The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

what is the correct way of long time storing of bulk instant yeast?

sallam's picture
sallam

what is the correct way of long time storing of bulk instant yeast?

Hi


I purchased a 450g/1pound pack of instant yeast, used a spoon once, then kept it in a tight-lid jar in the fridge 2 months ago. Now when I try baking with it, the dough doesn't rise, though its expiray date still has a year left. Is it dead? or can I still use it (I want to use it in no-knead pizza dough, should I double the yeast quantity?) what is the correct way of long time storing of instant yeast?

tjkoko's picture
tjkoko

The SAF Red Instant Yeast that I purchased in December 2007, used repeatedly since then, has been constantly stored in the freezer to be taken out only when needed.  And over time, its strength doesn't seem to have faded.  I'm happy; my yeast is happy!

tjkoko's picture
tjkoko

1 tsp per 5 cups KA AP flour total is all I use.

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Hi Sallam,


Dried yeast keeps better than fresh yeast, but it won't live forever.


The expiration date refers to how long it should be good if you still haven't opened it.  Once you open it, the potency depends upon things like the temperature and moisture of the environment in which it is stored.  At a normal room temperature of around 75 degrees, I've had good results for at least a few days after opening, as long as I kept the yeast in a sealed container.


If you want it to keep longer, you have to lower the temperature AND eliminate any contact with moisture.  A refrigerator is cold, but, when you remove a jar from the 'fridge, leave it out for a while, and then put it back in there, condensation can form on the inside of the jar.  So I only scale instant yeast at the last minute, and then return the jar immediately to the refrigerator, very tightly covered.  That works for some time, but I think that after a couple of months I'd expect to see less activity from the yeast.


As tjkoko attested, freezing can keep the jar of yeast alive longer, although there will still be some loss of potency over time.  You know that old-fashioned precaution about testing yeast in warm water with a little sugar before deciding to use it in a dough?  That was really more related to the "fresh" yeast used often in the old days, and dried yeast really didn't need testing as long as you used it before the date on the little foil envelope expired.  Now that people are buying larger containers of yeast, though, and storing open packages much longer, I think it's a good idea to re-visit that practice and test the yeast before you assume it will do the job.

rainwater's picture
rainwater

I use the SAF instant yeast......I used to use this yeast for luncheon rolls when I cooked for a cafeteria.  I didn't even refrigerate it......just weighed from the bag.....It could sit on the shelf for as long as a month sometimes after being opened.  I think SAF instant yeast is like Starbucks coffee....I think they zap Starbucks with extra caffeine....My SAF acts like it's been zapped with something extra toooo.

rainwater's picture
rainwater

I forgot to mention that at home, I store my 1# SAF instant yeast in the freezer at home......

SulaBlue's picture
SulaBlue

Are you bringing your yeast to room temperature before adding it to your dough mixture?

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I store my yeast in the freezer and use it directly from there.  The percentage of yeast in the recipe is nominal compared to the other ingredients, so the temperature of the yeast should have little, if any, bearing on the way the dough performs.  Assuming the rest of the ingredients to be room temperature, for example, one would expect a dough made with room temperature yeast and cold water to rise much more slowly than one made with yeast from the freezer and lukewarm water.

poppyfields's picture
poppyfields

I purchase bulk SAF instant yeast and keep it in the freezer with excellent results.  My last batch survived a cross country move and neglect while I was in an uninspiring apartment - it is now almost 2 years old and still going strong.  I see no reason not to finish it up before starting my new package.  I sprinkle it on the flour from the frozen container and it comes up to temp by the time I get the liquid added.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I bought a large two-pack if instant yeast at Sam's Club several years ago-probably about 8oz each. They were in a heavy,vacuum packed foil. One was opened and kept in a ziplock and frozen. I just finished it up but the "Use by" date was August 2008. The other pack was still vacuum packed (unopened) and kept in the kitchen cupboard all this time. I went to use it and wisely tested it before use-it was dead. No activity whatsoever. I tested it a few times to be sure.


So, I guess that in a ziplock in the freezer was a good way to store it. I just bought another 2pack and both are now in the freezer.Should be about a 10 year supply, if it lives that long.


 

sallam's picture
sallam

Many thanks for all your tips. You encouraged me to test my yeast again, and it worked! perhaps it was some other factor the other time.


So, from now on, I'll keep it in a tightly sealed plastic jar in the freezer, inside a plastic bag for double protection.


Thanks so much for your kind advices.