What is Important for Making Tasty Umeshu – Only One Tip

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We have reviewed in detail how umeshu is pickled.

In this section, we will check what is the key to making umeshu delicious and how it works. If you know the point where it becomes tasty, you can avoid making mistakes.

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Where Does Umeshu Become Delicious?

What happens when umeshu is pickled? First the liquor permeated the plums, then the rock sugar dissolved and diffused, and finally the liquor permeated from the plums.

In a nutshell, it is very simple: liquor goes into the plum and comes out again. So where does umeshu become delicious? How can we make a tasty fruit wine?

First, we will identify which points bring out the flavor of umeshu.

Behind the Part I: Fruit Ingredients Dissolve in Liquor

In the first part of the umeshu making process, liquor permeated the fruit. The liquor takes in the aroma and taste of the fruit. This results in a very rich and delicious plum wine inside the fruit.

Behind the Part III: The Ingredients of the Fruit Permeate Together

In the third part, the liquor permeated from the fruit. At this point, the ingredients of the fruit are dissolved in the liquor. The ingredients that pass through the cell membrane go out of the fruit together with the liquor. As a result, the ingredients of the fruit permeate the entire bottle, resulting in delicious plum wine and fruit wine.

Osmosis is NOT One-Way Process

In the post explaining the mechanics of plum wine, I mentioned that osmosis is both left-to-right (→) and right-to-left (←) movement. This is a surprisingly important point.

There is both left-to-right (→) and right-to-left (←) penetration. In the middle figure, right-to-left is more common, so the overall movement to the left is observed. From the link below, it is easy to compare with the original image.

For example, consider the story of liquor osmosis into fruit. In the big picture, the liquor permeates the fruit. However, if we look more closely, we find that some liquor and water, although a very small number, pass through the semipermeable membrane to the outside of the fruit. This liquor or water exits the fruit along with the fruit components. However, the amount of liquor that leaves the fruit here is negligible.

More important is when the sugar concentration is high and the liquor is going out of the fruit. Again, not only is liquor going out of the fruit, but some liquor is also coming into the fruit. The more liquor that comes into the fruit, the more of it will be able to dissolve the fruit’s ingredients.

The experiment shown in the next post also shows how important the osmosis is to be bidirectional. I believe that osmosis being a bi-directional process works to make fruit wine taste better.

Making Umeshu Tasty

So how can we make delicious umeshu and fruit wine? And what should we pay attention to in order to avoid failure in making umeshu?

1. Dissolve the Fruit Ingredients Enough

The first important thing is to make sure that the ingredients of the fruit are well dissolved in the liquor. Specifically, the first part is. The liquor permeates the fruit, dissolving the fruit components in the liquor. It is important to take sufficient time here.

2. Slowly Increase Sugar Concentration

The next important step is to increase the sugar concentration as slowly as possible. The more time you take to increase the sugar concentration, the more time the fruit ingredients will have to dissolve in the liquor.

And it is very important to increase the sugar concentration slowly, even when the sugar concentration in liquor is bigger than the one in the fruit, and the liquor is permeating through the fruit.

The higher the concentration of sugar in the liquor, the faster the liquor permeates through the fruit. In other words, the liquor comes out of the fruit more quickly. At first glance, it may seem that umeshu pickles quickly, but this is not the case.

Osmosis is a two-way process. We can say that liquor osmosis from the fruit means that if we compare the liquor coming in with the liquor going out of the fruit, more liquor is going out. In other words, the more time spent, the more liquor enters the fruit. This allows the ingredients of the fruit to dissolve more. As a result, you can make delicious umeshu and fruit wine.

What Important is the Concentration of Sugar

In short, we have learned that the concentration of sugar is important for making delicious umeshu. We increase the sugar concentration as slowly as possible. As a result, we can make delicious plum and fruit wine.

And there is only one way to adjust this sugar concentration. Mixing.

Never Overmix

The most common mistake in making umeshu is over-mixing. Over-mixing will cause the sugar to dissolve too quickly. And this means that the exact opposite of the “key to tasty umeshu” above happens.

Most umeshu making recipes only mention the process of filling the bottle. The important part of making umeshu is after that. Never over mix. A good rule of thumb is to shake once every few days until the rock sugar dissolves. And once a day when the fruit starts to float, shake the fruit once a day to pour the sake over the surface of the fruit. For more information, see the recipe on how to make umeshu and fruit wine.

Can I Make Umeshu with White Sugar?

It is said that rock sugar is necessary to make umeshu and fruit wine. This is because rock sugar does not dissolve easily. As a result, the sugar concentration rises slowly. So what happens if we pickle umeshu with regular sugar instead of rock sugar?

Normal white sugar dissolves easily in liquid. Therefore, the sugar concentration rises quickly. As a result, the fruit ingredients do not fully dissolve into the liquor and the umeshu does not taste good. This is the reason why people say that umeshu needs rock sugar.

However, we considered the mechanism of umeshu. Then, we found that the important thing is to increase the sugar concentration slowly. Rock sugar does it automatically.

In other words, we can think of it this way. If we slowly dissolve the sugar, we can make umeshu and fruit wine even with white sugar, can’t we?

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