Sake is sometimes referred to in English-speaking countries as rice wine. However, unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes, sake is produced by means of a brewing process more like that of beer. To make beer or sake, the sugar needed to produce alcohol must first be converted from starch.The brewing process for sake differs from the process for beer, in that for beer, the conversion from starch to sugar and from sugar to alcohol occurs in two discrete steps. But when sake is brewed, these conversions occur simultaneously… [source]

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