How Long Can Dry Yeast Last
A new, unopened packet of dry yeast with an excellent best-by date will last up to 2 years if stored in a cool, dry place. An opened pack of dry yeast, if stored in the fridge, will last only four months.
If you use dry yeast, it will last longer, but it won’t be as strong as fresh yeast. As a general rule, unopened dry yeast can last about two years if stored properly. If you are unable to store dry yeast in the refrigerator or freezer after opening the package, you can store it in an airtight container. Once you open instant yeast, you will need to seal it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
If you want your instant or active dry yeast to last more than 2 years without storing it in the fridge or freezer, you need to keep it as fresh as possible. If you store active dry yeast for more than six months, it will become inactive and will not function properly. Like active dry yeast, instant yeast has a two-year shelf life and works best away from heat and moisture. When stored in a dry, cool, and dark place, nutritional yeast should be stored for up to two years from the date of packaging.
Active dry yeast will keep for two years past the expiration date, while fast-growing yeast will keep for one year. The first thing you need to know about expired yeast is that brewer’s yeast will keep for two weeks after the expiration date, while brewer’s yeast lasts for two months after the expiration date. Baker’s yeast will keep much longer than brewer’s yeast, but both will have an expiration date printed on the package.
Whether normal or fast-acting, dry yeast can last up to four months, but after the expiration date, it’s important to check the freshness of the yeast before using it to avoid disappointing results. Remember that yeast, like many other baked goods, usually has an expiration date, not an expiration date or expiration date. Red Star Yeast, for example, ranks its dry yeast as “Best Used by Date” two years after the date the yeast was packaged.
Once opened, Red Star Yeast Dry Yeast recommends using it within 4 months if stored in the refrigerator or 6 months if stored in the freezer. Fresh yeast should be stored in the refrigerator, where it can keep for 2-3 weeks, or in the freezer, where it can keep well for 3-4 months. If you store nutritional yeast in the refrigerator, you will have another 2 or 4 months of good yeast.
|Time Period In Freezer||Time Period in Refrigerator|
|Active Dry Yeast||6 months||4 months|
|Fresh Yeast||3 months||2 to 3 weeks|
|Instant Yeast||6 months||4 months|
Once a package or jar of yeast has been opened, it should keep in the refrigerator for about 2 years. Storage means that the yeast must be kept in the refrigerator, where it can be stored for up to 4 months, or in the freezer, where it can keep its quality for about six months ([RSF]). You can also store the yeast in the freezer, which will keep the yeast effective for about six months. Personally, I keep mine on my kitchen shelf in a jar like this one (Amazon link), but perhaps their unopened nutritional yeast would last longer if I stored it in a dark place.
By the way, if you’re interested in how long does Kahlua last, check out my article on that.
However, nutritional yeast only has a shelf life of about 24 months, so it’s recommended not to eat it beyond that even if it hasn’t been opened. If you rarely cook with unopened packages of yeast, you may have expired. It is important to note that the expiration date only refers to the expiration date of unopened active dry yeast; it does not indicate how long the yeast will remain viable.
To check if yeast is active in your refrigerator or pantry, especially if it’s past its expiration date, give it a try. The good news is that you can prevent this from happening by checking to see if the yeast is alive in the refrigerator or pantry before making the dough with it. Conversely, when yeast goes bad, it means the microbes have died and will no longer help the dough rise. Nothing ruins your dough faster than dead yeast, and if you don’t store it properly, it’s likely to run out.
You may not fully understand how this works, but it’s important to know that without live or active yeast, your loaf may not rise and reach its maximum height, nor will your loaf reach its full potential. Without “active”, the yeast can’t feed on the sugar, so you don’t get those gases that are vital to the entire baking process.
To find out whether the Walnuts go bad or not, check out my article.
The yeast will activate, start eating some sugar and have time to multiply before adding other ingredients to the dough. If the baking powder foams a lot, this is a sure sign that it is ready to use. When you use baking powder, you’ll find that it activates faster (because it doesn’t need to be activated) and stays active longer than dry yeast, giving you even more gas and lighter, airier bread.
Fresh yeast usually lasts 2-3 weeks from packaging, so you buy it before you need it. For this reason, you should always try yeast that is approaching its expiration date. Because of this difference, you can safely use baking yeast for a period past the expiration date.
Does yeast need to be refrigerated?
Since yeast is a living organism, it will only be active for about 3 weeks after its production. To ensure that it remains usable during this time, it is necessary to keep the product refrigerated. It is also important to keep the ‘best before’ date in mind so that consumption of the spoilt product can be avoided.
How to test if yeast is fresh
Add 1 teaspoon of sugar into 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix in 2 tablespoons of dry yeast until dissolved. After 2-3 minutes, the yeast should start to activate. After almost 10 minutes, the foamy yeast will rise to the top of the cup. If the yeast does not rise, it is most likely spoilt.