Using Bread Yeast in Homemade Wine and Beer

You can use bread yeast in the place of wine or beer yeast in your home brew. You’ll be surprised at the results and you really can get an amazing quality wine or beer from normal household bread yeast.

Bread yeast is a wonderful thing, it’s what makes our bread rise create those lovely little air bubbles and taste so yummy. But you can also use in for home brewing.

If you search the internet you will find many varied opinions on using bread yeast in wine and beer and a lot of people say “no don’t do it” often complaining that the wine or beer will taste of bread. This is simply not true. There is also the thought that the bread yeast will not provide as much alcohol as normal wine or beer yeast, but using it in wine you can expect to get about 12% alcohol in your wine when it has finished fermenting.

Bread yeast and wine yeast are both bred from the same strain of yeast and people have been brewing with bread yeast long before it was bred for specific uses in wine.

If you choose to forgo buying wine yeast and wish to try your hand at home brewing with normal bread yeast, then treat it the same way as the wine yeast. You’ll only need 1 teaspoon of dried yeast per gallon of wine, get it started before you add it to your mix with the aid of a little warm water and some sugar. And leave it to ferment out as usual.

If you are still unsure, why not perform a test, mix up 2 gallons on your wine (fruit, water etc), and then split it into 2 demijohns, put bread yeast in one and wine yeast in the other, treat them both the same, let the wine ferment out, rack and clear. Once ready for tasting, try them both together and get a friend to try them without letting them know which is which and see which one is preferred. There may be a very slight difference in taste, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

So next time you run out of wine or beer yeast for your home brew and you can’t get to your brew shop why not pop down to your local grocery store and try bread yeast instead.

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Published in: Cooking


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