How to Activate Wine Yeast

Written by g.k. bayne
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How to Activate Wine Yeast
Active wine yeast is integral to making wine at home. (Maria Toutoudaki/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Yeast feeds off sugars and other nutrients to stay alive. When making wine, it is always best to use a true wine yeast, as this will result in a stable and flavourful product. The second option is to use Baker's yeast, but this will alter the flavour of the wine and may yield an unexpected taste. Both types of yeast need to be activated before adding them to the juice to ensure that the yeast is alive and capable of producing alcohol.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Grape or other juice
  • 1 cup glass measuring cup
  • 1 package wine yeast
  • Spoon

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  1. 1

    Measure 1/4 cup of grape juice into the 1-cup glass measuring cup. If making wine with a fruit other than grapes, use the juice from that fruit or vegetable.

  2. 2

    Sprinkle the contents of the wine yeast package over the surface of the grape juice or fruit juice.

  3. 3

    Stir the yeast throughout the juice.

  4. 4

    Watch the yeast for 5 to 10 minutes. When the yeast has foamed and filled the cup to half-full, the yeast is activated and can be added to the remainder of the juice in your winemaking recipe.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are sure the yeast is fresh and active, you can stir it directly into the crushed fruit or fruit juice.
  • Muscadines generally do not need additional yeast to ferment into wine.

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