Is Active Dry Yeast the Same as Brewers Yeast?

Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Lauren Beck

If you’re a beer lover, then you may have wondered if active dry yeast is the same as brewers yeast. After all, both are used in brewing and are very similar looking. The answer is no—active dry yeast is not the same as brewers yeast.

Though they share similarities in terms of appearance and function, they differ in several ways. Active dry yeast is a single strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, while brewers yeast is a blend of at least two strains: Saccharomyces pastorianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Brewers yeast is also more robust than active dry yeast and is able to tolerate the higher alcohol levels typically encountered in the brewing process.

What Is Active Dry Yeast?

Active dry yeast is a type of yeast used in baking and is characterized by its ability to remain dormant in dry form until hydrated. Once hydrated, the active dry yeast is activated and can be used for baking. Active dry yeast is available as granules or powder and is often sold pre-measured.

What Is Brewer’s Yeast?

Brewers yeast is a type of yeast used to ferment beer. It is made from the same strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as active dry yeast, but is further processed to produce the robust properties necessary for the brewing process. Brewers yeast is also able to survive in high-alcohol environments and is resistant to certain bacteria and other contaminants. Brewers yeast is typically sold as a powder, but is also available in liquid form.

Uses for Active Dry Yeast and Brewers Yeast

Here is a quick look at how each is used:

  • Active Dry Yeast is typically used in baking to leaven bread, rolls, and other dough products. It is also commonly used to ferment beer and wine.
  • Brewers Yeast is primarily used in the brewing process to ferment beer. It is also occasionally used as a nutritional supplement due to its high vitamin and mineral content.

While active dry yeast is not the same as brewers yeast, they are both useful in their own unique ways. Depending on what you’re looking to achieve, either one could be a great choice!

Difference Between Active Dry Yeast And Brewer’s Yeast

Here is a breakdown of the main differences between active dry yeast and brewers yeast:

  • Active Dry Yeast is not able to survive in high-alcohol environments, is not as resistant to bacteria, and is typically sold pre-measured.
  • Brewers Yeast is able to survive in high-alcohol environments, is more resistant to bacteria, and is sold as a powder or liquid.

Can Active Dry Yeast And Brewer’s Yeast Be Substituted For Each Other?

yeast in a white bowl

Despite both coming from the same strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, active dry yeast is not an adequate substitute for brewers yeast in beer-making. The differences in their properties and ability to survive make them unsuitable substitutes.

Can You Use Brewer’s Yeast to Make Bread?

No, brewers yeast is not suitable for baking bread. It is too robust and is not able to leaven dough in the same way as active dry yeast.

Can You Freeze Fresh Yeast?

Yes, fresh yeast is able to be frozen for up to three months. However, it is important to note that the yeast will not retain its full potency after being frozen and should only be used if absolutely necessary. It is always best to use fresh yeast when possible.

Which Is Better Active Dry Yeast Or Instant Yeast?

Instant yeast is a better choice than active dry yeast in most cases as it is able to leaven dough faster and is more potent. Instant yeast is also available in a pre-measured form, making it more convenient than regular active dry yeast.

Is Rapid Rise Yeast The Same As Instant Yeast?

Yes, rapid rise yeast is the same thing as instant yeast. It is a more potent form of active dry yeast that is able to leaven dough quickly and is also sold pre-measured.

What Are the Forms of Yeast We Use to Make Bread?

There are three forms of yeast that are typically used to make bread: active dry yeast, instant yeast, and fresh yeast [1]. Active dry is the most commonly used form of yeast as it is available in most stores and is easier to find than other forms. Instant yeast is also widely available and is even more potent than active dry yeast, leavening dough faster. Fresh yeast is the strongest form of yeast and is preferred by professional bakers due to its superior flavor, texture, and rise potential.


We hope this article has given you a better understanding of is active dry yeast the same as brewers yeast. While they both come from the same strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, they have different properties and uses. Active dry is primarily used for baking bread and other dough products while brewers is best used in beer-making due to its ability to survive in high-alcohol environments. When it comes to baking bread, instant yeast is the preferred option as it is more potent and is available pre-measured.


Lauren Beck
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