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Old 10-22-2008, 02:45 PM   #1
luckylindy345
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Default Old Extract Kit--Should I Brew It?

I recently scored a second equipment kit for $25 (craigslist) and the kit included a Brewer's Best Ingredient Kit. The reason the kit was so cheap is because it has been sitting in a basement, unused for about 8 years (my guess) and the previous owner never found the time to brew with it. Anyway, I checked the date on the yeast packet and it said to use by 2001. My question is, is it worth brewing this kit? Obviously, I would use new yeast. The hops are vaccuum sealed and the extract is in a metal container. My guess is that everything would work out alright as long as I got new yeast, but I could see it coming out tasting like cardboard because the hops are so old...Maybe I should get new hops from my LHBS?

What do you guys think?

-E



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Old 10-22-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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you have the kit. All you need is water I'd use it. If it tastes like crap your only out some time and tastebuds. Consider it practice



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Old 10-22-2008, 03:12 PM   #3
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The extract is probably too old, as are the grains and hops. I guess I wouldn't waste my time and energy and tie up a fermenter.

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:42 PM   #4
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From what I gather, all brewing ingredients have a shelf life, whether it be extracts, grains, or what have you. The extracts are generally the most expensive single component of any kit, and they are canned, so I don't see the harm in giving them a try. But the grains and hops probably taste like straight plastic by now. The hops especially would probably turn to dust as soon as you opened the vacuum bag.

An option to consider, Northern Brewer charges about as much for full kits as most places charge for extract alone.

But on the other side of the coin, replacing your specialty grain and hops will cost about $10, if that. As an added advantage, you don't have to follow the original recipe. Just figure out what type of malt extract you have, and how much (ie: 6.6 pounds of light, 3.3 pounds of amber, etc). Find an extract recipe that calls for that much, figure out what components it uses, and buy them.

UPDATE: I read here that malt extract should generally be used within six months of purchase. After that time, the extract takes on a molasses taste, which is apparent in the finished beer. So, by all accounts, the malt you have is probably molasses by now. You might be able to pull it off if you want to brew a stout, but other than that just pitch it and get a fresh kit.

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:51 PM   #5
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Alright, sounds good. I'll go ahead and brew it (maybe with new grains/hops) and just hope for the best and like jspence1 said, it's good practice...I could use more of that! If it's disgusting I'll give it to my roommates and tell 'em it's a new kind of beer put out by budweiser (they love that stuff for some reason)

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspence1 View Post
you have the kit. All you need is water I'd use it. If it tastes like crap your only out some time and tastebuds. Consider it practice
If it taste like crap, is it the process that failed or the ingredients? Practice only works when there is a measurable outcome.

To the OP, Dump it. I wouldn't waste the time and effort for something that probably won't turn out good. Everyone says use the freshest extract possible to avoid extract tang. :clue:

I don't eat 8 year old crackers from someone's basement.

I don't drink tea made with 8 year old teabags.

I don't cook with 8 year old sugar.

I DO, however, love 8 year old single malt scotch. Even if it was found sealed up in a basement.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:13 PM   #7
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I made a batch with old extract and it was horrible. Tasted a bit like soy sauce and in a really bad way.

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Old 10-22-2008, 04:26 PM   #8
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Yeah, lucky, in hindsight I would strongly consider a Northern Brewer kit if I was in your position. You're talking less than $30 shipped for the Red Ale, which is supposed to be very good. Add that to the cost of your kit, and you're still in the green by a lot (most bucket-based kits cost about $70, and don't include ingredients).

Right now it might sound logical to give what you have a go, but when you think you'll be in the primary for about 3 weeks, and bottles for another 3 -- is it worth all that time for something that has a fairly good chance of being quite bad?

As an aside, make sure you have everything sterilized well, clean your bottles, etc etc. Pick up The Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian as well. Very helpful.

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Old 10-22-2008, 04:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pelikan View Post
Yeah, lucky, in hindsight I would strongly consider a Northern Brewer kit if I was in your position. You're talking less than $30 shipped for the Red Ale, which is supposed to be very good. Add that to the cost of your kit, and you're still in the green by a lot (most bucket-based kits cost about $70, and don't include ingredients).

Right now it might sound logical to give what you have a go, but when you think you'll be in the primary for about 3 weeks, and bottles for another 3 -- is it worth all that time for something that has a fairly good chance of being quite bad?

As an aside, make sure you have everything sterilized well, clean your bottles, etc etc. Pick up The Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian as well. Very helpful.
Yeah, I've read The Complete Joy of Home Brewing and the equipment kit I just bought is in addition to my original kit, so I wouldn't have to be worried about tying up a fermenter for no good reason...I don't need it anyway! But yeah, looks like the general concensus is don't brew it! So I won't brew it! Thanks all
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmb View Post
I don't eat 8 year old crackers from someone's basement.

I DO, however, love 8 year old single malt scotch. Even if it was found sealed up in a basement.
8 years. Too long for crackers, too soon for Scotch.


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