What is the Alcohol Tolerance of Bread Yeast?

Bread yeast is a type of yeast commonly used in the kitchen to make bread rise. However, this versatile yeast can also be used to produce alcohol through fermentation. The amount of alcohol produced during …

bread yeast alcohol tolerance
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Bread yeast is a type of yeast commonly used in the kitchen to make bread rise. However, this versatile yeast can also be used to produce alcohol through fermentation. The amount of alcohol produced during fermentation depends on the yeast strain and its alcohol tolerance.

In this article, we will explore the concept of bread yeast alcohol tolerance and how it impacts the quality and quantity of alcohol produced during fermentation. We will also discuss some strategies for optimizing alcohol production using bread yeast.

Bread yeast alcohol tolerance

Bread yeast alcohol tolerance refers to the amount of alcohol that a particular strain of yeast can tolerate before it dies or becomes inactive.

The alcohol tolerance of bread yeast varies widely between different strains, and can range from as little as 5% to as much as 10%. Those who use yeast for making beer, wine or other fermented drinks need to be aware of the level of tolerance to ensure optimal fermentation.

To achieve the desired alcohol level in fermented beverages, brewers often choose yeasts with high alcohol tolerance. These yeasts can continue to ferment even when the alcohol levels increase, ensuring complete conversion of sugars into alcohol.

However, there are limits to how much alcohol any yeast strain can tolerate. It is therefore essential for brewers to match the yeast strain to the desired alcohol content of their product and monitor fermentation conditions to avoid problems.

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Can you use bread yeast to make wine and beer?

Bread yeast, also known as baker’s yeast, is a common ingredient used in baking bread. However, some people often wonder if they can use bread yeast to make wine and beer. The answer is yes, but it might not be the best option for achieving the desired flavor and fermentation results.

Bread yeast is a type of yeast that is intended for use in bread-making rather than in wine or beer brewing. It contains a different ratio of specific strains of yeast compared to brewing yeast, which can influence the taste, aroma, and alcohol content of the final product. Hence, using bread yeast may produce a different taste profile from what you would get with brewing yeast.

While bread yeast will ferment your beverage, it is crucial to consider the type of flavor and alcohol content you want to achieve. Brewing yeast thrives better in high alcohol environments, ensuring a more robust fermentation process for your wine or beer. Bread yeast may fail to survive in these high alcohol levels, leading to inconsistent results and, in extreme cases, contaminated batches.

While it is possible to use bread yeast to create wine and beer, it might not be recommended. If you are looking for an optimal fermentation process and the desired taste profile, it is best to use specialized brewing yeast. However, if you have no other choice or just experimenting, you can try using bread yeast with extra care and attention during the entire brewing process.

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Alternatives to Bread Yeast

Bread making yeast will ferment and produce alcohol, however, it may not be the best option. There are yeasts specifically made for wine making and beer brewing that have a much higher alcohol tolerance. Here are some popular yeasts:

Wine making yeast

  • Lalvin EC-1118
  • Red Star Premier Blanc
  • Lalvin D47
  • Red Star Premier Rouge
  • Lalvin K1V-1116
  • Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale Yeast
  • Lalvin 71B-1122

Beer making yeast

  • Safale US-05 (American Ale)
  • Wyeast 1056 (American Ale)
  • White Labs WLP001 (California Ale)
  • Safale S-04 (English Ale)
  • Wyeast 1098 (British Ale)
  • White Labs WLP500 (Belgian Ale)
  • White Labs WLP300 (Hefeweizen)


While bread yeast will ferment sugar into alcohol, it often has a much lower alcohol tolerance than yeast that is specifically made for alcohol production.

If you’re going to make beer or wine, then you should choose a yeast made for your application. You will not only get a better alcohol content, but you’ll end up with a better flavor profile compared to bread yeast.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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