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Old 06-26-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
bigirishape
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Default How long does LME last?

If it's in a sealed pouch/container, and is kept at room temperature...how long can I expect liquid malt extract to last? I know it's not as perishable as, say, cheese...but I figure it's got to have some kind of "Use Before" date. Right?

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Old 06-26-2011, 10:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigirishape
If it's in a sealed pouch/container, and is kept at room temperature...how long can I expect liquid malt extract to last? I know it's not as perishable as, say, cheese...but I figure it's got to have some kind of "Use Before" date. Right?
I am not sure about how long it last but I can tell you that the main factor in the success of an extract beer is the freshness of ingredients. I wouldn't worry bout it too much but use it as quickly as possible.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:44 PM   #3
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I've asked this question before and got widely varying answers. If it's sealed in a can / pouch, then it's probably good for many years. I got an answer from one guy who had scraped fuzzy stuff off the top of bulk LME before using it, and was happy with the results.

I say brew it! (Let us know how it turns out.)

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:10 AM   #4
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I would guess a couple months at room temp, a couple years in the freezer??

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Old 06-27-2011, 10:24 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback folks. I'm nowhere near scraping fuzzy stuff off the top of it, but it has been here for a good 4-6 weeks. I got carried away with the Ed's Apfelwein and forgot I even had these ingredients here...I thought I'd already brewed them! Not sure how that happened.

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Old 06-27-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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I just emailed AHS about this last week, since their LME containers have a label warning: "Highly perishible, please use promptly". Of course these are bulk LME containers, so they aren't sealed like a can is sealed (I imagine canned LME would be good for several months if not longer).

He suggested using it within 1 month, but keeping in the fridge can extend the life of the LME. He also said that if mold, etc does start to grow on it, you can just scrape it off and anything left will be killed off in the boil.

That said, I'm going to go DME whenever I can, although the clone kits from AHS only offer LME (their AHS-specific kits offer the choice).

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Old 06-27-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
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Here's what he wrote, very helpful:

Quote:
Hi,



Everything can be stored in the refrigerator but since all items are perishable food items and contain no preservatives, it is best to brew as soon as possible to ensure freshness. We recommend that customers only buy enough supplies needed for one month of brewing so that nothing sits around long enough to go bad. Just like with cooking, the fresher the ingredients, the better your final product will be.



Different items in the kit will go bad at different times.



Grain: Milled grain has a shelf life of about two weeks before starting to go stale but you can keep it fresh longer (up to 3-4 weeks) by storing it in the refrigerator. Unmilled grain can keep for a year or two if store properly (not too warm, humid).



Extract: Liquid Extract will last about 1 month before mold will start growing on it. You can scoop the mold off and kill whatever remains during the boil, but you can also add a thin layer of neutral vodka over the top of the extract and it will keep stuff from growing on the surface. Dried malt extracts can be stored for a long time because it has moisture removed from it making it harder for things to grow on it.



Yeast: Liquid yeast has a shelf life of about 6 months but can still be used after that point if a yeast starter is made. If any new yeast grows in the yeast starter, then it's ok to use this yeast to make a batch of beer. Dried Yeast packets normally have a shelf life of a few years. You should store yeast in the refrigerator but avoid lowering or raising the temperature of yeast too fast. Large temperature swings cause damage to yeast cell walls.



Hops: Hops can be saved for up to a year in the freezer, but after 6 months the bitterness will start to break down and will weaken with time.



Hope this helps,



Aaron Smith

Austin Homebrew Supply

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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I just finished brewing a kit that I purchased back in mid Feb. All the LME and Grains seemed to be fine with no sign of mold or detereration of the grain. Everything looked and smelled fine. The LME and Grains were stored in the basement and kept nicely cool and dry. The Hops were in the freezer. I am anticipating the batch to turn out fine and be very drinkable. Normally I don't wait that long to brew but real life kicked in. LOL.....

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:42 PM   #9
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If you put it in the fridge it should last months without a problem, especially if it's unopened. I've had containers of opened LME (then recapped) sitting in my fridge for several months and it made great beer. I'd imagine an unopened container would last even longer. Of course, the fresher the better.

Sitting out at room temp., however, I am unsure of...

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Old 06-28-2011, 02:39 AM   #10
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I kept my LME from AHS about 6 weeks before using it. I did keep it in a dark room that's ranges from 65-68 degrees F. No signs of mold. Also, I had their milled grains still kept in the vacuum sealed bag. Next time, I probably won't order so much at once though.

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