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Nathan08

Expired American Porter

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Hello again everyone!

 

I have read a few posts about expired kits, but I thought I would throw this on here anyway, as it is my first time brewing American Porter so I don't have any experience to go by. 

 

Basically, the store near me is no longer going to carry Mr. Beer products, so they had a big sale.  I picked up six kits for a very good price, two of which were expired (Early 2015 I think): Bewitched Amber Ale and American Porter. For the price I paid, I figured, "why not try".  I started both kits each in their own 8L LBK. I have brewed Bewitched Amber Ale before and after 2 days. it is progressing along just like last time.  As for my Porter brew, I am 24 hours into the process, and it doesn't appear to be doing anything at all.  The yeast looks to be sitting on the top.  No bubbles, no temp change (sitting at room temp).  Could my yeast no longer be good?  I am going to give it another 48 hours to see what it does. Anyone brew Porters before?  Does it usually take very long to get to high krausen? If nothing happens after another 2 days, is it salvageable, or should I just dump it at that point and move on to a non-expired kit?

 

As always, any info would be greatly appreciated.  :) 

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Even if nothing happens in a couple days, don't dump it. Try some fresh yeast (new packet) in it.

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At this point you are nearly 40 hours in.  If nothing is still happening in your Porter, I would rehydrate one of my other yeast packets and pour it in.  There is no way of knowing how these kits were stored and under what conditions.  Since they were old already, there is a good chance that the yeast is dead.  Why rehydrate the new packet of yeast you may say?  Rehydrating will let you know it is viable or if it is dead before pitching.

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 I have not had a packed of dried yeast that was too dead to ferment, and I do not refrigerate them. That also goes for 1/2 packets I sealed up with scotch tape after using some. I keep them in basement ~~ 65-70 deg. I seal them immediately on using some.

Only one I had a problem with was using 2nd half of a liquid yeast tube. And I had refrigerated that.

 

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Good practice is to refrigerate your dry yeast immediately upon receiving your cans.  Why?  Because regardless of how they were stored before you received them, refrigerating them extends the life of the yeast dramatically.

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Thanks Rick!

 

1 hour ago, RickBeer said:

Good practice is to refrigerate your dry yeast immediately upon receiving your cans.  Why?  Because regardless of how they were stored before you received them, refrigerating them extends the life of the yeast dramatically.

 

Understood. I should have mentioned that.

 

The fact that I do not do it should not be taken as best practice.

If I get bad beer it is on me but I am limited in where I can store them and do not want to fork out for another fridge (besides being lazy and running out of space).

But so far that is my experience - and I have been OK so far. I do purge really old packets and use more recent ones if > 2 yrs old. 

 

Hops are a different matter. I have been doing the same for hops too, but there, I think I definitely noticed losing flavor/aroma with time so I have a purge planned of all my half used packets, and will get fresh for future brews.

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6 hours ago, BDawg62 said:

I would rehydrate one of my other yeast packets

take in mind, some people may not know what this means, for me have been brewing for almost 2 yrs, I just used this method about a month ago

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Update: We are three days into the process. Last night it was still doing nothing (2 days in) This afternoon I checked on it again and there is an ok layer of bubbles and trub at the bottom.  I don't know what caused it to take 2 days to begin visibly fermenting, but it seems to be doing its thing now.  More updates to follow.

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That's why I said 48 hours.   Why? Because it wanted to wait to F with your mind...

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Haha RickBeer I believe it :p.

On 13 mai 2016 at 8:19 PM, RickBeer said:

That's why I said 48 hours.   Why? Because it wanted to wait to F with your mind...

 

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Advice required:

 

Another update... for those who have been following, I brewed American Porter that had passed its expiry date.  The process was slow, with visible signs of fermentation starting after 3 days, and high krausen happening very late... after a week or more.  I bottled this batch today, and there was still a light layer on top of the beer. It is like the entire process is proceeding in slow motion. Temp held at 68 for the full three weeks. So,  I decided to give it a small taste while bottling. I have never had American Porter before, but I can tell you, it did not taste good. I tried to nail down the taste... cardboard? No... I read that can happen but I don't think that was it (Although I have never eaten cardboard). My wife however, hit the nail on the head.  It tasted very yeasty, and left a strong undesirable yeast aftertaste.  Any thoughts on this?  I am on batch 9 and am yet to have a bad batch so I have been lucky, and it was bound to happen.  Any thoughts on that aftertaste would be appreciated. I finished bottling it anyway and am going to condition it. 

 

On the bright side, I bottled/tried my Bewitched Amber Ale (2nd round of this stuff) yesterday and it was better than the first time I did it :) A fantastic brew.

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If it is any consolation, I am around 10 batches in and I've never had a beer that tasted good at bottling, but all are turning out well with enough conditioning.

 

Jut plan on letting this one sit for a few extra weeks and let's see what happens.

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14 hours ago, Nathan08 said:

It tasted very yeasty, and left a strong undesirable yeast aftertaste.  Any thoughts on this?  I am on batch 9 and am yet to have a bad batch so I have been lucky, and it was bound to happen.  Any thoughts on that aftertaste would be appreciated. I finished bottling it anyway and am going to condition it. 

 

If you used old yeast, it was probably underpitched because of a lower percentage of the cells being viable and the cells that were left to do the work were a little stressed. If it's extremely yeasty, are you certain fermentation was done? Since it was slow to start it may have taken longer to finish.

I've had beers that had a harsh, bitter yeast flavor at bottling and cleaned up beautifully, so you don't have to worry about that. Yeast flavors are the first to condition out. And Porters tend to be strong-flavored beers so the roasty edge plus the extract hop flavor could contribute to the harsh initial taste as well. Those flavors will definitely mellow out.

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A couple of points:

 

1) The first sample taken from an LBK, especially one where the LBK wasn't propped up and wasn't cold crashed, can contain an initial clump of trub.  This will generate a yeasty taste.  The solution is to either take a further sample or take the glass and set it in the fridge for an hour or two.  You should see the trub on the bottom, and then GENTLY SIP the sample.

 

2) People keep using old cans of HME.  What are you freakin' cheap?  I can't imagine people trying to save money...   :lol:  Okay, I can.  Yes, you can use a can of HME past its date.  Yes, you can use it years past its date if it's not bulging.  Two notes - the longer you go, the worst it will taste and the darker it will be, and second - yeast does not get better with age.  Store it in the fridge and it may be fine for years after the date.  Store it in a hot warehouse or attic or garage and it won't be.  

 

I suspect #1 is the cause.

 

When you receive any HME, immediately refrigerate the yeast packet, and then remove it from the fridge a few hours, or the night before brewing.

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3 hours ago, RickBeer said:

I suspect #1 is the cause.

 

I've definitely had this experience. Yeast will accumulate in the spigot "well" and the first bit out is really yeasty and bitter. It's easier to get a sense of the flavor at bottling, though. I usually grab a gravity sample mid-batch and have a little taste of that after I get a reading. The most noticeable harsh/bitter flavor I've had yet is with Safale WB-06. It settled within a couple of weeks in the bottle, though.

 

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Good stuff guys.  I took a sample before bottling and half way through to make sure that it wasn't trub in the spigot.  There is indeed trub at the bottom of the LBK.  I thought along the same lines.  I am going to let it sit for 4-6 weeks and see how it tastes after that. 

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