The Making of Moutai
What is the Significance of 5 Years?
In 5 years, a sapling can grow into a big tree
In 5 years, a skyscraper can be built on a bare land
In 5 years, a spacecraft can fly from the Earth to Jupiter
Does it really take 5 years to make a bottle of Moutai?
Daqu – a traditional Chinese liquor fermentation starter, begin on the Dragon Boat Festival which marks the beginning of a year of liquor making. Daqu is prepared by grinding wheat, making fermented grains and through a fermentation process at the temperature level of more than 60 degree. After 40 days of fermentation in the warehouse, it will go through processes including: breaking up fermented grains, crushing sorghum, hot soaking, steaming the fermented ingredients, steaming grains, rapid cooling, stirring fermented grains, heat piling and fermentation.
The year-long cycle of Moutai liquor making begins at the traditional Chinese festival – The Double Ninth Festival. The process undergoes 2 cycles of ingredient addition, 9 cycles of steaming and boiling, 8 cycles of fermentation, and 7 cycles of liquor extraction making it more complex liquor making process in China.
After the above process, base liquor from different cycles will be stored in large clay pots. Some of it is stored for a minimum of 3 years while some has already been stored for decades. After 2 years of storage, the base liquor is retrieved. When it has mature, mellow and stable, different proportions of the various base liquor are then made into a fine blend. After another 6 months of storage, packaging is the final step before a bottle of Moutai is born which involves a series of process namely bottle cleaning, bottling, placing lids, tying ribbons, putting on labels, and lastly affixing batch codes.
Now you know why is takes at least 5 years to a make a bottle of Moutai. It undergoes 30 processes, involving 165 steps!
Source Reference: Video from Moutai China