Produce yeast water / fermentation water | Grow wild yeast

Today I have the instructions for growing yeast water for you. It is also called wild yeast or fermented water and is a natural substitute for industrially produced, store-bought yeast or for sourdough. Natural wild yeast is also much more digestible for many than industrially produced yeast ... ♥


I got my first own yeast water a few months ago after this one Sally's recipe bred. If you are interested, you can here read more closely. Actually, I didn't want to grow the yeast water in the first place. Because I had read about it again and again and actually thought, I don't need that at all with my three wonderful sourdoughs in the refrigerator. But that was a mistake and luckily my curiosity won out! Because yeast water is really something really great and brings a great oven shoot and a very tasty aroma to your breads, rolls and even sweet pastries. My delicious, Mediterranean white bread I baked, for example, with my self-grown yeast water.

Here you can find Bread recipes with yeast water and here recipes for Rolls with yeast water.

You should definitely also grow your own yeast water if you don't already have one. With the yeast water, you are no longer necessarily dependent on the industrially produced yeast, which is often criticized. The walking times are much longer with this natural wild yeast and the dough should generally rest in a warm place. But the long walking times in particular also bring additional aroma, freshness and digestibility.

By the way, the cultivation of the yeast water only takes a few days and you can also use it to feed existing sourdoughs wonderfully. You simply replace the conventional water with the yeast water when feeding. So I feed my hired goods from Rye and wheat sourdough as well as mine Lievito Madre very happy with it. The sourdoughs become mega active. Incidentally, you can use this fermentation water to breed a very active Lievito Madre in a very short time. You can find the instructions below. ♥

Ingredients for the yeast water:

  • 20 g raisins, unsulphured & unoiled (or alternatively 2 untreated prunes, apricots or dates)
  • 50 g honey, preferably from the regional beekeeper or coconut blossom sugar
  • just under 1 liter of water, lukewarm (preferably boiled)
  • 1 large, sealable bottle with at least 1l capacity (e.g. empty milk bottle, plastic bottle from SodaStream or juice bottles, e.g. also from WECK)

To grow yeast water:

  1. Pour all ingredients into the bottle, close and shake vigorously. (The bottle must be very clean or sterilized or rinsed with hot water.)
  2. Let stand at room temperature for about 6-8 days. (Depending on the room temperature, it sometimes only takes 3-4 days.)
  3. Important: The bottle at least Open carefully 2 times a day, shake well and then open again slowly and carefully to allow the fermentation gases to escape. Attention Glass bottles can burstwhich is not harmless. Therefore, do not close glass bottles too tightly or use the alternatives shown below.
  4. If more and more gases arise during the cultivation, you can also open the lid briefly every now and then to release some pressure or, alternatively, not close the lid quite as tightly.
  5. Shaking it counteracts the formation of mold on the surface and activates the yeast at the same time.
  6. With every day you will see more activity in the bottle, there will be many small air bubbles and the fermentation water will foam when you shake it. (My raisins, for example, are starting to perk up and down.)
  7. After a few days, you can bake with the finished yeast water.
  8. The finished fermentation water should be fruity-fermented in terms of smell and taste and be reminiscent of must or Federweisser. (Then the right cultures have multiplied. 😉)
  9. Incidentally, petals (e.g. from untreated roses) or apple peel can also be used for breeding instead of dried fruits.

Here you can get a little YouTube video about fermentation water look at.

Grow Lievito Madre from yeast water see blog post Lievito Madre's Guide to Growing and Caring for - The 5 Best Methods.

Hefewasser aus Rosinen

Use yeast water and care:

  1. The finished yeast water is stored in the refrigerator if it is not used for baking. It should also be shaken from time to time in the refrigerator.
  2. I remove larger dried fruits just like that, with raisins I pour them through a fine sieve before they go into the refrigerator or before I bake with them.
  3. When some of the yeast water has been used up for baking, the rest is made up to just under 1 liter with water and fed with dried fruit and honey (or sugar). I personally use for feeding 20g untreated raisins + 15-20g honey + water as required.
  4. Depending on how much of the fermentation water has been used, it has to stand for 1-3 days at room temperature after feeding. If it's a little warmer, it goes faster. It can also be placed in a warm place, e.g. near the heater (but not in the sun). Shake again at least twice a day and open carefully.
  5. It is IMPORTANT that you NEVER use up the yeast water completely and always retain something of the existing culture. Otherwise you have to start again.
  6. With each further feeding, the driving force of the yeast water is strengthened and more and more natural yeast is formed!
  7. Over time, a kind of sediment forms at the bottom of the bottle, as more and more yeast (and sometimes remains of the dried fruit) settle out.
  8. Every now and then the bottle should definitely be changed and the yeast water poured into a clean bottle, just like with sourdough.
  9. The yeast water can be used as a pouring liquid in the dough when baking, but in order to build up enough driving force, a kind of Pre-dough or sourdough be set. This will be the Yeast water 1: 1 mixed with the desired flour and left to stand for about 16-18 hours at room temperature.
Safe vessels for fermenting yeast water:
Hefewasser/ Fermentwasser


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36 thoughts on “Hefewasser/Fermentwasser herstellen | Wildhefe züchten”

  1. Thank you for the instructions. My yeast water is almost ready. Is it right that I take the prunes out before I store them in the refrigerator? And only add fresh ones to freshen up?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Yes that's right. In principle, you can leave them in, but some fruits will dissolve over time and the risk of mold is minimized. (I've never had mold.) Have fun with your yeast water, best regards Sonja

  2. Thank you for the instructions!
    My grandma baked without yeast, she somehow put cones of hops in the water. And baked with the water. Yes, grandma is dead and no one of our relatives knows the instructions.
    Could it be that it was fermented water too?
    Or even better, does anyone know a recipe for it?

    1. Hello, yes, I would say that was basically yeast water or fermentation water. You can ferment all sorts of things, if you want to try it with hops, I would add a handful instead of dates or other fruits. In addition, I would add some real beekeeper honey, coconut blossom sugar or similar, then it usually ferments faster.

      Warm greetings,


    Hello Sonja,
    Yeast water last refreshed shortly before Christmas. How can I check whether it is still able to drive?
    I mixed 50ml of HW with 50g DVM. And then put it in the fermentation box.
    I need help urgently
    Thank you Renate

    1. Dear Renate,

      First of all, I would freshen it up as usual, with fruits of your choice and sugar or similar ... If it bubbles up nicely, you can mix it with a little flour (50 g each) and see whether this mixture doubles within a few hours .

      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

  4. Barbara Slate

    Hello Sonja, have just made LM with yeast water, after step 3 store the batch in the refrigerator? LG Barbara

    1. Dear Barbara,

      you then put the mixture in the refrigerator when it has doubled. In a warm environment, this should be the case after 3-4 hours if possible. Otherwise feed again if necessary.


  5. Dear Sonja,

    I would like to grow yeast water according to your recipe.

    Unfortunately, raisins, unsulphured and unoiled, are very difficult to find.
    Can you give me a tip?

    How often does the yeast water have to be fed?
    For example, if I don't use it that often and the bottle is full, should I still feed it?

    How can you replace the yeast in a recipe with yeast water?
    Does the dough need longer proofing with yeast water?

    Thank you for everything and
    Best regards


    1. Dear Patricia,
      you can also make yeast water with dates. It can live longer in the refrigerator, then add 1 teaspoon of sugar about every 7-10 days so that the microorganisms have food if they do not use it for a long time. I always freshen it up before baking. The recipes are different yes and yeast cannot simply be exchanged 1: 1. I would stick to the recipe first.
      Here on the blog there are the following categories:

      Usually it is advisable to prepare a pre-dough with the yeast water.

      Warm greetings,

  6. Pingback: Crisis Bread | bread poet

  7. Then I can let in a bit of specialist knowledge ...
    Bitten uses a bottle with a narrow neck for the yeast water.
    The water should be in the narrow neck of the bottle.
    Thus, the surface is kept small and offers little attack surface for mold spores, for example

    Pressure is unnecessary with the yeast water, which means that the lid can be placed loosely.
    It is best to use a lid with a rubber seal.
    The Co2 can then “flow off”.

    1. cookieundco

      Good arguments. 🙂

      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  8. Sissy Pfeiffer-Müller

    Hello, I made a yeast water last week, and last night I made a sweet yeast dough with it. It had risen this morning and I was very happy that it worked. Unfortunately, the steamed noodles were inedible, the dough tasted sour. What went wrong there? What did I do wrong…..

    1. cookieundco

      Was the yeast water already sour? Something similar happens here as with overripe sourdough or sourdough bread that is cooked too long.

      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  9. Hello Sonja,
    how long can the yeast water leave “alone at home”?
    We will soon have about 3 weeks of vacation!

    Greetings and thanks for your answer


    1. cookieundco

      Place in the refrigerator and do not overtighten the lid to prevent the jar from bursting. 3 weeks are no problem at all.

      Many greetings,

  10. Hello, I was given kefir cultures for water kefir. Is there a difference between yeast water and water kefir when it comes to baking? Could I replace the stated amounts of yeast water with water kefir in your recipes? Many thanks for the answer

    1. I would just give it a try. It is best to prepare a very small amount of pre-dough for the test and see whether it doubles well in a few hours. This is a great way to determine the activity.

      Many greetings,

  11. Andrea shield

    Dear Sonja,

    Your blog has so many ideas, I don't even know where to start with the post-baking. But now I have a fundamental question:
    I grew a yeast water from apples. Can I use it to make any dough or should it only be used for a light / sweet yeast dough? Would you taste the apples with a more rustic bread or baguette dough or with pizza dough?
    Is there a “neutral” variant that can be used for all yeast doughs?
    Thank you for your great recipes and greetings

    1. So you can't really taste the apples. Just experiment. Fermenting also breaks down the sugar. With with, yeast water isn't sweet when I put it in the batter.

  12. Hello Sonja,
    could you make the yeast water yourself with the remains of a bottle of Federweißem or Federweißem? After all, there's a fair amount of yeast in there.

    LG Norbert

    1. Hello Norbert,

      I think that's something else than the wild yeast on the surface of fruits.
      Nevertheless, I have already baked with it, but supported it with Lievito Madre. (Recipe here on the blog: Alsatian feather white butterfly)
      Personally, I would prefer to use a classic yeast water as normal.

      Many greetings,

  13. Hi there,
    Today I baked bread with the yeast water. But unfortunately the bread didn't rise at all like this. I also made a starter and a sourdough the day before.
    But unfortunately the bread has flowed away 🙁

    1. There may be something wrong with the yeast water. Sometimes it destroys the structure of the dough, but this can usually be seen in the pre-dough. Then all that remains is to start again. What fruits did you start it with?
      It is best to use proven recipes. Sometimes the yeast water does not have enough driving force.

      Many greetings,

    2. Hello, thanks for the answer.
      So I started it with dates.
      I have now made new yeast water again. In the hope that I'm more lucky now.
      But good to know, how can I tell that the sourdough doesn't look good?
      Warm greetings

    3. Hello dear Chantal, if your bread has flowed away, it should have nothing to do with the yeast water. If that were the reason, it just wouldn't rise, or with the addition of leavening sourdough that shouldn't be a problem either.
      Either it was not kneaded enough - in a few cases you can knead over, or the proportions were not ok - that varies a little differently depending on the flour and humidity.
      I wish you good luck!

      1. All right, you are welcome to contact us if you have another question. In the beginning everything is pretty new ... 🙂


  14. Hello!
    I am an enthusiastic hobby baker and love to bake with yeast water!
    I know that you can also use it to make refreshing drinks.
    Do you have a nice recipe for me?
    And maybe you have experience with the tolerance of yeast water beverages.
    Thank you in advance for an answer!
    Greetings & stay healthy!

    1. cookieundco

      Dear Rita,
      I think I would do it in a similar way to water kefir. You can find out more about that.
      I don't have a direct recipe for it. I think every yeast water is also very different, depending on which fruits it was made with.
      The tolerance will certainly also depend on.

      Many greetings and stay healthy too,

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