Has anyone ever used the ubiquitous Flesichmann's baking yeast for brewing? Is there a fermented beverage style for which it works particularly well?

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    I wonder if bakers yeast is as "pure" as brewers yeast. I am thinking purity from a contamination standpoint not a single strain of yeast standpoint.
    – brewchez
    Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 1:15
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    @brewchez Beeing much cheaper I guess that the process is not as advanced and sterile as for beer yeast
    – Paolo
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 13:52
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    No, but this blog post about using the 1847 Oregon Trail sourdough yeast was pretty interesting. It seems that lack of flocculation was an issue. Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 3:55
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    I have always been curious about this as well. Every time I go to my neighbourhood bulk store I see a huge cabinet of yeast with a scoop inside. If only that were brewers yeast :(
    – fthinker
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 0:50
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    I've used Fleischmann's active dry yeast to make mead and beer. It does have an off-taste, but otherwise it provided a sufficient yield of alcohol. If you're after just getting drunk, any yeast will do IMO. But bread yeasts do leave a different taste that might not lend itself to the kind of drink that you're after. Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 7:13

12 Answers 12


You could use baking yeast for brewing, as both yeasts are different strains of the same species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but brewers' strains have been cultivated for hundreds of years for specific attributes regarding flavor, attenuation, and consistency. Bakers' yeast hasn't gone through this selective breeding process. It will have a lower tolerance for alcohol, less flocculation, and tends to make beer that tastes, well, bready.

Additionally, certain styles of beer derive their individuality from the yeast used to ferment them and the distinct flavors that the yeast produce. Using bakers' yeast would effectively preclude you from brewing most styles of beer.

Someone once told me using baking yeast was like driving a nail with a brick. Why not just use a hammer?

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    I've made test batches of cider with baker's yeast. Did it ferment out? Yes. Was it as good as any other yeast designed for beer or wine? No, not even close. But I am with Brandon on this, bread yeast can work, but why bother.
    – TinCoyote
    Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 18:04
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    Why bother: because sometimes the homebrew supply store closes and I feel like brewing with what I have on hand. Also, I'd like to explore different ingredients that deviate outside the stock recipes (see homebrew.stackexchange.com/q/524/93 for an example of this line of inquiry).
    – G__
    Commented Nov 26, 2010 at 20:59
  • I wonder about attempting to cultivate active dry yeast for brewing. I'm considering taking an active dry yeast and "training" it to ferment grain sugars through selective breeding via several iterations of yeast starters. The strains had to start somewhere, and I wonder if it is possible to make a "house" strain from training yeast on certain conditions.
    – Dean Kelly
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 20:41

When I was in jail I used orange juice, or even koolaid packets and then added pieces of crackers (yeast is said to be burnt up, but if you put it under hot water a few times the one or two few yeasts that somehow survive start to reproduce, it takes a few days but you see results).

Didn't taste "great" but got up around 14% I'd say. For sure a buzz. (yeast ball in it made you sick if you drank it though)

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    I'm guessing you cultivated some wild yeast there, not the yeast used to bake the crackers, but points for ingenuity. Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 4:01
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    Points for brewing your own drink always, even in jail.
    – jards
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 16:46

This was touched upon above, but you are going to be better off using wild yeasts than a strain of bread yeast. A passable wine can be made by crushing a few handfuls of grapes in a blender and mixing that with grape juice (or other fruit juice). This will yield a wine with a lower alcohol content - around 7-8% depending on the base juice. Additional table sugar can be added (heat a portion of the juice to dissolve the sugar) to reach 11-12% wine. HOWEVER, as someone who brews in remote regions of the world, I prefer to take a packet of yeast and use a tiny pinch per batch (instead of the entire packet) and use a strain that I am confident in, as opposed to using wild yeasts or baking yeast. I've done both and can confirm from testing that the result is much more enjoyable with commerical wine yeast. Good information can be found in The Art of Fermentation which is all about traditional forms of fermentation.


The traditional Finnish brew Sahti uses bread yeast for fermentation. You can see how this celebration drink is made on the current episode of Brewing TV.

I do agree with Brandon in that for best results use the product for which it is intended.


Kvass. This is a beer made, at least in part, from leftover stale bread, and so bread yeast is appropriate.


I've used it for mead with great success using this rather unorthodox recipe: http://www.winepress.us/forums/index.php?showtopic=6114

I don't know that it's generally useful for mead, but it's hard to argue with yummyness. :p


Warning: Do Not use Fleishmanns or any other major brand of bread yeast. Ive conducted many experiments in years past when brewing supply runs were day trips across los angeles. Even "organic yeast" grown in mollasses. I may have gotten perfect fermentation profiles out of ' em, but they would always leave an annoying (usually annoyin) taste means a single chemical. I actally found a brand at Albertsons for "whole grain bread" from something -Mills . Really english ale character. Floctuated really strong .sticky yeast. When yeast settled out quickly. Barley any yeast taste. Actually want to do a side by side soon. Trying to create a house strain.


I've seen it used to carbonate beer in the bottle. I saw it used to carbonate rootbeer too.

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    On an episode of Good Eats it was used to carbonate homemade ginger ale. I tried it and it worked fairly well. Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 18:06
  • @theraccoonbrew Nice! I was planning on making some home made ginger ale (was going to recycle some beer yeast) but maybe I will try the baking yeast.
    – fthinker
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 0:52

Tried it out on some white wine as an experiment. Actually turned out drinkable. Not great, but drinkable!

  • this is more of a comment than an answer. Welcome to the site, though! Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 20:36

I have used bakers yeast with a cider in the past and I found the taste of the brew to be ...yeasty in flavor.

It was my first cider that wasn't from a kit so it could have been my error, but since then I have used proper cider/Champaign yeast with much better results.

I would definitely recommend using proper brewing yeast if you are going to bother to take the time to create the brew in the first place.


I'm going to try using bread yeast as a starter and let my gruit get additional yeast from the air. Making a rice and barley gruit with coffee and bananas. I'll see how that tastes.


you can use bread yeast, how do you think the convicted make prune?! It can actually taste good if you keep the sugar low so that the fermentation stops at 6% alcohol. If you go as high as you can until the yeast drops out, it will taste bad.

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    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 13:03

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