How long do kits stay fresh

Thinking about taking advantage of the free shipping offer NB has going on today, but wanted to know if it’s worth it. If I order three kits, assuming I refrigerate the yeast, will all three be OK? Specifically the 2nd and 3rd recipes–since it’ll be a few weeks till I can brew the 2nd one, and even longer on the last.

I am assuming the extracts should be fine, but what about specialty grains? And the hops?

Or would I be better off sticking with ordering new ingredients a few days before I am able to brew, one batch at a time?

The yeast will be ok in the fridge for a few months, longer if it’s dry yeast. The hops you can freeze and keep for a year or better, the specialty grains will last for quite a long time as long as they are sealed, the extract needs to be used within 6 months for best results.

You can also begin harvesting your yeast. Great way to have lots of yeast on hand. Here is an article on harvesting.

Good advice, but to elaborate on the grains, it is important to keep them sealed from humidity. Crushed grain will go stale in weeks or even days if kept in a humid environment. Uncrushed grains will last longer, but still eventually go stale if exposed to humidity. When kept in a well sealed container, they uncrushed grains will essentially last forever.

And to elaborate on the yeast, smack packs have a relatively short half life, meaning they drop in viable cell count fairly quickly. But all that means is that as they get older, you need to do more work and plan more time to get them ready to pitch. I generally plan on smacking the pack about one day per month since the manufacture date on the pack before I plan to brew, with at least 2 days of that spend in a starter, or double that if the pack is close to a year old and I need to do a step-up starter.

With any ingredient that might be old, it is worth checking before you brew. Grain can be tasted, and you will know immediately if it has gone stale. Hops take on a “cheesy” smell and/or loose their color when they get past the end of their useful life. And if you open a yeast pack and the smell makes you want to puke, that is a signal you shouldn’t use it.

Extract is much more difficult to determine freshness before you brew with it. It does tend to darken as it gets old, but not such that it is easy to determine as “bad”.

I do exactly what your asking. I buy the kits when they are on sale with NB. I store them in my fermentation chamber so 60+ degrees. I normally brew every three weeks. I know I have had a kit stored for a few months with no ill effect. I do however freshen the steeping grains with an crush from a small coffee grinder. I also harvest yeast so try to buy kits that can reuse something I have.

Thanks for all the advice, everyone.

I think, short term at least, I will stick with ordering as needed, until I get more familiar with the overall process.