Have an expired can of Mr. Beer? You must be wondering if you can brew it and how it will taste? Who wants to toss something that can create amazing beer! We answer once and for all if you can brew with expired Mr. Beer Items.

This is a question we get often, it seems like people get re-gifted a Mr. Beer Kit or happen to find some old Ingredients hidden away somewhere.  

The first thing you do when you get or find these old ingredients, is turn them over to check the best buy date. Only to realize they are, expired! Noooooo!!

The first thought that will come to mind after you recover from the heart break of finding these expired ingredients is, can you brew with expired Mr. Beer products? The Answer is, yes!

Our Hopped Malt Extract’s (HME’s) are perfectly fine to use well past their best buy date. The cans have the dates on them for 2 reasons.

The first reason is the malt itself.

Over time Malt Extract darkens so the date is to help preserve the proper color in your brew. if you are brewing with an old can or one that is a year or two past its best buy date the final product will be darker than what it should be.

This will only really affect you if you are brewing a lighter color beer. Like our Classic American Light, Canadian Blonde, Northwest Pale Ale, etc. If you have a darker beer, like our Oktoberfest Lager or St. Patrick’s Irish Stout, and it is past the best buy date you won’t notice a change in color as it is already dark.

The dating is also on the can to keep the hops fresh in the HME. Over time hop flavor, aroma and bitterness will go away. This is also true with commercial beers. If you have ever gotten an old IPA you know what I am talking about. They just have this mellow taste to them, like the bitterness just disappeared and they are usually not enjoyable.

Over time that same thing can happen with our HME’s but it takes a lot longer since it is in such a condensed form. If you are brewing one of our more hoppy styles, like or Diablo IPA or Long Play IPA and it is at or past its best buy date then you should expect your beer to be less bitter than it normally would be.

The second main reason for the best buy date is for the yeast under the lid of the can. Over time yeast can lose its viability and not ferment as well or just not ferment at all.

So, if you are looking to brew an old can that you found packed away or someone gave you that is 1-2 years past its best buy date we would recommend getting new yeast.

For all Refill’s except for the Bavarian Weissbier any type of dry ale yeast will work. You can order replacement yeast packets from Mr. Beer or you can pick up a pack of US-05 at your local homebrew store. If you have a wheat beer you will want to make sure to get wheat yeast like WB-06.

So, feel free to brew those expired cans if you got them. Just make sure that you are getting new yeast if you need it and that the results will not be as good as the normally would have been.

Like with anything using fresh ingredients in your brew will create a much better beer.