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FYI Skunked Beer

Hank

ROBOPOSTER
Skunked Beer
In a sense, the aroma of light-struck beer doesn’t just resemble skunk spray, it is skunk spray! It’s the same stuff!'
The hop compounds that are responsible for making beer bitter are called isomerized alpha-acids.
These chemicals, along with sulfur compounds found in beer, are also culpable in beer skunking.

When light hits beer, it provides the energy necessary to drive a reaction that transforms the iso-alpha-acids into 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol.
The “thiol” part of that somewhat cumbersome name indicates that there is sulfur present. Sulfur compounds often have strong, offensive aromas.

Some musteline animals, like skunks, have evolved the ability to produce this chemical, and use it for self-defense.

This photochemical reaction is the only cause of skunked beer.

  • Warm storage, while damaging to the flavor of beer, does not skunk it.
  • Cycling the temperature of beer from warm to cold and back again is also not implicated.
  • Storing beer in the dark is the simple way to prevent skunking.
  • Blue light, and to a lesser extent green and a bit of near ultraviolet are the most damaging to beer.
The color of glass is the color of the light that it transmits, so green bottles allow the green light though. Similarly, blue light passes unhindered through pretty, cobalt-blue bottles. Clear bottles transmit all of the visible light.
That is the reason beer in green, blue, and clear bottles is almost always skunked.
It has nothing to do with the reason this fellow got stuck in a can at Miami University in Ohio but if you want to Know more about beer Professor Beer is your man


Timeline Photos
First call of the day on 9/14/2014 involved this little fella staggering all over the area near the Beta House. He was "drunk as a skunk".

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