Can You Use Expired Yeast? Find Out Here

Can you use expired yeast? Yes, you can. Although you may only notice that the yeast does not work as actively as it should when not expired, still, it will work slowly.

Yeast is an important component of many baking ingredients, and it is widely available in supermarkets around you.

You will not be able to achieve a good result with some pastries if yeast is not used. As a result, this article goes into greater detail about yeast, how to tell if it’s active, why you can use expired least, and much more.

What is yeast?

A living leavening agent, such as yeast, is added to the dough to help it rise. It is a single-celled microbe that can be found in nature and our bodies. It belongs to the fungi kingdom.

In addition to producing alcohol, carbon dioxide, and other chemical compounds, it also consumes sugar. Winemaking, beer brewing, and baking all require yeast.

To properly develop and multiply, yeast needs the right conditions, which will help your dough swell and produce lovely baked goods.

The temperature of its surroundings, such as your kitchen, the temperature of the liquid it is in, and the food (such as sugar or starch) that you add to the dough to make it rise as it bakes all fall under the umbrella of what is known as a sympathetic environment.

SEE: Does Bread Flour Have Yeast In It?

Can you use expired yeast?

Although it will take more time for the dough to rise, you can use expired yeast. Yeast that is past its prime needs more time to hydrolyze and leaven the dough because it has lost a lot of its potency.

Avoid using it for enriched doughs like brioche or pastry, and only use it for simple, starchy doughs.

Can expired yeast make you sick?

Eating yeast that has passed its expiration date won’t make you ill. The best-before date for yeast places more emphasis on potency and efficiency, than on spoilage. Using expired yeast won’t make you sick, but the bread or other baked goods might not rise.

Applying old or elapsed yeast has no harmful effects on health because it is a biological leavening. Your baked goods will only become dense and flat because they won’t be capable of generating their leavening action.

Because it won’t have the same leavening possibility as the fresh yeast, it is, therefore, preferable to simply discard the expired yeast. However, if you don’t mind having weakly sourdough bread or cakes, you can still use the expired yeast.

Can you use expired yeast to make pizza dough?

Yes, you can. However, it is always best not to, as it would take longer for the dough to rise, and it could affect the overall feel of the pizza.

SEE: How Much Yeast Is in a Packet?

Can yeast expire in the fridge?

Yes, it can. Dry active and instant yeast that has been opened will keep for four months in the fridge and a maximum of six months in the freezer. Fresh yeast shouldn’t be frozen; it can keep for at least two weeks in the refrigerator.

Does powdered brewer’s yeast expire?

Yes, it does. Fresh brewer’s yeast typically has a very short shelf life; therefore, it cannot be kept in the refrigerator for more than a week or ten days at most.

Can you use expired yeast for beer?

Even if using expired yeast might not be okay, you don’t need to worry. Hops and liquid malt extract are both long-lasting. However, yeast is a living thing.

A yeast packet will always have a “best before” date, but just because that date has passed doesn’t mean you can’t use the yeast.

What does expired yeast look like?

You will not get a clear sign that yeast is expired, but you can test to find out. Expired yeast can only be tested by combining it with lukewarm water and waiting 10 minutes to see if it starts to bubble. If it does, it is no longer active.

The yeast can be used for baking if it begins to bubble, which indicates that some or most of the yeast cells are still alive.

How long can you use expired yeast?

If yeast is stored properly, it can remain useful for as long as four months after its expiration date. Since yeast is a living organism, it will expire eventually.

SEE: How To Tell If Baking Powder Is Aluminum Free

How to test expired yeast

Here’s how to test your yeast to make sure it isn’t active or to see if it might be past its end date.

  • Start with 1/2 cup of warm water, or about 100°F, to test the yeast.
  • This is the ideal temperature for your water because it will be warm enough to activate your yeast without being too hot to kill it.
  • Add 2 1/4 teaspoons of instant (or active dry) yeast at room temperature along with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • The sugar provides an “activation station” for the yeast. After about 15 seconds of stirring everything together, leave it alone for about 10 minutes.
  • The top should start to fizz and lightly bloom or foam after just a few minutes. The yeast should have tripled or doubled in size and should be perched high after 10 minutes.
  • Your yeast is bad if it doesn’t work despite the correct water temperature being added. Throw it away and get some new yeast.

SEE: Here’s How You Can Tell If Baking Powder Is Acid or Base

Tips to properly store yeast

Because moisture reduces the quality and freshness of dry yeast, it should be stored in airtight jars or containers to minimize exposure to air. Do the following to store your yeast:

  • Avoid keeping dry yeast in a moist environment.
  • You should keep yeast out of direct sunlight when storing it.
  • Dry yeast that hasn’t been opened needs to be kept somewhere cool, dry, and dark. Your pantry’s dry, cool corner can work well for this.
  • After taking out the necessary amount of dry yeast, close the lid of the jar or container at once to avoid opening it unnecessarily.
  • It is recommended to transfer the remaining yeast to an airtight container after you have opened the yeast package.
  • Always keep the opened yeast in the fridge, at or below 40°F, in an airtight container or PVC zipper bag.
  • When removing the dry yeast from the container, do not use a wet spoon.
  • After taking out all the dry yeast you need, secure the container lid of the dry yeast.
  • It is recommended to keep both opened and unopened fresh yeast in the refrigerator when dealing with this product.

SEE: Can You Make Baking Soda At Home?


Does instant dry yeast expire?

Yes, it does. Dry, active dry, or instant yeast, can be kept in the fridge for three to four months after being opened, after which it will lose its potency.

How do you know if beer yeast is bad?

Checking the gravity with a hydrometer or refractometer is the best way to determine whether your yeast is still active and fermenting.

Although you won’t be at your final gravity, even after a few days, your gravity will read better than when you first pitched your yeast.

SEE: Is Cornstarch Baking Powder?

What’s the shelf life of brewer’s yeast?

Dry yeast has a life span of 2-4 years (depending upon the strain) when kept cold and under a vacuum to keep oxygen out without losing performance.

Keeping dry yeast in the refrigerator is ideal; however, its stability makes some exposure to medium heat ineffective.

Can baking yeast make you sick?

Having too much yeast can result in a skin rash or diarrhea. Although it’s uncommon, if yeast overgrows and enters your blood, it could infect your entire body.


Yeast is an essential component in baking that cannot be easily substituted for another. You will need yeast to make great pizza dough and many other things.

As a result, it is best not to use past-due yeast because, while it will not harm your health, it will reduce the overall texture of your dough and make it take longer to rise.

You may also become ill from diarrhea if you consume excessive amount of yeast or use it in baking.

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed reading this article, view Cheffist for more.