Te-Ire is an Australian Wild Ale made with multiple additions of fresh, handmade in-house barley koji. It is the logical next step on from Yabai Ne, an exploration of the interaction of koji and beer.
Te-Ire is literally the giving of hands. It is a term used in traditional koji making for the moment a maker interrupts the koji growth to mix and cool down the rice, soybeans, wheat or whatever its being grown on. It only applies, then, to handmade koji, certainly not for an industrially inoculated, mixed and grown one.
When making our barrel of shoyu last year, we pinched a portion of the moromi (mash of soybean/wheat koji + water + salt) and placed it in the mash of Yabai Ne. This resulted in a very interesting mouthfeel and flavour in the beer and is still one of the more fascinating beers I think we have made.
Te-Ire picks up where Yabai Ne left off by using koji not in the mash, but in the actual ferment of the beer. To make this beer, Chase and I grew up a batch of barley koji using shochu-specific tane koji (spores) and inoculated a wort with both our house culture as well as this fresh barley koji. By doing so we started a process a bit more similar to a sake fermentation whereby you have both starch to sugar (saccharification) conversion happening while the yeast is fermenting sugar to alcohol. Because of the koji's ability to break down starch, this beer fermented down to be completely dry. Not a scratch of starch remaining.
As in sake production though, we continued to add more koji and more wort to the ferment over time, with another 2 batches of barley koji and a number of wort additions. In March this year, after 6 months in this continuous fermentation in stainless, we racked Te-Ire to barrel for an additional 6 months elevage. We bottled it on 12 August 2021 and conditioned it in bottle for 7 weeks before release. It is 5.25% ABV.
At release, the characteristics of the shochu koij are present in more earthy funk rather than the fruity koji flavours associated with white-sake-specific spores. The aroma has notes of horse blanket, mushrooms, straw, corn grits and is musty and funky. The palate continues with earthy, dry and hay spice flavours with waxy crayon vibes and a smoky dark back. It changes dramatically as it opens as well, one to be savoured.
This is once again a quite pensive beer and a worthy (IMO) follow up to Yabai Ne.
The photo on this label is from the same hike in the Blue Mountains as the Reciprocity label.
Each member will receive 1 x 750ml bottle of Te-Ire as part of their membership.
We have an additional 93 x 750ml bottles available for Collective members to purchase on a first come basis from 11am (Sydney time) on Friday 1 October. There is a limit of 3 bottles per member.