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I have made and nurtured natural yeast for baking in the past. Problem is if you don't bake on a regular basis, the cost and effort of maintaining your live yeast culture is crazy. I recently purchased a freeze dryer (love it!!) and was wondering if I could freeze dry my live yeast culture and use it like dry yeast.

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    Yeast as in sourdough culture?
    – Stephie
    Aug 22, 2017 at 21:01
  • yes. I think i've read that if you let your yeast dry and become flaky then you save it can reconstitute it later. I wanted to take it a step further and have a long lasting storage. The only other reference i've seen referred to is a bio control yeast candida Sake, whereby you add 10% skim milk to the yeast which changes its viability from .2% to 30-30% after freeze-drying.
    – Mark
    Aug 23, 2017 at 21:34
  • I've never done it, but years ago I read that you could spread sourdough starter out thinly, then let it dry. You can then break it into flakes and store it as a precaution against losing the rest of your starter. So it might not require freeze drying.
    – Joe
    Nov 2, 2020 at 15:37
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    you can put your culture in the fridge and then you only need to feed it weekly, or if you bake very infrequently you can create a new culture each time (it takes 1-2 weeks until it's ready for baking)
    – Esther
    Aug 23, 2022 at 19:24

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I successfully freeze dried my kefir grains and sourdough starter by first adding in 20-25% (weight/weight) sugar and freezing it into small disks. The sugar stabilizes it against the freeze drying process and I observed no significant drop in activity following reconstitution.

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