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Why is it permitted to drink wine on Passover when it is fermented with yeast?

Why is it permitted to drink wine on Passover when it is fermented with yeast?



Why is it permitted to drink wine on Passover when it is fermented with yeast? Isn't yeast forbidden on Passover?


Of the hundreds of species of yeast, the Passover prohibition only applies to yeast which is a product of one of the following five grains: wheat, barley, oat, spelt, or rye. Yeast which is the product of grapes, or its sugars, is not considered chametz (leavened food).

Click here for more about chametz.

Have a Kosher and happy Passover!

Rabbi Dovid Zaklikowski

Dovid Zaklikowski is a freelance journalist living in Brooklyn. Dovid and his wife Chana Raizel are the proud parents of four: Motti, Meir, Shaina & Moshe Binyomin.
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Discussion (26)
March 7, 2017
drinking Wine
Why do people take issue when someone drinks a glass or two of wine during the Passover
April 26, 2016
Yeast is in the air naturally. Who determined that the yeast that ferments grape juice is not chametz? I do not see that in torah. What Torah verse is this ruling from?
Santa Fe
May 6, 2015
Actually, the answer to the original question is this all yeast is burned up during the fermentation process. The dregs fall to the bottom of the vat and are removed. There is no yeast in wine after it has been fermented. The rabbi is also wrong. No yeast is to be found in the house on Passover.
April 3, 2015
Yeast is not a product of any grain.
Yeasts are eukaryotic microorganisms that can live in a variety of environments, mostly as a commensal parasites.
April 3, 2015
How is yeast a "product" of something else? It's the same yeast involved for beer fermentation as in wine so why is beer not kosher and wine is? Makes no sense.
April 18, 2014
Re: This is ridicuolus
I believe the answer to your question is answered in the article and in the comments. The Torah did not prohibit yeast on Passover. Rather it prohibited the five grains when they will rise, which is a byproduct of yeast. It is the rising of the grains that is forbidden, not the yeast itself.
shaul wolf
April 17, 2014
Things we didn't know in the past.
Eh... there is no yeast difference. You mean fermentation products. The yeast in bread is still yeast as is the yeast in wine. So fermented grapes are okay, but fermented bread not and also no beer because these are both grain products.

Basically the people that made up the rules didn't know how yeast works and didn't even know microbial life was the reason things fermented. That's why they excluded bread and beer, because they are made from fermented grains, but ignored fermented grapes, despite the same yeast being in the product. (I think it's even the same species)

You're free to believe whatever you want to believe about the validity of your holy books, but understand there's a big (I say 100%) human element to it and this means that often there's not a good reason for why things are done other than tradition.
Yasin Al Amin Bacour
April 17, 2014
This is ridiculous! Ashkenazi jews will out law rice beans and salt yet not wine? Wine is hametz regardless how you look at it even more so then rice. Alcohol is a by product of yeast!
April 15, 2014
Yeast with tendrils? This is hilarious. Yeast is a fungus, a unicellular organism. As others have pointed out, yeast has nothing to do with this conversation. If so, we wouldn't be able to take showers or breathe the air; yeast is everywhere!
March 22, 2013
Re: Nutritional Yeast?
That is true, but you would need qualified supervision to determine that the yeast was not produced together with other forms of yeast. Lallemand Wine has kosher certification for Passover. Look them up on the web, or ask your local health food provider.
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman