View Full Version : Question: Fresh yeast substitute in JOA

02-28-2006, 09:25 AM

Question about JOA's recipe. I altered it in amount (to metric 5 liter batch), and I need a substitute for Fleishmann's yeast, as I have no access to it.

2 kg honey
1 1/3 Large orange
35 raisins
1 1/3 stick of cinnamon
2 cloves
very small pinch of nutmeg
Balance water to 5 liters
--> does this look OK?

I have no access to Active Dry Yeast at all. I have two options for replacement: fresh yeast or liquid universal wine yeast (which the website, in Poland, states as being suitable for Mead). From Fleishmann's FAQ 0.6oz = 1 env. So by that logic, does 1 tsp = 7.5 gram? --> .6 oz = 17 gr. 1 env = 2 1/4 tsp. 17/2.25 = 7.5

Or should I go for the liquid yeast? If so, how should I figure out how much to take?


On an off note: I had written out a nice long first post, with nice links to sources and everything. I did my research. And then my FireFox crashed >:( So this post is a bit more straight to the point.


Also: this is the first I will brew anything... I had been looking for sth to cook up for a while, and then I stumbled accross this site, with the friendly atmosfere. And a couple of brewing addicts ;D Well, that sounded nice ;D ... I'm Belgian, so in the longer run I'll add brewing beer to the list (and not wanting to wait several months every time ;) ) and... I live in Poland, so in the way longer run I'm thinking about adding wodka as well ;D

And I found (according to the net: www.biowin.pl) a nice home brewery shop at 10 min from my appartment, so going there today to buy a carboy and airlock and funnel and bottle caps and capper and ... and ... ;) Well, I hope it's there, the official shop is about 100km away.

OK, enough off topic ranting...

Thanks in advance for help and advice... I'll stick around

Dan McFeeley
02-28-2006, 10:51 AM
Hello SEmper, and welcome to the forums!

I suppose you could stop by the local bakery and ask
about their bread yeast, but since you're venturing
out into unexplored JOA territory, go with whatever
your instincts tell you.

Whatever wine yeast you choose, fresh (?) or liquid,
follow the instructions on the packet, i.e., amounts,
hydration, etc.

The watchword in meadmaking is patience. Keep the
faith! Or, dare I say it (sorry, this is an American joke)
"semper fidelis"? ;D ;D ;D

02-28-2006, 11:16 AM
Semper Fi, drink mead or die perhaps ;) Don't worry, as my name derives from there, I do get the joke :)

Well, asking bakers is not really an option, cause my polish is horrid and their english is none-existent :-\ Fresh yeast is basically kind of soft and moist, it is sold in packs, like this:


It is basically bread yeast (I guess a stage before drying). I was also wondering IF i would take this one, maybe then I would need a starter.

I would like to follow the recipe to the letter (but according to the main post it was ok to alter the quantities :) ) ... But as I have no access to Fleishmann's, I'd rather go for the opinion of more experienced people on altering the bread yeast or taking a different yeast all together ...

I don't wanna mess up my first batch :)

Dan McFeeley
02-28-2006, 11:34 AM
I haven't tried altering the recipe, so I don't know the effects of using a wine yeast.

I wonder if an ale yeast might work better as a substitute for bread yeast in Joe's AO? What does the collective think?

02-28-2006, 02:56 PM
Hello SEmper,

I would just give the Yeast Cake a go and let us know how it turns out. According to Red Star:

CAKE YEAST is fresh yeast. For traditional baking, an ounce of cake yeast will rise approximately 6 cups of flour. It can also be used in a bread machine; 2/3 ounce of cake yeast will rise 3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour.

ACTIVE DRY YEAST is processed one step further than cake yeast. It has gone through a series of drying chambers to lower the moisture content to about 8%. Three 1/4 –ounce packets of active dry yeast equals the activity of 2 ounces of cake yeast. To use active dry yeast in a bread machine, measure 3/4 teaspoon yeast for each cup of flour.

So it seems to be pretty much the same thing. Good luck and enjoy.


P.S. Where in Belgium are you from? I used to live in De Panne when I was a kid. Very good memories of my life there. Huge sand dunes to play on with old WWII bunkers. Plus, the zoo in Antwerp and cats being thrown from the tower in Brugge. One day I will go back.

03-01-2006, 12:57 AM
Welcome to the forums!!!
You should be fine with the fresh yeast, in fact you will be the closest to the spirit of the Ancient Orange and the vision with which it was put together, afterall, the ancients didn't have dry com/yeast of any kind!
As for beer brewing, check out this: http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/phpBB2/ and this:
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/ they have a live show on Sundays at 5 pm PST, the archives with the previous shows and overall a fun group.
The choices are clear: for mead and the best bunch of folks ever--->GotMead.com,
for beer fun and some extremely experienced folks---->thebrewingnetwork.com

Hope that helps,

03-01-2006, 01:06 AM
To be honest, the amount of yeast doesn't really matter much. The only instance that I've heard of people altering the amount of yeast used is when the conditions are particularly harsh, such as with a very high OG. As for which yeast, pick one and give it a try. Maybe a grocery store would have bread yeast? I know there are different flavors from different yeasts, but the main point in this case would be the alcohol tolerance of the yeast. However your first batch turns out, adjust the next batch accordingly for the yeast. If it turns out too dry, add a little more honey. Too sweet, don't add as much.

Anyways, let us know how it goes, and welcome!

03-01-2006, 02:39 AM
Hi all!!

Thank you all for your advice. Later on the day I'm going to buy ingredients, and I'll be going with the fresh yeast. I'll keep notes of everything and try to post my brewlog.

Now as the brewshop doesn't exist at a particular location, I'll have to look somewhere else :-\ Hope I can start my first batch before the end of the week.

P.S. Angus, I'm from the Kempen, from a town called Beerse, near a city called Turnhout. I used to go to De Panne for holidays :) I remember a particular event that we were dragging ourself through the desert of dunes in sweltering heat... Felt like being an adventurer :) Great fun there ;D

03-01-2006, 06:16 AM
Hi welcome!

I grew up just 25 miles from Beerse...
Cloves are pretty potent. Maybe you should use only one.
Please let us know how it turns out: I'm thinking of doing a batch of JAO and I have no access to Fleishmann's either.

03-01-2006, 09:36 AM
SEmper and Sander,

We did a little travelling in the east, but I do not remember where. I know we visited Eindhoven once, so we passed right by Beerse at some point. I used to speak Flemish, but forgot it all when we moved away when I was 8.

Fleishmanns yeast comes in flat packets. If you both PM your addresses, I can pop some in the mail for you.


03-01-2006, 11:36 AM
If you both PM your addresses, I can pop some in the mail for you

Angus, thanks for the offer! However I will try a locally available brand of dry bread yeast first. If it doesn't work out, I'll get back to you...

03-01-2006, 04:54 PM
Hey Angus thanks!!

I'm also gonna follow Sander's lead. I'm gonna see what the fresh yeast will give, for the good of the community ;D But, I'll definetly keep your offer in mind for a later batch, I appreciate it!

Apparently all LHBS moved away from Warsaw, so i'll get my first batch in a plastic five liter bottle. I'll be recycling the water from it, as my trust in tap water in older appartments is not so good.

Indeed, highway Antwerp-Eindhoven goes straight through Beerse :) It is a very small world!! Sander where in The Netherlands are you from?

I've seen some questions towards Polish meads as well about here. My language is seriously improving (in combo with a translation engine), so I'll definetly get you guys here some Polish recipes.


03-02-2006, 03:13 AM
Sander where in The Netherlands are you from?

I grew up in 's Gravenmoer, a village near Oosterhout. Now I live more to the north, near Utrecht.

03-02-2006, 09:31 AM
I've seen some questions towards Polish meads as well about here. My language is seriously improving (in combo with a translation engine), so I'll definetly get you guys here some Polish recipes.

Cool! I'm always interested in mead recipes from Central Europe.

03-05-2006, 03:53 AM
You shouldn't have any real problems with a generic bread yeast, that should be available from local shops. A few different types of yeast have been used for the recipe and it all appears to work O.K.

For info check the recipes section and I think there's a topic near the top about Joe's Ancient Orange.

03-05-2006, 04:25 AM
The only problem could be that different brands have different alcohol tolerances.

03-07-2006, 04:34 AM
One thing notable for the fresh yeast, is that it seems to be a slow starter.

But I shook it up (I know, I know ...) and it took off nicely. Blew the airlock overnight. Cleaned it, and now it is going a steady 40 bpm.

Now... Let's get me a second carboy ;D