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Old 11-16-2010, 12:28 AM   #1
donjonson
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Default light exposure?

Is there a general rule of thumb for how much light exposure during fermentation it will take to skunk the beer? I have my fermenter in the garage directly under a fluorescent light. The light is off most of the time but when I am in there checking on the beer the light is directly glaring down into the clear glass carboy. So is this amount of exposure going to be harmful? or am I just being silly?

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:31 AM   #2
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Can you throw a blanket or towel over the carboy? All of my fermenters are covered, always.

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:33 AM   #3
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well the garage is completely dark when the light is off. I suppose some ambient light may come in around the garage door seal. I guess I will play it safe and cover the fermenter. But what about for the short periods of time when I am checking on it? is it ok or should I try to keep it shaded from the light even then?

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:39 AM   #4
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I always put an old t-shirt over the top of my carboys. Never had a skunk problem doing this.

Plus it kinda makes it look like a person, so I don't feel so bad about talking to it.

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:41 AM   #5
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A couple things you'll probably find if you search:

Flourescent (sp) lights are bad, but less bad than actual sunlight if they are more than a couple feet away.

If your beer is dark, and/or has minimal hops, it is less susceptible to being lighstruck.

Treat it like a Mogwai. "Light bright" burns their eyes, sunlight kills them.

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:55 AM   #6
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But it's okay to feed it after midnight

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Old 11-16-2010, 01:41 AM   #7
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can you get it wet?

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Old 11-16-2010, 01:47 AM   #8
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I put a tall box over my carboy and/or bucket. It servers 2 purposes...

1. It keeps stray light out.

2. It can help contain any "explosions" due to a especially healthy fermentation.

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Old 11-16-2010, 02:19 AM   #9
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How much sunlight does it take to skunk your beer? I noticed that where my beers are sitting, a little bit of sun is hitting the carboy in the afternoon. I've since covered them up with t-shirts...

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Old 11-16-2010, 02:34 AM   #10
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the wavelengths that can skunk the beer are UV, and if I'm not mistaken fluorescent lights have something like <1% of the UV output of sunlight, so I wouldn't worry about it. Put a shirt over it if it makes you feel better.

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