Can you use bread yeast to make beer?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you use bread yeast to make beer?”, and how to make bread with beer yeast?

Can you use bread yeast to make beer?

Yes, you can use bread yeast to make beer. The bread yeast converts the sugars into alcohol like the brewer’s yeast but the results are not very desirable. 

Bread yeast and brewer’s yeast belong to the same fungal species i.e Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Each type of yeast including bread yeast, beer yeast, and wine yeast, has a different working environment in which it shows exponential growth.

Does bread yeast produce alcohol?

Yes, bread yeast, like any other domesticated yeast strain, produces alcohol as a product of fermentation. However, the bread yeast will stop functioning after the accumulation of a certain amount of alcohol in the wort. 

That is why the bread yeast is not desirable for making high ABV beer. The extent of alcohol tolerance varies with each species of yeast. Some strains of bread yeast may have the same alcohol tolerance as the ordinary brewer’s yeast.

Common issues with baker’s yeast

Flocculation

Brewer’s yeast has a high flocculation rate which is the most desirable trait about it. This means that the brewer’s yeast, after performing its function will flock efficiently and sink to the bottom, yielding a clearer brew. 

On the other hand, baker’s yeast has a poor flocculation rate and is highly likely to produce a hazy beer. Unless you like the overpowering taste of the cloudy beer, there are multiple ways, described here,  to fix the haziness.

Flavor 

Many people do not like how their beer ends up tasting due to the baler’s yeast. The flavors are phenolic and reminiscent of cloves and band-aid. Some people may find this altered flavor of the beer pleasant but it does not work for most people.

How much bread yeast to pitch?

You can use the same amount of bread yeast per gallon of the worst as you would for the brewer’s yeast. Usually, 11 grams of bread yeast would be sufficient for 5 gallons or 19 liters of wort.

You can either activate the bread yeast by using the yeast starter or add it directly into the fermenter.

Does baker’s yeast make the beer more carbonated?

Brewer’s yeast has been developed for the desirable traits i.e more ethanol and less carbon dioxide production. Since the baker’s yeast is cultivated for the bread, it makes more CO2 than ethanol. Therefore, you will notice more carbonation in the beer made with the banker’s yeast.

How to make bread with beer yeast?

Ingredients 

  • 15 oz all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 9 oz water, just above body temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry malt extract or powder, or sweetener of choice
  • ¼ tsp active dry yeast

Instructions 

  1. In the mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk until well-combined.
  1. Then pour the water.
  1. Turn on your stand mixer, which is fitted with the dough hook, and mix the dough for about 3 minutes on a low speed.
  1. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and let the dough knead for about 7 minutes.

Rising the dough 

  1. Oil your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. Then transfer it to a 1-gallon zip-top bag. Let the dough rise in a cool kitchen (65F) for 3 ½ hours.
  1. After 3 ½ hours, refrigerate the dough to let it rise overnight. 
  1. The next day, take out the dough from the fridge to the counter and keep it there for about 3 hours.
  1. Take out the dough on a lightly dusted counter. Oil your hands and punch the dough. Then continue kneading the dough until the dough comes together and a ball forms. Then cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest.
  1. After about 3 hours of proofing, knead the dough again so that it comes together.
  1. Grease the dough surface and cover it. Let it rest on a prepared baking tray for about 1 ½ hour.
  1. If you like artisanal bread, do not press and punch the dough. Shape lightly before baking.
  2. Slash the dough if you like. Then bake it in a preheated oven at 350F for 25 minutes.
  1. Bake the dough directly on the rack for the last 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reads somewhere between 200-205F.
  1. Let the bread cool down completely before you cut into it.

To freeze 

Freezing is a good option if the bread will not be used up in a day. Use heavy-duty zip-top bags to freeze the bread for about 3 months. Let the bread thaw at room temperature before using. You can also toast the bread straight out of the freezer.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you use bread yeast to make beer?”, and how to make bread with beer yeast?

References 

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.