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I have just received a kit which says that the expiration date is in April 2019 (2 months ago). I am quite confident that the extract is still okay, but I'm wondering about the yeast. Is it still alive?

It is not so easy to get new yeast, as there are no local brewing shops in my area and I'll have to order it online and wait for quite a while for it to arrive.

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    What brand of yeast is in the kit? Does it say? Is it dried or liquid? Dried yeast can survive for about a year or even longer. Liquid yeast, not as long. – dmtaylor Jun 3 '19 at 11:59
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The better question is:"what temperature has this kit been stored at?" If your kit has been in a cool basement or the like, the yeast ought to be still be good and other ingredients okay. If the kit had been kept in the hot garage/attic/ storage building, then the yeast will be dead and the LME/ DME will be nasty, too.

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  • This was purchased by a professional home brewing store, so my guess is that it was stored probably. – deadpixels Jun 3 '19 at 11:53
  • I'd say you ought to be fine, then. Happy brewing! – Pyra Gorgon Jun 3 '19 at 12:03
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    Dried or liquid yeast still applies here. – brewchez Jun 3 '19 at 12:14
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Beer kit yeast is made to be almost armagheddon-proof, which means it can be stored at room temperature for at least its listed shelf life. Because there is generally amply sufficient yeast in the packet (much more than needed) you almost certainly have enough viable yeast left to ferment your beer, so you should be fine. I have brewed with expired yeast without problems. One word of caution, though: a lot depends on how the yeast has been stored. Higher temperatures reduce its shelf life significantly. So when in doubt err on the side of caution.

That said, personally I would replace kit yeast with a better yeast in any case because it will give you a much better beer. Kit yeast is cultivated to robust and idiot-proof (read: it will keep forever and do more or less the same job over a wide range of temperatures, oxygen levels and what not, but that comes at the price of a more neutral and far less interesting flavor profile. It will ferment your beer, but that's about it: it won't contribute significant quality with flavor components formed by the yeast during fermentation. A "proper" beer yeast (Fermentis, Lallemand, etc.) for the style you're brewing is always a good way to improve a kit beer.

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