Making Wine With Bread Yeast… Not!

Every so often we run across someone who is making wine with bread yeast. Yes, I’m talking about the plain ole’ yeast you pick up in the baking section of your local grocery store. And every time I hear of someone using bread yeast, the question that always screams in my head is, “why?”

There are so many advantages to using wine yeast and so many disadvantages to using bread yeast that I can’t imagine why anyone would want to use it. The only conclusion I can come up with is that there is a strong misunderstanding about what yeast really are and what they do.
Yeast is what turns sugar into alcohol. Yeast cells are living organisms that consume and digest the sugars. As a result, they excrete alcohol and CO2 gas. Along with these two compounds also comes various trace amounts of enzymes, oils, acid, etc. These are the things that give different alcohols their different characters.
The point is all yeast are not the same. How one strain responds to the sugars varies from the next. There are literally thousands of different strains that have been identified or developed as hybrids, all with varying characteristics that make them suitable or not-so-suitable for performing a particular task, whether it be fermenting wine or raising bread.
This brings us back to the bread yeast. Most bread yeast will ferment alcohol up to about 8% with ease, but when trying to produce alcohol beyond this level, the bread yeast begin to struggle, very often stopping around 9% or 10%. This is short of what we’d like to obtain for almost any wine.
Shop Wine YeastAnother reason making wine with bread yeast is not a good idea is that bread yeast do not clear out very readily or settle very firmly, either. They typically will form a low layer of hazy wine in the bottom of the fermenter that will never completely clear out.
Even more importantly, bread yeast produce alcohol that is plagued with a lot of off-flavors. The bread yeast becomes so stressed and has to work so hard that off-flavored enzymes and fatty acids are produced along with the alcohol.
There are several other issues with using bread yeast to make your wine, but these are the big ones: the alcohol, the clearing, and the flavor.
There are many, many different strains of wine yeast. These yeasts are bred over time to produce something of a ‘super’ wine yeast. Each one becoming the ultimate choice for tackling the particular type or style of wine.
Some wine yeast ferment to total dryness better than others. Some have better alcohol tolerance than others. Some put off fruitier aromas than others. Some pack more firmly to the bottom of the fermenter than others. Some wine yeast even have flavor qualities that make them ideal for fermenting one type of fruit over another. The list goes on and on. And it goes without say, they all do it better than bread yeast.
On our website, we have a wine yeast profile charts listed for each line of wine yeast we carry: Red Star, Lalvin and Vintner’s Harvest Wine Yeast. You can view these profile charts from a link on the product page for each of these wine yeasts.
The last thing I’d like to point out is that buying actual wine yeast to make your wine is not expensive. Currently, you can purchase wine yeast for as little as $2.00. I haven’t priced bread yeast recently, but there can’t be that much difference in price. So if you value your time and effort at all go with the wine yeast. Don’t try making your wine with bread yeast.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

94 thoughts on “Making Wine With Bread Yeast… Not!

  1. I know a few people, mostly homesteaders, who use any of the various bread yeasts to make their farm wines. Having tried such yeast and commercial wine yeast I have to agree with you. The homesteaders tell me they enjoy their wines as the bread yeast ferments them. And isn’t that what it’s all about, the enjoyment?

    • That could not have been said any better. There are so many variables out there that determine ferment flavour. Then again if it’s wine yeast for wine then so be it.

    • I like ve In Pakistan Stan where there a s No Wine Cilture,yet I have been brewing wine with Baking Yeast and have enjoyed the results.This year I tried a Cherry Plum wine,Mango Was be & Jamun(Java Plum or Jambolan)an Asian berry like fruit.Results were good ,strong,clear Red& White wines.Yu have to make do with Whatever is Available,so presently I am happy until I receive & try the Eine Yeast I have asked a friend to bring along when visiting Pkstn from US in near future.So far so good!

      • I use bread yeast for making wine all the time and it comes out way over 10 or 11%, which is what they say is about as high alcohol content is you will get with Reggie’s but that’s not true for my experience

        • Can you tell me how to make wine with sugar water and bread yeast? I don’t care how it tastes. It’s a project.

  2. I don’t know why some have problems with yeast. I always use cheap, bulk instant dry yeast (bread yeast) about 1 1/2tsp per gallon and produce real great tasting red, white or fruit wines. Frankly, I had more problems with so called wine yeast

      • the thing is, you can get a lot out of 8%. Now, if the author is writing with percent by volume, 8% is about beer strength. If the are writing with percent by weight its about double the strength of beer.

          • The answer to that question relies on a lot of factors. I’ve had problem fermentations take 6 weeks to finish. I’ve also had fermentations done in 3 days. So expect anything. But with that said, a normal fermentation will take 5 to 10 days. Additional time will be needed for clearing an such, but the activity is typically done in this time frame. I always rely on a hydrometer to tell me were a fermentation is at. Just because it slows down or stops does not mean it has completed so always check with a wine hydrometer.

  3. Read your reply Jack, but as a bit of an amateur cook I have often wondered about using wine yeast to make bread. Any information?

  4. Enjoyment comes in various form. From the Parker level to Joe Schei– the rag man. That said, some (I say, some–) folks will never be able to distinguish excellence be it Olive Oil, Walnuts, Tomari, Art work or bowls of chili. The cult of wine tasting I think, has gone beyond the majority of wine drinkers tasting abilities without some training. I often need help from my wife and will trust a woman’s abilities more so than most any male taster. It is a major challenge for most and some could care less.
    We all have favorites and we know what we like but of course, to compare a hundred dollar bottle of wine rated by a Parker or anyone of his caliber, cannot be included in the same conversation with "The Homesteaders" wine. I mean, I "enjoyed" my dad’s home brew made in a bath tub, long before many of you were born but comparing it with a Bomberg’s Rauch Bier would be tantamount to blasphemy. My grandfather used to swirl the bottle before he would drink that last swallow to capture the dead yeast floating at the bottom.
    Thank you Mr. Kraus, for your web-site, enjoyable and very informative still. You have come a long way since I purchased wine and beer supplies from you back in the 80s! I think I still have some hand written letters from you answering many of my stupid questions when I lived in Ohatchee, Alabama. I have long since given up winemaking but not imbibing and I have shared your web site with many!

  5. i make about 20-30 gallons of wine per year, mostly from wild fruits. all of it is fermented with wine yeasts. some are better than others, as we all know. but i can still remember my very first batch of dry apple…fermented with bread yeast. it remains one of the best apple wines i’ve ever made, which now totals over 30 gallons. perhaps it was that one in 5 or 10 times when everything came together for the bread yeast doing right.

    • While my first wines were made with “Bread yeast: I have cultivated a desire to make a more suttable wine, or a more sophisticated wine, unlike my spelling.
      It is always nice when someone who drinks a lot of top shelf wines, checks the clarity, then taste and looks at you and say’s You really made this? How? you get that with “Wine yeast” and a lot of experience

  6. i’m one of those homesteaders that use bread yeasts and i enjoy my home made wine, i make small amounts at a time about 3 gallons a month, which i drunk with my dinners meals. Also make a lot of rolls and bread i live in the country and i can buy a pound of yeast for 4.55. i use cash only no plastic cards and i have not found a place around here you can buy wine yeast. i may try some one day but right now i enjoy what i have

  7. My very first wine was a dandelion, picked in 1969 from the Andrews AFB air strip, My second was blackberry, both were fermented with bread yeast and resulted in exceptionally good wine. Currently, I’ve progressed to wine yeast with a much more mature result. Must be the enjoyment… and maybe the aging taste buds. The wine just keeps getting better.

    • I just picked my first wild blackberries after we retired and moved to WA. state. Where do I start making this berry wine please . What if I run through a blender and remove seeds for a rich puree , add sugar a little water and yeast . I made wine years ago when I was about 20 yrs old using a wine bottle , grape juice concentrate , water , sugar and yeast and a big punch balloon on top . I thought it was good but then I was as I say , 20 . Do you have a basic recipe for us ? Thanks for your help . Linda

  8. the homesteaders should make one batch with bread yeast and one with wine yeast .i am pretty sure they will not go back to bread yeast.I say make the best wine you can using all available resources. The better the product the more enjoyment derived from it.

    • I will take your advice and my next batch will be split in half. One with wine yeast one with bread. There’s to much debate over something that should be a simple choice. Most people using bread yeast do not care what other people think about there wine, only the enjoyment of making it and sharing it with family. But this comment was probably the best I read so far, try both. Use what makes you happy and what makes you enjoy making wine. All I know if I’ve been using bread yeast and had some wine sneak up on me. The flavor was so smooth, but the alcohol content was stronger then any $20 bottle of wine I’ve had. As for your $100 bottles and up, yall can keep not paying $100 for a man to make a bottle of wine when it sounds like he carries a stick everywhere with him.
      But I’ll gladly try the different wine yeasts, it will be a fun experience for me. Thanks for the comment.

  9. When I made my first wine over twenty some odd years ago, I had only old mountain recipes that did not involve the fancy yeasts that are on the market today. I don’t use it much any more, but in all honesty I don’t get the flavor or the comments I got back then. I also didn’t use a lot of the additives I use today. Some of my wine is outstanding. Some is mediocre, some just mild at best. But they are all good. Even when i use bread yeast.

  10. Wow! So many use the bread. I did at one time and now I realize why there was accumalation [precipation] in the bottles i aged. Thanks to all for comments. I started cranberry with difficult fermentation. Was very slow starting. Why????

    • Cranberry has a ton of natural enzymes that inhibit the growth of yeasts and molds. That’s why it is good for urinary tract infections. But it will start given enough time.

  11. My dad ‘showed’ me how to make wine and all he ever used was bread yeast, so that is what I used starting back in the 1960s. Didn’t even know that there was such a thing as wine yeast back then, and then like Terry, above stated – didn’t use or seem to need the chemicals I now add. But, there is an obvious difference, OR maybe I have just become more skilled and learned a great many things from the vintners I know who will willingly impart their knowledge.

  12. I have been making wine for many years and I have used all kinds of yeast to start fermentation. It doesn’t matter what kind of yeast one uses as long as you are satified with the taste results. Now I prefer using the yeast that is recomended by the winemakers for each bach that I brew. To all the bread yeast brewer try using the wine yeast just one time and you will be able to decide which yeast is better for you.

  13. I am one of those that have started out using bread yeast as I was shown by my father. I made my first batch of concord grape wine using it(turned out very good to an amature wine maker). My second batch was that of blackberry. that too turned out very good. Both were make with-out any other addatives (all natural). I hve now started another batch of brackberry wine, but this time I am trying out three differant types. One is a natural semi-sweet(using bread yeast), the second is a natural sweet(using wine yeast), and the third batch is a sweet with all the required addatives(using wine yeast). I have maintained a log on the three batches so as to be able to duplicate the one I like the best. Surprisingly, I had my father test the three batches, and he seems to favor the natural sweet with wine yeast the best. I tend to agree with his taste buds up to this point.

  14. thanks to all wine experience of now 8years in the game of wine making have discovered that the test of wine made using wine yeast will differ gsreatly from those using bread yeast .its unfortunate but t hose whho can anlyse the chemical acompostion you will tell the poisonous capacity is so high for bread yeast .strive for quality much as wine yeast is expensive compared to bread yeast.wish you luck my fellow wine makers

    • “chemical acomposition” “poisonous capacity” What does this comment even mean? Can someone remove this?

  15. I,ve used both ,all good results I do agree it clears up faster with wine yeast ,but bread yeast is cheaper ,and more easy to get ,wine will give you just as good of a buzz LOL ,no matter what you use.

  16. i live in the south where we have muscadine grape i have made wine
    with the wild yeast that on the grape gust added sugger came out ok i
    have used bread yeast to that was ok now i us wine yeast and all of
    the other wine making ingrents and it is a lot better if you have never
    had mucadine you are missing out on a great wine

    • Sssshhhh! Don’t let out our little secret, lol. Also, if you’ve never made wine from plain ole ‘sand pears’, then you’re missing out. Use the pears while they are hard. If you let them soften, you won’t get near the amount of juice.

  17. I live in the Philippines and have made over 1,000 bottles of various tropical fruit wine, more than half of it using bread yeast. I have used a lot of your Red Star and Lalvaln yeasts. The only difference I can see in the two types of yeast is that the wine yeast takes longer, maybe due to the small amount being used. I use three times as much bread yeast and rehydrate it. I have no problem getting 12% alcohol, but more than 12%, even using the wine yeast takes many months, maybe up to 6 months fermentation. I do get improved results using the yeast nutrient. The biggest difference is in the fruit. I have found that generally it takes a well rounded mix of 3 different fruits to get the best wine and the best fermentation. My favorite is a wild black plum, with mango, and one apple per gallon, these fruits contain all the nice acids for wine making. Watermelon for example will not make a good wine alone, you have to add acids or other fruits. I sure enjoy your products and advice enen though some of it does not work for me, and it’s interesting to read the comments of others. I will say one more thing, I do not like sulfites in my wine, it gives me a hangover that my all natural wines do not give me, sometimes if I have a sweet wine or one that does not stop fermenting, i simply pasteurize it 140 deg farenheit for 20 minutes.

    • Sir,
      Good morning,
      Had you tried tomato wine already? I do have a research and I’m anxious about it’s result. I was given only a month to ferment. What bread yeast did you use sir from your wines? Thank you sir. Hope you’ll be able to see my post

    • I pasteurize at no higher then 52 C let it cold down on its own works great

    • their isn’t any yeast better then bread yeast for me Flashman feed your batch with the 1/2 kg of lees from last batch that is the feed for your yeast nutrition have any doubt threw in 2 tbsb of blended raisins in 1/2 cup of water you can pull down 3% to 8% just us smaller amounts of yeast. I use 1.25 per liter use above feed for the yeast 12% to 18% up to 23% is making rice wine or Beer what ever but collect mold and put in my rice make my own.

  18. Being a scientist, I like to experiment. Also, being a graduate student I am quite poor and bread yeast was the cheaper alternative, as was reusing yeast. But as I began reusing my yeast I had the idea that the yeast which was still alive at the end of the previous fermentation was likely more alcohol resistant than some of the yeast that may have died off earlier in the process. Thus, by reusing yeast, you may be selecting for more alcohol resistant yeast and thus wine yeast. This seems logical enough and something tells me its how wine yeast may have been created in the past. Another reason why I think this could be the case is because the subsequent batches ferment slightly slower, take a little longer and produce less sediment in the end, which is almost contrary to what I would have thought because I added more sediment in the beginning by reusing the yeast. I havent done any alcohol calculations or taste tests to confirm this, so its just a poorly supported theory at the moment. Once the wine is more thurougly aged i will determine this.

  19. I am in a Muslim country, so bakers yeast is all I have. I used 1 Gallon of 50% Rasberry Juice/ 50% Concentrated Juice, 1 packet of Bakers yeast, left it for 7 days and Voila awesome dry red wine, Im from wine country, Cape Town South Africa, and this tastes just like Robertsons dry red!

  20. I live in india. Wine yeast is not available here except with one dealer. And the minimum buy quantity is 10 packs of 5 gram each from that dealer and he charges about 20 dollars for 10 packets of 5 grams. Home brewers in india end up using the bakers yeast. By the way what will be the shipping cost to India if I want to buy 2 or 3 packets (5 grams) of lalvin ec 1118.

    • their isn’t any yeast better then bread yeast for me Flashman feed your batch with the lees from last batch that is the feed for your yeast nutrition have any doubt threw in 2 tbsb of blended raisins in 1/2 cup of water you can pull down 12 to 23% with rice.

  21. I live in one of Muslim country and I cannot buy or product wine yeast. I am not sure if I can use bread yeast to make wine or not. Every body help me .answer to this question .thanks .thanks

    • Hi Bohlool,
      I am in the same situation…living in religiously strict society where sale and production of alcohol is banned. Do not worry and use bakers yeast as many others have been doing in other countries. I have not heard if someone was ever poisoned or experienced any difficulty in doing so. That’s the only option we have. Good luck,

    • I first started making , bread yeast, wine when I went off to college. Someone gave me a recipe for “Balloon Wine” Here is the information: First you will need a one gallon jug, a 12 ounce can of Frozen grape juice, 4.1/2 cups of sugar, and 1 pack of bakers yeast. Let the juice thaw then pour it into the gallon jug, add the sugar and fill with water to about 3 inches
      from the top, enough room for the yeast. Dissolve the yeast with slightly warm water and add it to the mixture. stir it to be sure it is well mixed( a long handled wooden spoon handle works well). Now , this is where the balloon comes in, stretch the balloon over opening and set in a corner and in about 21 days you have a gallon of wine. Note, the balloon will inflate and most likely blow off, this is normal just put it back on.

  22. The answer to your question in the article about why on earth folks would settle for bread yeast is that wine yeast and all its accompanying additives are hard to access. So, if fruit matures sooner or more abundantly than planned, I can find myself needing to make wine NOW, and having bread yeast on hand. Never been disappointed with bread yeast. My mom was a prize winning vintner and I use her winning recipes with my bread yeast and it works fine, makes coveted wine.
    I’m not saying it wouldn’t be better with wine yeast, just saying the fruit is in the bottle instead of rotting on the ground and that’s thanks to the fact that bread yeast will do, for some.

  23. I am an amateur at making wine. However, I followed a no-yeast recipe (see recipe here After completing the step adding sugar and allowing the mixture to sit in a dark cool place for a week (recipe says 3 weeks), I decided to check on my wine-to-be. There is an ugly mold on top. Should I throw it out and start over or is there something that I can do to save my amateur batch? The recipe that I used did NOT call for any chemicals. I wish that I could upload pics of my brew. Woe is me.

  24. Listen folks: we are all wine makers, some more refined than others; the question I have is; Do you want to make a quality wine,or something to get buzzed off of?
    In Alaska they put bread yeast in a gallon of milk; that is not why I make wine.
    winemaking is an art, how do you want your portrait to finish

  25. Great comments from all, I have a batch of ginger wine going now and didn’t have any wine yeast so left it for a day when I bought some. When I got home about 5 hoirs laterit was bubling away with the natural yeast. I just ended up adding a pinch of bread yeast to boost it. For me the question is if yeast grows on all fruits naturally why are some yeasts different if they happen to grow on grapes to say apples?

  26. Have to disagree. I used regular yeast and the Dago Red recipe, the way the old Italians in NEPA used to make it, and it came out just fine. My understanding is using wine yeast will only yield a higher alcohol content – 19% vs. 12%. So in my mind, if you want a quicker buzz or a faster drunk, than use wine yeast, otherwise, regular yeast is just as good. By the way, the wine I made last year was very good and brought back childhood memories.

  27. Enjoyment of flavors has a lot to do with what one is used to….
    Everybody’s palate is different, educated by the food and drink we are accustomed to. Suffice to say that the flavors one person desires can be abhored by the next person…

  28. My first homemade wine was a hillbilly wine made with grape juice , sugar and off the grocery shelf yeast. I bottled it after two months and tasted it, and it was very much like grape juice with a little punch. After about ten months in the bottle it tasted a lot more like wine, and quite enjoyable. I have since been using wine yeast and real fruit, much better results if you ask me.

  29. I am going to make some blackberry wine and use bread yeast. There is nowhere around me that carries “Wine Yeast” I do live in rural area so, yea. I’ve had homemade wine a few times over the years so I hope that this turns out alright…

  30. Richard mentioned a recipe for Dago Red. I have many fond memories of this wine. Where can I find that recipe?

  31. How much Campden Tablets (sodium metabisulfite) to be added to 750 ML of wine bottle, when bottling
    N S Krishna Kumar, Hyderabad, INDIA, Mobile: 0091-9848013607

    • N S Krishna, the dosage for campden tablets is one for each gallon of wine. There is no way to tell you how much to add to a single wine bottle.

      • I know when I have to add small amounts of, say, potassium metabisulfite to a 1 gallon batch of wine, a little math is needed. My K-meta bottle says the dosage is 1/4 teaspoon to 6 gallons. I measure out 3 TABLEspoons of distilled water into a sanitized solo cup. Then I add half of the 6 gallons dose – (1/8 teaspoon) – to the water and swirl it around to dissolve. I then add only ONE TABLESPOON of the solution to my gallon of wine and viola, proper dosage.
        Since there are about 5 – 750 ml bottles of wine in a gallon, I would say to crush up one tablet in a container with 5 teaspoons of distilled water. After it is totally dissolved, measure out ONE TEASPOON ONLY of the solution and add that to the 750 ml bottle.

  32. I get it, but could I use wine yeast to make bread? EC-1118 would probably make holes the size of golf balls in the dough … haha!

    • Ron, we have heard from people that have successfully used wine yeast to make bread but we do not have personal experience. I would recommend searching the internet for information from other that have used wine yeast to make bread.

  33. So many sights I’ve gone to say the same things …. Some say bread yeast works but not a ton of alcohol. Others like this one say..ewww bread yeast is bad but you can BUY this yeast from us ! Just a sight trying to make a sell. I made a swill of water sugar and bread yeast for an experiment, I wanted to taste the off flavor, and yea has about no flavor at I took it further and drank about a liter to get a buzz going. So I used the freeze and spin method to concentrate it, and yes , it took over half a liter of water out and I was left with a flavorless alcohol that I took 3 quick shots and got a slight buzz going. So yes bread yeast makes decent alcohol. I must add in I wasn’t expecting much from this experiment, so I only used half the sugar I should have. I have another batch already going about a week with full amount of sugar. But yea I’ve been calling it “swish” from trailer park boys lol. It’s been actually a surprising experience. I normaly brew beer, but have been surprised what I’ve made for 2 gallon batch for 3 bucks. Will repost about the next batch for findings.

    • what is the ” freeze and spin method” i havent heard of that can you share. thanks

  34. I started off young making beer wine and shine “Missouri so it’s legal” with my grandpa and over my years I’ve used many different types of yeast and personally just for me I prefer the bread yeast. Now I’ll tell you this much about me I can literally taste the florid in the city tap water along with all the other chemicals “I can’t even stand the taste of most water” I’ve tried a lot of alcohol in my days everything from beer to wine to spirits and a couple times even straight ever clear “I do not recommend that you try that last one EVER” I have yet to find any store bought wine or beer that I actually like the flavor of because they all have an off taste that I just can’t describe. At first I thought with the beer that it was the hops until I actually bought some hops and found I enjoyed the hops. No something else has always been off for me because what I make with the bread yeast always comes out much tastier than any other yeast with almost no off flavors compared to any other yeast. And this isn’t just my process because it’s even in what I’ve been able to buy from stores and a few of the wine tours I’ve taken both here in Missouri and when I lived in California for a year. Like I said everything has this off flavor that I can’t pinpoint but it’s there and is repulsive to me. It enacts the same response I get from chloraphil from Green vegetables. This is why I stick to distilled spirits if I’m purchasing alcohol and is also the majority of what I make at home as well however I will say when I make wines at home that I can tolerate “to some extent” I have given away a lot of it and everyone seems to love it. I don’t count out anything like bread yeast simply because it’s frowned upon I go by my tastes and when I make something I like others love it if I don’t like it they will still drink it no problem but they will always report to me that it wasn’t bad just not great and I always get that with the wine yeasts but never with the bread yeast. There has been times however with the bread yeast if I am trying to rebuild my stock pile and I don’t let it clear fully it will have a slight bready aftertaste. I always try to clear my alcohol 3-6 months depending on what exactly I’m making “3 months for distilled and 6 months minimum for wines ” filtered once a month “how dare I expose my wine to oxygen I know I know” I say if you want to use bread yest go ahead and experiment until you find a process that YOU enjoy not what everyone tells you that you should enjoy.

  35. i tried for a year to make a decent white wine. I used wine yeast all the additives used good recipes from the internet and all I got was nasty tasting junk. I allowed it to age for a year and it still tasted nasty.this was several gallons of wine ifinally gave up on wine and started brewing some great tasting beer. will never go back to wine.

  36. Bread yeast is fine. I’ve used wine and bread yeast, and prefer bread yeast. Do what works for you.

  37. um NO. ijs….lol. a lot of us use it and get great results. and why? because of the cost and availability. You probably are a sales rep for one of the wine yeast companies. And if you know how to do it the yeast does not struggle that much. two stages of nutrients (the package and raisins) And as far as the settling and clarity a simple 1 micron filter and a couple rackings (which i would do in any case of yeast used) and you can make perfectly fine wine with bakers yeast. And you dont have to drive 15 miles to the one single brewers supply shop that overprices everything. The red wine yeast which i have used, and others, is between $1-$6 for a single packet, so if i am making 5 separate wines which i commonly do, that is $5 being cheap and $30 for the higher end and/or liquid stuff. (never bought those high end ones, but I have tried a couple $2 and $3 thinking i would get a better flavor and i did not. so….to each their own I guess.


  39. I live in a Muslim country, there are no places in which wine yeasts are available. So I have to use bread yeast to make my wine, mead, or beer. Damn it.

  40. Bread yeast works..sorta… But several times the fermentation quit early, and had to finish it by adding wine yeast, which is much more predictable.
    Now, i use wild yeasts just as they did centuries ago. I made a culture from some wild crab apples that were a lttle over-ripe. Put in a plastic tub with some sugared water and chopped raisins. Started foaming after three days, and had that unmistakable odor of fermentation. Strained it, and dosed the fresh apple cider (with no preservatives in it). Quite vigorous fermentation which was complete in about 3 weeks. Let it clear up as the vegetal materials settled. Superb flavor! I used the sediment feom the bottom to make further batches. Some live yeast survives if you refrigerate that stuff from the bottom.

  41. I used bread yeast to make my first batch of wine. The yeast worked but the wine had the aroma of bread yeast.

  42. Thanks for the great article. I would never use bread yeast myself because I want every batch of expensive ingredients to yield a great batch of wine. I have no use for “country wine”, “homesteader wine” or the like. Everybody is different and I appreciate all you do to keep us in the know!

  43. I actually used bread yeast to make Brandy for years because that was what was called for in the recipe that a friend have me. I was never really satisfied with the results and the taste, and struggled for years to figure out what I was doing wrong. Then a few years ago a happened upon an article about making wine and it talked about using wine yeast. I tried it and my results changed dramatically. I now only make wine, no more Brandy, and people who taste it are always surprised to hear that it is homemade wine. I guess I learned a lot struggling all of those years to get truly good results with bread yeast and that knowledge has made me a better wine maker in the end. So I guess it wasn’t all bad.

  44. While deployed to areas that did not have any alcohol or access to proper supplies; I made wine with bread yeast, sugar and juice concentrate provided by the Mess Sergeant. It was far from what I could make back stateside, with proper yeast and other ingredients, but was a nice to have a break from the soda or near beer treat… LOL

  45. Hi…
    For the first time, I have tried making wine from white grapes using bread yeast . I let it ferment for 21 days and then strained it. To my surprise, the colour was reddish. I am totally confused as I have seen that white grape wine is yellowish in colour. Please help, and tell me what’s wrong

    • My guess is that you fermented the wine with the grape skins and all, so some color was extracted from the pulp. White wines are generally fermented without the pulp. The grapes are pressed first, and only the juice is fermented to keep the color light and yellow to golden. With that said, there is nothing technically wrong with the wine you have. It probably have more body that normally found with white wines, and it may need more aging to mature completely than with white wines. But eventually you should have a solid wine of some sort.

  46. Hey guys, I did Three carboys wine
    Each carboy 9 liter Kirkland 100% Concord grape juice, 2.5 kg sugar, Mashed raisins and 2 tsp activity bread yeast.
    I left it in dark room with good temperature between 20 to 30 Celsius. They’re bubbling now every things are good.
    I’m planning after 3 weeks or 4 Filter it in clean carboys to stay like a month before bottle it, during this I wanna flavor it with some herbs ( like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, …etc, or something make it amazing I was looking for toast white oak chips but Unfortunately Amazon can’t ships stuff like the to my country (Saudi Arabia) so , can I use any wood available in my country like the fire wood which called Acacia?
    Finally, I’m thinking in flavor i think it would be great with the red wine. Every one knows the early grey tea like twinings tea , do you think can I flavor my wine with it??

    • Wood that is used to treat wine if very specific and has been processed in a very specific way. The wood used is oak from specific forests around the world. Not any oak will do. Secondly, the oak is sun dried for around 18 months to 3 years to clear out all the excessive sap. Then it is toasted at specific temperatures for a specific amount of time. This information is usually kept a secret by the individual cooperages.
      Yes, you can use tea. In fact, doing so will help the wine to clear up more quickly. Please realize that it does not take much at all. 1 tea bag should be enough for 5 gallons.

  47. I had a good friend in New York city he never knew my name called me redneck rooster hillbilly…he used to send me pictures of the hotlanta nights and I’d send him some of grandaddies muscadin potent snake eyed bread yeast snake eyed wine!!! It would get you so drunk I would fall down and half to hold on to the grass to keep me from falling off the edge of the earth..yes suh!!!

  48. Hey I enjoyed reading all comments
    I am in country no wine yeast
    But I used natural yeast from grapes no washing take 2 weeks to make great wine in temperature 25 c
    I try make it with bread yeast it’s Not good taste any Tips to increase alcohol content
    Hope helping me

    • To increase the alcohol content you normally add more sugar to the fermentation, but with wild yeast this can be a problem. There is only so much alcohol a yeast can produce before it drowns in its own alcohol, so to speak. Wild yeast is more sensitive to alcohol than a domesticated wine yeast, so driving up the alcohol can be a problem.

  49. Rather than write such a dismissive article, perhaps you could research bread yeasts and actually provide some useful advice for those of us living in countries where it is illegal to purchase or import wine yeast.

  50. I’m an unsophisticated redneck. I like making tasty alcohol drinks to enjoy the effects of alcohol. I’ve made alot of mashes, musts and beers using wine yeast, champagne yeast, turbo yeast, super yeast and bread yeasts. I will say the bread yeast always makes the most tasty wine or mash. Not the highest alcohol content, but when it tastes good- it’s usually easy consume plenty of the alcohol, especially if it becomes a brandy or likker of some sort. If I’m shooting for robust flavor and sweetness, bread yeast is always a top consideration for my choice of yeast.

  51. To answer some questions above: YES you can most definitely make bread with wine yeast. Personally I’ve only made pizza with it, but it came out fantastic. The reason: my bread yeast was dead, and I have a bulk pack of wine yeast that I will never use up in my lifetime.

    As to why you might want to use bread yeast: that wine yeast I have has an alcohol tolerance of damn near 18%.. And I don’t want to use chemicals to stop fermentation. Now when making wine from grapes that’s all great because a dry wine is fine.

    But.. with fruit wines, there is more of an expectation that the final product will still taste like the original fruit. Or in other words, a grape wine just needs to taste like ‘wine’, but a peach wine needs to taste of peach. And sweetness is absolutely essential for a fruit to taste like that fruit; imagine taking a banana and removing all sweetness.. or a peach, strawberry.. it just turns icky and sour.

    So I NEED to have some sugar left. Enter bread yeast; if that stops at 8%: GREAT. If it stops at 12%: a bit high but also still okay. I’m currently doing fresh lychee straight off the tree, 1.062 SpGr without any added sugar. I’m really hoping for some residual sweetness so I will have a Lychee Wine (ok, not wine because it’ll be 8% or so) that still has enough sweetness so it tastes like lychee. Ice cold.. yum!

    With my wine yeast I’d need to keep feeding it sugar and turn it into rocket fuel that’s more sugar wine than fruit wine. (And no, I’m not using chemicals.)

  52. Bread yeast is easily available and wine yeast is not easy to find in all locations. I live in Czechia, and I can’t find wine yeast anywhere. I also can’t order it online as I guess it can’t be delivered across borders? At least no supplier I have found delivers here. Gotta make do with what I have.

  53. Why, because I live in a country where alcohol and everything about it is illegal and strictly prohibited. So you have to use what you can get.

  54. I’m not trying to troll the comments here just offering personal experience. I have been making wine by just using grape juice, sugar, and bread yeast for a couple of years now and the wine I’m making is really potent and great tasing stuff. I can’t tell you exactly what the alcohol content is as I don’d have the equipment to measure it but I can tell you it is stronger than most wines you find at the store. It don’t take much to make you happy. You will have plenty of success with bread yeast.

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