Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells viewed under the microscope.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the species name of yeast used for making sake. Yeast (called Kobo in Japanese) is the microorganism that is essential for the creation of fermented alcohol. Yeast does this by eating any available sugars in the mash and then converting them to alcohol and carbon dioxide. The yeast also gives of acids which convert to esters, thereby influencing the overall aroma of the sake as well. There are various strains of yeast that can impact the taste and aromas in various ways. Most brewers purchase commercially available sake yeast, however a few breweries will isolate and maintain proprietary strains of sake yeast.

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