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How to Make Yeast At Home

Used since ancient times for bread making and also popular for producing alcoholic beverages, yeast is one of those essential ingredients you absolutely need to stockpile. Although packaged is affordable and easy to come by, knowing how to make yeast at home is a valuable skill to acquire.

Making your own  at home is easy. There are a few different ways you can do this, and although they aren’t all foolproof, it’s not an exact science to adjust your recipe or ingredients to get it right. You simply require a starter which can either be made with a packet of store-bought dry or self-made by using different starter foods. If you want to have access to yeast in situations where access to stores is restricted or even impossible, it’s best to know how to make yeast from scratch on your own.

Knowing the difference between baker’s and brewer’s is a great starting point for yeast-making beginners. Below we offer a short explanation of this difference and share a recipe for yeast in each category.

Baker’s and Brewer’s Yeast: How to Make Your Own

While there are four different types of yeast, preppers usually only find importance in having a baker’s and brewer’s yeast stash. If you have the skillset to bake bread and make alcohol at home, you’ll reap many benefits. Baker’s and brewer’s yeast can be substituted for one another. However, if you bake with brewer’s yeast, ensure that you’re using the active version.

The difference in baker’s and brewer’s yeast sits in their ability to produce alcohol. Baker’s focuses on producing carbon dioxide, while brewer’s focuses on producing carbon dioxide and alcohol. The base ingredient you use for your starter mix makes all the difference in its ability to produce alcohol.

A yeast starter is simply a mixture or solution which enables new cells to produce. When established and kept going, a starter can supply you with an endless amount of this good stuff, and below, we share some recipes for both baker’s and brewer’s yeast.

Baker’s Yeast Recipes

Potato Starter

One of the most common yeast-making starters is a potato. Making this is easy, and the recipe we’re sharing only requires four ingredients. It takes a few days to make but will be enough for a few loaves of bread. For this starter, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium potato

Make your potato yeast starter by placing your whole potato (peel on) in water to boil until soft. Once cooked, mash it up and add the sugar and salt. Let the mash sit out to cool until it’s only warm to the touch, and then transfer it to your desired jar. You can now add the four cups of water and place it in a warm spot, covered, to promote fermentation. If your mixture hasn’t started fermenting in a day or two, you’ll have to start over.

Grain Starter

You can easily make yeast at home using any grain as a starter. While fresh ground grains are best to use, unbleached all-purpose flour does the job too. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 ¼ cup white or wheat flour

Start by mixing your chosen flour and the warm water before pouring it into a jar. Keep in mind that the water you use should be warm, not hot. Cover the jar and set it out in a warm place to start the fermentation process. If your chosen spot’s temperature and humidity are ideal, the mixture will create bubbles and rise. Remember to be patient with this starter, as the process can take one to seven days to complete.

Once your starter is ready, remove a cup of starter per loaf of bread you intend to bake. Top the jar up with equal amounts of water and flour to keep the starter going. If you have any dough scraps left, you can toss these in too.

Brewer’s Yeast Recipe

Fruit Starter

Brewer’s yeast can be made with any fruit juice, while whole fruits and peels work great as well. The below recipe for this uses grapes as a starter. To get started, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups unbleached wheat flour
  • 3-4 cups white or red grapes

To make this yeast:

  1. Crush the grapes and put the peels, pulp, and juice together in a jar.
  2. Use a coffee filter or cheesecloth to cover the jar and place it in a warm spot.
  3. Let it sit there for about three days and regularly check to see if bubbles start to form.

Once fermentation has been established by day 4 or 5, strain the mixture and discard all leftover pieces. Mix the strained juice and 1 cup of flour in a jar and let it sit for about 24 hours. Remove one cup of starter and add the remaining flour to the starter together with a cup of water. Let it sit in your chosen warm spot for another couple of days. After this, you should have a bubbly starter that’s ready for use.

If you want to keep this starter going, you should leave at least one cup of starter behind when you remove some for use. Always feed your starter with equal amounts of water and flour and let it sit for 24 hours before removing more.

When SHTF you’ll already want to know how to make both types of yeast at home. Only learning to do it in a desperate situation will lead to ingredient waste, so mastering the skill of making your own yeast beforehand is a vital prepping skill.

How to Store Your Yeast Starter

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of how to make yeast, you need guidance on proper storage methods. Once your yeast starter is established, it will go through a repetitive cycle of fermenting and growing if you keep feeding it. However, your starter should be healthy and strong before you start storing it. To maintain a healthy yeast starter for repetitive use, you need to ensure that it’s resilient to change.

While a yeast starter gets going at room temperature, you can store it in a fridge. If you don’t plan to use your yeast starter every day, keeping it in the refrigerator is, in fact, the best low maintenance option.

If you intend to store it in the fridge, you can place your starter in the refrigerator after it’s been established and feed it once a week. You’ll have to take it out during feeding time and feed it as per the recipe instructions. After covering it, you need to leave it at room temperature for two to three hours before placing it back in the fridge.

If you intend to use your yeast starter daily, let it sit at room temperature and feed it every day at approximately the same time. Again, feed it as instructed by your chosen recipe.

Benefits of Knowing How to Make Yeast

Knowing how to make your own yeast will award you with many benefits when SHTF. Below we list some great advantages of learning how to make your own yeast.


When everyone is in need of yeast to bake their own goods during hard times, the prices are sure to skyrocket. Knowing how to make your own instead of purchasing will save you a lot of money.


Expert bakers consider fresh yeast tastier than dry yeast. No matter which recipe for yeast you follow, you’re sure to get a richer, sweeter flavor and better rising qualities in your end products.

Abundant Supply:

Knowing how to make yeast at home will give you the advantage of always having an ample supply. You can use yeast for baking, brewing, and boosting your health, making this a staple ingredient to have when SHTF.


Consuming yeast has a ton of health benefits. It packs a probiotic punch and helps keep your digestive system in a healthy balance. Furthermore, it enhances your immune system, provides beneficial bacteria for your gut, helps build strength in cells to fight disease, and is an excellent source of various minerals, vitamins, and protein. Just be careful, as too much can cause some health problems. Consuming a lot of this alongside antibiotics or oral birth control could also result in your body growing an oversupply of yeast.

Last Thoughts

Yeast making is an enriching skill, and all serious preppers should know how to make their own. You can start preparing for tough times by learning how to master this skill today. Different factors play a role in producing the perfect batch of home-made yeast. Playing around with various starters, storage jars, and temperatures now will eliminate the stress of perfecting this process and ingredient waste when it’s the least needed.

Once your starter is established and ready to use, you can start experimenting with and perfecting different baked and brewed goods. Doing this type of prep will put you ahead in the race, and you might enjoy the process so much that you never purchase dry yeast or the goods they produce again. Every prepper has a list of top priority items to buy and skills to master before doomsday, and we believe knowing how to make yeast should definitely be on yours.

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