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I have an expired beer kit, is it worth brewing?

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celticdevildog

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My brother-in-law used to do some homebrewing but decided to stop a few years ago. He heard that I was brewing and so gave me what equipment he had left and two beer recipe kits. I figure, what the hell they can't be that bad and if nothing else I can work on honing my skills with two free kits.

So here's the run down and a few questions for the masses:

1) They are both Munton's Hopped Malt Extract kits. One is 'Mexican Cerveza' and the other is 'Premium Pilsner'.
2) Both have a Best before date of Nov 2011. I have bought new yeast since I figured that part was really ka-putz but with the extract being canned will that go bad?
3) My experience so far is Non-hopped Extract with Specialty Grains. The directions for these kits fly in the face of everything I have learned on this site and from reading How to Brew and are the following:
1. Remove label and stand can in hot water for 5 minutes. Pour the can contents into the fermenter. Add 1kg sugar or Muntons Beerkit Enhancer.
2. Add 6 pints boiling water, top up with cold water to 6 gallons. Thoroughly mix to make sure all the contents are fully dissolved.
3. Stir in the yeast, cover the fermenter and leave to stand for 4-6 days and gravity shows less than 1.008.

Now, I have both a better bottle fermenter and a bucket fermenter (thanks to my brother-in-law). These instructions are telling me to mix everything in the fermenter which would automatically rule out my better bottle since I'm not getting anything other than liquid through the narrow opening at the top. Also, I'm fairly certain that adding boiling hot liquid to the fermenter is not exactly a good idea.

So, on to my questions.

1) Is it even worth trying to make these kits with them being expired 2 years ago?
2) Would it be better to heat the extract and sugar in hot water in my kettle and cool (like I have for every non-hopped kit I've done) and THEN transfer to the fermenter with top off water?
3) Am I over thinking it and this kit really is *that* easy to do and make beer.

I'd like to use these beers to help improve my temperature control with the fermentation but I don't want to waste my time and have a bad batch to start with.

Am I crazy? :drunk:
 

crawforc3

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I just finished a keg of Autumn Amber that came with the Midwest Supplies Groupon stater kit. I had the kit for over 1.5 years and it still came out alright. I was pleasantly surprised because I really did not expect the yeast to be viable after so long.

I had such low hopes that I didn't take any measurements and now I really regret that.


I don't know why your extract wouldn't work though. I say give it a go!
 

midfielder5

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I have never used those kits but yes it is really that easy. It is a no boil "can & kilo" kit.

If you want to drink something that is basically free (save your time and the new yeast)- go for it.

Given the age, the extract is probably a lot darker. It may taste like crap (sometimes you get what you pay for) or you may be pleasantly surprised.

However, I would skip adding 2.2 pounds of sugar. I would instead use the two cans of extract together and make ONE batch of beer. ie replace the sugar with LME.

good luck!
 
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celticdevildog

celticdevildog

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I have never used those kits but yes it is really that easy. It is a no boil "can & kilo" kit.

If you want to drink something that is basically free (save your time and the new yeast)- go for it.

Given the age, the extract is probably a lot darker. It may taste like crap (sometimes you get what you pay for) or you may be pleasantly surprised.

However, I would skip adding 2.2 pounds of sugar. I would instead use the two cans of extract together and make ONE batch of beer. ie replace the sugar with LME.

good luck!
I don't have high expectations of this beer turning out great. But I'm happy to be surprised by it.

So you would take both the kits I have and combine them?? Just out of curiosity if the kits call for adding sugar is there enough sugar in one single kit to act as the required sugar for the second kit? That might be an interesting combination 'Mexican Pilsner Cerveza'.

Also, would you think the yeast from the kits is still good (assuming a massive yeast starter I would imagine)? or are you suggesting to save one pack of yeast because I would be combining the kits to a single beer?
 

skw

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If the cans are still sealed, I'd expect the kits to be still fine. There's no oxygen in them and no microorganism, so the contents should be more or less the same as it was years ago. Yeast might be a different story, you should at least have a packet of fresh dry yeast as backup nearby.

Combining the kits will work, but it will turn out twice as hoppy as the kits were intended to be.

If you keep your yeast in a happy temperature range, your brew should turn out decent - I know people say all kinds of things about pre-hopped extract, but in the end it's only concentrated wort - malt, hops and just a bit of water.
 

FuzzeWuzze

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If the cans are still sealed, I'd expect the kits to be still fine. There's no oxygen in them and no microorganism, so the contents should be more or less the same as it was years ago. Yeast might be a different story, you should at least have a packet of fresh dry yeast as backup nearby.

Combining the kits will work, but it will turn out twice as hoppy as the kits were intended to be.

If you keep your yeast in a happy temperature range, your brew should turn out decent - I know people say all kinds of things about pre-hopped extract, but in the end it's only concentrated wort - malt, hops and just a bit of water.
Considering its a Cerveza and Pilsner i think hes pretty safe from ending up with an over hopped beer lol.
 

mikescooling

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I'd get new hops, but I think the LME and DME would still be good. IMHO brew it. All your using is the sugar, so brew it the way you want to brew it. My friend showed me the directions to his kit, I said NO we are doing it my way, these directions are stupid.
 

Trox

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I would think the extract would still be good; after you open it if it smells or looks off then I would just pitch it.

There is also no reason why you could mix the extract and however much water you wanted in your kettle, cool, and then add to your fermentors.

As for the yeast you could always rehydrate and then proof them (I'm assuming they are dry packets of yeast) to see if they are still alive, otherwise I would just toss them and get new.
 

DaNewf

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Do a youtube search for CraigTube's video "Cooper's DIY Kit - Brewing a Canadian Blonde". The method Craig uses in this video is the one I use when ever I do a Cooper's pre-hopped beer kit. I use a Munton's Beer Kit Enhancer (1kg, 50%DME/50%Dextrose) plus another 200gr of dextrose to get my 500gr DME/700gr dextrose mix.

I ferment for three weeks at ~18C and then bottle condition for three weeks at ~20C. The beer turns out fine.

I'd probably get new yeast though if I were you.
 

IslandLizard

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I'd replace the sugar addition with fresh LME or DME from your brew store. Boil water, turn heat off. Add your LME/DME and stir to dissolve, and maybe some hops. Hopped extracts don't have much bright hop aroma and flavor, just bitterness. Then add the can. Stir well to dissolve everything.

+1 on a package of fresh yeast!
 

rodwha

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SWMBO found some slightly expired (1 and 2 months) Mr Beer kits that were kept in a Texas garage. I ditched the booster and yeast for DME, dry yeast and added some hops, and the best ones taste like molasses.
 

midfielder5

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FuzzeWuzze said:
Considering its a Cerveza and Pilsner i think hes pretty safe from ending up with an over hopped beer lol.
Exactly my thinking. Plus the hops are super old so presumably less hoppy than intended even to begin with.
 
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celticdevildog

celticdevildog

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Thanks for all the replies.

I already have new yeast and I'll use that to be sure that I get fermentation. I'm not much of a hop head so I may just leave the hopped extracts as they are and see where it ends up after combining them. I'll check out that youtube video as well.

I'm thinking this is going to get brewed sometime the beginning of next week. Should make for an interesting experiment at least!
 

dhutch

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How did it go?

Found this thread as we have a 'BBE Sept 2018' Coopers Ginger Beer kit so again also about 2 years past date.

There is a lot of mention of getting new yeast, but also plenty who say the yeast lasts forever, and a thread elsewhere with someone using a 10yo kit including yeast not issues.

Never done a brew before, but up for giving it a go!


Daniel
 
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Being as the original poster hasn’t been on since 2014 I wouldn’t expect a response anytime soon.

As for your situation, I’d personally just brew it using new yeast but you’ve got nothing to lose if you’re willing to give it time to see if the yeast that came with it takes hold. Or like others above have stated you could proof the yeast to make sure they’re viable and if so make a starter and/or just pitch it into the batch.
 

dhutch

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Yes, wasn't really expecting a reply from the OP, but nothing ventured, nothing gained...

Ok. And are all brewing yeasts about the same? I don't anything different for a ginger beer? Would supermarket yeast do?

Also some places say use brewery sugar rather than 'raw sugar' (soft brown from s.market?) just trying to work it out.

Cheers
 

RePete

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Yes. Still sealed. I've been afraid to try it, but didn't want to throw it out either.
 

NGD

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Dont blame you. Considering how swollen that can looks..I’d highly recommend opening it outside. Reminds me of this.
 

davidabcd

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Ok. And are all brewing yeasts about the same? I don't anything different for a ginger beer? Would supermarket yeast do?

Also some places say use brewery sugar rather than 'raw sugar' (soft brown from s.market?) just trying to work it out.
Don't use supermarket bread yeast. You can get a pack of beer yeast for cheap.
I don't know about ginger beer, sorry.
You can use table sugar in place of priming sugar (brewery sugar). As far as I know, "raw" sugar is unprocessed table sugar so it's brown (Sugar in the Raw brand)
Basically, you can use any sugar for priming or for brewing. It depends on what you're making.
 

Beermeister32

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Recently l brewed a "use it up" batch to deplete old materials, some going back to 2016. Turned out fine. I named the batch "Old Crusty"
 

dhutch

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Don't use supermarket bread yeast. You can get a pack of beer yeast for cheap.
I don't know about ginger beer, sorry.
You can use table sugar in place of priming sugar (brewery sugar). As far as I know, "raw" sugar is unprocessed table sugar so it's brown (Sugar in the Raw brand)
Basically, you can use any sugar for priming or for brewing. It depends on what you're making.
Sounds good to me, thanks for the advice.

Will put an order in and get a fermenter (with tap, presumably the extra?) some brewing sugar and some beer yeast just incase. Its a ginger beer kit.

Daniel
 
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