique sake at home, focusing on the possibilities of home brewing rather than its difficulties.
NANA is lactic acid-free, uses double koji (yellow koji (commonly used in sake) and white koji (commonly used in shochu) and is brewed in a seven-stage preparation process, which is unique for sake.
Crisp (Kotohajime Series)
For users who want to learn about sake brewing and want to start with the basic form, Crisp from the Kotohajie series is recommended. It employs the basic three-stage brewing process to produce a classic junmai ginjo.
Mellow, a variant of Crisp, enables the creation of a semi-sweet junmai ginjo. Both Crisp and Mellow fall under the "Kotohajime series," sharing the same guidebook (How to Brew MiCURA “Kotaohajime"). So by getting either a complete or starter set of Crisp or Mellow, you can easily use a refill for your next brewing session of Crisp or Mellow.
2.Want to Try at the Minimal Cost
If your priority is simply to find the most affordable option, then the Starter set is the way to go. While the Complete set comes with two dedicated containers (one for fmoromi and the other for pressing), the Starter set does not include any container, so you will need to prepare ones yourself. This is designed as the most budget-friendly option for those who are mainly concerned with price.
As the developer and provider of technical support, I would like to comment that there have been cases where users' self-prepared containers were not of the ideal shape or size, leading to a suboptimal brewing process. If you are going for the Starter set, please be careful in selecting the right container.
Please refer to:
Users who have already purchased the Complete set and have the containers, they can opt for the container-less Starter set when they want to try making other items next time.
For example, if you have already bought the Complete set for Crisp and wish to try NANA or XPRO next, you can opt for the Starter set.
※ Since Crisp and Mellow are products within the same series, they share the same guidebook (How to Brew MiCURA “Kotaohajime”). Therefore, if you have already purchased the Complete set for Crisp and want to make Mellow next, you can choose the refill.
Additionally, the ultimate way to save costs is to buy in time for your visit to Japan. Domestic shipping within Japan are much cheaper, and we can send your order to your hotel or the airport. Many repeat customers make bulk purchases in line with their visit to Japan, and we also offer simple wrapping without an outer box for easy packing in your suitcase.
3.Save on shipping Costs by Bundling Wisely
Our products, containing heavy and bulky rice, inevitably incur shipping costs. Over the past three years, international postal services like EMS and DHL have repeatedly increased their rates, and we have absorbed these increases as much as possible.
However, we reached our limit and had to revise our shipping fees in 2023. While some shipping costs have increased, we have strived to minimise the shipping fees borne by our customers by considering different pricing structures based on shipping methods and destination countries, customising combinations (grouping together or intentionally packing separately), and creating customised box sizes.
Here are some recommended combinations to save on shipping costs.
Some Products Featuring This Combination:
My top recommendation is the combination of Crisp and NANA, especially for beginners. It is also our BEST-SELLER.
People who love sake often appreciate not just the taste, but also the culture, stories, and brewing process and many other aspects of sake. Those who are already knowledgeable about sake and its production can learn a lot from actually making sake with their own hands, and their knowledge and love of sake can be deepened even further. We offer a selection of message cards with "Witty Quips" about alcohol, available in four different styles.
Popular Gift Items
5. Repeat Users & Hardcore Sake Brewers: Efficiently Trying All Items
For the 'hardcore sake brewers' who are deeply committed to understanding how different ingredients and brewing designs influence the taste, we recommend selecting multiple items cost-efficiently for simultaneous comparative brewing or sequentially trying multiple items.
Comparative Brewing (Differences in Brewing Design / Rice Types)
In the Kotohajime series, Crisp and Mellow use the same raw materials but have different brewing recipe, resulting in significantly different tastes. You can experience the exciting aspect of sake brewing, where different brewing designs can greatly alter the flavor. Brewing them simultaneously allows for comparisons of fermentation progress and taste evolution, making it an ideal method for those who love experimenting.
For the Kotohajime series, you can choose from two types of koji: Yamada-Nishiki and Gohyaku-Mangoku.
For Enthusiasts Wanting to Try All Items
For those ambitious brewers wishing to try every item, we suggest the following set:
Dear Hardcore Sake Brewers
Crisp Complete Set + Mellow Refill + NANA Starter Set + XPRO Starter Set
The Complete Set comes with containers, so for NANA and XPRO, you may choose the Starter Sets (Refills cannot be chosen as per separate series). Since Crisp and Mellow are from the same series, they share the same guidebook (How to Brew MiCURA “Kotaohajime"), so you can use the refill for Mellow.
For Repeat Users
There are products with perks exclusively for MiCURA members (repeat users).
For repeat customers buying refills, purchasing one or three at a time offers the best value in terms of shipping costs.