It is common for people to use yeast in their recipes without ever storing it in the refrigerator.
Some people even keep their yeast stored at room temperature, but does this present a problem?
Can yeast go bad if not refrigerated?
The answer is yes, yeast will go bad if not refrigerated or stored in a cool, dry place.
Unrefrigerated yeast will only stay good for about a month, at which point it must be discarded and replaced with fresh yeast.
Unrefrigerated yeast will quickly die and become useless in a number of different recipes, so it is important to store your yeast properly.
Where to store yeast?
When you buy a fresh supply of yeast, it is important to refrigerate it once you have returned home from the market.
Unrefrigerated yeast will stay good at room temperature for about a month, but it is still important to refrigerate the yeast when you are not planning to use it.
Unopened packages of yeast will stay good in the refrigerator for about 6-9 months.
Unopened packages of yeast should stay good in a cool, dry place for up to 3 years.
However, once the package has been opened, the yeast should be used within about 1-4 months.
Can yeast be kept at room temperature?
If you have a recipe that calls for yeast but does not want to keep your yeast in the refrigerator, then it is OK to keep your yeast at room temperature for about a month.
Unrefrigerated yeast will still expire after this time, but it is fine to use the yeast within one month.
You can also store unrefrigerated yeast in a cupboard or shelf, or you can purchase an inexpensive food container to keep your yeast safe.
Does yeast need to be refrigerated?
With all being said, yes, yeast does need to be refrigerated. Unrefrigerated yeast will not remain good for a long period of time.
If you are baking bread overnight, then it is OK to keep your yeast at room temperature, but you should still keep your yeast in a container.
How can you tell if yeast is bad?
There are many indicators of yeast that have gone bad, including a dark or brown color, an expired expiration date, or a bad smell.
If you see these signs, then your yeast has gone bad and needs to be replaced.
Unrefrigerated yeast will quickly expire, so if you have been keeping it at room temperature, then you should replace it as soon as possible.
You can easily buy new yeast from the grocery store and keep it fresh by storing it in the refrigerator.
Unrefrigerated yeast will become unusable after a month, so it is important to only use the yeast within one month.
Once the package has been opened, the yeast should be used within about 4 months.
What happens if you don’t refrigerate yeast after opening?
If you do not refrigerate your yeast after opening it, the yeast will expire even faster.
Unrefrigerated yeast should be used within 4 months after the package has been opened, but if this yeast is not refrigerated, it will expire much faster.
If you have leftover yeast, do not forget to refrigerate it right away to keep it fresh.
Is expired yeast still good?
Once your yeast expires, it cannot be used in baking. Expired yeast will not rise when added to recipes.
Expired yeast still has some of its sweet, doughy smell and taste, but it is not good to use in baking.
You can still use expired yeast can be used as a flavoring agent for salad dressings, but it cannot be used in baking.
But for the best result, I recommend purchasing yeast for your baking. As long as possible, do not use expired yeast.
How long is yeast good after the expiration date?
After the expiration date, yeast remains good for a couple more weeks, but it is no longer usable for baking.
Unrefrigerated yeast should be thrown away if it is past the expiration date or has been unrefrigerated for more than a month.
Although expired yeast can be used for other purposes outside baking, I always recommend the safer route.
It is better to use new ones than expired yeast.
What happens if you used expired yeast?
Expired yeast will not rise when added to recipes, so if you have been keeping it at room temperature, then you should replace it.
As mentioned, expired yeast can be used to make salad dressings, but it cannot be used in baking.
If you are baking a delicate recipe, always make sure that you’re using new yeast.
This is to ensure the best baking results.
In summary, yeast can go bad if not refrigerated. If you have a pack of yeast that had been opened, make sure to refrigerate it immediately.
Yeast can stay good in a cool, dry location for up to 3 years, but once the package has been opened, the yeast should be used within about 4 months.
Unrefrigerated yeast will expire after this time, even if it is kept in a cool, dry location.
Unused yeast can be thrown away and do not try to save it for another use.
Also, unrefrigerated yeast should be thrown away if it is past the expiration date or has been unrefrigerated for more than a month.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.
Learn more about refrigerating foods here.