Does Beer Yeast Expire? (Plus Tips To Extend Shelf Life!)

Thick Brush Stroke
Thick Brush Stroke
Thick Brush Stroke

Most commercially available dry beer yeast has an expiration date of between 1-3 years while liquid yeasts have a printed date of between 3-6 months but both can sometimes be used past this date.  

Canned yeast starters do not need to be refrigerated and have a shelf life of about a year. 

Does beer yeast ever expire?

Unlike most perishable food, yeast won’t necessarily “go bad” in the sense that it will spoil, rot, or become dangerous to consume. Typically, commercially available beer yeast will come with a recommended use-by, best-by, or expiration date. 

Does beer yeast have an expiration date?

Yes, just about any beer yeast that you buy at a homebrew store or from an online homebrew supply will have some sort of expiration date printed on it.  

Does beer yeast have a best-by date?

The date on beer yeast may be expressed as a “best by” date. Regardless of whether the date on your yeast is listed as an expiration or a best by date, you should try to use the yeast before that date. 

Can you use expired beer yeast?

The good news is, no matter what the expiration date on the package says, if you’re able to confirm yeast activity you can go ahead and use it in your next batch of homebrew. It’s perfectly safe to use. 

How to Proof Beer Yeast to Test if It’s Still Good 

If you don’t see foam or bubbles after an hour, your yeast is likely dead and not salvageable. In this case, the liquid would look opaque as well as “flat” like tap water 

How to make beer yeast last longer

The key to getting the most out of your yeast is making sure to store it properly. Because yeast is a living thing, it needs to be cared for in order to thrive. Different types of yeast require different storage conditions. 

Thick Brush Stroke

For more posts like this, visit Learning to Homebrew