Which drinks have the highest yeast content
March 30, 2008 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Which alcoholic drinks contain the greatest and least amounts of yeast?

I occasionally get a candida overgrowth in my stomach. I have the occasional alcoholic drink but I'd like to know which types / brands I'd be best steering clear of.
posted by Black Spring to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
a quick google search of "yeast liquor" reveals this.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:14 AM on March 30, 2008

I imagine that any beer with sediment at the bottom would be near the top of the charts.
posted by box at 10:17 AM on March 30, 2008

I imagine that any beer with sediment at the bottom would be near the top of the charts.

I don't believe that's necessarily the case, unless you're referring to consuming the sediment. As far as I know, all beer would have sediment at the bottom if it weren't filtered.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:22 AM on March 30, 2008

IANAD, but why does it matter? My understanding is that the yeast responsible for fermentation is dead by the time such beverages are bottled.
posted by jon1270 at 10:24 AM on March 30, 2008

On preview: I'm referring a little bit to consuming the sediment, but also more generally to unfiltered-ness, and the kinds of beers that are likely to be sold that way (you don't often see an unfiltered American-style pilsner, for example). It's mostly a guess, though.

And, while I'm just guessing, it seems reasonable to think that hard liquor, especially heavily-filtered and high-alcohol-content stuff, would have the least yeast. Vodka, Everclear, that kind of thing.
posted by box at 10:27 AM on March 30, 2008

Draft beer is not pasteurized, so the yeast is not killed. There is more yeast in draft than bottle (typically).

And as box states, opaque beer usually indicates an unfiltered/ unpasteurized beer with active and live yeast. Wheat or Weis beers fall into this category.

I may be talking out of my relm of knowledge, but yeast needs nutrients to grow and I don't think it can't survive the high-high alcohol levels in distilled spirits. But, I can't find anything that confirms my thought. At least not quickly.
posted by beachhead2 at 10:29 AM on March 30, 2008

Filtration removes yeast and other protein haze (haze that only appears at cold temperatures). So, beer that isn't filtered should have yeast and possibly other sediment. Regardless, sediment at the bottom of a beer bottle is probably a mixture of yeast and other stuff.

As jon1270 states, pasteurization does kill active yeast prior to bottling. Not all brewers pasteurize. Wheat/ weis beers, what have you (think of Hoegararden) are cloudy becasue of the yeast still in suspension. Cloudy beers have active and live yeast in them. Not pasteurized.
posted by beachhead2 at 10:37 AM on March 30, 2008

Best answer: The reason that beer and wine is a low-alcohol product (relative to liquor) is that the yeasts used in their manufacture die at a certain concentration of alcohol. Champagne yeast has one of the higher tolerances for it, at around 16%, but once there's that much alcohol in their environment, the yeast dies. Different strains have different tolerances, which is one way to control how sweet your finished product will be: choose a yeast that will be unable to process all of the sugars before it dies.

So yes, something that has been distilled to 80 proof -- 40% alcohol -- is going to be a completely inhospitable environment for yeasts. Googling around for some links to provide you, the very first link was this AskMe, which is almost entirely about the life expectancy of yeast in high-alcohol environments.
posted by mumkin at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Couldn't a candida overgrowth be caused by creating a hospitable environment for already present yeast to grow out of control? Therefore, I'd think you'd need to consider the effects of the alcohol on the pH level of your stomach, or whatever might cause your own yeast cells to start multiplying.

I know that this doesn't answer the question, but it seems like there could be more variables at work than simply "this beer contains tons of dead yeast cells so I must avoid it."
posted by cabingirl at 11:27 AM on March 30, 2008

Brewer's yeast is not candida anyway. Saccharomyces do not, as best I know, cause any disease. Candida a. is universally present in the mouth and gut of humans. Distilled liquor will have approximately zero yeast
posted by a robot made out of meat at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2008

Hard liquors contain no yeast since they are distilled. Most beers and wines will have some residual yeast. As much as I would hate to recommend American macro lagers, those have little to no yeast left since they filter the hell out of them.
posted by jclovebrew at 1:39 PM on March 30, 2008

meat robot has it. Candida and Saccharomyces are different; if you still want to avoid consuming any fungus, stick to the hard stuff--anything distilled.
posted by Joe Invisible at 6:37 PM on March 30, 2008

True brewed root beers have crazy amounts of yeast in them at the point of drinking.

My family has a recipe that we brew about once a year. When the bottles are ready for drinking there will generally be anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" of yeast layered on the bottom, and if we let the bottles sit too long, the yeasties get out of hand and explode the bottles.

It's delicious stuff, but definitely an acquired taste.
posted by SlyBevel at 8:23 PM on March 30, 2008

So yeah, if the goal is to keep down your resident Candida population, then the residual yeasts in alcohol aren't contributing your problem. However, you'd do best to not feed the candida what it likes bestest, which is sugar, and unfortunately, there is sugar in that alcohol you're drinking that will probably nourish the candida. So, for reasons other than you suppose, alcohol is still contraindicated. IANAD, but I like saying things like "contraindicated." Also, acidophilus yogurt and lots of garlic may help to keep 'em down, too, but like I said, IANAD.
posted by mumkin at 11:31 PM on March 30, 2008

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