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Will a MR BEER LME can go bad?

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CliffMongoloid

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I had someone give me a old Mr beer keg kit. It came with the keg fermenter and a few bottles. Also a random thing of LME.

As this was free im more inclined to brew it up and see what happens. But is there any health and safety reasons i should not? It expired in 2015....

the yeast is most likely trash though.
 

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New Brew

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If the can is intact and non-swollen, there is no health and safety reason you couldn't use it. That said, I wouldn't expect a Mr. Beer American Light "lager" to have aged very well. I'll also point out that one can of their standard hopped LME isn't sufficient to brew a full 2-Gal batch, they intend for those to be combined with "booster" (sugar), or additional extract to get the wort to a reasonable gravity.

Nothing against Mr. Beer - it's how I got into this hobby, and with family/life stuff an occasional 2 or 2.5 gal batch in their LBK is the extent of my current homebrewing. Their 'deluxe' and 'craft' refills make perfectly passable all-extract beer, albeit at a much higher cost per volume than serious hobbyists are used to.
 

Bobby_M

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I personally wouldn't make a beer with LME that is older than a month or two in the can. The shelf life is pretty bad as far as freshness goes.
 

kmarkstevens

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I had a can of Fosters Stout DME. I believe that Fosters owns Mr. Beer or supplies their DME kits. That can of Foster's Stout had traveled from Australia to the US, where I bought it in a HBS and took it to China. It sat in my den in China for a year or two, and then was in a sea shipment of my personal belongings to Seattle (and who knows how hot it got). It sat in a garage rental for 2 years, then moved to my new house for about 6 months. After all that and prolly 5 years, I brewed it and it was drinkable! Not great, and definately tasted less than optimal, but was still good.

So, unless it's bulging or has been in a garage in Texas, it's probably something you can drink. :ban:
 

day_trippr

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Yeesh. Let's not let the bar sink too far here ;)
Seriously, unless one is really hard up there should be a limit to how far one will press a position...

Cheers!
 

TheBluePhantom

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I had a similar thing happen earlier this year. Guy from work gave me the kit with that exact recipe. I wanted the bottles, decent plastic bottles are always welcome at the beach. I thought why not, took some harvested s-23 and prepped the recipe on the stove with a pound of dextrose. Pitched the yeast and 3 days later it was done and clear. I screwed up and kegged it. It had fusel off flavors. Left it in the keg a few weeks and it actually cleaned up.

I did make sure no mold or anything in the can, I have gotten mold in briess buckets previously. Make sure you get it to sanitation temperature.

Results, boring. This is not a malty beer by nature. what little hop character was about gone. it had a little bitter, but i read somewhere that most of their recipes are about 8 IBU. Age turned it to a carmel color. It was drinkable. If you have some leftover hops, I would toss some in.

Now I am not sure I am brave enough to thy the other set I got. They expired about 14 years ago.....
 

madscientist451

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I tried a 4 year old can of Mr. Beer LME that came in a kit I got at a yard sale. I decided to make a "graff" and added a can of frozen apple juice concentrate and about a gallon of cheap big box store apple juice.
It was a super easy brew session, the LME is pre hopped and you don't have to boil it. The graff came out ok, but stale LME does have a distinctive taste that isn't all that great. I eventually drank it all. I'd say the experiment was worthwhile. I even used the old yeast that was with it, it still worked fine.
If you are going to use old LME, bump up the ABV with something else to help mask the stale flavor.
 

dtashmore547

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I had a bucket of dark malt extract which had sat at the back of my cupboard for 15 years undisturbed, Covid came and our south African government locked down including alcohol. it became impossible to buy any brewing equipment so I found myself putting a brew together with 2.5kg of this, a kilo of fresh malt a half a bottle of 15 year old isomerised hop extract and some fresh yeast. surprisingly the porter turned out excellent and didn't last long. there is nothing in the malt extract to foul as long as mold or wild yeast doesn't get a hold if it, if this happens you do see it immediately. concentrate sugars are an excellent preservative as is the alcohol in my isomerised hop extract. hope this helps.
 

bwible

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I’ve used outdated LME a bunch of times. But I always use it in a beer where it will be covered up, so to speak. Stouts and Porters - dark beers with lots of roasted grain. RIS. Coffee Stout. Texas Brown Ale. As additional gravity to bump a mash to make a barleywine. Most of the time, these turn out surprisingly well.

I would not use 5 year old extract in a light ale or a style where the malt is expected to shine.

Last Christmas, I was gifted an outdated boxed IPA kit that I later found out was purchased at a Goodwill store. My friend is not a brewer, doesn’t know anything about extract or kits, and didn’t know any better. I’m happy they thought of me.

It had (2) 3.3 lb cans of Amber LME. They were out of date by about a year. I brew 3 gallon batches, so I used one can to make a coffee stout and I put up a barleywine with the other. I threw away the crystal malt, hops, and dry yeast packet that were in the kit.
 
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Lalo

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I'm sorry, but your LME is too old. I have used old LME (against expert advice) and was disappointed and regretted wasting time, yeast, and hops on it. In my experience, old LME appears to lose fermentability and changes flavor. The finished beer doesn't taste like so much as cardboard, but more like partially-fermented LME/ green beer (*not to be confused with the 'green apple' off-flavor). I used 2015 LME to make mini-batches of Dubbel, Dunkel Lager, a Belgian Amber and 2 Red Ales and they all had that old LME taste in common, i.e., I could not mask the flavor with specialty grains. I also waited to see if they would condition and improve with age. They did not. I ended up dumping most of these batches.

Some 2-3 year-old LME would be Ok but pushing it, I recently made 2 Stouts with a 2018 kit I had and it came out good, but my FG was off and both ended 0.05 points over (maybe someone else can confirm that as LME ages it loses some fermentability?).

My suggestion: taste your LME and if it doesn't taste like a rusty nail, use it instead of sugar to make bread and asian noodles/other dishes that call for a bit of sugar.

Cheers,


I had someone give me a old Mr beer keg kit. It came with the keg fermenter and a few bottles. Also a random thing of LME.

As this was free im more inclined to brew it up and see what happens. But is there any health and safety reasons i should not? It expired in 2015....

the yeast is most likely trash though.
 
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day_trippr

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lol! Is that an NJ thing? I'll have to ask the son down in Berkeley Heights ;)

Cheers!
 

jtratcliff

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I thought everyone made bagels every Saturday morning and soft pretzels every Sunday. You don't?
No... I'm more of a sourdough dude..

Sandwich loaf, %100 rye loaf, English muffins....

I've done german style Laugenbrot (pretzel rolls) but never bagels....
So come on.... Make with the recipe 😁
 
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