Is There a Difference Between Wine Yeast, Beer Yeast, And Bread Yeast?

Man has been using yeast to make bread, beer, and wine, the earliest foods and beverages pretty much since the beginning of time. Although hundreds of years have gone by, people still wonder what exactly is the difference between wine yeast, beer yeast, and bread yeast- Well, I’m here to hopefully clear it up fo you. Here is the answer:

Wine, Beer, and Bread yeast are different in a few factors:

  • Alcohol tolerance
  • Fermentation
  • Survival mode
  • and nutrition ( some can be eaten and some cant)

Here are more details on the said differences.

Alcohol tolerance:

Wine yeast has a very high tolerance for alcohol it can survive up to 17%. Some wines like champane or port yeast can tolerate up to 18%. whereas bread yeast is low alcohol tolerant varieties about 8%, made to help bread rise. Bear yeast is somewhere in the middle and can usually go up to 8-12% 

Survival mode:

Wine and beer yeast are considered being inactive yeast as opposed to bread yeast in where the yeast is still alive.


During the fermentation stage, wine yeast froths less meaning it releases gasses slower where bread yeast is more powerful and needs to work under tougher and quicker conditions.

Beer yeast has been manipulated over the years to a point where the only way it reproduces is during the beer fermentation process and cannot reproduce on its own.

Use as a food source:

Bread yeast is by no means is a supplement or food source as it can deprive your body of major vitamins as it continues to grow in the intestines. Wine and beer yeast, on the other hand, are used as a nutritional supplement, providing B complex vitamins as well as valuable minerals

What is yeast anyway?

Yeast is a  microorganism, a single-celled fungi that need‘s energy to grow. It digests food such as sugar, starch, fruit, grains, flour and more to obtain energy and convert it into gasses of carbon dioxide and alcohol ( it farts 😉 ).
It is very usufull in the production of bread, beer, wine and other types of alcohol. Anything that ferments

Can you use wine or beer yeast for baking bread?

The short answer is yes. After all back in the day, beer yeast was used for bread making, but modern bread yeast is made to tolerate the high osmotic pressure of the dough.

The long answer is that different types of yeast are grown for different purposes. They produce materials of different taste and colors according to its structure and the conditions on which it is grown. So you can use wine or beer yeast for baking but you should take into account that you might end up with a bread which has alcoholic flavor, a probably bitter one at that. Just stick to bread yeast and you will be fine. No need to get fancy here.

Yeast for baking – what types are there and where to get it.

There are 2 types of yeast: Dry or Freash or Wet.

Dry active yeast has a very long shelf life and is very easy to work with. You disolve it with warm water and either flour, sugar or honey before being added to the dough and Voilà! You have active yeast hard at work. You can get it in any supermarket or even online. There is also Instant yeas which t is simply mixed into the dry ingredients before the water and oil are added. if you use instant yeast make sure you put the yeast in one corner and the salt in another or else the sault will slow down the action of the yeast.

Fresh yeast

Fresh yeast has a very short shelf life, it can go bad really fast. you can definitely work with it and enjoy the process but if you don’t bake on a regular basis its kind of a waste. You can try to find it at your local supermarkets or if you can’t find it there try your local bakery. They might be willing to sell you some. I know from experience we used to sell fresh yeast to clients that asked. So don’t be shy.

Last but not least- Sourdough or natural Leavener or Starter for the purpose of this article I will just refer to these as Sourdough. A sourdough culture that needs to be fed regularly like a baby. You can slow it down or extend the times between feedings by keeping this refrigerated. Anyone can make it in their own kitchen by combining whole wheat or rye flour with water. After you mix it you just leave it like that for a few days feeding it from time to time (preferably daily) for about a week.
For a full step by step guide for making your one sourdough starter click here.

The lactic acid produced by the bacteria protects the yeast from inimical microbes and provides a wonderful tangy aroma and flavor. there is definitely more maintainense involved but I will take it over instant yeast any day of the week and the depth of flavors that it gives your bread are out of this world.

Five best tips for working with yeast:

1. Feed your yeast the good stuff:

If you’re going to make your own sourdough you should feed it with grapes or apple skins When the baking day will come, it will give the bread an aroma that is out of this world. This is the trick of the best bakeries in the world use – its one of its methods that add texture, depth and richer taste to the bread

2. Remember- salt comes last!

No matter what you are going to make the salt is never added together with the yeast, because it may inhibit the process of inflation. In fact, it is the last ingredient you add to the dough after you already kneaded the other ingredients.

3. Make sure the yeast are good before you start

Sometimes, both fresh and dry yeast does not deliver the goods for various reasons. In order to avoid disappointment in the later stage of the process, it is worthwhile to do a little quality inspection and check the yeast. what you should do is take a very clean dish, add a bit of warm water (25-30 degrees) and a bit of sugar and mix together. If in ten minutes foam bubbles are not formed, it means the yeast fails to function and you need to use a different yeast. be happy, you just save yourself a lot of heartaches.

4. Yes- you can store it in the fridge!

Yeast dough can be put in refrigeration up to 4 days (in summer time you should settle for 24 hours). as for freezing:
you can prepare yeast dough, bloat, reduce volume, rub a bit of oil on it wrap in saran wrap – and put in the freezer – up to two months should keep it in good condition.

5. Mixing yeast dough

Manual kneading

Manual kneading must be applied with a force that not everyone is capable of. It is important to knead for a long enough time and with correct movements to develop the gluten net. In most cases, it is necessary to manually knead for 10-12 minutes.

Kneading in a mixer

The mixer kneading will be done at a slow-medium speed and with a kneading hook (similar to the S shape). During the kneading, the dough becomes more flexible and stretchy, soft and less sticky and is separate and continues from the sides of the bowl and forms into a ball around the kneading hook. Usually, it is necessary to knead for about 8-10 minutes in a mixer. At the end of the process, the dough should be soft and smooth, flexible and stretchy and not as sticky.

One way of checking if you kneadled enough? Take a small piece of dough and gently stretch it between your finger and your thumb. If the middle part becomes transparent and does not tear, the dough is ready, the gluten has formed the proper mesh and can hold the gases form the yeast properly.

Important: Do not mix too long or at a high speed. When mixing at a high speed the dough temperature rises and could potentially kill the yeast.


Hi, my name is Amit. I started baking at a young age at my father's bakery. I hope I can answer some of your questions and hopefully you will find some hidden gems to help you out with your home baking skills.

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