Regional Differences in Baijiu Style and Production
December 06, 2018
I'm probably going to refer to this table I made about baijiu a lot over several posts, so don't worry too much about taking it all in today. The table lists the properties of the four main styles of baijiu (strong, light, sauce, and rice). There are more styles than this, but they're mostly combinations of these four.
These properties are not legally binding, but general and historical properties based on the major producers of each region as described in the book Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits by Derek Sandhaus . I'll be covering a lot of categories individually here on Alcademics, but should you want to skip ahead, check out DrinkBaijiu.com.
Today I just want to mention the regions of origin of each of the four main styles, highlighted in pink:
|Region of Origin||Grains||Fermentation||Qu||Distillation||Aging|
|Strong Aroma||Sichuan||Single (sorghum) or Mixed||Earthen pits, continuous fermentation||Big qu, Wheat-based||Pot stills||Ceramic or sometimes stainless steel|
|Light Aroma||Northern China + Taiwan||Sorghum + rice husks||Stone jars||Big qu, barley + peas||Post stills, Erguotou second pot head, or Fenjiu|
|Sauce Aroma||Southern Sichuan/Moutai||Stone brick-lined pits, 8 cycles of fermentation and distillation, also piled||Wheat||8 cycles of fermentation and distillation||Ceramic urns, 3 years minimum|
|Rice Aroma||Southeastern China||Rice + glutinous rice||Stone jars||Small rice qu, with optional medicinal herbs||Sometimes in continuous stills||Limestone caves, in ceramic jars, sometimes infused|
So that corresponds (very) roughly to:
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