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Is there a yeast other than WYeast #9 that works?

I recently had the curiosity if there was a dry yeast that would serve as a viable substitute for the WYeast #9 smack pacs that I have been using… I have looked online for about an hour straight and haven’t come up with a solid answer. Anyone have any ideas?

Also, I accidentally ordered 4766 cider yeast this last time… will that work for making sake, or would I be better off giving the smack pacs to a friend to brew cider (or attempting a brew myself) ?

Any white wine yeast will do, though obviously you won’t get quite the same yeast character. White Labs also has the sake #7 strain available, though that’s kind of the sake equivalent of US-05.

So is the cider yeast a bust, or will it work?

Is the #7 a dry yeast?

My main question comes from the shelf life of the smack pacs (6 months refrigerated)… I was looking to possibly make a large order of a dry yeast replacement if it would last longer… maybe save me some money on shipping and also the hassle of making sure I have enough smack pacs in reserve so I don’t interrupt my brewing schedule =)

Hey Saketume,

White Labs #7 is a good yeast. It comes in liquid vials. I used it a number of times and I think it flocculates a little better than #9. It definitely has a different flavor profile. Much more banana-y.

I’m not sure what TMAK means, in regards to #7, by [quote]though that’s kind of the sake equivalent of US-05[/quote]

I’m also not sure if the cider yeast is good for sake.

Maybe you could do a big yeast starter of whatever sake yeast you get. Then you could use your centrifuge to make a yeast cake, decant the wort off, scoop the yeast out and place it in ziplocks / cold storage for later use :slight_smile:

That’s kind of what they do at Sake One.


Cider yeast should work fine.

Compared to #9, the #7 strain is much more neutral in character. Lower ester production at sake fermentation temperatures.

Thanks guys. So if I understand correctly, using the cider yeast will develop a different flavor profile than the #9?

To be honest, I don’t know enough about brewing to be able to differentiate between yeast and wort… I’d be rocking the proverbial monkey and football relationship…

I’m still not done with the centrifuge, but it’s progressing. I should be able to make some headway in the next several days. I’ll just wait to post my progress Monday morning… hopefully by then I’ll have at least one rotor completed. I’m really looking forward to having this project wrapped up.

I still stand by my educated-guess of using Wyeast’s 4021 Pasteur Champagne Yeast

Since making my batch, I sampled a couple store brands of sake and mine had a superior but similar ester profile so I knew that it wasn’t off the mark by very much. The first few weeks of fermentation produced a harsh champagne flavor, I admit, but this eventually went away and left a very flavorful, strong result. I plan to use it again in the fall and not change a thing other then adding a Red Star Pasteur dry packet to supplement the extra gallons.

Todd, what did you mean when you said “supplement the extra gallons” ?
I would love to use a dry yeast… it seems it would be much easier to store and maintain than the smack-packs, not to mention how expensive the smack-packs are…

Those smack packs are only enough for 5.5 gallons I think. I’d just add a little extra from the dry packet. Since Champagne is a mixed culture anyway, it shouldn’t conflict too much with the flavor. Yeah, I’m also trying to see how cheap a good sake can cost to make. Not sure about my yellow rubbery koji though, that might be a risk not worth trying in my next batch to save a buck or thirty.

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