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Old 12-22-2009, 01:36 PM   #1
anteup02
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Default kit shelf life

I have been reading all the posts on here about the places to buy kits - Northern Brewer, Austin Homebrew, etc. and I am wondering how long are these kits usually good for? I want to order some, but I really only have time to brew about once a month. So if I order a few of them will they still be "fresh" enough a few months later when I get to the last one?

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Old 12-22-2009, 01:39 PM   #2
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It should be fine if you can throw it in the fridge. Why can't you buy closer to brew day?

EDIT: Nevermind I reread your question and now understand why you can't buy closer to brew day. You could stage out your shipments (slightly more expensive since you'll pay shipping on each kit)

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Old 12-22-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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not that i cant buy closer to brew day, but with the flat shipping rates just figured i would stock up all at once instead of paying the $8 every time....but if it won't make as good of beer i'll just bite the bullet and by one at a time right before i brew.

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Old 12-22-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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You can certainly prolong the freshness if you store your ingredients in the fridge. It also depends on what type of ingredients you're using. If it's an extract kit, DME will last a lot longer than LME with everything else being equal. But with LME you can put it in the fridge, and some people even freeze it I've heard. When it comes to yeast, dry will also last a long time whereas liquid does have a bit of a shelf life. As long as your hops are in a vacuum sealed package, you can throw them in the freezer for a long time without much concern.

Where you'll start to notice a difference in quality is if you order pre-crushed specialty grains or grains to do a partial mash. Once the grains are crushed you want to use them as soon as you can, although storing them in an airtight container in the fridge will help them last longer.

So, look at the type of ingredients you intend on using and then decide whether you will be able to store them properly. But if you're brewing just once a month and will be dealing with liquid yeast and a lot of already crushed grains, I probably wouldn't buy more than two kits at a time which would put one kit at 2 months old by the time you get around to brewing it.

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