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Do Homebrew Kits Go Bad?

We’ve all been there—going through the fridge and throwing out ingredients that you had the best intentions of using before they went bad. Wouldn’t that suck if it happened with your beer ingredients, too? Expired beer-making ingredients can leave a bad taste in your mouth, which is not what you want after investing several weeks of your time (and your money) into a homebrewed batch.

That’s why we wrote this blog about how to get the most out of your beer-making kit before it goes bad. If you’re wondering…

  • What happens when my beer ingredients go bad?
  • How do I store my ingredients properly?
  • How can I use my ingredients more efficiently?

…then you’re in the right place!

Do Home Brew Kits Go Bad?

Homebrew refill kits—which supply the ingredients you need for a batch of beer—can go bad. It is important to note that when an ingredient kit does go bad, it’s not the same as finding expired milk or meat in your fridge. Your brew kit won’t smell nasty, and using it won’t land you in the hospital with food poisoning. However, there are still some negative consequences to using homebrew kits after their expiration date, such as:

  • Unexpected alcohol content due to reduced yeast activity
  • Less appealing flavor profile from malts and hops
  • Unappealing colors and aromas

To get the best results from your brewing efforts, make sure you use your ingredients before their “best by” date comes and goes.  

How Long Do Extract Kits Last?

Most beer ingredient kits have an average shelf life of 4 to 6 months. If you brew on a fairly regular schedule, then you should have plenty of time between when you buy a beer ingredient kit and when you need to use it. However, if you’re concerned about running out of time, here are a few tips to reduce waste:

  • Brew one kit at a time. The best way to keep your kits from going bad is to reduce your backlog.
  • Set a brewing schedule and stick to it. Doing so will keep you consistent and leave fewer kits on the shelf.
  • Use a planning tool like Great Fermentation’s wishlist. This will give you new kits to look forward to before you actually commit to brewing them.

Find what works best for you and the way you engage with your hobby to get the most out of your beer ingredient kits! 

Does Liquid Malt Extract Go Bad?

According to the American Homebrewers Association, liquid malt extract can last up to two years before going bad. Proper storage helps you benefit from maximum shelf life. Keep your liquid extract in a cool, dark, and dry place. You should also use an airtight container and remove excess air before storage.

Dry malt extract has a similar shelf life and optimal storage conditions as liquid malt extract. Be extra careful when storing dry malt extract because excess humidity can turn your malt into a sticky, messy blob.  

Can You Use Expired Malt Extract?

In most cases, it’s still safe to use expired malt extract. While doing so won’t make you sick, it could affect the quality of your brew. Expired malts could produce weak or unpleasant flavors and aromas.

Your best bet is to use your ingredients before they expire. One easy way to do this is by using beer ingredient kits. These kits pre-portion your ingredients so you get what you need for a specific batch. No more worrying about how to store inconvenient quantities of leftovers and tracking their expiration dates!

Does Homebrew Beer Go Bad?

Batches of homebrewed beer can go bad, but again, this process is a lot different than for a gallon of milk. Your beer will typically last 12 months before it starts to go stale. The worst home brew problems typically result in a sore stomach or unpleasant flavor. 

Will I Be Okay If I Drink Expired Beer?

In most cases, expired beer side effects are nothing serious. The most frequent consequence of expired beer is a stale taste. Common home brewing mistakes can also result in pesky mold or bacteria floating in your beer. However, these nuisances are easy to spot and will rarely cause anything worse than a stomach ache. To get the best results from your beer, clean and sanitize your beer brewing equipment before each and every use, follow your beer kit instructions, and drink your beer before it gets old (that’s why you made it!).

Great Supplies for Great Beer at Great Fermentations

Beer ingredient kits help you avoid situations where your ingredients go bad before you get the chance to use them. With pre-portioned packages, you won’t have to figure out how to store those extra few scoops of dry malt extract. And with helpful step-by-step instructions, brewing will be a more approachable and enjoyable experience. That means you’ll spend more time brewing and less time leaving your ingredients on the shelf! 

Whether you’re searching for “home brewing supplies near me” or “online brewing supplies,” Great Fermentations has what you need. If you’re not exactly sure what the next step in your homebrewing journey is, give our friendly experts a call!

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