Ginjo 7 is Nova Brewing Co.’s project to showcase the potential of sake yeast Kyokai #7 when used in different beer styles.
As a hybrid sake/beer brewery, our goal is to introduce the world of sake to the local craft beverage community. The project started when we decided to brew beer like sake using steamed rice with simple pilsner grain bill, pitched with sake yeast, then fermented at cold temperatures as we would in sake brewing. Due to the yeast produces high amount of fruity esters at low temperatures, we noticed that the yeast performs similar to Belgian ale yeasts but produces aroma unlike any other beer on the market. We realized sake yeast #7 is a versatile yeast strain that can handle low to high abv and low to high temperatures and would provide unique flavors in different styles of beer. Due to our love for Belgian beers and the way the yeast performs similarly, we decided to explore 4 classic Belgian style beers using sake yeast.
What is sake yeast Kyokai #7?
Sake yeast Kyokai #7 (saccharomyces cerevisiae) is one of the most popular yeast strains used for sake brewing in Japan produced by the brewing society of Japan. It was isolated by a sake brewery in Nagano, Japan and started distributing in 1946. It’s particularly used in styles of sake called Junmai and is known to produce high levels of esters with strong fermentation. Kyokai #701 has good growth in cold temperatures which can easily withstand lagering temperatures, and it can also withstand high amounts of alcohol allowing usage for strong ales and imperials.
How does it differ from beer yeast?
Beer yeasts usually require fermentation temperatures between 50°F – 85°F depending on the style but sake yeasts are commonly fermented between 41°F – 55°F.