How is Champagne Yeast Different Than Bread Yeast?
Using the right kind of yeast, along with proper fermentation is essential to get the desired result. Both, the Champagne yeast and bread yeast belong to the same species Saccharomyces cerevisiae. But they are of different strains, or commonly known as a genetic variant.
Hence, if you are interested in brewing, you must be aware of the two different yeasts and what purpose they serve. After all, an unpleasant taste is the last thing you would want!
Before going in for the comparisons, let’s take a look at what exactly champagne yeasts and bread yeasts are.
What is Yeast?
Yeast is a single cell microorganism that converts sugar into alcohol. Yeast will digest the sugar, and release alcohol and carbon dioxide gas.
Various other elements like oils, acids, and enzymes are also released, which provide different flavors and character to the beverages and bakery items.
Champagne yeast is known for yielding more bubbles than any other type of wine yeast. Hence, it is a great choice for champagne, cider, and fruit juices. Moreover, as it lends a dry taste to the beverage, this yeast is also an excellent choice for dry wines.
Champagne yeast is the choice of brewers to get small bubbles, along with dryness in many drinks, which also includes wine and beer. It also lends a dry taste to the beverage.
Since champagne yeast is ideal for sparkling wine styles, it is also referred to as sparkling wine yeast.
What is Bread Yeast?
Bread yeast, as the name suggests is frequently often used in baking bread and other bakery products. It acts as a raising agent, that causes the bread to expand, and become lighter along with the appearance of small bubbles.
Bread yeast works by converting the sugar that is present in the dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol. These elements are trapped in the dough, which allows the bread to rise.
During the baking process, a small amount of alcohol is evaporated and bubbles appear in the bread.
How is Champagne Yeast Different Than Bread Yeast? Top 4 Differences
Now that you have an idea regarding both the types of yeast, let’s discuss the key points of differences between the two:
1. The Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Effect
No champagne lover can deny the fact that the real deal lies with those small bubbles that appear at the bottom of the glass. These bubbles enhance the quality of the champagne, making it pleasurable for those who want to devour it.
CO2 is responsible for the generation of these bubbles. Champagne yeast ferments to achieve a higher liquor level, by releasing more CO2.
On the contrary, the Bread Yeast will release less CO2 gas. So, if you are planning to use Bread Yeast to make your beverage, you can go ahead. But be prepared to compromise on the alcohol flavor.
2. The Tolerance Level
All the different types of yeast carry out the fermentation process under their suitable conditions. However, the yeast may die if the alcohol content is higher than their tolerance level. This, in most cases, will stop the fermentation process.
Since Champagne Yeasts are mostly used to get the best alcohol flavor, they have a high tolerance and can live through to approximately 17% of alcohol content.
Bread Yeast, on the other hand, will die at a mere 8% of alcohol content.
3. Flocculation Capability
Flocculation capability refers to how easily the particles suspended due to the fermentation process are clumped together and float. Yeasts with a higher flocculation capacity will help to yield a clearer beverage.
Champagne Yeast, having a better flocculation capacity clears out easily, thus giving the result of a clearer wine or champagne. Bread yeast tends to produce a beverage that might be hazy and cloudy.
4. Tolerance to Sodium Metabisulfite
So, you might ask what Sodium Metabisulfite is! But before answering that question, let’s discuss something about “Wild Yeast”.
Wild Yeast or Natural Yeast are produced during the fermentation process. Now, in most cases, the selected yeast added should be enough to produce the desired flavor profile.
But, wild yeast can disturb the fermentation process, and thus, it may result in an unpleasant negative smell or flavor profile.
This is where Sodium Metabisulfite(SMS) comes into the picture. This is used to prevent the growth of wild yeast and bacteria during the fermentation process.
Champagne Yeast is more tolerant to SMS as compared to the Bread Yeast.
Can You Use Bread Yeast Instead of Champagne Yeast?
A simple answer to the above question is a YES, but it is not recommended. You will be extremely disappointed with the alcohol flavor of your beverage if you use bread yeast.
As we discussed above, bread yeasts have a very low alcohol tolerance level. This means they can convert an extremely low amount of sugar into alcohol. Bread yeast can at most produce 5 to 7 percent alcohol.
Thus, if you use bread yeast instead of champagne yeast, you will get an extremely low-quality and cloudy beverage, with very little alcohol flavor.
Can You Use Champagne Yeast Instead of Bread Yeast?
Yes, this can be done, but again, it is not at all recommended.
If you use champagne yeast instead of bread yeast, be prepared to have an alcoholic flavor to your bread, which, you should note might also make your bread bitter!
To conclude, both the champagne yeast and bread yeast are grown for different purposes. So, while champagne yeast ensures a great alcoholic beverage that you can savor, bread yeast will make that awesome warm bread that you can relish.
If you want to be a bit adventurous, you can interchange the yeasts, but be prepared to have unexpected final outcomes!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between commercial yeast and wild yeast?
Wild yeasts, as the name suggests are natural yeasts that are present naturally on food surfaces. They may belong to different strains as against the commercial yeast, which is a single yeast strain, proven to enhance fermentation.
Wild yeast may give unexpected flavors whereas the final result of commercial yeast is pretty much known to the user.
Which are the different types of baking yeast?
Mainly, there are three types of baking yeast available, Active, instant, and fresh yeast.
What can you use instead of yeast to make alcohol?
You can use Rice bran. It performs ethanol fermentation almost similar to the regular yeast extract powder.
Check out our FAQs for more Champagne yeast frequently asked questions.