The Story of the Sake that went to Space!

How did all of this start?

On the 5th of June 2021, a rocket carrying Yeast F7-01, also known as “Utsukushima Yume Yeast”, took off from the NASA Kennedy Space Centre in Florida USA, and subsequently safely docked on the International Space Station (ISS) on the same day. Just like this, the yeast stayed into continuous orbit in space for nearly a month (37 days to be exact!) before returning back to Earth on the 8th of July 2021 via the SpaceX Dragon Supply Ship. This out-of-the-world (literally) “space yeast” was handed over to NINKI INC, also known as Ninki-Ichi Sake Brewery, where it was used to brew sake with. 

Born out of this extraordinary yeast is the Ninki-Ichi “I went to Space” Junmai Daiginjyo Sake (人気一 宇宙に行ってきました 純米大吟醸 ). It carries flavors of Bubblegum and Strawberry with a touch of acidity. You might also smell a hint of banana and melon scent that originates from the yeast, giving off a unique fruity and gorgeous aroma. "I went to Space" sake is the only product that allows you to feel the romance of space that cannot be found in any other sakes. It is a product with dreams, so please enjoy it!

The Space sake was launched in line with the 10th anniversary of the Great Tohoku disaster as a commemoration to those who have suffered from the devastating effects that struck Fukushima prefecture in 2011. NINKI INC hopes for the sake to be remembered as a form of gratitude to all who have supported Japan in their reconstruction efforts since the disaster, as well as to garner more support to reconstruct Tohoku. “If you can drink this space sake and support the recovery, it will be a great encouragement for us, the people of Tohoku,” said Mr. Yujin Yusa, the president of NINKI ICHI brewery.

What’s so special about the F701 “Utsukushima Yume Yeast”?

The Utsukushima Yume Yeast, also known in the industry as Yeast F7-01, hails all the way from Fukushima prefecture, Japan. The mother of F7-01 Utusukushia Yume Yeast is Kyokai no.7 (also known as Yeast No 7), which is said to produce sake with an elegant fruity aroma and smooth taste. However, the F7-01 yeast is said to produce about 4 times more Ethyl Hexanoate than Kyokai no.7. Ethyl Hexanoate is responsible for the floral or fruity aromas that you smell in sake, so if you love floral and fruity sake notes, this space sake is made for you! 

The main attraction point of this yeast is that it has been sent to space, so taking a sip of the sake is practically like having a taste of the wonders and dreams of space. According to our interview with Mr. Yujin Yusa, they compared between the normal "Utsukushima Yume Yeast" and the returned space yeast and found that the returned space yeast tasted better. Hence, they decided to commercialize the space yeast as the Space Sake.

More about NINKI INC BREWERY

Founded in 1897, NINKI INC aims to inherit and develop the shochu and sake culture from Tohoku and Fukushima, and strive to establish a rich and unique drinking lifestyle for customers. They strictly believe in developing, manufacturing, and selling safe, high-quality, and original products. NINKI INC uses many interesting methods in sake brewing, so let’s find out more about them. 

NINKI INC only brews Ginjyo Style Sake using a wooden tank known as Kioke Jikomi. These wooden tanks are made from 100-year-old cedar trees in a process refined by Japanese artisans for over 400 years. Because of this specialization, there are now very few people who have mastered the techniques of making these tanks. So why does NINKI INC still decide to rely solely on wooden tanks? The reason behind this is simple - to express the individuality of popular sake brewing that is not found in metal tanks. Micro-organisms such as yeast and lactic acid soak into the grain of wood, adding a unique complexity and creating a sake that tastes powerful and strong. These traditional methods add to the immense depth and complexity to the sake, something that cannot be achieved using modern techniques. When you consider sake brewing a cultural art, it makes no sense to modernize the tools.

NINKI INC also takes a unique approach to their sake storage method. When stored in a storage tank, oxidation progresses rapidly as storage tanks cannot completely separate liquor and air. Overtime, the stored sake will deteriorate and affect the taste of the sake. In order to prevent this, NINKI INC completely disregards storage tanks and only stores their sake in bottles. This method suppresses oxidation since there is only a small amount of air in the bottle, maintaining the quality and lifespan of the sake. Since the sake is kept airtight in bottles, it has no contact with oxygen, and so decanting after bottling allows the sake to mix extensively with air all at once. This helps to bring out the sake's natural smooth sweetness.

NINKI INC hopes to continue to focus on new products that fit our modern life, such as sparkling sake and sake that we drink in wine glasses. They want to expand the sake industry and strive to push sake as a liquor that is distributed and drunk all over the world, just like popular wine and beer.

Don't Miss It!

Only 3000 bottles of this space sake were ever produced, only for sale in Japan. We are very honored to be able to import this exclusive sake to Singapore, though of a limited quantity. Because of the limited quantity, the sake will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis once it is launched on 22 June 2022 on Sake Inn. What are you waiting for? Shop here now!


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