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Old 09-11-2007, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default Skunking your wort? Pondering a possible pitfall of outdoor brewing?

My very recent taste of a commercially available skunked brew got me thinking. It reminded me somewhat of an off-flavor in one of my own brews that I could not identify.

I just started brewing outdoors this summer. Is it possible to skunk you beer while it is still boiling or before you pitch? I was working under a canopy in a pretty shady area, but how long does it take to skunk?

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Old 09-11-2007, 04:44 PM   #2
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I can't recall all of the details of when it is vulnerable. It is the hops though that does it (the isohumulones react with the light) . I had one of my glasses of Wheat beer skunk in under 10 minutes outside this summer! So the reaction is fast and varies with the level of hops, intensity of light iirc and in part this is restricted by surface area that the light has access. So in a kettle I would for sure keep it in the shade but not covered as that can lead to DMS production iirc.

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Old 09-11-2007, 04:45 PM   #3
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IIRC you can ONLY skunk FERMENTED fluid. With or without hops in the wort, the correct chemicals are not present until fermentation takes place.

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Old 09-11-2007, 04:47 PM   #4
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This question comes up quite a bit, yet no one ever seems to report this as an actual problem. I'm pretty sure the fermentation issue is correct, but even so - RWDHAHB!

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Old 09-11-2007, 04:48 PM   #5
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I love St. Pauli Girl and Heine's.

I'm going to bottle up a twelve pack of my Back to Basics Ale (from the keg) into some clear Corona bottles I have and set outside in the (cool) sun for about 15 minutes and see if I can intentionally impart some skunkiness.

Call me strange...

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Call me strange...
"Strange" doesn't BEGIN to describe you, BM...
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:15 PM   #7
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See this: http://www.societyofbarleyengineers.org/makingBeer.htm

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:18 PM   #8
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Here's a little science to go along with this discussion...
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...page/skunk.htm

BierMuncher, why not set up some UV lights over your bottling process? I've heard of large commercial breweries (Modelo, perhaps?) who do that to duplicate their clear-glass beer flavor in cans. With a little trial and error you can find the exact level of funk you're looking for.

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
"Strange" doesn't BEGIN to describe you, BM...
heh, heh...

When you see me move my entire clearing tank out to the back yard in July...then you can have me committed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trencher
...BierMuncher, why not set up some UV lights over your bottling process? I've heard of large commercial breweries (Modelo, perhaps?) who do that to duplicate their clear-glass beer flavor in cans. With a little trial and error you can find the exact level of funk you're looking for.
I keg so my bottling routine out of kegs is a quick and dirty process (not really dirty...).

I recon what I'll do is get my twelve pack bottled and then set two bottles out in the sunlight at 3 minute intervals. That gives me two bottles at the minimum 3 minutes and two bottles at the maximum 18 minutes and two bottles at each of the three minute points in between.

This should be a good indicator and if I find a range that I like, that'll be my future guideline.
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Last edited by BierMuncher; 09-11-2007 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brloomis
Ahh ok, cool. Well then RDWHAHB. But do remember it can skunk FAST once fermented (I was pretty amazed that day).
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