I find myself baking a couple loaves of bread just about every weekend. Has anyone tried reusing their yeast from brewing for baking bread? I've heard that using some of the spent grain in bread recipes works well, but I'm curious if brewing yeasts are significantly different from those used baking that it would produce some not-so-great tasting bread?

  • Can we add a Pretzel tag to this? :)
    – dana
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 22:54
  • 2
    We have a brewing company in town that makes beer bread from thier leftovers from the brew. Most popular bread in town.
    – Steve
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 19:55
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    The preztel recipe was excellent, thanks for posting it. I left the dough to rise for about 20 hours and made 8 salted pretzels and 4 cheese and chive from the batch. Both were delicious for lunch with a Coopers sparkling ale while we await the maturing of the home brew. I'm now having a crack at making spiced fruit buns with another batch of trub but that is taking longer to activate.
    – Heidi
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 2:36
  • I have a question relating to the CO2 production rate of bakers yeast when compared to brewers yeast. My experience of using brewers yeast is that it can produce a lot of CO2 and replicates very fast. Contradictory to the fi dings that others have posted on this site. I make my own beer and have a lot of brewing yeast. I have also been making bread recently, but using the bakers yeast I have that has started to run low. Because bakers yeast is in short supply here I thought I would conduct an experiment to see what yeast produced the most CO2. I made a yeast culture from a sachet of bakers yea Commented May 7, 2020 at 20:14

10 Answers 10


Bread yeast is designed to produce huge amounts of CO2 to aid in rising. Beer yeast is not.

Now this is not to say that you CAN'T use brewing yeast, but you will get a more dense bread.

The guys at Basic Brewing did an experiment brewing a pale ale with bread yeast and baking bread with Safale-05. They said the bread came out tasting like... bread. But keep in mind that Safale-05 is pretty neutral strain. Your more funky strains will probably end up in more funky bread. Here's the link to the video.

  • 3
    All yeasts produce the same CO2, what changes is attenuation, ie. the amount of sugars they can eat. Bread yeast is a dry yeast and that translates to lots of CO2. Beer yeasts are usually on the sweet side and don't produce so much.
    – user61
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 13:18
  • 3
    But how was the beer? Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 1:54

I know people who do this all the time and their breads are very good, never too dense. You have to remember to treat it like sourdough though. Sourdough yeast takes a long time to rise bread (between 6 and 12 hours) and beer yeast performs very similarly. The "heaviness" or "denseness" all of the other posts refer to is simply because they did not give the bread enough time to rise.

So to answer your question, no, you can't take a baker's yeast recipe and substitute beer yeast in for it and get the same result, but if you follow sourdough recipes, you will be very pleasantly surprised, especially if you're making more rustic type breads like French breads and ciabatta.

The comment PMV made about using bakers yeast with it is another shortcut you can use to make bread with your beer yeast, a lot of sourdough bakers do that all of the time.

Here is an interesting thread on Chowhound that discusses using beer yeast to make bread, and even harvesting beer yeast from bottles to make bread.


Use leftover yeast to make pretzels! So good when their warm and the perfect accompaniment to fresh Beer.

My Recipe:


* 2 teaspoons salt
* about 1 Cup of *clean* yeast slurry (Fresh is Best!, but at least warm them up)
* 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
* 2 ounces melted butter
* Egg Wash and Baking Soda for Browning
* Pretzel salt (It won't melt as much, and it looks way better)


  • Mix flour, butter and yeast together to form a dough ball, knead for 5-10 min.
  • Oil a bowl and drop in dough to rise, let rise (covered) in a warm place. It will double in size in 1-2 hours.

  • Boil 3/4 cup of baking soda into a pan with 2-3 inches of water.

  • Break the dough into 8 balls and roll out into pretzels, dunk in the baking soda for 30 seconds and transfer to a greased baking sheet.

  • Egg wash, salt, and bake at 450 until golden brown (10-15 minutes)

Devour with Homebrew!

  • Is this really 3/4 cup of baking soda ? Excited to try it out but unsure if it's the correct volume.
    – djq
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 0:57
  • I use this recipe (but without brewers yeast) and I skip the baking soda entirely as I prefer soft pretzels instead of the browned shell pretzels.
    – gene_wood
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 16:18

I've been maintaining a starter for about 4 months that I originally cultured from the sludge at the bottom of the primary. I believe it was an American Ale yeast. I treat it just like a sourdough starter. I keep the reserved starter it in the fridge between uses and feed white flour about once a week when I take some for baking. It works great to raise bread and acts just like a sourdough starter except there is not much 'sour' taste. I don't use supplemental bakers yeast. I let the first rise go at least 12 hours and often a full 24. The second rise takes much less time--maybe 3-4 hours. I think treating it like sourdough and giving it all the extra time is the key to getting a nice light crumb.


I don't particularly like adding much spent grain to bread recipes, it makes the bread too heavy IMO. However, using brewing yeast, either fresh or from a slurry is a great addition. I generally add at least 50% bakers yeast though, it helps the dough to rise quicker.


I've had great results with leftover lager yeast. I include the slurry in the liquid portion of the bread. I put the liquid in a bowl of the flour and salt, stir only 1/3 of the flour in, cover, and let ferment 12 hours at 10C. In the morning I stir in and knead the rest of the flour, then rise at room temperature. Sometimes a couple of tablespoons sugar (per 2 cups liquid) is needed to keep the yeast going. Make sure your flour has some malt in it, as usual for bread yeast.


I tried it once. The bread was very dense. I put me in mind of Terry Pratchett's dwarf bread. It was useless for the fine art of sammichery, but worked well for hors d'oeuvres. (Herrings, strong cheese).

  • 1
    How long did you let it rise? A sourdough, and likewise a beer yeast bread needs at least 5 hours of rise time compared to the 1 hour of most baker's yeast.
    – Room3
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 18:27
  • Well that's likely the problem. Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 20:03

I used some spent grain in a bread recipe, and it was fantastic.

Two weeks ago, I brewed a batch of Northern Brewer Caribou Slobber from the extract kit. After getting the wort into the primary, I made a double batch of whole wheat bread and added all my leftover specialty grains to it. For this kit, the grains were 0.25 lbs Briess Caramel 80L, 0.25 lbs Fawcett Pale Chocolate, and 0.125 lbs Black Malt.

Yeah, it turned out a tad dense, but not too bad. It tasted a lot like a black bread recipe that I like to make. It was a little bitter, but in a good way. I whipped up some honey butter to go with it, and it was a big hit with the wife and kids.

I will definitely be doing that again.

  • When you say spent grain, do you mean grain you had already used in brewing (i.e. just the husks), or left over grain that you hadn't used? I reckon in the former case you'd just be adding fibre to your bread!
    – Poshpaws
    Commented Jul 2, 2011 at 9:25
  • The former, although the grain probably wasn't "spent". The recipe called for steeping the grains in the hot water for 20 minutes before adding the malt. The grains darkened the bread and added a good bit of flavor.
    – jstevej
    Commented Jul 5, 2011 at 12:45

I recently made a beautiful loaf of whole grain bread using the following method:

After transferring a toasted oatmeal stout from my primary fermenter to my secondary, I let the trub settle again. I carefully skimmed the rest of the beer off of the trub. I mixed 125g of this beer with 125g of bread flour. Usually with my sourdough starter, it takes 4-5 hours for this to become active. With the beer mixture, it took about half the time (2.5 hours). It was incredibly active. I then mixed together 187.5 g white bread flour, 187.5 g whole wheat flour, 7.5 g of salt. I added the 250g of starter and another 150g of water. I kneaded for 15 minutes.

This loaf proofed much faster than a sourdough for me. After 5 hours proofing in the fridge, I knocked back the dough and started a second rise at room temperature for 3 hours. I scattered with oats, scored, and baked in a high oven with steam for about an hour.

The resulting loaf was light for a whole grain loaf, with a caramel colour. It had a malty delicious aroma and flavour. A hint of licorice to it, from the oatmeal stout, which happened to have a high ABV. The beer had a low IBU rating, and couldn't pick up any bitter notes in the loaf.

The proof was quicker/more successful than I was expecting - probably because I pulled the yeast in between primary and secondary while it was still active, not from the trub after brewing was complete.

Definitely going to be experimenting further.


I made bread from the trub and I wouldn't recommend it. I made a very bitter bread. D'oh.

  • I have also done this, I think my mistake here is using too much yeast, as the bittering compounds and spent hop pellets all get mixed up in the trub. I have since used less yeast and 'washed' the yeast of the hop particles first and this helped stop it being so bitter. Also, trub from a less bitter beer helped too.
    – Mr_road
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 12:07

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