I have a buddy that has a Mr. Beer kit he said he is never going to use (It is about 3 years old). I mostly want it for the P.E.T. bottles but was wondering:

Depending on what ingredients are in the kit would it be ok to try and use some of them? Or would I just be risking a bad batch of beer?

3 Answers 3


Its free stuff. Try it and see what happens. Getting and using some fresh hops and yeast would be a good idea.

LME tends to get darker with age and some of the flavors get less intense, but it doesn't really go bad. As long as we are talking about canned LME and not stuff in a plastic container, it will make beer.

  • 1
    Great point about the yeast, brewchez.
    – TinCoyote
    Mar 22, 2011 at 15:20
  • My first attempt to brew was identical to what you describe. The yeast is dead, and at the time, I didn't know anything about brewing, so I threw it out, since "nothing happened". Mr. Beer kit may be "pre-hopped" like mine was, just get a fresh yeast packet and you should be good.
    – Mlusby
    Mar 22, 2011 at 19:38
  • 1
    Yeah it is in a can. I figured that being sealed that way it should last a while. I guess I will just give it a go and taste the malt before hand. Definitely going to use good yeast though.
    – Bullet86
    Mar 25, 2011 at 14:15

That's pretty old for LME. That stuff has a finite shelf life. I've been told less than a year, especially if opened.

The advice I have received in the past was like this:

  1. When you are ready to use it, open it and have a sniff. If it smells normal for LME, you are probably good.

  2. Make sure it is still mostly liquid. Although I always thought "if it dried out, it probably rotted", but that's what I was told.

  3. Have DME as a back-up, just in case.

Assuming that it is sealed, you can probably make beer with it, just not particularly good beer.

I assume it's hopped LME. Whether it's hopped LME or seperate hops, three years old they will have lost most of their zing. A small addition of hops would probably be a good idea.

At worst, it will be mediocre beer. All it will really cost you is time.

Good Luck!


As long as the HME (hopped malt extract) containers aren't bulging or smell bad when you open them, they'll probably be fine, the beer might be a little darker color than the recipe originally made. The yeast might have expired so you might buy a new package of yeast to use. Awhile back I bought some extra bottles, the guy threw in some old recipes that were several years old. The cans looked and the HME smelled fine so I brewed them. Guess what, I made beer. It wasn't the best beer I've ever brewed but they tasted okay.

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