On all Japanese bottles of sake you will see a label on the bottom that says SMV followed by a number. This is the number that describes whether or not the sake is dry or sweet.
If the number is between +3 and -15 you have a sweet sake, if above +3 to +15 you have a dry sake. How dry or sweet? Well, the higher the number the dryer it is, the lower the number the sweeter it is.
To figure out the SMV or, “Sake Meter Value” you would use the following formula after taking your final gravity reading, SMV = (1÷specific gravity – 1) x 1443. By using this formula you can find out if you have a dry sake or a sweet sake, or even a neutral sake. This formula is used so that you don’t waste your sake trying to figure out if it is dry or not.
To find out if the sake is rich or mellow you would have to find the acidity level, this is done through titration. This process is the act of finding the acidity levels using a prepared secondary solution. The solution will react with the small amount of sake you have dripped into it until it is neutralized. The prepared solution will change color and indicate whether it is acidic or not.
Of course, I am doing a very basic definition of how this is done. You will need to brush up on your chemistry and get a few things to add to a home-based chemical science lab to find this measurement. In this article, we are not going to concern ourselves with this.
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