How Long Does Bread Yeast Last in Freezer?

KristinaW

Member
I've heard and read various reports on how long bread yeast lasts. I know it only lasts for a few months in the refrigerator, but how long can I store it in the freezer and still have it be effective? Now that autumn is here, I'd like to begin doing some cooking again and I've got a lot of yeast stored away. Thanks.
 
You will read completely and totally conflicting reports on the internet regarding how long yeast will last. I was just browsing a page on some website that claimed yeast can be stored, unopened, in a cool location, such as a kitchen cabinet, for three months. Once the yeast is opened, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to four months. Alternately, you can store it in the freezer for up to six months. If the yeast is unopened, you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer for up to two years.

I really have no idea for how long yeast lives. I know it's got to go bad at some point. I have yet to reach that point though and I've been making homemade bread for decades. From what I've seen out there, people get really hung up on the expiration date of their yeast. I don't know why. I never pay attention to expiration dates, but that may be my conspiratorial side coming out.

Here's the truth as far as I know it and I dare someone to tell me different. I bought a pound of Fleischmann's Instant Dry Yeast from Sam's Club over five years ago. I opened it, used it a bunch of times to make various loaves of bread and it worked great. The moment I opened, it, I poured the entire contents of the bag in a glass jar and stuck it in my freezer. It's been sitting there frozen the entire time from when I bought it until yesterday, when I used it again. I was very concerned that my bread wouldn't rise yesterday due to the old yeast. I thought it surely would have died by now. Truth be told, I have never had a loaf of bread rise as high as this one. Believe me when I tell you that my five year old yeast is alive and well. The only thing I did to it was add the 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast the bread recipe called for to a few tablespoons of water water to wake it up. Once the yeast turned into a paste, I added it to the rest of the ingredients. I couldn't believe my luck. So there's a first hand story from a real person, as opposed to another kitchen or cooking related website spewing out regurgitated old news that everyone copies from one another.
 
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