It is finally beginning to get cold, which must bring a collective sigh of relief from sake brewers all over the country. The unseasonably warm temperatures of late are not good for brewing sake. Since just about now is when brewers dig in and begin to brew their best stuff, not enough cold could spoil the party.

As the brewers labor away in the cold, perhaps you are kicking back with a glass of sake. Maybe it is even a sake recommended in this column. If so, you may have noticed the listing of a few "vital statistics" listed along with the description.

Among those would have been the seimai-buai. What does that number actually refer to, and what significance does it have? How does it affect the final flavor of the sake?