Author Topic: Is old malt extract safe?  (Read 2481 times)

Offline kohlerbeer

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Is old malt extract safe?
« on: July 28, 2010, 06:27:12 PM »
I found a beer making kit which I bought in 2003, but had forgotten about.  It contains the ingredients to make a gallon of beer. The malt extract is a 1.4lb can of Alexander's Kicker Pale Malt Extract and a 5g packet of Danstar Nottingham Brewing Yeast.

My question is whether it is safe to use these ingredients to make the batch of beer?  It seems like a waste to throw it out. ???

Thanks in advance to anyone who posts an answer.
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 06:30:52 PM »
Only if you boil and ferment it first.  ;) (and if the can isn't bulging right now)
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Offline kohlerbeer

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2010, 07:02:09 PM »
Thanks.  I boiled it, and I am waiting for it to cool before I pitch the yeast.  I don't have high expectations, but I am curious to see the result.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2010, 07:10:27 PM »
If the can isn't bulging you may as well give it a try.  The resulting beer may (or may not) have an off taste or odd 'tang'  due to the age of the product, and the degree of that off taste will depend on how the can was stored.

Give it a try and report back.
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Offline kohlerbeer

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2010, 12:33:36 PM »
Here is an update.

Fermentation has subsided.  At its peak, bubbles were rising through the airlock about once every two seconds.  Now, the frequency is one every 30 seconds.  The appearance is dark brown and opaque.  That is surprising because it is supposed to be a pale ale.  Well considering the age of the malt extract, that is not really surprising.  I will wait a few more days and then bottle it as per the instructions.  After bottling, I will wait a week to let it finish fermenting.  I will give an update at that point.

Thanks to each of you have provided insight.  As a new homebrewer, I really appreciate the support.
 ;D
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 07:16:35 AM »
I think it will end up tasting pretty terrible.  Oxidation not only darkens the extract, but gives it a nasty twang.  But who knows -- and if you consider that you have the option of adding a ton of hops or spices to it, it could still turn out drinkable regardless.
Dave

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Offline ullarsskald1989

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 06:29:32 AM »
Last time I used a liquid extract, which had aged like yours, the resulting ale was darker than expected and had a "woody" taste to it...kind like chewing on toothpicks.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 12:57:44 PM »
...had a "woody" taste to it...kind like chewing on toothpicks.

Perfect description of what oxidation tastes like.  Others describe it as "papery" or "cardboardy".  Personally I detect it as an unusual "sinking feeling" about midway through gulp.  It's as though when the beer first enters my mouth, it tastes just fine, but then a half-second later, it loses what was delicious about it, and with successive gulps, becomes distracting to the point that you figure out that at one time, this beer might have been pretty good, but has gone stale and just isn't quite right anymore.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline kohlerbeer

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 08:38:18 AM »
I followed the instructions, and bottled them.  Now I will wait two weeks to see the result. 

We shall see.
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Offline diybrewing

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2010, 02:22:48 PM »
You can always use old extract to make a starter. Then who cares if the beer is terrible since you will throw it away anyway.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2010, 06:44:24 PM »
You can always use old extract to make a starter. Then who cares if the beer is terrible since you will throw it away anyway.

This is a great idea. 
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Offline jptheelder

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 04:22:28 PM »
You can always use old extract to make a starter. Then who cares if the beer is terrible since you will throw it away anyway.

+1 It works fine for a starter. if you decant, no noticable off flavors. at least thast I can taste.

Offline kohlerbeer

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Re: Is old malt extract safe?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2010, 02:48:07 AM »
I sampled the final product last night.  It was horrible.  As some of you predicted, it had a woody taste.  It is how I imagine the taste of the hickory blocks we use on the smoker.  On the upside, it did not poison me.  It is not a total loss.  It was good practice making an extract brew.  Today, a group of us are getting together to brew Irish Stout (Brewer's Best Kit) and Hard Lemonade (a recipe from a homebrewer forum). 

Thanks to all of you that offered input.

Slainte
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