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Pressing
"Assaku"

 Long Ago
The main mash was put into long bags("sake-bukuro"), and was separated into "sake" squeezed in a "sake" tank and caked lees ("kasu"). First, about 1000 long bags were squeezed. The next day, the main mash was squeezed again after being combined in a traditional press. Then, "refined 'sake'" was obtained by pressing it for one day and removing the caked lees. The photograph shows a press said to employ the oldest known method, i.e., stone-pressing: the force of the press (to add pressure with the weight of stones) was very weak.
Stick lever-type press

 Today
The main mash aged in the room for fermentation is set in a new-type automatic press and is separated into "new 'sake'" and caked lees (amount of pressing: 80000 liters/day).
Automatic main mash press

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