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Old 08-27-2011, 06:09 PM   #1
onipar
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Default Old beer kit: what to keep, what to toss

I found this "mini" beer kit at a yard sale today. Never mind that I don't really *need* it for any reason; I can't help but buy beer stuff at yard sales.

Anyway, I say "mini" because it is meant to brew only six bottles. I asked how old it was and how much he wanted. he said it was at least 6 years old, and he wanted $10. I said I'd take it for $5 because the ingredients would all have to be tossed.

Sold.

Okay. So I bought it mostly because I wanted the 6 plastic screw top bottles to use for my test batches and "sample beer." It also came with a good airlock, measuring spoon, tubing, and six pack holder--all of which I plan to use. But as to my concerns:

As I said, the ingredients are old. I tossed the "hops" (which weren't even named) without any thought. There are these little 2 oz packages of specialty grains that I figure I should dump too. And I tossed the dark DME because it was clumped up and gross looking. But, I think I can salvage some stuff.

The (dry) yeast says it expired in 2006, but knowing how resilient yeast can be, I was thinking I'd make a starter with it and see it if was still alive. If it is, great, if not I'll toss it. Thoughts?

Questions: Do you think it'd be okay to use the old light DME that came with the kit to make the starter? It's vacuum sealed, and even if the quality sucks, I figured it'd be fine for a starter, but I wanted to check with you guys and gals.

I also want to salvage the 15 oz package of dextrose to use for bottle priming. You think this should be okay? As far as I know, vacuum sealed sugar should be okay.

Finally, there's a package of gelatin that I imagine is still fine. Am I wrong that this would hold up against the test of time?

Thanks for the help, as always.

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Old 08-27-2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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I think your spot on with my thinking on everything.

The yeast is way beyond its prime but maybe if you step up a starter it will be workable, really depends on how it was stored (I wouldnt count on there being good storage practices ). Dry yeast is like $1/pkg but hey, it's a fun experiment.

The DME and sugar I would use as long as its not clumpy or anything like that. That stuff keeps pretty much forever as long as its sealed and dry.

I can't vouch for the gelatin.

Let us know how it goes.

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Old 08-27-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jaycount View Post
I think your spot on with my thinking on everything.

The yeast is way beyond its prime but maybe if you step up a starter it will be workable, really depends on how it was stored (I wouldnt count on there being good storage practices ). Dry yeast is like $1/pkg but hey, it's a fun experiment.

The DME and sugar I would use as long as its not clumpy or anything like that. That stuff keeps pretty much forever as long as its sealed and dry.

I can't vouch for the gelatin.

Let us know how it goes.
Thank you, sir.

Yeah, I'm not worried one way or the other on the yeast (Danstar Windsor Ale Yeast). I figured since I've never made a starter, this was a no-worry way to practice. And if they're alive, bonus!

Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
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Windsor doesn't attenuate well. I wouldn't use it of it were new.

DME and sugar will be OK.

Gelatin; if it's dry it is probably OK, but it costs next to nothing. Buy it in the grocery store for a dollar a pack, and that will last you at least a year.

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Old 08-27-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
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Windsor doesn't attenuate well. I wouldn't use it of it were new.

DME and sugar will be OK.

Gelatin; if it's dry it is probably OK, but it costs next to nothing. Buy it in the grocery store for a dollar a pack, and that will last you at least a year.
Thanks. I'll probably play with it to practice a starter anyway, even if I end up dumping it. But thanks for the heads up about its attenuation.

Yeah, the gelatin is dry. I've never actually used gelatin before (honestly not even sure *how* to use it). But if it's that cheap, if I ever need it Ill take your advice; might as well have it fresh.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:56 AM   #6
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use the yeast in the boil for "good" yeast fuel... Save the hops for a lambic as almost all call for "aged hops"...

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