How to maintain raisin yeast water

01 Dec
*How I maintain my raisin yeast water:
*Use a sterilized jar and filtered water. (no chlorine water)

*And the raisins are NOT coated with OIL. Organic ones taste much better.

* I don’t measure the water actually but by volume like the picture above.

This volume will be about
  • 13-25g raisin yeast water (5-7% in the summer  10-11% in the winter) *  The temperature by the snake light differs from all season so that I adjust the raisin yeast water amount by the room temperature.
  • 45 g raisins                   (20%)
  • 225 g water                   ( 100%)
1) Shake the jar vigorously after putting all the ingredients in the jar.
2) Close the lid not too tight /not too loose and keep it at 76-82F around for overnight.
3) Shake the jar vigorously and store it in the refrigerator. ( I don’t discard the raisins in the jar)
* It is very important to keep some sugar in your yeast water not to get your yeast water hungry.
I use the refreshed raisin yeast water after 12 hours I store it in the refrigerator to stabilize.

4) Shake the jar vigorously every morning 1 time to get some f your raisin yeast water.
     I shake it vigorously every morning and night which is  2 times in total  now.  (September,20011)

If you store it more than several days, I will  *refresh it before baking.*Using this maintain raisin yeast water method.

Here is the link that you might be interested in:
Other methods that I found in Japanese sites

I read one of Japanese home baker’s method of making raisin yeast water: To make non sour (sweet) and well risen bread, she tighten the lid and shake the jar gently once or twice a day during the process, and she said” if you make bread with this yeast water, you will have dense bread because the yeast didn’t get enough oxygen while it was fermented although the taste is wonderfully sweet. In according to make bread that has volume, she add mashed mixed fruit in the yeast water to ferment it again in a bowl that is covered with plastic wrap at room temperature .It sounds good, but it will give me more work. I rather make raisin yeast simply in good condition.

2) No lid method:

She tested 2 kind of methods between with lid and no lid like me.  She said that No lid doesn’t have any alcohol smell and rise very well. She is right but I had a different result after baking. I smelled alcohol from the crumb and the crumb remains wetter in the crumb but I also think that no lid one rise well in the oven.

Here  is my result.


Q & A:

Q:  Does the taste of yeast water affect to the bread?

A: I say ” Yes” That is why I smell and taste my raisin yeast water if it is fine. My raisin yeast water is  sweet with mild alcohol generally. When the raisin yeast water is just made, You may smell strong alcohol, but it will be milder and read to bake in the next day.  If you smell sour or funny, I strongly recommend you to throw away all of your raisin yeast water, and make a new one.


Q : Why do you shake it vigorously during the process?

A: I have two purposes. I can squeeze more sugar to feed the raisin yeast water by the vigorous shakes, which also activate the raisin yeast.I don’t recommend this technique for fresh fruit yeast water which have bitter skins because the bitters remains in the yeast water and the bread.


Q:  Can I use a water bottle to make raisin yeast water ?

A: I prefer a jar. It depends on you.  However, I highly recommend not to use a weak water bottle like “Walt-mart” brand.I tested it before. On the second day, I smelled some chemical from the bottle. Although I noticed that the raisin yeast water in the bottle had a lot of bubbles and very active, which reminded me of  the process to make beer.

Day 1                   Day2



Q:  How do make bread with raisin yeast water?
A:  I use my yeast water like sourdough I used to have.
Here is one of my examples.
 I also use my raisin yeast water as sherry wine or mirin ( sweet Japanese sake for cooking) to make teriyaki sauce, orange sour chicken sauce, and so on. I also keep my alcoholic raisins that are fermented in the jar for home made rum raisins. So I can make Daisy’s Panettone.
 Once, I used 2 tbsp this rum syrup to fix the sour flavor when I made David’s miche ( NO.5)
Home made rum raisins.
I add some sugar in whenever I add more alcoholic raisins.
I discard the raisins that I make raisin yeast water from beginning because they are smashed and less sugar left in them.


Q :  Is it okay to smell strong alcohol from my raisin yeast water?

A: Yes. When the raisin yeast water is just made, You may smell strong alcohol, but it will be milder and read to bake in the next day. Also,If your raisin yeast water is kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days only, It will be fine. If you smell it strong, I will shake the jar vigorously. it won’t be strong smell.  It is very important to see how active your raisin yeast water is. Very healthy one is the raisins keep floating  around the top of the water, and you can hear strong pops ( shwwww..) when you shake it and open it up.
Here is the result of my sandwich loaf when I used my old raisin yeast water that was little strong alcohol smell.


Q:  How is it different from between non organic and organic raisins?

A: I have some experiments using Sun-maid raisins ( golden and regular ones)

Regular one is okay, but I tasted weird flavor in the bread a little bit when I compare to organic one.
I strongly recommend not to use sun-maid golden raisins.  It tasted and smelled very weird.


Q: Is it okay that my raisin yeast water sank on the bottom in the refrigerator?
A: This is depends. If  all of the raisins doesn’t float back up to the top of the water within a day after shaking vigorously, I think that the yeast is weak or some unwanted bacteria are in it.  I did throw it away and  made a new one when I had the problem. It happened when I didn’t take care of the raisin yeast water for a couple of weeks.


Q; What temperature is better to make bread for raisin yeast water?

AFor Levain bread:

In the summer, I  use colder temperature around 70-73 F for bulk fermentation, 70-76 F around for final proof   .

In the winter, The temperature is around 76F for Bulk fermentation, 70-76F for final proof.

I think that raisin yeast water bread is not sour unless you retard it for a long time.  But it differs from what king of flour you use.  Rye and Whole wheat flour give it more acid or earthy flavor.



Q: Is it okay to add more water and raisins when I have 1/3 to 1/2 amount of raisin yeast water left  in my jar?

A: Yes, You can make as good bread as usual.

                               I made the loaf with it.

                         Make sure that the smell of  the raisin yeast water are close to the same as usual.


Q: When I shook my jar vigorously in the morning after refreshing, I only heard a little sounds of ” SHWw…” .  Is that okay?

A:  Depends…  At first You store it in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then  if  you should hear strong sounds of  ” SHWWW” or  a popping sound after shaking vigorously, Yes, that is very active and ready to use.  If you can’t hear the sounds, the yeast is not active.  It may take a long time to ferment the dough.


I hope that you can maintain your raisin yeast water well. * Reminder: From my experiment, All kind of natural yeast’s life span is about 6 months. I make it from scratch every 6 months.



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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in How to maintain raisin yeast water


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6 responses to “How to maintain raisin yeast water

  1. Sung Flinchbaugh

    January 9, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I have been examinating out some of your articles and it’s nice stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog.


    • Akiko

      January 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate it!!


  2. carana

    September 14, 2012 at 4:03 am

    i have a question, how long can i keep the same jar? if i keep refreshing it? thanks!


  3. Akiko

    September 14, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Hi carana,
    At Maximum, I had kept it in the same jar for 2 weeks, but I usually wash and sterilized the jar within 4-5 days when I refresh it. I put the jar and lid in the microwave for 2 minutes to sterilize after washing now, which is easier for me. Some people may concern to put them in the microwave though… I am fine with it. No problem for me.
    I also make raisin yeast water from scratch every 6 month because of the yeast’s behavior… When I had bread with the yeast that is over 6 month, I tasted the bread was too gummy for my taste. It is okay when I add fat and sugar to the dough, but I also like to make plain bread that I just use water and flour and the yeast.


  4. Marisa

    December 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Thank you sharing this! My problem is the raisins look like they are not whole in the jar almost looking like a pulp?


  5. Akiko

    December 28, 2014 at 6:07 am

    You’re very welcome, Marisa. I am glad to hear it.
    As long as you see these raisins in the jar float up, your raisin yeast water is fine unless it has mold.



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