Author Topic: How old can a kit be (or how old before you say, nope, not going to brew that..)  (Read 1182 times)

Offline homebrewervb

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Hello all,

Been off the brew kettle for about a year and going through my brew closet I found a bag of grains and extract I purchased a year ago, of course, digging through he fridge I found the yeast and hops behind the arm and hammer.

Is that too old to try?  Is the yeast dead?

I put the grains under a vacuum when I stowed it and it is still under a slight vacuum...

What do you think?  (beside, dummy, why didn't you brew it!!) New, free time..

Virginia Beach VA

Offline bengelbrau

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If I were short on time, I'd get some fresh stuff, and brew a good batch. Once you get some in the pipeline, you could try to brew the old stuff, but ask yourself if it's worth spending your effort for something that may not be optimal.

Offline trummel2

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Oh man. Forgotten beer kit  :-[
Never had that problem.
I say do not brew it.  It sounds like disappointment waiting to happen.
Or, you can use it only for experimenting purposes.  Season it with something cheap as not to waste hops like dandelions for bitterness just to see what happens and what it tastes like.  I'd guess under attenuated and terrible.
When you feel like making something worthwhile, plan it out and buy/use fresh ingredients.

-Best of luck

Offline piratefan

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A buddy of mine brewed something recently from old ingredients I had - some 6 month old LME, >1year old DME, some old coriander, etc. He used new yeast and new hops and it was okay. Not sure what the style was, but it was definitely beer. I am quite sure it wouldn't have won any awards - even for creativity. But it was drinkable in small amounts.

Offline NadoBrew

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I've been known to take long breaks and I made great beer with a kit that was over a year old.....mind you, I don't use old yeast except for fuel for fresher yeast.

I even have an extract Coopers kit that might end up being three years old before I brew it (keep on setting it aside since the can got really dented and I have so much better ingredients now. It's still going to make just won't look anything like it would have had it been fresh.

That's the main issue with LME, it darkens over time. Even a few months later, the SRM of the finished product won't match the color it was advertised as. I have found, if you're not going to use LME immediately, plan on brewing a darker beer with it....I am fond of using LMEs for dunkleweizens because the beers are meant to be dark. For pale ales, I prefer all grain brewing.

Offline BrewArk

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I'd let my senses be the guide.  If the hops smell cheesy throw them out.  The yeast will probably not be salvageable even with a starter.  The grains, taste & smell.  If they smell like last weeks leftovers, put them in the compost with last weeks leftovers.  The LME will probably be darker but in a sealed bag might be used with other replacements.

Most importantly, why wait a year between batches?  Get brewing man!
Beer...Now there's a temporary solution!

Na Zdraví

Offline Joe Sr.

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It will make beer, but as said above plan on something darker.

I'd throw some fresh hops and yeast at it, but what the heck.

It might not be the best, but if you do it right you should have something decent.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton