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Can you use bread yeast to brew beer?


georgeabshire
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Posted (edited)

I was ready though some old posts and came across some said using bread yeast to conditioning the bottled, it made me think that my first batch I need to buy another a pack of yeast, because the one that I got with the kit expired, I had some bread yeast in the fridge and thought crossed my mind like for 5 seconds, but didn't use.. Has anyone made beer with bread yeast? I don't think I ever would ever brew with it. just curious
 

Edited by Smithy
Edited title for clarity (log)
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Yes, it will ferment.

 

Will it be good? No.

 

Decent beer yeast is cheap and once you have it you can keep it forever with a little care. Think of it like sourdough starter: it can sit quietly in the fridge, needing the occasional feed and able to be sparked up when needed.

 

One nice adventure is to collect the sediment of a bottle-fermented beer you like and cultivate that. A web search will soon put you on the right track.

 

The expired yeast you have might well be viable. Test how it reacts in a little water with sugar.

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Posted (edited)

I haven't tried it, and haven't ever considered it until recently, but I suspect that it wouldn't be the disaster that some might think.

 

In the world of cider it seems to work.  I've seen several videos where people claim that the taste difference is negligible (and in some cases, perhaps even better).

 

The only real practical difference seems to be the maximum alcohol content it can tolerate - which shouldn't be much of a concern for beer.  And also what sugars it can digest (wine yeasts are apparently more happy to break down white sugar).

 

Will it be different?  Yeah, probably.  But compared to the dizzying array of craft brews these days with weird ingredients (from coffee to fruit to chocolate), how much difference could it actually make?

 

The biggest problem is how long it takes to make a batch of beer.  Not as long as wine of course, but way longer than trying a different kind of nut in a cookie recipe.  So you're risking a lot of your own time by trying something new.

 

This reminds me of a story I read about how, back in the day, Australian brewers felt that English were screwing them on malt prices.  They discovered that they could use invert sugar to produce a beer that everyone that was happy with - which of course caused the English to sue - claiming that they couldn't call it beer if it didn't contain malted barley.

 

Edited by IndyRob (log)
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Posted (edited)

As I recall, some of the US interpretations of the scandinavian Gotlandsdricke were brewed with bread yeast... you might look for recipes for that and work on variations.  You're not going to get a juicy hazy NEIPA or a clean and clear lager out of one... but you'll probably find something that it really works for.  I'd lean towards wheat/barley grain bill, and don't go nuts with the hops until you get a sense of what the yeast flavor underlying it is going to be. 

Edited by cdh (log)
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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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