Distillers Yeast and Baker’s Yeast: What’s the difference?

yeast in beer

Active dry yeast is a product created by a manufacturer to foam and rise quickly. It is able to last longer than a fresh block of yeast. Depending on the beverage, there are other yeasts used for brewing alcoholic beverages. Brewer’s yeast is a leaven that is used for baking and brewing ale. But, it isn’t put through the same process as active dry yeast. It’s supplemented with B vitamins and calcium. It is used as an addition to nutrition.

 With different types of yeast, what should we use for baking? To get the desired effect in baked goods, you have to use active dry yeast. 

Brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast have several major differences:

Distiller’s Yeast

It is a variety of living organisms called Saccharomyces cerevisiae fungus. They thrive in sugar grains and are often used in alcohol manufacturing. They produce carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol that helps in the fermentation process. It is best known for the production of beer and wine. It turns liquid into alcohol. Distillers or Brewer’s Yeast can be collected during the process of brewing beer. It has a nutritional supplement. Many people use these for various health ailments such as:

1. lowering blood glucose in people with diabetes

2. helping to improve GI symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome.

Distiller’s yeast contains chromium, an essential nutrient that may help regulate blood sugar. It is also considered a good source of B vitamins, which needed to help a variety of enzymes do their jobs. You can buy different brands of Brewer’s Yeast in the market. I always like using Anthony’s Brewer’s Yeast, which is perfect for my vegan-friendly pastries.

Baker’s Yeast

Baker’s yeast is the primary leavening agent in the production of bread in its many forms. It is another name for the type of yeast you use to bake bread and other bakery products. This type of leaven can is found in different forms: fresh, liquid, instant, and active dry. Baker’s yeast releases carbon dioxide when mixed with sugar as it expands the dough and makes it rise.

Dry yeast can expire. Check the end date of your yeast if your dough is not rising. Disregard the yeast if it is expired. You have to store it in a cool, dry place. Consider storing it in the freezer.

 Red Star Active Dry Yeast is one of my preferred dry yeast sold in the market today. It is better in reducing moisture content, which gives longer shelf life on your pastries.


Rich in nucleic acid, chromium and selenium, trace minerals and an array of B-vitamins except for B-12
1 tablespoon = 13 calories1.62 grams of protein 0.30 grams of fat1.65 grams of carbohydrates1.1 grams of fiber0.0 grams of sugar
A by-product of the breweries. Inactive yeastlow alcohol tolerant varieties about 8%, made to help bread rise. Active Yeast
Bitter tasting


Yes, you can use Brewer’s Yeast for making bread. But, it gives a bitter flavor. It may not make a good choice if you’re making a leavened sweet, although it may create tasty and savory bread. Safale US-05 Beer Yeast will not just produce well-balanced beers for home brewing but will also be good for your homemade crispy cookies.


Yes, you can use baking yeast for brewing. It’s been cultivated for hundreds of years to achieve specific attributes regarding flavor, attenuation, and consistency. You can use Saf Instant Yeast, which is mostly used to brew large beers.

Bakers’ yeast hasn’t gone through this selective breeding process. It will have a lower tolerance for alcohol, less flocculation, and tends to make beer that tastes, well, bready. All beer types derive their individuality from the yeast as you can use it for fermentation to achieve any distinct flavors that the yeast produces. Using the baker’s yeast may prohibit you from brewing most beer types. Yeasts are also one of the factors you can consider speeding up fermentation.


There are two types of Yeast: Dry or Fresh or Wet.

  • Dry active yeast has a very long shelf life and is very easy to work with. You dissolve it with warm water and either flour, sugar or honey before adding it to the dough. You can get it in any supermarket or even online. There is also an instant. Mixed into the dry ingredients before you add the water and oil. If you use instant yeast, make sure you put the yeast in one corner and the salt in another. The salt will slow down the action of the yeast.
  • Fresh or Wet Yeast

It has a very short shelf life. You can work with it and enjoy the process, but if you don’t bake on a regular basis, it’s kind of a waste. You can try to buy it at your local supermarket store or at your local bakery.

  •  Sourdough or natural Leavener 

Sourdough culture needs to be fed. 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 mixing, you leave it like that for a few days feeding it daily. You can use Organic Whole Wheat Flour for your sourdough.


  1. Champagne Yeast 

Red Star’s Pasteur Champagne Yeast wash will be extremely dry. Molasses and cane flavors from the wash will be hard to distinguish. The slightly bitter taste from the molasses is definitely not the best part of the molasses flavor. The yeast itself also imparted little to no flavor to the wash. If one is striving to make a neutral grain spirit, such as vodka, champagne yeast would work very well. However, this yeast is not appropriate for flavorful spirits such as corn whiskey, full-bodied and authentic rums.

  1. Super Start Distillers Yeast 

Crosby & Baker’s Super Start Distillers Yeast -Distillers Yeast (UPC: CB 9904A*): 

This is available by the pound and has given no description by the maker. The Super Start wash smelled almost exactly as filtered with champagne yeast. They are hard to tell apart. The only difference was that the champagne yeast had a slightly cleaner taste and smell. In the Super Start study, yeasty tastes and flavors were a little more prevalent. It won’t taste like cane or molasses. The yeasts are probably perfect for making high alcohol or neutral grain spirits than they are for making sipping whiskeys.


Champagne yeast has a cleaner taste than Super Start yeasts.

  1. Bread Yeast 

Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast tasted slightly sweeter than the others. Much more of the cane sugar and molasses flavors were present. The ABV of this sample was on par with the rest of the samples. That means that bread leaven had developed as much alcohol as the majority of the yeasts. But it had done so without stripping out as much of the natural mash flavors. This tasted great, and we recommend using bread yeast for creating flavorful spirits. 

  1. Turbo Yeast

The Turbo Pure X-Press (dehydrated) of Liquor Quik is rated to generate alcohol up to 18 percent. The creation of this yeast produces very clean wash and minimal congeners. However, this was anything but clean. It smells and tastes awful, most likely due to excess nutrients that weren’t used by the yeast. However, if you add more sugar to the yeast, it won’t taste so bad. It also contained very few congeners. Congeners are a fancy term for all of the tasty ingredients found in the mash. The more congeners are present on the wash, the more mash flavor. The fewer congeners, the more the wash and final product would be devoid of flavor. There were hardly any traces of cane and molasses flavors. The remnants of the nutrients are still present, and the wash tastes and smells terrible.

To sum up, turbo yeast is not recommended for producing high-quality spirits.


  • To all those asking about how much yeast to use. Yeast multiplies. Yeast multiplies faster with more sugar and warmer environments.
  • Make sure the yeast is in good condition before you start baking or fermenting your homebrew alcohol.
  • Sometimes, both fresh and dry yeast do not deliver goods for various reasons. It is worthwhile to do a little quality inspection on your chosen yeast.

Now you have learned the difference between these yeasts, you can also learn how to create a Yeast-Free Beer.

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