Yeast Storage

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Seacowboys, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have a grain mill and buckets of red wheat and other grains stored. I have a brick oven out back that I can bake bread in. I was wondering, since yeast apparently has a shelf life of around a year, can it be long-term stored aside from freezing? What form of yeast stores best? Can yeast be grown and processed in the home? It's not just bread that is at risk here but beer as well!
    I know that sourdough starter is easy to maintain indefinately but that relies on you being there to feed the culture and wouldn't work for a cache.
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    A good Sourdough Starter can be kept indefinitely, if it is feed once in a while.... My wife has one that was carried across the plains, by her Great-Great Grandmother in a covered wagon. Makes the best bread and pancakes, that just melt in your mouth, especially with some honey on it.....
  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Like I said, I keep sour dough starter but you can't stash that in a cache and you can't leave it for many days unattended. Thanks for the article RH, it is reasuring to know that there are options after the jars go flat.
  5. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    That's funny. I am not saying it's not's just funny. Reminds me of this test ran by the corporations years ago when margarine was still a new product. It came as white only, it didn't look anything like butter, it came in a different container. So, the marketers decided to run tests on volunteers where they would taste test the white margarine as well as the new yellow margarine...they are told the yellow margarine has improved flavor and even the container was yellow! Naturally, most of the test subjects voted for the yellow margarine -they swore it was so much better! Well, the kicker of it all is simple: according to the control group who sampled both types of margarine without seeing which was which, they mostly declared mixed answers, neither margarine tasted any better than the other.

    This is because only the color was changed, not the formula. The better taste is all in your head.

    Now, perhaps your secret ancient dough does make the best bread ever. I am not saying anything now, and I wasn't saying anything then. [dunno]
    Ganado, tacmotusn and chelloveck like this.
  6. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    anyone here remember when it came in a bag with yellow coloring and you had to hand mix it to get the yellow color?
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yeah. That was not the most fun thing in G-ma's kitchen, but it kept us kids busy for several minutes. (Or G-pa if he was under foot.) I don't know what that stuff was, but it went OK on bread with a dollop of honey.
  8. AbbyGrant

    AbbyGrant Monkey+

    You don't need to store yeast as a sourdough starter is easy to make from scratch from the ingrediants you have. Right hands link gives good instructions.

    For beer the same - yeast can be 'grown' from hops or I believe malt. John Seymours Guide to Self- sufficiency gives basic instructions on how to do this. But a good traditional brewing book would have this too.

    However dried yeast will keep for a year or so - and maybe longer although you will need more of it to work.

    It wouldn't last forever in a cache but its not heavy or bulky so you should be able to have some that you could take with you to your cache

    No perfect answer I'm afraid but on the scale of things not the biggest problem.
  9. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Long as I can make bread and beer, civilization will survive. I have lived for extended periods on lizards and other crawly things but you could not describe that as civilized. Levened bread and beer define civilization.
    Ganado likes this.
  10. enough

    enough Monkey++

    How about keeping yeast in an oxygen free environment, protected from nasties by a bit of alcohol, and under the protection of another highly desired packaging material?

    Brew a high alcohol beer. It'll rest quietly for a loooooonnnngggggg time. It may take a little while to wake it up, but its worth it!

    Instead of sending it through two phases of fermentation, just do a primary for a week or two, and make sure a little extra yeast is left in suspension, during bottling. Also, don't leave as much headspace, it will reduce carbonation, but also be sure that the oxygen is used up.

    As far as cashing it, freeze depths will be a factor. I don't have a good solution for that.... But, being buried in a dark, cool place will be just about ideal for long term storage.
  11. Maxflax

    Maxflax Lightning in a bottle

    I stock the Red Star vacuum packed bricks of yeast from Costco and I expect it to be good for a looong time. We have a large mason jar for the currently opened brick. It's been in that jar for years and what is left is still good

    I'm big on wheat storage. Good for bakery and survival beer making. Our retreat sits above a small but rich agricultural valley and we could plant it, too [boozingbuddies]
    Witch Doctor 01 and Brokor like this.
  12. KYNabob

    KYNabob Monkey+

    The Guinness people are still brewing with their origional strain of yeast that has been preserved since 1759.

    The culture is preserved from and returned to each fermenting run.

    Before the presence of yeast for sale in groceries women would go directly to the brewer to buy yeast culture for baking bread.
  13. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That's really interesting KYNabob. You should post that in the Beer Tent forum.
  14. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Monkey++

    I have found this to be true also. Just found one of those small packages of yeast in the back of my spice drawer. Judging from the expiration date it was at least 5 years old. Proofed perfectly ... we are finishing off the last of the loaf of bread I made with it today. The rolls I made didn't make it through the night! LOL

    Right now I have 10 unopened one pound bricks in the freezer, another 5 in my pantry room (temp never gets above about 68 in there) and an open one in the kitchen.

    I also have a sourdough starter that I keep in the fridge and feed once a week. Probably use it a couple times a month.
    Mountain mama and Brokor like this.
  15. nkawtg

    nkawtg Monkey+++

    Nice! A Babylon 5 Quote
    Brokor and tacmotusn like this.
  16. Kathy in WV

    Kathy in WV Just runnin' the ridges...

    Don't forget that wild yeast can be captured off the surfaces of any mature fruit. You can find some kind of wild fruit growing in almost any area. I can't think of a place where wild grapes don't find a way to grow. Im thinking the 1 pound vacuum packs of yeat will have something viable in them for quite awhile...
  17. oldbee1966

    oldbee1966 Monkey+++

    This video shows another way to preserve a type of yeast. This is a very good series on 1800's food, cooking, preserving, etc.

    Witch Doctor 01 and Brokor like this.
  18. john316

    john316 Monkey+++

  19. alaskachick

    alaskachick A normally quiet snow monkey

    You can dry the sourdough starter and store in a jar or plastic bag. Eliminate all moisture to make this work.
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
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