Beer Bottles and Light

So every now and then someone will ask me if light really does ruin your beer, and if brown  bottles protect help protect the beer within. The answer…YES!

Your beer can be ruined by light through a process called photochemistry. Basically, there are many different wavelengths of light, and different color bottles will filter out the light that causes your beer to be ruined. Just think of the beer bottles as sunglasses for your beer. You will want the darkest glasses to protect your eyes the most, and the same goes for your beer! We are not just talking about UV light from the sun, but also florescent lights that are commonly found in your local stores where you make your beer purchases. If your beer is exposed for too long, it’s going to become light-struck or skunked as most commonly refer to it as. What exactly is happening when the light hits the beer is that hop-derived molecules called isohumulones are ripped apart when exposed to light and it causes them to bind to sulfur atoms. Is no good!

So, if you are a home brewer, please do yourself a favor and always use a brown bottle for your brewing needs. Also if you are going to buy beer, try not to buy any that is on display or in a lit cooler because you never know how long its been there for!

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