JAPAN'S KOCHI BREWERS SHOWCASED "DEEP SEA SPACE SAKES" IN HONG KONG
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Sake producers from Japan’s Kochi Prefecture have presented to Hong Kong connoisseurs some unique sakes made with yeasts that have survived extreme conditions in outer space and then in deep sea.
The unique tasting event was organised by Kochi Brewers Association in collaboration with a Hong Kong restaurant.
During the event, participants were served sakes made with yeasts that had been laid in deep sea about 6200 meters for 4 months after having spent 10 days in space onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in 2005.
Called "Deep Sea Space Sakes", some of the products were made by using Kochi rice strains that had also been previously sent into space.
Representatives from five Kochi sake breweries took part in the event online to guide participants through the characteristics of the space and deep sea sakes.
"The taste and texture of the sakes are special, they are different from the sakes I usually drink. I was happy to have learned and tasted these unique products that I haven’t heard before. Now that I have a better understanding of Kochi and I would like to pay a visit to the prefecture,” one participant told NHK TV channel.
Source: Kochi Brewers Association
According to reports in Kochi News, Kochi brewers started brewing Space Sake in 2005 using yeast that had spent 10 days in space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.
The brewers expanded their project in 2018 by sending the yeasts 6200 meters below the ocean surface off Japan.
The first tests in 2019 were unsuccessful, the yeasts were unable to survive the high pressure and low temperature in the depth of the sea.
The brewers tried again in 2021 and sent 11 strains of yeasts (including some non-space strains) to deep sea, this time all the strains managed to survive four months in the ocean.
Using those yeasts, Kochi breweries began brewing sake in October 2021. Six breweries brewed sake with yeasts that had been exposed to space and the ocean to create Deep Sea Space Sake, while four breweries used the yeasts that had only been given deep-sea treatment to produce Deep Sea Sake.
The Kochi Brewers Association was said to be planning to send another batch of yeasts into the sea to broaden the varieties of Deep Sea Space Sake available in the market.
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