Raisin Yeast Water is a fermentation liquid made by soaking fruits like raisins in water, where wild yeast present on the fruit’s surface proliferates and ferments the mixture. This resulting solution is rich in wild yeast and beneficial bacteria, commonly used as a wild yeast starter in baking for leavening bread and enhancing flavour.

What is raisin yeast?

Raisin yeast water, also known as raisin yeast liquid or raisin yeast starter, is a natural fermentation starter made from raisins and water. It’s used in baking to leaven bread or ferment other baked goods. The process involves soaking raisins in water, allowing natural yeasts present on the surface of the raisins to proliferate and ferment the mixture. This creates a liquid that’s rich in wild yeast and beneficial bacteria, which can then be used as a starter culture in bread-making or other fermentation processes. It’s a simple and traditional method of capturing wild yeast for baking purposes.

Ingredients for Raisin Yeast Liquid

The ingredients for raisin yeast water are readily available, it has a strong fermenting power and is easy to handle. All you need is:

  • oil-free raisins (preferably organic)
  • water

You will also need a clear jar with a lid.

How to Make Raisin Yeast Water

  1. Sterilize the jars and spoon with boiling water.
  2. Add raisins to the jar along with the water. Carefully shake the jar 6-8 times.
  3. Keep it in a warm place (25 – 35 C) out of direct sunlight.
  4. Remove the lid to allow air in and shake the bottle 1-2 times a day.
  5. Once all the raisins are floating, strain into a clean sterile jar and refrigerate.

The completion time varies depending on the season, weather and environment but it takes about 4-7 days:

  • Day 1: Water is clear but becomes light brown from the raisins.
  • Day 2: Raisins expanded and water begins to cloud.
  • Day 3-4: During the following days, the raisins will begin to float and tiny air bubbles will begin to form on the raisins, and some may rise to the surface.
  • Day 4-6: The raisins will float, accompanied by numerous air bubbles emerging. The yeast is still in progress at this stage.
  • Day 6-7: Most of the raisins are floating (some may sink), lots of bubbles are foaming. The liquid is complete!

As fermentation progresses, you’ll hear bubbling and foaming sounds when opening the lid.

Check the quantity and quality of the residue at the bottom. A milky white substance begins to appear and as time passes, it will settle all over the bottom of the jar.

After shaking the bottle to introduce oxygen, the foaming subsides and the mixture is grown until it becomes a quiet foam.

To determine when raisin yeast is complete, look for the following signs:

  1. A fruity aroma: When the yeast fermentation process is nearing completion, the mixture will emit a pleasant fruity scent.
  2. Subsided foam: Initially, there will be a significant amount of foam on the surface of the mixture. As fermentation progresses, the foam will gradually subside from its peak.
  3. Sediment accumulation: Check the bottom of the container for the accumulation of sludge or sediment. This is an indication that yeast activity has occurred.
  4. Raisins sinking: As fermentation progresses, the raisins may begin to sink to the bottom of the container. This suggests that the yeast has consumed the sugars in the raisins and fermentation is nearing completion.
  5. Visual inspection: Take note of any changes in the appearance of the mixture. It should appear slightly cloudy or opaque, indicating yeast activity.

Once you observe these signs, you can consider the raisin yeast complete and ready for use.

Lisa’s Recipe Tips

  1. Use organic, non-oil coated dried fruit: Any additives and oil coatings will inhibit yeast growth and the yeast water may turn out weak.
  2. Use filtered water: Again, this may inhibit yeast growth.
  3. Take photos of your yeast: Especially if this is your first time, this will help keep track of how it looked previous days to compare.
  4. Temperature control: How fast the yeast grows primarily depends on the temperature. The ideal temperature 25-35 C. In the summer it may take less time and in the winter it may take more time.
  5. Loosely cover the fermentation jar: Airtight containers might risk cracking from the yeast-produced gas, so please tighten the lid loosely without completely sealing it shut.
  6. Save some of the yeast liquid for the next batch: when making a new batch, add 1 tsp of the yeast water from the previous batch to help speed up the process.
How do I store yeast water?

After straining the fruit, store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Can I use other fruits?

You can use any fruit or vegetable! I’ve done it with dates, dried figs, carrots and apple skins. I have found dried fruit to be a bit easier to handle.

What can I do with the strained fruit?

If using dried fruit, add them into any baked goods! Do not consume if using raw fruits.

What happens if I forget to shake the liquid?

Just shake the mixture as soon as you remember. As long as an extended period doesn’t pass, it should be okay! Shaking the mixture and opening the jar creates an environment where yeast can easily grow and prevents mold from growing on the surface of the liquid, so if you don’t see any mold continue with the process.

What is the ratio of dried fruit to water for yeast liquid?

To serve as a reference, incorporate raisins into roughly one-third of the container and fill it with water until it reaches about 80% capacity. As a rule of thumb, aim for an equal balance between the water and raisins. While there’s no set ratio, strive for a proportion of raisins to water between 1:2 and 1:3.

How do I know when yeast water is complete?

The yeast water is complete when it smells fruity, the foaming has subsided from its peak, and sludge has collected all over the bottom of the bottle. Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (6 to 8 hours) before using it to make seeds.

What does it mean if after a few days my raisins sink?

Once the raisins begin to sink, it is thought that the yeast will not grow any further, so please put them in the refrigerator.

How to Use Raisin Yeast Liquid

There are two ways to use raisin yeast liquid:

  1. Using the yeast solution straight: Depending on the type of bread being made, approximately 5 to 30% of the water is added as part of the moisture content. If you use only yeast liquid straight, the fermentation power may be weak, so if you use it in conjunction with a small amount of yeast or other yeast, the fermentation power will be more stabilized.
  2. Combining it with flour to make a fermented starter (original starter): A method to increase the fermentation power of the yeast by combining yeast liquid and flour to create an original seed. I recommend using this method as it has a stable fermentation power and enhances the flavour of the dough more. The original seed is added in an amount of about 20 to 40% of the ingredients.
  3. This is my in depth recipe on how I make my wild yeast starter.

Enjoy!! If you make this Raisin Yeast Liquid recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rating and if you decide to share it on socials, tag me on instagram @Okonomikitchen. I’d love to hear from you 😁!

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Raisin Yeast Liquid

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Learn how to make raisin yeast water with just 2 ingredients! This yeast liquid can be used to create a wild yeast starter for baking all kinds of bread.


Units Scale
  • 100 g organic non-oil coated raisins
  • 250 ml filtered water


  1. Sterilize a 1 litre jar and lid by boiling it in water.
  2. Add the raisins and water, close the lid tightly and carefully shake it about 8 times.
  3. Store at room temperature (25-35 C). Shake the bottle 2-3 times a day and open the lid to release gas.
  4. On day 3, the raisins will begin to float.
  5. On day 4, when you open the lid you should hear bubbling and fizzing sounds with small bubbles rising to the top. It will begin to smell like fermented grapes (wine).
  6. Once all the raisins have floated to the surface it’s complete. It may be on day 4, day 5 or even day 6 depending on temperature. Proceed to making bread, using it for wild yeast starter or store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
  • Cook Time: 6 days

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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