Has anyone ever used wine yeast for a batch of beer or a beer yeast for a batch of wine? I brew beer and my neighbor makes wine and we have been toying with the idea of trying to make a batch of our respected libations with the others yeast. Thoughts? I doubt it will turn out to be my best ever. But as we all know beer making is like a big chemistry experiment and what's more fun than trying new variables?

I've got some Wyeast 3787 that a fellow brewer gave to me and so I thought that might be a decent strain for my buddy. Not sure what he was thinking of giving to me though. I think he said something about Wyeast 4783 but he has a whole mix of yeast so there's no telling.


4 Answers 4


I've heard of people doing this, most commonly with champagne yeast (EC-1118 for example). It seems to work well since they are clean, neutral yeasts. People seem to do this because they want a drier, higher ABV brew than they would get with ale yeast. However my opinion is that you may end up with paradoxically sweeter beer because--unlike ale yeast--wine yeast strains are not good at fermenting maltose/maltotriose which may leave some residual sweetness depending upon grain bill.

The other issue is that certain yeasts emit so-called 'kill factors' which competitively prevent other yeasts from living in the wort/must. So once you pitch wine yeast you are stuck with it; you won't be able to pitch any ale yeasts later on.

  • 1
    I use champagne yeast for my annual batch of Christmas apfelwein and it's never let me down. I'll cross my fingers and hope that's what he gives me. At least I'll have some experience with that yeast.
    – BeerMe
    Commented May 10, 2012 at 18:56

I can tell you from experience that wine yeast makes bad beer. It ferments different sugars and just doesn't taste right.

  • But beer yeast makes good cider. Commented May 10, 2012 at 15:54
  • So does wine yeast. I've found that yeast doesn't matter a lot for cider.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented May 10, 2012 at 16:01
  • I think I may go forward with the experiment just for the fun factor. Some pale,pilsin,and munich will probably round out the grain bill. I'll probably rack onto some fruit extract for even more grins. This sounds like a 3 gallon batch job though.
    – BeerMe
    Commented May 10, 2012 at 18:24
  • 1
    I fermented a dark beer with montrachet wine yeast and it turned out well. I had a bunch of pressed cherries from a cherry wine I had made and I added the cherries (which were loaded with yeast) to my wort and just let it ferment. I was quite pleased with the result. I also fermented a sort of wit by adding grape pomace to the fermentor (also loaded with montrachet and that didn't turn out quite as well, but still decent.
    – Mattress
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:43

I personally love EC-1118 and use it for ale, mead and wine. It is a good yeast in my opinion for any beginner desiring a high ABV brew as it is very forgiving and will ferment out rather dry if you can wait long enough. I even experimented with increasingly larger additions of sugar before noticing any noticeable sweetness (2X over recipe). I have never had it get stuck like some yeast strains do and so far for me has tolerated fairly wide temperature ranges on my ferments. I tend to re-use it batch-to-batch and will admit I have never had the same flavor twice. Some might find this not to their liking but I enjoy the subtle taste variations. I must caution that EC-1118 is capable of producing rather high levels of alcohol and most of my brews have the potential to quickly horizontal a person if overdone - just ask my wife!


I read somewhere that WLP565, AKA "The Dupont Strain" may have originally been a red wine yeast so it is definitely possible.

*I will check my library and get back with a citation for that.

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