I am trying to make alcohol from baking yeast I didn't use any special tools or airlock I got the normal baking yeast, sugar(sucrose) and water Dissolved sugar in water putting the yeast in the container and put a baloon on top to monitor CO2 output Even after minutes I have CO2 coming out means I have alcohol. This is my first try and already 3 days have passed so I dont know what to do next I want to get the alcohol oyt of there by distillation but I am not sure If I should distill it without doing anything special. The container smells like it has alcohol in it but it is cloudy

  • Maybe this question can be better posted on alcohol.stackexchange.com
    – chthon
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 19:27
  • We have used 3 different types of yeast an the hydrometer is still not registering any alcohol? Please tell us what we can do to fix it? Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 7:33

2 Answers 2


Ideally it's best to check the progress of your fermentation with a hydrometer. This allows you to determine when fermentation is complete, and by knowing the starting and ending measurements, it's possible to make a reasonably accurate estimation of alcohol content. You can use the formula:

Alcohol by Volume = (1.05/0.79) x ((OG – TG) / TG)  x 100

Where OG is the Original Gravity measurement - taken before fermentation begins, and FG Final Gravity, is the current reading. If your mix is alcohol & water, you can also use an Alcoholmeter, which is a type of hydrometer.

You may be able to taste your wash, and roughly judge how much sugar is left. If it's still sweet at all, the ferment is not finished. That's not to say the yeast has not given up though!

Ok, so you're 3 days in. It's impossible to say accurately, but primary fermentation generally lasts 3-7 days (in beer brewing). But you're fermenting plain sugar which does not have any nutrients for the yeast, so we can expect a sub-optimal fermentation.

There's obviously nothing to stop you distilling this right now, it's probably got some alcohol in it. But if you wish to somewhat optimise the yield, it may be better to wait 7 days, or even two weeks.

The cloud in the wash will clear as the yeast settles out. But from what I can research, it seems a common practice to distill a wash made from pure sugar while it's cloudy.


Keep in mind that while baking yeast is a close relative of beer yeast, it generally has a much lower alcohol tolerance. Alcohol inhibits yeast, which is why different yeast strains for different applications have different alcohol tolerances. Baking yeast generally scores very low on the alcohol tolerance scale, which means that fermentation may stop when there are still many unfermented sugars left that a better yeast strain would have converted into alcohol.

So if you want alcohol levels that are worth distilling, you may want to consider using a better yeast.

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