I started brewing from kits around 6 years ago. I made 5 or 6 batches of decent beer (reading through threads here I realize now I bottled too soon) and one sour batch of Scottish Strong (which taught me not to use my mouth for the siphon).
I got away from brewing, however, when my daughter was born 4 years ago. I am now back with renewed enthusiasm and my first batch currently in the primary for almost a week. My question is about my four old kits, three of which are 4 years old and one that is 2 years old (a Christmas present from my brother trying to lure me back into brewing). Can these be used with any expectation of getting good beer? Do I need to replace particular ingredients? Or is it all garbage now?
The 2 year old kit is a True Brew IPA. The 4 year old kits are a Doppel Wieizen, Brass Ale and Irish Red from Niagara Tradition (LHBS). All the ingredients (malt extracts, grains, hop pellets) seem to be still sealed with no visible signs of spoilage.
Judging from the threads I've read, you folks don't seem like the type to leave ingredients unused long enough to go bad, but any insight would be greatly appreciated. This is site is a godsend (I made the noob "push the grommet through into the wort" mistake and the thread here eased my mind considerably).