Yeast, for the majority of people, is a safe bacterium that is the major ingredient in an enormous amount of foods consumed everyday in America. Yeast leavens bread, curdles cottage cheese, and ferments wines, beers, and every other alcoholic drink. But for some people, medically prescribed diets limit all yeast consumption. This can be devastating to those who enjoy a bottle of beer or a glass of wine, as there does not appear to be yeast free alcohol.
So is there such a thing as yeast free alcohol?
All alcoholic beverages are fermented during the brewing process. This fermentation is what causes alcohol to be present in beers, wines, whiskeys, etc. In order for this fermentation to take place, yeast reacts with oxygen and alcohol is the product. This means that in order to have an alcoholic beverage, yeast must be present.
However, just because yeast is used in the brewing of alcohol does not necessarily mean that yeast free alcohol does not exist. Wineries, for example, ferment their beverages with yeast. But through several distillation processes, including rigorous filtration procedures, almost all yeast residues are removed from the finished product. This is to assure that the wine is clear, colorful, flavorful, fragrant, and that no more reactions continue inside the bottle. If there were still yeast bacteria present in a finished product, the yeast would continue to react and cause the wine to be far too alcoholic and ruin the taste.
For beers, vodkas, bourbons, rums, and other alcoholic beverages, however, one must be extra careful, especially if the alcohol is imported. Some breweries are not as particular about the yeast content as are wineries. In Russia and the Czech Republic, for example, vodkas and beers are unpasteurized and contain a significant amount of active yeast bacteria. The beverages acquire a much different taste as they continue to age inside the bottle.
However, by law, all domestic beers must be pasteurized and filtered. This means that all domestic-brewed drinks, like Budweiser or Captain Morgan, are both examples of yeast free alcohol.
I’d recommend that you consult a physician before making any changes to your current diet. I’m not a medically-trained doctor, and can not speak for the tolerances of every person; nor can all types of alcohol be treated as yeast-free, regardless of law or likelihood.
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