Sorghum, rice, wheat, barley and sticky rice and peas are mixed and steamed together. Such process gelatinizes the grains and breaks down their cellular walls, allowing interaction with the yeasts and other microorganisms in qu, a starter culture made from fermented grains. After steaming, the grain is carefully raked onto a flat surface to cool.
Yanghe Distillery locates in the Capital of Baijiu -- Suqian, a city adjoining three rivers, two lakes and one wetland, and known as one of the three world’s main wetland spirit-producing region. With the merit of a superior location, Yanghe fosters its unique style and quality.
As a saying goes, water is the blood of Baijiu. Good Baijiu and excellent water come hand in hand. Therefore, Suqian's reputation owes much credit to the quality water in the Hongze Lake wetlands. The water here contains abundant mineral elements and supplies the energy for growth and proliferation of micro-organisms that are indispensable to making fabulous liquor.
A pot of good Baijiu also needs fermentation in aged cellars. The local wetland soil is mainly flesh red, slightly acid clay with plentiful micro-organisms and microelements. The clay is ideal for the micro-organisms involved in the fermentation in aged cellars and thus becomes the natural source of nutrition for cellar mud.
Undoubtedly, the blessings of climate are also very important. The Hongze Lake wetlands where Yanghe Distillery is located enjoy an annual average temperature of 15℃ and average humidity above 80%. A pleasant climate, temperature and humidity offer the optimum conditions for microbial growth and proliferation in yeast, and enrich the liquor-making microbes in the air, which is especially beneficial to mellow Baijiu making.
Why is Yanghe baijiu so special? It is not only blessed by the great nature, but is also bestowed with time-honoured local history, culture and wisdom of "human and nature as a whole" on the wetlands. Without these, Yanghe could not be so impressive and enchanting.