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MiniYoda

When does expired mean expired?

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One way I research a new hobby it to get on EBay.  This tells me what is selling, what people are buying, prices, and come up with questions I probably wouldn't have thought of without it.  One of them concerns this link:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MR-BEER-REFILL-KIT-3-North-American-Collection-2-European-Collection-/162195655769?hash=item25c39d4c59:g:7HcAAOSwHoFXu0u

 

Not a terrible price.  $53.95 plus $20.87 shipping = $74.28, or roughly $15/box shipped.  Then I looked at this link

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mr-Beer-Kit-/361697424172

 

Here, the person flat out said that the product had expired 9/2009.  Okay price for the LBK, 8 bottles/caps, but obviously can't use the product.  So I went back to the first link and asked the seller, "Do the boxes, or the cans in the boxes, have an expiration date?".  The response was:  "North American Collection 1 May 2016 2 June 2016 & 2 European Collection Sept 2016" (yes, she had 4 dates for 5 boxes).  So, that means that, this being September 9th 2016, one box expired 4 months ago, one 3 months ago, and the Euro cans expired last month.  So, my question to those who know is, when does "expired" mean "expired".  I've heard so many stories about food products in the store, and using the terms "Best By", "Expires", "Use By", and other things that make it confusing to know when something should not be used, and when something is dangerous to use.  How do these refill kits hold up?  Is one month past the date on the box okay?  Is four?  Could I replace the yeast and still use the extract?

 

Thanks in advanced,

 

MiniYoda

 

 

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In your research, make sure to search the forum also ;)

 

site:community.mrbeer.com SEARCHTERM typed into Google will work great (and you do the same for any website).

 

These are Best By dates, not Expiration dates.  In general, any undented can can (can can?) be used for two years past the date.  As time goes on, it will turn darker.  

 

You should NOT use the 2009 cans at all.

 

Also, keep in mind that people are not bright and often store product in stupid places (hot attics, garages).  The yeast does not that.  When I order cans, I immediately remove the yeast and store it in the frig until I am ready to use it.  The yeast has a day of year and a year on it, like 11112, which means the 111th day of 2012 is when it was made.  Any yeast that is more than two years old, or was kept in a hot environment, MAY not work very well.  You can always replace the yeast, but buying yeast is about $4 - $5 per packet (11 - 11.5 grams, which is twice the size of the Mr. Beer packets).  That may impact your savings.

 

A good sale price for a can is $6.  You can buy the LBK all day long from Mr. Beer for $10.  Target routinely sells some of the refills, such as the Weissbier, for $6 a can.  Craigslist is a good source for buying kits, usually after Christmas and Father's day.  I picked up several for $10 including bottles and a can or two.  Also, retailers will clear out the kits starting in late January, in past years Target had a fermenter with a can of CAL (no bottles) for well under $10.

 

Here is a Craigslist sale for $10 (but it's in Toledo, so that triples the price because you have to go into O_io).  http://toledo.craigslist.org/tls/5743512921.html

 

Neither auction is a good deal, the second one is outright stealing.  Mr. Beer recently had all recipes 20% off...

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4 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

How do these refill kits hold up?  Is one month past the date on the box okay?  Is four?  Could I replace the yeast and still use the extract?

 

Our rule of thumb is that the extract itself is good for 3 years past the date on the can, and the yeast with the can is usually good for 6 months past the date on the can it came with. These are just guidelines, every now and then we'll get someone who used a 10 year old can and swore it was great, but those are exceptions to the rule.

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