How To Store Yeast

Can I freeze yeast? Where is the best place to store it? What temperature should I keep it at? These questions might seem simple, but they can be tricky to answer.

How To Store Brewer's Yeast

Yeast is a living organism that helps ferment beer, cider, and other alcoholic drinks. It feeds off sugars and starches found in flour, water, and other ingredients.

The fermentation process takes place in a warm environment, so you must keep your yeast below this temperature to make sure you don’t start fermentation early.

There are two types of yeast: baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast. Baker’s yeast is used to make bread, cakes, and pizza crust.

Brewer’s yeast is used to make beer, cider, and mead. We take a look at how to store your yeast for alcoholic beverages.

How To Store Brewer’s Yeast

Brewer’s yeast comes in small packets with instructions on how to use the yeast, and sometimes also how to store it best.

Seal The Packet

If you have a packet of yeast, make sure that you seal it properly. Ideally, you should put your yeast also into an airtight Tupperware container or in a jar.

Store In Airtight Container

If possible, put the packet of yeast in an airtight container so that it doesn’t get in contact with air.

Keep It Away From Moisture

Do not leave the packet of yeast exposed to moisture. If you accidentally spill some liquid onto your packet, just wipe it up immediately.

Do not allow any moisture to sit on top of the packet of yeast for too long.

Store In A Cool Place

If you have a refrigerator, put the package of yeast inside. If you don’t have a refrigerator, then put the yeast in a larder or cool, dry place. 

It is recommended to store the yeast in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to six months.

Can You Freeze Yeast?

Yes! You can freeze yeast for up to three months. Just make sure that you label the containers clearly and write the date on them.

However, freeze-drying yeast is often not recommended by experts because it can destroy some of the yeast cells, which means the yeast won’t be as active as when used fresh.

This seems to be a matter of different opinions, but if you want to store yeast for a longer period, then freezing is the best option.

When thawing frozen yeast, let it come back to room temperature first before using.

What To Avoid When Storing Yeast?

Avoid storing yeast in plastic bags or containers made from polyethylene. This material may react with the yeast and cause it to become inactive.

Also avoid putting yeast in areas where there is a lot of heat, such as near radiators or in the sunshine. Heat kills yeast.

The most common mistake people do is leaving their yeast out in the open. This will cause the yeast to die quickly.

Another thing to avoid when storing yeast is moisture. When your yeast comes into contact with water or other liquids, it may react.

So if you don’t want your yeast to react before using it, then store it away from any humid areas.

How Long Can You Store Yeast?

If you store your yeast in a cool, dry place and keep it unopened, then yeast can last for up to 2 years.

However, after this amount of time, the yeast loses its potency.

You can extend the lifespan of your yeast if you keep unopened yeast in the fridge or the freezer.

But remember that these conditions may reduce the activity of the yeast.

In addition, once you’ve opened the packet of yeast, yeast can last for around 4 months in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.

Fresh yeast should never be frozen, but you can place it in the refrigerator where it lasts for up to 2 weeks.

Can Yeast Expire?

As yeast is effectively a living organism, it can expire after around 2 years. You will need to check the expiration date on your yeast packet.

Once expired, yeast cannot be revived and you will have to dispose of it.

However, yeast can last reasonably well when it is stored correctly.

How To Check If Yeast Is Expired

To check whether your yeast has expired, simply look at the expiry date on the packet. If it’s past this date, then throw it away.

If your yeast has gone past its expiry date and you still want to test whether it is still active, you can do so by proofing it.

Take your yeast and mix it with one teaspoon of sugar and a quarter cup of warm water. Allow this mix to set for around 10 minutes.

If the yeast is fine, then the mix will start to produce bubbles. If there is no reaction, then the yeast has expired.

What Temperature Can Kill Yeast? 

When storing your yeast, you must keep it out of direct sunlight and in a cool place. But what temperature kills yeast?

Yeast needs to stay at a temperature well below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Most experts say that yeast dies at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, already up from a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the yeast starts to turn. 

You will then need to check and test whether your yeast is still good.

This is because the yeast will continue to ferment even if it isn’t at an ideal temperature. So if you are unsure about how long your yeast has been stored, then you could try testing it.


If you’re looking to buy some yeast, then make sure you get a high-quality brand.

Also, ensure that you store your yeast properly. In particular, make sure that you store it in a cool, dark place.

And finally, check the expiry date on your yeast packets. Once the expiry date has passed, you will either need to test your yeast or just dispose of it.

Andrew Carr