How To Make Beer From Bread
Which came first, beer or bread? Bread is a convenient way to store the ingredients for making beer. Did ancient Sumerians and Egyptians make beer after finding out a pleasant beverage would result after mixing bread and water or did they make bread as a way to store their beer through winters or droughts or on long camel rides? Either way, beer made from bread is easy and simple: mix the bread with water and strain the water out.

Bread is so conducive to making beer that you may not even have to add a yeast starter, as airborne yeast will land on the mixture while it is soaking and may be sufficient, or you can add a yeast starter to get it fermenting quickly. Modern tastes will probably also appreciate  having some sugar added, although this is not completely necessary. In ancient Sumeria and Egypt, they probably used juice from the sugar canes growing prolifically along the Nile and Euphrates to make the beer, so adding sugar to either the beer or the bread could be considered a modern adaptation to traditional beer from bread making.

To make beer or ale from bread:

1.)  Fill up a glass jar or other container with bread, stale pieces or crumbs.

2.)  Fill up with water, or make an herbal tea of your choice to use.

3.) Cover with a loosely woven cloth (let as much air circulate as possible while keeping insects out.)

 4.) Let this sit for 1-2 days. Alternatively, if you're in a hurry, you can put it in an electric blender and blend on high until it is pureed.

5.) Strain through cotton flannel,  a jelly bag, pillowcase or other cotton material, to remove the solids.

6.) Measure the amount of liquid that has been drained out..

7.) For each pint of liquid add 2 tablespoons of sugar. This can be white table sugar, raw sugar, barley malt sugar, sugar syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, honey or any other type of sugar.

8.) Stir

9.) Drop in a few raisins.


10.)  You may or may not need to add a yeast or a yeast starteror you can harvest wild yeast. The bread and the open air may have allowed an airborne yeast to generate or the raisins will carry in yeast, especially if you used the soak method to prepare the liquid and let it sit for a couple day. If not, or if you want to hurry it along, you can add yeast at this point. You can use any kind of yeast, including bread yeast, but most people find yeast made for ale or wine tastes better. Add a pinch of dry yeast or a teaspoon of yeast starter (from a previously made batch of ale) for each cup of liquid.

11.) Cover the jar with an airlock.


12. When the raisins start to float, the beverage is ready to drink. It will be mildly carbonated and low in alcohol after 2-3 days of fermentation.





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If you want the drink to be extra fizzy, transfer it to a plastic soda pop bottle and screw on the top tightly. When the bottle is firm to the touch and cannot be squeezed, it is ready to drink.


If you want to make a more alcoholic beverage, add more sugar and brew for longer periods to create more alcohol. See Adjusting alcohol.

 Notes 

What is the difference between ale and stout ?  The main difference between between ale and stout is that stout has a "roasted" grain it, so any ale you make with bread you can call a stout if you like. Try adding a teaspoon of cocoa to the original brew or a few drops of vanilla to call it chocolate or vanilla stout. Dark stouts that are nearly black had charcoal added to the brewing water. Add some charcoal made from an organic woodfire with no chemicals in the wood to the teapot when brewing the tea before adding it to the bread, and straining the charcoal out when mixing it with the bread. This will also add some interesting notes of flavor to the resulting ale.

Want some spice in  your ale?   Add some spice to the tea when brewing if you want a mild background taste of the spice, or add it directly to the brew just before it's ready to serve if you lieka strong taste and aroma.

What came first, beer or bread? This is an ongoing controversy between bakers and brewers. There are Sumerian clay records from 6,000 years ago that speak of making beer. Hymn To Ninkasi, a poem written 4,000 years ago praising Nin, the Sumerian goddess of brewing, is said to contain the recipe making beer, actually what we would now call ale now, that  says the beer was made with bread. Egyptian workers on the Pyramids were paid in bread which they used to make beer.

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