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Sake Ingredients: Yeast the Unsung Hero of Sake Brewing

The conclusion of the Sake Ingredients mini-series with an interview with Andrew Russell about sake yeast, which he calls an unsung hero of sake brewing. Andrew moved to Japan from Scotland to pursue his interest in what he described as “a fascinating and multifaceted country” and fulfil his dream of becoming a sake brewer. He started working as kurabito, a sake brewery worker, first at a small brewery on the outskirts of Okayama prefecture and then at iconic Imada Shuzo, a sake brewery located in Hitroshima prefecture.

Imada Shuzo is famous not only for its amazing sake Imada Fukucho, but also for its toji, Miho Imada, who has been recently named one of the 100 most influential women by BBC.

Don’t forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.

Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.

Episode’s Content:

  • Andrew Russell: introduction and 3 memorable sake
  • Kurabito’s Life
  • Role of sake yeast in sake brewing
  • Is sake yeast different from other yeasts?
  • History of sake yeast
  • How yeast affects sake
  • Popular and interesting sake yeasts
  • Foamless yeast
  • Future development of sake yeast
  • Sake of the episode: Tamagawa ‘Red Label’ Yamahai Genshu Junmai

Sake mentioned:
Tamagawa ‘Red Label’ Yamahai Genshu Junmai
Kinoshita Sake Brewery
London Sake

Andrew Russell
Origin Sake

Imada Shuzo Honten
Imada Sake Brewery
Miho Imada

Music used:
Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown

Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz


Vocal: Svetlana


Alex is a London-based sake blogger, podcaster, IWC Sake judge and sake advocate. He is a publisher of the Sugidama Blog website and a host of the Sugidama Podcast. Alex has an International Kikisake-shi (Sake Specialist) qualification from SSI (Sake Service Institute). He sees his mission as expanding the awareness of Japanese sake among as many people as possible and helping the growing community of sake lovers to bring together beautiful Japanese sake and non-Japanese food as a way to build a better understanding between our cultures.

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