Last week I wrote about sake yeast but the post got to be longer than I intended so I cut it short. I left off a little of the more commonly mentioned information about the yeast strains collected and distributed by the Central Brewers Union.
You may recall from the last post that back in the early 1900s the Central Brewers Union in Japan started collecting pure strains from particularly good batches of sake. The Central Brewers Union then made these pure strains available to all breweries. These pure strains where given numeric designations. So far there are from #1 to #16 and the low foaming strains. Many breweries now use these yeast strains but many also use of private strains.
The following table summarizes the Japanese sake yeasts from the Central Brewers Union. Many of the yeast produce high acidity so their use has pretty much died out. These include #1-#6, #8 and #11-#13. This leaves less than half of those once in use. Of those left in use, sake home brewers have easy access to only two of them; #7 and #9.
|Central Brewers Union Yeasts|
|#1-#6||The acidity is too strong so use has died out.|
|#7||Mellow fragrance, strong in fermentation. Most commonly used yeast in the country. However, used mostly for lower grade like futsuu shu. It once was used for ginjo but was later displaced by #9 and now #10 in this respect.|
|#8||The acidity is too strong so use has died out.|
|#9||Kumamoto Kobo||Highly flowery and fruity aromatics / fragrance, solid fermentation. Many ginjo yeasts are #9-based strains. From kura Koro.|
|#10||Ogawa Kobo||Low acid, fine-grained flavor, strong slow fermentation that performs best at lower temperatures. Commonly used in Tohoku. From Ibaraki prefecture brewery Meiri Shurui.|
|#11-#13||The acidity is too strong so use has died out.|
|#14||Kanazawa Kobo||Low acid, pears and apples in nose. Used a lot in Shizuoka.|
|#15||Akita Kobo, AK-1||Very lively fragrance and characteristic nose/flavor; but needs to ferment slowly and at low temperatures.|
|#16||Hachiroku – 8.6.||Super fragrant yeast from Gekkeikan Brewery.|
|Awa nashi kobo – The Foamless Yeasts|
|#601||Same as #6 but with less foam|
|#701||Same as #7 but with less foam|
|#901||Same as #9 but with less foam|
|#1001||Same as #10 but with less foam|
|#1601||Same as #16 but with less foam|
|Well over 40 Non-Central Brewers Union Yeasts|
As for sake yeasts that are not part of the Central Brewers Union offerings, I only occasionally see references to them. I have not seen any structured presentation for them. So, I can’t say to much more about the non-association yeasts.