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Steve-Oh

Expired Extract

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How long after expiration would you trust a can of extract?  Back in December I bought 2 cans of Classic American Light on Amazon for $10 each. What a deal right?  In January I made the Horses ass ale recipe with one of the cans. When I pitched the yeast included under the lid no krausen appeared. So 4 days later I pitched a second pack of yeast left over from another can. Krausen started within a couple hours. That beer is now bottle conditioning.

Today I was organizing all my supplies. As I'm making an inventory of cans of extract on hand with expiration dates I notice the Classic American Light can I have left has a sticker over the expiration date. I slowly peel the sticker off to reveal a Sept 2014 expiration date. It's now 2 1/2 years after expiration. I went on Amazon and gave them a bad review. Is this can still good? Would you trust it? 

C-Note 1959 and MRB Tim like this

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My rule of thumb is that the extract itself is good for about 3 years past the date, and the yeast is good for 6 months past. I've heard tales of very old yeast working just fine, but 6 months seems to be the 100% reliability cutoff. So, I would use the 2014 can soon, and with a fresh yeast.

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22 minutes ago, MRB Tim said:

My rule of thumb is that the extract itself is good for about 3 years past the date, and the yeast is good for 6 months past. I've heard tales of very old yeast working just fine, but 6 months seems to be the 100% reliability cutoff. So, I would use the 2014 can soon, and with a fresh yeast.

Thanks, I guess it's time to make the Powerful Patriot Ale this Saturday. 

HoppySmile! and MRB Tim like this

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The extract may become darker with age, but as along as the can is intact, you are ok. I would say 3 years is a reasonable time past expiration. Beyond that I would toss it. Fresh yeast is always a good idea. 

HoppySmile! likes this

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That is great to know. A couple months ago I purchased 4 cans of the Diablo IPA for $9.99 each. They have a expiration date of late June 2017. I was wondering if it was the yeast or the HME that was more in danger of being bad at the expiration date.

 

Thanks all.

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I'm not a big fan of the coopers yeast that you find under the lid on mr beer hmes.  I usually nuke it for sacrificial yeast and use fermentis or danstar.. personal preference mind you... but if the can is old, then yes. the viability of the yeast drops over time.  old yeast = less living cells. it isn't that it is 'bad' just less alive. hme can go bad. yeast just dies off.

 

even with really old yeasts you might still be able to ferment but your lag time will likely be longer.  you might also stress out the  yeast that remain... and if you simply dump them in without rehydrating, an old envelope of yeast might experience significant cell die off from osmotic shock.

 

properly stored yeast can keep quite a long time. ive used fermentis us04 that was nearly a year old but stored in the fridge... then allowed to come to room temp for several hours... and even without rehydrating it took off in less than a day.

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