How long does yeast last? (+5 storage tips)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does yeast last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of yeast in different conditions. Moreover, we are going to discuss the ways to spot yeast that has gone bad, the way to check the effectiveness of the yeast, and the tips to properly store yeast.

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

How long does yeast last?

Open dry yeast lasts for about 4 months in the fridge when kept at or below 40 °F in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. 

Once you have opened the package of the 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 dry yeast and can also shorten its shelf life therefore care should be taken while handling the yeast.

When it comes to fresh yeast it has an even shorter shelf life than dry yeast and it should be utilized before the “use by” date.

How long does active yeast last?

Dry active yeast lasts for about 4 months in the fridge if it is opened. Moreover, unopened dry active yeast lasts for about 12-18 months when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry or kitchen cabinet.

How long does dry, unopened yeast last?

Commercially packaged dry, unopened yeast (active/ instant) lasts for about 12-18 months when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity. Thus, you can store an unopened pack of dry yeast in a cool and dry corner of your pantry.

You can read about different uses of yeast here.

Is unopened active dry yeast safe to use after “best by date?

There must be written the “best by” or “best before date” written on the package off the 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 long does yeast last in the freezer?

The 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.

How to tell if the yeast has gone bad?

If you notice the dry yeast clumping together, or if there are large lumps present in the yeast, or if there are any signs of organic growth in the container of yeast, then it is an indication that your yeast has gone bad. 

Moreover in the case of the fresh yeast, if you see some mold, or if there is discoloration or dry texture, then it is the indication of bad yeast.

How can you tell if active, dry yeast is still good to use?

So what you can do to check the efficiency of the dry yeast is to take ¼ cup of warm water and add 1 tsp of sugar to it. Afterward, add 2¼  tsp of dry yeast to it or you can add an envelope of yeast to it. Let it stand for approximately 10 minutes. If you see the foam formation in the water after 10 minutes, then it is the indication that the yeast is still good to use.

How to store yeast properly?

  1. In the case of the unopened dry yeast, you should store it in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry or kitchen cabinet away from direct sunlight and heat.
  2. You should never store dried yeast in a humid environment.
  3. You should always store the opened yeast in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at or below 40°F in the refrigerator.
  4. You should not use a wet spoon to scoop out the dry yeast.
  5. Close the lid of the jar as soon as you scoop out the dry yeast so that the moisture won’t find its way in your yeast and spoil it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does yeast last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of yeast in different conditions. Moreover, we discussed the ways to spot yeast that has gone bad, the way to check the effectiveness of the yeast, and the tips to properly store yeast.

Citations

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

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-yeast-go-bad/

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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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