How Long Does It Stay Fresh?

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Feb 10, 2010
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Hey HBT!

I have been thinking of buying ingredients in bulk so I can make beer whenever I want instead of needing to go to the LHBS or waiting a week to get my order from AHS. Cost is another benefit as buying in bulk tends to be a lot cheaper.

I am curious to know what is the typical amount of time a specific beer ingredient will stay fresh for and what methods are great for long term storage.

Ingredients I am interested in: hops, LME, DME, milled malted grains, unmilled malted grains, dry yeast, liquid yeast, priming sugar, anything else you can think of


== Hops ==
Best Storage Method: vacuum seal in freezer
-Stores for 1 year
Alternative Method: zip lock bag in freezer
-Stores for 1-2 months
Alternative Method: zip lock bag at room temperature
-Stores for 1-2 weeks


P.S. I realize a lot of this will depend on the storage methods the supplier uses.
Hops need to stay cold and away from oxygen. In a vacuum tight bag and in the freezer you can go many months to even a few years. LME is best stored cool as well, and in a fridge you can probably expect a few months out of it, but some people even freeze it if need be for longer periods. DME as long as it's stored in an air tight container in a cool dry place can last a long time, probably well over a year. Priming sugar can be stored pretty much indefinitely in a dry or air tight place.

Once you get into grains, well, if they have already been crushed you'd want to use them as soon as you can or otherwise store them in an airtight and cool to cold location to extend their freshness. Uncrushed grains can be stored for much longer, again, with the whole cool and dry theme.

Yeast of both types usually have an expiration or a best use date on them. Liquid shouldn't be frozen, so you should use it before the date listed on the vial or packet. Usually around 3 months after production. Dry yeast can last much longer, but they too usually have a date imprinted on the package which usually means it's good for a couple of years.