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Old 01-05-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default Outdoor brewing and sunlight

I am about to move from partial mash to all grain brewing. This means moving the operation outside as I will be using a propane burner.

I know that sunlight will skunk a beer in a matter of minutes. What happens when I am boiling my wort in an uncovered kettle outdoors? That is an hour or more of direct exposure to sunlight. And, once the boil is complete, the immersion chiller will be hooked up to the garden hose for more exposure.

This is bothering me as I tend to be very scientific and careful about the whole process. Please help.

Paul

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Old 01-05-2012, 10:26 PM   #2
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No worries beer only skunks after yeast is pitched.

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Old 01-05-2012, 10:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bierandbikes View Post
I am about to move from partial mash to all grain brewing. This means moving the operation outside as I will be using a propane burner.

I know that sunlight will skunk a beer in a matter of minutes. What happens when I am boiling my wort in an uncovered kettle outdoors? That is an hour or more of direct exposure to sunlight. And, once the boil is complete, the immersion chiller will be hooked up to the garden hose for more exposure.

This is bothering me as I tend to be very scientific and careful about the whole process. Please help.

Paul
you want to be totally relaxed? brew at night, far from the irritating rays of the sun.... and the maddening crowds.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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It is my understanding that the skunking was due to a chemical reaction with the hops. Is this accurate or not? If so, what role does yeast play in the reaction?

I guess my nerdiness is showing on this one...

In the end, all that matters is that I don't have to worry about it.

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Old 01-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #5
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Yeah it is the hops + light that skunks the beer.

To answer your question, you don't need to worry at all. If there was a problem with it then many of us would not be brewing outdoors. I would rather make 5 gallons of tasty than 10 gallons of gross and if that meant brewing on the stove then so be it.

I don't know where you heard light can skunk a beer in minutes that is just ridiculous sounding to me. Drinking beers outside on a hot sunny days is one of the best times to do it and I don't see people pouring out their coronas after sitting in the sun for a few minutes because they are skunked up.

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Old 01-05-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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Well they should be.

The real question is, why do certain breweries insist on using clear/green bottles?

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Old 01-05-2012, 11:44 PM   #7
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You will be fine brewing outside. I still do and it was 8 degrees outside ( I was in the garage) the other day. I know you say ur scientific, but sometimes we tend to go overboard Instead we should RDWHAHB!!

Cheers

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Old 01-06-2012, 12:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekkydave
Well they should be.

The real question is, why do certain breweries insist on using clear/green bottles?
Not sure on the answer but I tend to avoid beers in clear bottles.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:38 AM   #9
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If you're worried about brewing outside because of sunlight I can't imagine what else will worry you! - I don't mean that insultingly, just being a bit silly.

But honestly, there is no worry here at all. I'd say hundreds of thousands of brewers brew outside in the sun, myself included, with no ill effects. I've brewed indoors until several months back and notice no difference - well except for a marked improvement in my brews.

Skunking takes far longer than an hour boiling in the kettle. Also, the kettle only has a small surface area of exposure, unless you have some unheard of clear glass kettle. Then there's the fact that many beers are bottled in green or clear glass bottles and sit for weeks/months in lit fridges often with little to no super dramatic effect, though I would never bottle in them anyway personally - it's all brown bottles for me. And it's not just sunlight, it's the UV in light that is said to cause it so fluorescent lights are bad too.


Rev.

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Old 01-06-2012, 01:24 AM   #10
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Well they should be.

The real question is, why do certain breweries insist on using clear/green bottles?
big breweries use hop stabilizers or something like that.
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