I'm contemplating returning back to IDY from ADY. Lately, the Red Star ADY I buy (brick from S&F) dies within 4 weeks of purchase. I've tried freezing, refridgerating and room-temping without success; I do mix with 105-deg. water before use (verified with a digital thermometer) and soak for 10 mins prior to mixing with the flour. I store inside glass jars with tight lids, and the product is not old or expired when I purchase. And when I get a funky batch of dough, I always do two more test batches to confirm that yeast was the problem. (one with new yeast, one with the existing supply, using identical recipies, temps and techniques to verify the problem.)
I suspect that the product I'm purchasing is expired/repackaged/redated. I've seen this before by certain companies that are trying to save a buck; certain retailers <ahem..> demand an ultra low-cost product to shelve that looks like everyone elses's retail packaging, but the contents are of considerable less quality/quantity in order to turn a profit. And I suspect S&F might be doing this purposely to shade competitors.
I'm going to source differently now because of this problem. I'm tempted to go back to IDY from a completely different retailer (anything BUT a discount outfit); it can be mixed directly into dough or water without rehydrating or proofing as I understand it. However, I also understand that the measurements are different between ADY and IDY. Should I add more, or less than ADY to achieve the same results? Is the shelf life of IDY better or worse than ADY? What is the best way to store IDY for maximum freshness?
And I'm curious if anyone else has experienced yeast problems when sourcing from discount retailers. Ruining a perfectly good batch of dough with dead yeast shouldn't happen to a DOG. I'm half-ticked at Red Star/S&F about this, and I want to try a different tack. Thanks for your help.