Pre-hopped Extracts to brew

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Pre-hopped Extracts to brew

I was recently given a couple of cans of pre-hopped extract 4 gallon brews that are almost 10 years old. Has anyone her ever tried reviving one of these that are this old?

The first one is a Lager, which, to brew, is out of the question for me --- Tennessee Summers are hot and opressively humid if you come from Montana and where we live there's no AC, no internet, no work, no room to brew, no relief from the heat except cold homebrewed beer - or, in the alternative, cold water (and that stuff will rust your pipes!).

Since I've been told that the 10 yr old stuff may have lost much of it's hops value and maybe some of it's sugar values, I thought I might throw in an extra lb of DME (it's as old as these cans of malt), add some hops and new yeast (Munton's Dry Ale Yeast). All this may sound like heresy, but I don't waste things, especially free malt - even if it is 10 yrs old!.... I've been giving some thought to just brewing the old stuff with some fresh DME for the two lb of sugar it calls for (or maybe some Jaggery - [like Sucanat but with much more molasses] for the sugar), and some hops. Any idea of what hops I might use, since I'm planning on using an ale yeast to replace the old lager yeast? I like IPA's, Porters, and Stouts. Currently brewing a 1 gal Smoked Porter recipe modification from the book "Beer Craft" which is all about 1 gallon brews.

The plan would be a 10 day primary, 14 day secondary, and bottle condition for a month.
I've never dealt with pre-hopped 'kits' before --- I like All-grain and Partials, but have shied away from all-extract 'kits', and from what I read on the net, I shouldn't boil a pre-hopped kit, but just add boiling water to it as per the instructions. I'd like some input from the forum as to other opinions of how to try to revive these cans/kits. BTW, another can is Munton's Nut Brown which will probably be treated the same way but with dark DME or Jaggery instead of light DME if this first experiment works.

So Whatcha' think? Let me know soon, becuz I don't want it to get too much older!

probably not very tasty..

Most important is to make sure they are not spoiled. Boiling should fix any bad bacteria that might be in the cans, though.

In my experience, the expired hopped extract can take on a nasty flavor after too long.

However, what do you have to lose. I would do a 15 minute boil to sterilize, then cool and pitch yeast.

Pre-hopped extracts to brew

Thanks for the reply. I was afraid to boil at all becuz of the instructions, but I guess since I'm going to add new hops, a 15 minute boil probably won't matter ..... I'll do that!. Is there anything that I might add that will possibly improve the "nasty flavor" that you mentioned? Like unsweetened chocolate, ginger (kinda like a ginger beer), lemon, etc.? Any idea of what would be the best hops to use? I don't know if it's going to work, but if I can make it a hoppy Ale or IPA-type ale, that might be OK for hop flavoring.
Thanks for any ideas you might have!

Sorry, I thought I left a

Sorry, I thought I left a reply a couple of days ago ..... I just happened to get into town today instead of a week or two from now .... I'll do the 15 minute boil, adding some hops and DME and fresh yeast. Thanks

Put it together

I't s brewing now in the secondary - kinda bitter from the hops, Jaggery and DME that I put into it, but it's blacker than an ace of spades, and tastes pretty good to me - I think it will improve with age - I'll post more when it's done aging - about 5 weeks from now.Thanks for your response!

Hi again, Well, I've tasted a

Hi again,
Well, I've tasted a couple of the John Bull 10 year old brew kit over time ..... yeah, it's the one that I asked for help on, thought I probably screwed up royally, but it's turned out pretty decently to me ..... it gets better with age - this last Sunday I started another 'oldie' batch, this time it's Munton's Nut Brown, I used the Munton yeast which, after 8 years without refrigeration, is happily bubbling away! I did mostly follow the exact recipe this time tho, rather than going ape - the only changes I made were adding some Centennial hops (2 oz) (in case the pre-hopped syrup had lost it's flavor over the years), and gave the re-hydrated yeast a jump start with about a dozen cut-in-half raisins (fructose sometimes helps jump start the yeast, rather than sucrose from what I've read) and it started bubbling away about 2 hours after I dropped in the raisins. I was worried that the yeast might not be viable, so I wanted to see if I could get it going sooner rather than later, just in case I needed to pitch some fresh yeast! I'll check back in after I rack to secondary next Sunday. BTW, the OG after the boil and pouring into the primary was 1.047 .... seemed kinda low but according to Brewtarget, it was right within the parameters for a Nut Brown - the disappointing thing to me is that the calculated ABV is only going to be about 4.3%. The British must make some of these kits for what used to sell in Ohio as "under 21 but over 18" beers! Oh well, I've only got 2 more of these old kits left to brew up, then I can get back to all-grains - it's a good thing the other free kits are only a couple of years old ... I'll feel better about brewing them rather than these 8 and 10 year old ones ;)

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