How long does active yeast last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does active yeast last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of active yeast. Moreover, we are going to discuss the difference between active yeast and instant yeast along with storage tips of active yeast.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does active yeast last?

An unopened pack of active yeast lasts for about 12-18 months if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Therefore you can store it in a cool and dry corner of your pantry or kitchen cabinet.

On the other hand, once the package of yeast is opened, the clock starts ticking and its shelf life also decreases. Thus, open active yeast lasts for about 4 months in the fridge when kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. 

Active yeast lasts for about 6 months in the freezer if stored properly. Care should be taken while storing yeast in the freezer, you should always store the yeast in plastic freezer bags or an air-tight container to preserve its freshness for a long time.

Thus storing the yeast properly in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the yeast.

What is the difference between active yeast and instant yeast?

The main difference between the active and instant yeast is whether or not they require some external agency for their activation.

Activation

In the case of the active dry yeast, it is “inactivated yeast” and needs an external agent for its activation. The commercially available active yeast is present in its dormant state so that it does not react while it is in its packaging. 

To activate the yeast, it has to be first added in warm water with sugar, honey, or fructose syrup added in it. Active yeast is a biological leavening agent and feeds on the sugar present in the solution. 

Then it liberates out carbon dioxide that is responsible for making the fluffy buns.

On the other hand, instant yeast is already activated and it does not need any additional agent for its activation. 

Time

Moreover, the active dry yeast takes a long time for its leavening effect but the instant dry yeast quickly performs its leavening function. Moreover, instant dry yeast is more stable as compared to the active dry yeast.

Results

If on one hand, the potency of active yeast and its leavening function fluctuates owing to different factors, the instant dry yeast always gives the same consistent results.

Temperature tolerance

Moreover, they also differ in their temperature tolerability as the active yeast can’t survive a temperature more than 115 degrees Fahrenheit while the instant yeast can tolerate the temperature up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Substitution

Last but not least when it comes to substitution, you can substitute the two for each other in a 1 to 1 ratio.

What is the meaning of best by date written on the package of active yeast?

There must be written the “best by” or “best before date” written on the package of active yeast, but you should always keep one thing in mind that the “best before” or the “best by” dates are mainly focused on the quality rather than the safety. 

Thus you will get the best quality of the yeast within the “best by” or “best before date” but you can still use the unopened, properly stored dry yeast even after some time from this date.

How should I store active yeast?

Once you have opened the package of the active yeast it is best to store it in a plastic zipper bag or an air-tight container so that no moisture will find its way to the yeast.

It is worth mentioning that the sunlight, oxygen, and moisture can degrade the quality of the active yeast and can also shorten its shelf life therefore care should be taken while handling and storing active yeast.

You should always remember that you should not use a wet spoon to scoop out the dry yeast. Moreover, close the lid of the jar as soon as you scoop out the active yeast so that the moisture won’t find its way into your active yeast and spoil it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does active yeast last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of active yeast. Moreover, we discussed the difference between active yeast and instant yeast along with storage tips of active yeast.

Citations

https://www.seriouseats.com/2018/03/all-about-dry-yeast-instant-active-dry-fast-acting-and-more.html#:~:text=%22Active%22%20describes%20any%20dry%20yeast,instant%20you%20open%20the%20package.

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18712

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-long-is-yeast-good-for-1388307

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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