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Old 07-17-2013, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default Bread Yeast in Wine

Before you poo poo the idea let me finish

I know it's not the correct yeast to use and every professional will tell you to not waste your time, but this past weekend I had a revelation.

My grandfather makes the smoothest tasting wine I've ever had. Everyone that partakes says it tastes like fruit juice but it'll knock you down quicker than most other wines. I tried to replicate it several times, the only thing I changed from the recipe was that I used wine yeast instead of the called for "yeast cake." I used a wine yeast (don't remember which one). It came out alright, but it wasn't heavenly smooth. I talked with him about it this weekend and he apparently uses bread yeast, and looked sort of confused when I mentioned "wine yeast."

So my question is, what's the difference? I've read bread yeast is engineered to give off more CO2 for bread rising, but I don't understand how that fact alone could really alter the flavor/texture.

Any input on this?

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Old 07-17-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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Back in the day we always used bread yeast because that was all we had. Considering that and reminiscing last fall, I made a batch of somewhat fortified cider using it. Two actually. They came out very well after crashing. I also jacked some of it and that went quite quickly. I'd say give it a try, it doesn't matter what others think, it is in your own results that matters.

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Old 07-17-2013, 07:45 PM   #3
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I don't know the difference but I remember my grandfather and his jugs of 'juice' sitting in the back of his pantry. I helped him make juice many times and for that I would get a sample but he only ever used bread yeast and I make a 2 or 3 jugs a year just to his memory and because it's good.

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Old 07-17-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Its not so much engineered as it is selective breeding for yeast and dogs the like, you don't hunt bear with Yorkies, as much fun as it would be you just don't. Bread yeast poops out early due a bad environment (high ABV) leaving sugars behind since your in the south I'd take a stretch and say you like sweet wine? and sweet tea? And the mouth feel of the sugar and that it "balances" acids kinda like sweetened lemonade to make it feel smooth. Its all about perception.

Different yeasts work well with certain fruits, and hefewezien yeasts are selected to throw off banana and saison yeast work better above 70*. There is nothing wrong with experimentation. look up JAOM, one of your parent's on here has a link to it in their signature get some bread yeast and give your grandpa some wine yeast. trade up!

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Old 07-17-2013, 09:56 PM   #5
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Contrary to what people MIGHT say on this forum or anywhere else, bread yeast can produce delicious wines. That's how I started making wines and I always had good results that friends and family really enjoyed. They were all wines from concentrate, too. If it tastes good to you, that's all that matters really.

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:33 AM   #6
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The biggest problem with bread yeast is that it historically has a terrible flocculation rate. Basically the yeast does not like to clump together and fall to the bottom to create that yeast cake you mentioned earlier. Because of that many people try and taste a wine after a couple weeks while there is still a lot of yeast in the mix and it tastes god awful. You get real sour and bread like notes. Krackin mentioned "crashing" his cider which if I catch him right that is also commonly called cold crashing. Throwing a batch of wine with bread yeast in the fridge will help the yeast settle to the bottom more quickly. That is a good way of doing things. Recipes like the JAOM recipe want you to sit the mead in warm weather and you don't even poke the jar for at least 3 months and by then enough yeast will settle to the bottom. Even then there is bound to still be some suspended.

So give this a shot with the bread yeast. It should produce a lower ABV, higher sugar content wine for you compared to the wine yeast batch you did but make sure you let it completely clear even of you have to cold crash it. A good wine can be made that way.

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Old 07-18-2013, 11:51 AM   #7
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whsoj View Post
Its not so much engineered as it is selective breeding for yeast and dogs the like, you don't hunt bear with Yorkies, as much fun as it would be you just don't. Bread yeast poops out early due a bad environment (high ABV) leaving sugars behind since your in the south I'd take a stretch and say you like sweet wine? and sweet tea? And the mouth feel of the sugar and that it "balances" acids kinda like sweetened lemonade to make it feel smooth. Its all about perception.

Different yeasts work well with certain fruits, and hefewezien yeasts are selected to throw off banana and saison yeast work better above 70*. There is nothing wrong with experimentation. look up JAOM, one of your parent's on here has a link to it in their signature get some bread yeast and give your grandpa some wine yeast. trade up!
I've actually got a batch of JAOM going right now, can't wait until it's ready! (it took me entirely too long to get the "parent" thing haha)

That makes total sense, as it really only ferments/clears for about two months before it's bottled. I guess the yeast sort of chokes itself to death with the alcohol it's producing, leaving a lot of fermentable sugars unfermented. "Wine Yeast" on the other hand is more resilient in an environment with alcohol?

That also explains how he gets away without adding anything to stop fermentation. I couldn't figure out how he's never had a bottle bomb/flying cork situation, but it looks like everything is dead well before bottling.

Old timer knows what he's doing I guess

Quote:
So give this a shot with the bread yeast. It should produce a lower ABV, higher sugar content wine for you compared to the wine yeast batch you did but make sure you let it completely clear even of you have to cold crash it. A good wine can be made that way.
When I do get around to doing this I'll need to pay close attention to the ABV. His recipe has a reputation as being "strong" (which I take to mean high ABV), but I'm honestly not sure how it could be with how sweet the end result is without back-sweetening of any kind.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:12 PM   #9
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Hey, love to see South Carolinians on here, cheers from Aiken. I've made beer, wine and mead with bread yeast, I only had one weird batch (that was with red star platinum bread yeast). the best flocculator I've found is Food Lion brand, Flieschmanns and Kroger brand not so much, quick rise stuff has a very hard time flocculating, so just use the regular stuff. But I have to say I've never had one crap out from alcohol level, case in point: +/- 12% mead and wine, 8.5% ale all made with bread yeast AND all delicious.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:00 PM   #10
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Yes 12% abv is a good average for flieschmanns bread yeast which is still pretty strong. But many wine yeasts say 14% tolerance but can get up to 16% with proper nutrients. So that is what I meant on the lower abv.

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