- To store dry yeast long-term, keep it in an airtight container in a storage location that is cool, dry, dark, and away from direct sunlight.
- The best places to store dry yeast are in either the fridge, freezer, basement, or pantry at an ideal temperature of 32F to 38F.
- Although yeast does not technically expire, it will eventually become inactive and unusable for cooking.
- When stored in the right conditions, dry yeast can last for upwards of 4 to 5 years.
Dry yeast is an essential food item that you should not overlook when preparing your emergency goods stockpile, but how do you store it long-term?
To store dry yeast long-term, keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark storage location that is away from direct sunlight. The best places to store dry yeast are in either the fridge, freezer, basement, or pantry at a temperature between 32F to 38F.
After extensively researching food storage techniques and survival skills, I have gathered enough information to determine how to store dry yeast long-term. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the storage conditions and practices that you can implement to achieve the best possible shelf life from your dry yeast.
How Long Does Dry Yeast Last?
No emergency goods stockpile is complete without a supply of dry yeast. However, given how sensitive yeast can be to the external environment, it’s important to contain it properly for long-term storage.
The original packaging of most yeast products will indicate a shelf-life of roughly 1 to 2 years. While this may be the case in standard conditions, you can make yeast last a lot longer by implementing food storage techniques and practices.
By doing so, the shelf-life of active dry yeast can be pushed back to 4 to 5 years before the quality begins to deteriorate.
Does Dry Yeast Expire?
While dry yeast will eventually go bad, it does not technically expire. Unlike many of the other food items in your stockpile, dry yeast contains billions of microorganisms that enable the product to have its rising effect on bread dough and the fermentation of alcohol.
Over time, these yeast cells will die and become inactive and unusable. You can safely use expired yeast in your cooking and will not have any damaging effects on your health, but it may not do your food any good.
Dry yeast can sometimes be brought back to life after its expiration date if you add some sugar and warm water to it. In addition, if the dry yeast has become less potent but is still active, you can try using more yeast in your recipe to compensate for the deterioration of the product.
Which Yeast Lasts the Longest
There are plenty of different yeast products available in your local grocery store, and some are going to be more reliable for long-term storage than others. Dry and instant yeast are the best options for stockpiles, as fresh yeast has a very short shelf-life.
The original packaging that yeast comes in also plays a critical role in how sensitive it can be to the external environment. I recommend prioritizing the following types of dry yeast packaging when preparing your emergency goods:
- Nitrogen-Flushed Packaging
- Vacuum-Sealed Packaging
- Metal Packaging
You can also choose to buy dry yeast that comes in larger-sized packaging or in smaller single-use packets. While larger packaging may seem logical, smaller packets are often more convenient and practical for long-term storage given that you are not exposing the product to the external environment every time you need to use it.
How Much Dry Yeast Do I Need for Long-Term Storage?
Compared to many of the other essential goods in your system, yeast does not take up much room and is convenient given how sparingly it needs to be used. That said, to determine how much dry yeast you need for your stockpile, it’s important to consider how frequently you will rely on this product for your meals. The most common way that dry yeast is used in cooking is to make homemade bread and other baked goods.
As a general rule of thumb, you should account for 1lb of dry yeast for every 100 loaves of bread. Before you go out and stock up on yeast, consider how long you want to live off of your supply during an emergency.
How to Store Dry Yeast Long-Term
If you want your dry yeast to last as long as possible, you need to take measures to secure the shelf life of the product. Implementing food storage practices will push the lifespan of yeast to 4 to 5 years.
To achieve this kind of shelf-life, you need to choose the right storage containers and a reliable storage location.
Best Storage Conditions for Storing Dry Yeast Long-Term
Storing active dry yeast in the right storage conditions will be essential for maximizing its shelf-life. Although yeast does not technically need to be refrigerated, storing it in conditions that are cool will be mandatory.
The ideal temperature for storing dry yeast long-term is between 32F and 38F. Any location that you choose should have the following qualities:
- Away from direct sunlight
Best Locations for Dry Yeast Storing Dry Yeast Long-Term
When creating a food storage stockpile, it’s important to choose a location in your home that will be suitable for your emergency goods. Given that an ideal storage location should be cool, dry, dark, and away from direct sunlight, you should consider the following places around the house.
The most common place that most preppers tend to keep their dry yeast is the fridge. Your fridge is set to the ideal temperature for storing dry yeast, making it the most reliable location for long-term storage.
If kept in the fridge with the right packaging, dry yeast in the fridge should last for upwards of 4 to 5 years.
Another great place to store yeast long-term is the freezer. This is one of the most reliable storage locations for maximizing the shelf-life of any food item, but it can often be problematic due to space limitations.
Dry yeast is a relatively small product that will not take a bunch of room in your freezer making it a convenient place for long-term storage.
If you do not want to rely on your fridge or freezer for storing dry yeast, the basement is one of the best places to store goods.
The majority of preppers use their basements for their stockpiles, and you can keep your dry yeast here so long as the environment is dry, cool, and dark.
Much like your basement, the pantry is another common place to keep dry yeast. Pantries are known for being dry, dark, and cool, and are one of the best places to keep food items for the long haul.
Best Containers for Storing Dry Yeast Long-Term
Quality storage containers can help improve the lifespan of your yeast. Storing yeast in containers will be particularly important if you are relying on larger packaging and need to transfer the product.
However, even placing instant packets of dry yeast in containers can be beneficial to the shelf-life. The packaging acts as a protective barrier for the dry yeast, offering a more stable environment that can deter pests.
Mylar bags are one of the most popular food storage methods among preppers. These food-grade bags are a perfect way to store your dry yeast, and you can improve the shelf-life of any food product that you place inside.
That said, mylar bags are not pest-proof and can be chewed through. I recommend placing mylar bags inside an additional container such as a food-grade bucket to ensure they are secure.
Since the 19th century, mason jars have been widely used to secure the shelf-life of foods. This historic food storage method is as reliable now as ever, which is why many preppers still use mason jars to this day.
The only drawback to using mason jars is that they are transparent and quite fragile. If you decide to use mason jars to store your dry yeast, remember to handle them with care and to store them in a location that is away from direct sunlight.
Plastic Airtight Containers
One of the most reliable ways to store dry yeast is to place it inside an airtight container. There are plenty of food-grade airtight containers that were designed for long-term storage, and you may already have some laying around the house.
Any product that you buy should have a lid and seal that guarantees the container is air-tight.
How to Tell When Yeast Has Gone Bad
As I mentioned earlier, yeast does not technically go bad like most of the other food items in your stockpile. However, the microorganisms in the yeast will eventually die and the product will become inactive.
There are some telltale signs that you can watch out for to determine if your yeast is still good and worth using, such as:
- Dark brown color
- Crusty yeast
- Hard yeast
If you feel like the quality of your yeast has deteriorated but the product is still active, you can safely incorporate it into your cooking without affecting your health. The dry yeast may lose its potency and may require more yeast to have the same desired effect when cooking.
Tips for Storing Dry Yeast Long-Term
The shelf-life of yeast can be particularly delicate given that active yeast is full of microorganisms. When stored properly, dry yeast can last for years, but it’s important to take precautions to secure the shelf life.
Consider the following tips to make your dry yeast last as long as possible in your stockpile.
1. Log Expiration Dates
When storing dry yeast, it’s important that you log the expiration date of the product when creating a stockpile. While the expiration date on the packaging can be improved with food storage methods, it will still indicate when the product was predicted to go bad.
Be sure to log all expiration dates in your emergency goods, including your dry yeast, so that you know when it needs to be thrown out or used.
2. Rotate Stock
Yeast shelf-life may not be as reliable as some of the other goods in your stockpile, but you can ensure you always have a fresh supply by rotating your stock.
Instead of simply throwing out old yeast once it starts to go bad, rotate the products in your emergency goods with what you have in your kitchen. This guarantees that the active yeast is always reliable for cooking and delivers the best results.
3. Leave Yeast Unopened
When you buy yeast for long-term storage, you should avoid opening the original packaging until you are ready to use the product.
Although it’s advisable to use additional containers when storing dry yeast, I recommend leaving the original packaging unopened unless there is an emergency that requires using your stockpile.
Opening the original packaging can easily result in moisture or air contamination which will significantly lower the expected shelf-life of the dry yeast.
4. Prevent Pests
Dry yeast is not always the first food item that pests go for, but it does happen. Certain bugs in particular are known for contaminating dry yeast, especially if the original packaging has been opened or damaged.
That said, you should take measures to ensure the storage location you keep your dry yeast is clean and pest-free. Rodents notoriously chew through various types of packaging regardless of their contents.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker