The Fresh Loaf

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Grapes in yeast starter

bread12's picture

Grapes in yeast starter



New here. Looking to try a yeast starter. I have some wild Oregon grapes that I would like to use. They were picked ripe this fall. They have been frozen. Will these work being frozen.



Yumarama's picture

... that the yeast on grapes and other fruits is not the same as the yeast that you want for sourdough. So although that will give you some activity at the start, (i.e bubbling and such) this yeast eventually dies off and the real yeast has to then take over anyway. So skip the whole grape thing and go right to the grain yeast.

See gaaarp's most excellent thread on starting a starter here:

Starting a Starter - Sourdough 101, a Tutorial

and pass over the messy week-long grape soup step completely since it really doesn't get you anywhere that you want to be.

And make some grape jam with the grapes you have, it'll be very tasty on the sourdough bread you'll be making in about a week or two.

md_massimino's picture

The previous post might go a long way in explaining my experience.  I read about creating starters using grapes here:

Here's a photo of it about a day before it got really rolling:

(note the speeding ticket summons are for the wife, not me :)

About a day after this pic was taken it turned into a frothy foaming beast.  I strained the grapes out and started feeding it like a normal sourdough starter.  This guy had enourmous power, but always smelled very much like alcohol and never had a good flavor.  I used it a few times, but gave up on it as a nice experiment but not really useful for making bread. 

I agree with Rainbowz's post above, recommend a regular sourdoug starter for making bread.  I maintain a white and a whole wheat starter, I use one of those two with great success depending on the application.



Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...I agree with the posts about Grape yeast tasting "bad".
At first it seems like Grapes are ideal, after all they can grow yeast all by themselves.
There is a whiteish fungi that begins naturally on Grapes and I believe this is what gives the icky taste.

bread12's picture

Thanks for all the replies.

gallaure's picture

All of my sourdough levains have failed thus far. The only success I have had is with fruit waters. There is a theory that they are different yeasts, but they do pretty much the same thing. Here's my fruit water (in the tequila bottle):


And here's the first bread I made from it:


It's pretty tasty, too. 


Since you can freeze yeast cubes and starters and they will grow when you thaw them out, I see no reason why the frozen grapes shouldn't work. It's worth a shot anyway. Let us know when you try!

Here's my blog that details many cooking adventures:

Here's the blog I found out about fruit water from:

Also, Nancy Silverton (La Brea Bakery) used grapes in her original levain, and her breads taste awesome!

Hope this helps! 




bread12's picture

Thanks Jenna,


Nancy's book is where we found the idea.


We may still try it. If so, we'll let you know how it turns out.


Nice looking bread.