Does dry yeast keep longer in the fridge? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Does dry yeast keep longer in the fridge?

Thread Tools
Old 09-21-2009, 03:06 AM   #1
Dec 2008
Posts: 202
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

Does dry yeast keep longer in the fridge? Worth the bother? If I fridge it, will it work after its use by date or are they usually toast by then?


Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 03:14 AM   #2

Originally Posted by BrewOnBoard View Post
Does dry yeast keep longer in the fridge? Worth the bother? If I fridge it, will it work after its use by date or are they usually toast by then?

You'd be suprised how well yeast can survive. I would definately keep them in the fridge though to extend their lives.
He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven.

Another HERMS rig...

Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 03:23 AM   #3
May 2009
Los Angeles
Posts: 8,219
Liked 493 Times on 398 Posts

I keep mine in the fridge. My LHBS stocks all their dry yeast in the fridge as well.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 01:33 PM   #4
Dec 2008
Reykjavík, Iceland
Posts: 50
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

my baking yeast still works and it expired in 2001... thats 8 years and it still works the same on my bread

Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 01:55 PM   #5
DBbrewing's Avatar
Mar 2009
Streator, Illinois
Posts: 278
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I keep all my yeast in the fridge, and I have used it after the expiration date and it worked fine.

primarys: Black Jesus IPA
Secondaries: Apple cider

Bottled; Mead

Kegged; Barrel aged Porter, Irish Red,
Dead Guy Clone
Munich Helles, Oatmeal Stout, !2% Russian Imperial Stout, Milk Chocolate Stout, Barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout, 12% Barley Wine(aging)

Up Next; Black IPA

Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #6
Jan 2009
Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 1,914
Liked 68 Times on 51 Posts

Even if it doesn't extend the life of the yeast, it does make it easier to find if it's in there. I should start keeping my gypsum, CaCl2, Whirlfloc, etc. in the fridge as well, since I can never find the damn stuff when I start brewing. Well, either that, or I should get organized...

Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2009, 03:25 PM   #7
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,936
Liked 3210 Times on 1894 Posts

Yeast IS hardier than most newish brewers wanna give them props for...I mean You can't say that THIS YEAST was stored "properly" and yet, they managed to make a batch of beer with it.

45 million year old yeast ferments amber ale

If we can make beer with that....

Yeast are really tenacious critters, except in the rarest and most extreme circumstances, they will survive, reproduce and work for you. If they can harvest 4500 year old yeast from a hunk of amber, then even and outdated packet of dry, a deflated smack pack, or properly stored outdated tube, will more than likely still have enough viable cells to reproduce into a starter.

Bobby M recently did a test on year old store yeast here;

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes. I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.

I don't know if you know the story of Charlie Papazian's yeast (White Labs "Cry Havoc") or not. He talked about it on basic brewing. The recipes in both Papazian's books, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and The Homebrewers Companion, were originally developed and brewed with this yeast. Papazian had "Cry Havoc" in his yeast stable since 1983.

He has used it nearly continuously since 83, sometimes pitching multiple batches on top of a cake, sometimes washing or not washing, etc. In a basic brewing podcast iirc last year he talked about how a batch of the yeast after a lot of uses picked up a wild mutation, and he noticed an off flavor in a couple batches.

Now most of us would prolly dump that yeast. Instead he washed it, slanted or jarred it (I can't recall which,)marked it, and cold stored it, and pretty much forgot about it for 10-15 years. He had plenty other slants of the yeast strain, so he left it alone.

Well evidently he came across that container of yeast, and for sh!ts and giggles made a beer with it. Evidently after all those years in storage, the wild or mutated yeast died out leaving behind a few viable cells of the "pure" culture, which he grew back into a pretty hardy strain...which iirc is the culture that White Labs actually used for their cry havoc...because of it's tenacity and survivability.

It really to me, just goes to show once again how really hard it is to f up this beermaking, and that to give the yeast the props they deserve.

If you stock up and keep it cold you'll be fine...with dry since you don't make starters with it, make sure to proof/rehydrate it first, and the older it gets (2-3 years past expiry date) you might want to pitch TWO packets instead of one, but since it is so cheap it won't matter.
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 01:16 AM   #8
Aug 2008
Posts: 12

FWIW, I used half of a Safale S-05 for one batch, folded over the opening a few times, taped it shut, and then double ziploc-bagged it and threw it in the fridge. A few months later I used the remaining half, and it worked fine. Pretty sturdy stuff, I'd say.

Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2009, 02:29 AM   #9
Aug 2009
Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 2,509
Liked 35 Times on 35 Posts

Originally Posted by Andri View Post
my baking yeast still works and it expired in 2001... thats 8 years and it still works the same on my bread
Yeah, but you have to age your bread a lot longer now to get rid of off flavors caused by the underpitching resulting from the lost viability, right??

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
what yeast is in your fridge? killian General Beer Discussion 45 06-21-2009 07:40 AM
Fridge Yeast rocketman768 General Techniques 8 01-06-2009 06:58 PM
Airlock no longer Bubbling! Pitch New Yeast? luckylindy345 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 10-30-2008 02:57 PM
Liquid yeast longer to start than dry yeast? ndhowlett General Beer Discussion 2 01-07-2008 07:26 PM
Yeast out of Fridge mot Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 04-11-2007 09:31 PM

Forum Jump