My can seems swollen...

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Hibob!

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In cleaning out my late father's house, we came across a GW Kent Personal Brewery, still in the box, with a can of Mahogany Coast Canadian Ale extract. I wonder if I could make a batch for homebrew for dear old Dad, but would not want to call it Botulism Bitter.
1. I cannot find any date on this box or can.
2. I can find notations on different sites about Mahogany Coast extracts, but nothing past 1997.
3. Is it possible I could make this extract kit and live to tell about it?
 

weirdboy

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There is an article in the latest issue of zymurgy about using old cans of extract for brewing. The author contacted several of the bigger malt companies (Briess, Coopers, etc) and that the malt companies basically said that there shouldn't be any problem using old extract for recipes in terms of flavor, but he developed a partial mash recipe just in case and was happy with the results.

The guy in the article used cans that were 10+ years old to brew up a partial mash Old Ale recipe. Personally I think partial mash is probably a good bet, or at the very least, combine your old extract with some newer LME or DME and steeping grains.

No worries about botulism or anything like that. So long as it ferments, you'll be fine drinking it.
 
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Hibob!

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Thanks, guys. The extract is hopped, so a packet of dry yeast and I'm good.
 

RobbyBeers

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I wouldn't count on the hops still being there. That's the first thing to go.
 

northernlad

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Is botulism a reality or something akin to HSA? It would seem that due to the high sugar level in the extract it would have a preservative effect like honey. I am curious.
 

remilard

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Is botulism a reality or something akin to HSA? It would seem that due to the high sugar level in the extract it would have a preservative effect like honey. I am curious.
Quite a bit higher pH than honey.

Doesn't really matter though, as boiling would denature the toxin.
 
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Hibob!

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Hmmm. This is a pre-hopped malt extract. Is there a specific hop for Canadian Ale? Cascade?
 

david_42

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The bitterness should still be there, as they probably used tetra. You could use just about any hop for flavor or aroma. Cascade would work.
 

Sawdustguy

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Is botulism a reality or something akin to HSA? It would seem that due to the high sugar level in the extract it would have a preservative effect like honey. I am curious.
It is very real and if you ever encounter a can that looks swollen it should be disgarded. Food containers that bulge may contain gas produced by Clostridium Botulinum. Clostridium Botulinum is a soil bacterium. The spores can survive in most environments and are very hard to kill. They can survive the temperature of boiling water at sea level for an hour, thus many foods are canned with a pressurized boil that achieves an even higher temperature, sufficient to kill the spores. Up to 7 different toxins can be produced by the bacteria. The toxins produced by the bacteria are neurotoxic. In many cases they cause paralysis. Luckily, cases are rare because of the care taken by food manufacturers before canning. The United States still witnesses up to 25 cases per year with the chances of death less than 25% due to advances in modern medicine.
 

Sawdustguy

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Doesn't really matter though, as boiling would denature the toxin.
That may not be true.

Prevention

The most important aspect of botulism prevention is proper food handling and preparation. The spores of C. botulinum can survive boiling (100oC at 1 atm) for more than one hour, although they are killed by autoclaving. Because the toxin is heat-labile, boiling or intense heating (cooking) of contaminated food will inactivate the toxin. Food containers that bulge may contain gas produced by C. botulinum and should not be opened or tasted. Other foods that appear to be spoiled should not be tasted.
Source: Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology (http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/clostridia_4.html)
 

northernlad

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It is very real and if you ever encounter a can that looks swollen it should be disgarded. Food containers that bulge may contain gas produced by Clostridium Botulinum. Clostridium Botulinum is a soil bacterium. The spores can survive in most environments and are very hard to kill. They can survive the temperature of boiling water at sea level for an hour, thus many foods are canned with a pressurized boil that achieves an even higher temperature, sufficient to kill the spores. Up to 7 different toxins can be produced by the bacteria. The toxins produced by the bacteria are neurotoxic. In many cases they cause paralysis. Luckily, cases are rare because of the care taken by food manufacturers before canning. The United States still witnesses up to 25 cases per year with the chances of death less than 25% due to advances in modern medicine.
Thanks SDG, I am quite versed in food borne illnesses, I was just wondering what made LME a potential problem while Honey for example is not.
 

samc

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$10 worth of extract (really old spoiled) vs. possible death


what would I choose?
 
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Hibob!

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$10 worth of extract (really old spoiled) vs. possible death


what would I choose?

If I had found a can of peaches in the back of the cupboard, I wouldn't think twice about pitching it. But being a HBer, and finding out after his death that my father at one time at least had an interest in the same things I do....
 

Rick500

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Thanks SDG, I am quite versed in food borne illnesses, I was just wondering what made LME a potential problem while Honey for example is not.
Honey is inherently antimicrobial.
 

CorneliusAlphonse

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That may not be true.
Sawdustguy, the quote you pasted says that "boiling will denature the toxin". The issue exists with other things that are usually canned - bean, corn, whatever - you usually don't cook fully after taking out of the can. Malt extract should be good to go since you boil it after opening.
 

Sawdustguy

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Sawdustguy, the quote you pasted says that "boiling will denature the toxin". The issue exists with other things that are usually canned - bean, corn, whatever - you usually don't cook fully after taking out of the can. Malt extract should be good to go since you boil it after opening.
After reading a few things on the net is does appear that it is unlikely that CB would occur in LME. However, if I happened on a swollen can of LME I would probably toss it in the trash. I may sound overly cautious but I am not one to toy with my own health. Others may be more adventerous. More power to them.
 
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