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Kafka >> mail # user >> SimpleConsumer throwing OffsetOutOfRangeException

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SimpleConsumer throwing OffsetOutOfRangeException

We are sending all of our production events to Kafka, but nobody is
consuming it right now. The system is running for a week.
The retention period is set to 72 hours.

When I run a SimpleConsumer with offset 0, I get OffsetOutOfRangeException.
I tried using some arbitrary higher values such as 1000000 etc, but it
didn't work.
It was working fine few days ago. If I use Zookeeper based consumer, it
works fine.

Is there any way I can find out what is the least offset for a topic on the
broker and start with that using  SimpleConsumer? If I don't know the exact
offset, am I not allowed to use SimpleConsumer?
Is this happening because some of the events might have been deleted by
borkers given that the log retention period is only 72 hours?