Museum of Sake Journal Summer 2016 - Page 37

WHAT IS GINJO-KA AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? YEAST TYPE & POTENTIAL Since 1906, yeast selected for their desirable characteristics have been distributed widely by the Brewing Society of Japan as Brewing Society Yeast (kyokai-kobo). The Brewing Society manages the breeding and multiplication of yeast so that mutations are removed. This means they are a trusted source of the yeast types they supply. These yeast strains were first isolated by a certain breweries or chosen from the New National Sake Contest award winning sake held by National Research Institute of Brewing (NRIB), with the aim of improving brewing techniques and improving the safety of the fermentation process. Until the early twentieth century, sake was generally made using ambient brewery yeast (yeast attached to surfaces that live in the brewery). Over the decades, brewing techniques improved and it became more common to isolate yeast from the foam of one fermentation and use it to innoculate another fermentation, taking advantage of the more predictable performance of the isolated yeast. These isolated yeasts were particular to each individual brewery, giving their own aroma and characteristics which other breweries could not imitate. Yeast name Character Number 6 (Aramasa brewery) Strongly ferment, sharp acidity Gentle aroma Number 7 (Masumi brewery) Strongly ferment, Fruity aroma (Most commonly used for industry yeast) Number 9 (Kumamoto Yeast) Floral and fruity aroma, slightly lower acidity than no.7 (Most commonly used for ginjo sake) Number 10 Fruity aroma, lower acidity Number 11 Strong vitality, high malic acid Number 13 Character of number 9&10 yeast Low acidity Number 1801 Fruity aroma, lower acidity (Popular ginjo yeast in recent years) Shizuoka yeast Fruity aroma, lower acidity Abelia yeast(flower yeast) Fruity, sweet aroma Although the range of sake aromas may not be as wide as that of wine, the purity and elegance of sake stilll tends to amaze many wine lovers. To create a single melon aroma might be a simple request on the consumer side, but on the brewers’ side the battle starts from the very beginning with the choice of rice, with the added complication of Parallel Process Fermentation with microbials. To the novice taster, there might not appear to be a complexity of aroma on the palate, but there certainly is a great deal of complexity going on behind the scenes. Cheers and kanpai ! MUSEUM OF SAKE JOURNAL 37