If I open a packet of yeast, do i have to use it all right away?

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Bobbo404

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If i open a packet of yeast do i have to use it all right away? Can i put the left over in a air tight container and hold on to it for awhile more? if so how much more? Can i freeze it? will that do anything?
 

IslandLizard

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Dry yeast or liquid yeast?

If dry yeast, snip off only a corner large enough to dispense.*
Then seal it tightly by folding over the top flap a few times, while squeezing all the air out, as much as you can. And tape it well shut.
Stick it inside a (small) freezer bag, again squeeze all the air out of that too, seal, and store in freezer. It will last for at least a year that way, possibly longer.**
Keep good sanitation of course.

* You should weigh what you're using.
** On reuse, let the whole frozen freezer bag package come to room temps first before opening, to prevent condensation. The yeast inside the little pouch should be dry granules. If it's moist or liquid, discard, it won't be any good.

If liquid yeast, you'd make a starter with the whole pack. Then you can save out as much as you like into mason jars, kept in the fridge.
Do not freeze!
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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With dry yeast, I've had good results, over the years, with closing the bag tightly using a rubber band, putting the package in the fridge, and using the opened package within a couple of months.

For some of the Lallemand strains that I use (I haven't check all of them), their product information sheet has another approach where the yeast "can be stored below 4C° (39°F) until the indicated expiry date."

With regard to weighing dry yeast, you can also weight an unopened package of the same brand/strain to determine the weight of the packaging.
 
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Nate R

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Dry yeast or liquid yeast?

If dry yeast, snip off only a corner large enough to dispense.*
Then seal it tightly by folding over the top flap a few times, while squeezing all the air out, as much as you can. And tape it well shut.
Stick it inside a (small) freezer bag, again squeeze all the air out of that too, seal, and store in freezer. It will last for at least a year that way, possibly longer.**
Keep good sanitation of course.

* You should weigh what you're using.
** On reuse, let the whole frozen freezer bag package come to room temps first before opening, to prevent condensation. The yeast inside the little pouch should be dry granules. If it's moist or liquid, discard, it won't be any good.

If liquid yeast, you'd make a starter with the whole pack. Then you can save out as much as you like into mason jars, kept in the fridge.
Do not freeze!
Not trying to argue... but dry yeast in a freezer?? I was under the impression that dry yeast stores best under refridgeration, not a freezer.
Is the freezer because the packet is open? I can see that... but that might confuse a new brewer.
Heck- maybe i'm the confused one!!
 

IslandLizard

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Not trying to argue... but dry yeast in a freezer?? I was under the impression that dry yeast stores best under refridgeration, not a freezer.
Is the freezer because the packet is open? I can see that... but that might confuse a new brewer.
Heck- maybe i'm the confused one!!
I think that's what being recommended in our forums.
I've stored Dry Brewers Yeast (in the little pouches) in the freezer for many years, even well past their exp. date and used with no problems.

I've been doing the same for Bakers Yeast in pound-size bricks (Sam's Club, Costco's) the past 20-some years, both opened (and resealed) and unopened. It may take me 5-10 years to use up 2 bricks. Never had a problem.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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[...]I was under the impression that dry yeast stores best under refridgeration [...]
IIRC, for the dry yeast strains that I use, product information for those strains (from Fermentis or Lallemand) recommends storing unopened packages in the refrigerator.

With regard to open packages, when saving the open package, the goal appears to be avoiding moisture, contamination, and oxygen. Resealing the package appropriately, storing it cool, and using it promptly is one approach. See also what I hinted at in #3.
 

bruce_the_loon

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If you have a vacuum sealer, I take it is a good idea to vacuum-seal the yeast? I do it for partially used hops in a hopefully not-vain attempt to preserve their lives.
 

Nate R

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I love my vacumn sealer... but not all have it. Although Inkbird, an HBT sponsor, offer a great affordable model here: 50% OFF for Inkbird Vacuum Sealer Machine — Only $27.49 can get one

I too have always been under the impression freezing was bad for dry yeast... although while i know it can kill liquid yeast, i can't see why it would hurt dried yeast. But- since dry yeast seems to last a really, really long time* under normal refridgeration, why freeze it?

Question- won't there be more moisture potential by putting an open pack of dry yeast in the freezer vs. a fridge IF it not properly sealed?
Or am i just over thinking it? Lol.

* i have read threads of brewers using like 5 year "expired" yeasts if stored in the fridge. Ymmv.
 

Elric

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I use dry yeast exclusively and have only ever used the whole packet on a single brew on three occasions. Remainder always gets folded up very tight and either an elastic or binder clip makes sure it stays shut and it goes back in the fridge for later use. Haven’t had any issues with any yet. I think the longest I had one laying around open before using again was about six months.
 

Calder

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Dry yeast will survive fine in fridge or freezer. There really is no need to store in the freezer; At fridge temps dry yeast will lose approximately 4% viability per year, so it will take 10 years to lose roughly half it's viability.

If you do not use the whole pack, what you need to ensure is that you do not introduce contaminants, so cut the pack with a sanitized pair of scissors, and then just fold over the top and somehow seal (maybe just fold a couple of times and wrap an elastic band around it).
 

crazyjake19

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I've saved dry yeast by folding them over, sealing with tape, and putting it back in the fridge. Usually I'm using the rest within a month or two. If I planned to try to save it longer, I'd probably vacuum seal it.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Heck- maybe i'm the confused one!!
So here's what I do (across a couple of bodies of knowledge, including home brewing):
  1. Identify sources of expert knowledge and augment those sources with experiences and anecdotal evidence.
    • Sometimes the anecdotal evidence will show where the expert knowledge is conservative (e.g. storing partial package of active dry yeast, "use by" dates for active dry yeast).
    • Sometimes anecdotal evidence will miss updates to products / practices (e.g. changes in product quality, pitching active dry yeast without rehydration).
  2. Verify what is claimed by running small tests (e.g. how fermentable is crystal malt? steep some in water, add yeast, measure the result).
 
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Bobbo404

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Thanks everyone for the input.
I am brewing a Scotch Ale and the head in the fermenter dissipated quickly after only 5 or 6 days. So i was wondering if maybe i screwed up pitching the yeast, or if in fact the fermentation quickly ended. I read that a good way to see if i did mess up was to take a small sample of the beer and put just a little yeast in a jar to the side and see if any re-fermentation started. It did not. So im thinking that fermentation just started and ended quickly.
The jokes on me however, i didn't take an OG reading......
 

ncbrewer

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Thanks everyone for the input.
I am brewing a Scotch Ale and the head in the fermenter dissipated quickly after only 5 or 6 days. So i was wondering if maybe i screwed up pitching the yeast, or if in fact the fermentation quickly ended. I read that a good way to see if i did mess up was to take a small sample of the beer and put just a little yeast in a jar to the side and see if any re-fermentation started. It did not. So im thinking that fermentation just started and ended quickly.
The jokes on me however, i didn't take an OG reading......
Yes, it's fine for the kraeusen to drop after 5 or 6 days, but don't take that as meaning fermentation is finished. If bottling, make sure gravity is stable and near the expected FG.
 
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Bobbo404

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Kraeusen, that must be the head of the beer in the fermenter? Learning stuff.
I am worried something ive done is wrong tho, just seems... too seamless and like the process has dropped out. But i guess ill find out when it finished!
 

dwhite60

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I just made a pineapple melomel and pitched a 1/2 pack of Red Star Premier Classique yeast that I opened almost two years ago. I had taped it closed after using and stored it in the freezer. Took off as expected.

I think dry yeast is a lot more durable than people think. I'm sure the yeast manufacturers don't want you buying in bulk cutting into their profits when you could be buying many of those little $5 sachets.
 

ab_hbt

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On the other hand...

$4.49 for 11.5 g $0.3904 per gram
$113.99 for 500 g $0.2279 per gram

42% the cost in bulk, albeit at volumes (43x) a homebrewer may have trouble using in a year.
 

odie

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I had 1/2 a pack of US-05 I forgot about. was in the fridge for a couple years just folded over, not taped or anything. Dry pitched just fine and made good beer.
 

odie

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how many hits off that brick? judging from the singles I would say about 50 beers. What would you say was your savings per use? 50% 75% ?

I like to buy in bulk...grain, hops, multiple yeast packs...
 

Nate R

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Yeah... seriosuly.
I am making my next batches with dry yeast... i just used more beer Cali (basically us-05) and if i can buy in bulk to save costs AND get a great pitch rate... fuhgettaboutit!!! As i am headed into lagers... $12 for a liquid yeast, and since i am lazy $3.00 each for 2 propper starter/fast pitch... thats like $20!!
Yeah you CAN reuse... harvest, etc. I did that. But time and storing is always a factor for me.

If you use cali, it's $70 for 500g, or about $1.68 a pouch!!! So, that is like 60% cheaper!!

I will edit and update with us-05 price soon


Edit: us-05 at morebeer. More costly. $114 for 500g. So $2.65 per pouch.
But i bet we can find a better deal than that!!!



Sheet yeah there's a better deal!
Adventures in homebrewing (aih) i got it for $83 shipped out the door!! A $1.89 a pack!!
 
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