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Beanie

Question about expiration dates

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I recently found a few of the old Mr. Beer extract cans online but when I picked them up they were passed their expiration date. My question is: How long beyond the expiration date can the cans be used? 

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I'm just spouting off, that's a question better answered by the Mr Beer staff, but if the can isn't bulged it should be sterile. The HME will darken over time. I've been told, by someone whose business is food safety, that "sell by" and "best by" dates in general are really about the manufacturer's idea of best flavor, color, and texture rather than actual safety. If something has been contaminated it can develop mold or become unsafe to eat before the "sell by" date, and if it's sealed and sterile it will be safe to eat well past the date. 

I would use fresh yeast rather than assume the yeast is viable. 

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They are all bad and need to be inspected by a qualified extract inspector.  I got certified recently, so send them to:

Rickbeer

123 Drink Beer Lane

Ann Arbor, MI  48104

I will inspect them and if they pass, return them to you.  Otherwise, due to legalities, I must keep them and consume, er, destroy them.  

Pspearing is correct.  If they aren't bulging they are fine.  Get new yeast if it's more than 2 years old (the week and year is printed on the yeast) or if it may have been baking somewhere like in an attic.  If you buy a packet of yeast, keep in mind that's it's like 5 times the old Mr. Beer quantities, so you can easily brew several batches at the same time using one packet.

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Liquid malt extract starts degrading from the moment it's packaged (albeit slowly). An old extract is much more likely to give you a beer with extract twang. It's not a certainty, but don't let it surprise you if it occurs, and it's a rather unpleasant taste (to me at least).

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