Are you using the right yeast?

You may wish to make that delicious bread, brew that home-made alcohol, or for nutritional benefits. But, before you check out that yeast, are you sure it will work for what you intend it for?

There are different types of yeast on the market from fresh yeast to instant yeast, all having different uses.

Let’s explore the different types of yeasts and how you can use them:

Active Dry Yeast

Active Dry Yeast is delicate yeast that has to be dissolved in a liquid when baking. The liquid shouldn’t be hotter than 110F (43 C) lest you risk killing the yeast. Recipes call for lukewarm liquid (milk or water) to be used. 

Although active dry yeast can be stored at room temperature until its expiration date, care must be taken that the area of storage doesn’t get very warm as this yeast is very sensitive to heat. It is possible to store active dry yeast in an airtight container and kept in the freezer.

Instant Yeast

Instant yeast is also known as rapid rise or bread machine yeast. It is commercially available and will sit happily on the shelf in an air-tight container until its expiration date. Unlike traditional yeasts, you don’t have to dissolve instant yeast in a liquid before using. You can simply empty its content directly into the ingredients you are baking, depending on the recipe.

Compared to active dry yeast, instant yeast has finer, smaller grains. 

Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is commonly used in vegan recipes. It is a good source of B vitamins and minerals. It comes in different forms, powder, granule, or flake and has a nutty or cheese-like flavor. 

It is a deactivated form of yeast thus making it ok to consume in large quantities. For use in baking, you may only use nutritional yeast to add the nutty, cheese flavor. Otherwise, you won’t have much luck with your bread rising.

Fresh Yeast

Fresh yeast is rare, has a very short shelf-like, and comes in solid form. You have to use it as soon as possible lest you risk losing it. At most, it should be used within two weeks of purchase and it must be kept in the fridge in between use. Like active dry yeast, fresh yeast has to be dissolved in liquid. The block has to be broken into crumbs before dissolving in a liquid.

Liquid Yeast

Liquid yeast is not so common today, but it was popular in the 19th century. To keep it active, fresh carbohydrate has to be added to the mixture regularly. 

Brewer’s yeast

Brewer’s yeast is used in making beer. It comes in two types, depending on the brew to be made. Top-fermenting yeast is used for brewing ale while Bottom-fermenting yeast used for brewing lager. 

Although a yeast, it is not advisable to use in baking unless you don’t mind the bitter flavor it will leave behind!


Now that you know the different types of yeast, you should have no trouble baking, cooking, or brewing!

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