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Old 01-31-2009, 08:23 PM   #1
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Default Why does commercial beer get skunky?

The consensus around here seems to be "the longer you wait the better it gets".

Is there a cut-off, because commercial beer like Sam Adams and Budweiser follow a born-on date?

Also, commercial beer will go bad if you get them cold, warm and then cold again. Do ales do the same thing?

I was just reminded of bad beer when this came in the mail. About six months ago I got a bad sixer and SWMBO sent them an email.

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:01 PM   #2
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Commercial beers gets skunked if its packaged in green or clear bottles, they don't use a light-stable hop extract, and the bottles are exposed to sunlight or fluorescent light. The same thing happens with homebrew.

How well beers age is pretty much a factor of alcohol content and ingredients. High alcohol beers tend to age much better than low-alcohol beers. Most wheat beers don't age particularly well. Hop-forward beers may or may not age well, but much of the hop character and bitterness is lost with extended aging. Again, there is little difference between homebrew and commercial beers. What does impair commercial products is abuse during shipping and storage - at home, we can control these conditions, but we have no influence over how commercial beers are treated.

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:12 PM   #3
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I have always wondered the same thing. A lot of the times I will go to a store where you can buy a six pack or singles and drink them there, the beer has been on the shelf for the past 4 months, I think that might cause some off flavors.... but what do I know



well.... I know to check dates on the bottles or box now

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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I think the warming/cooling thing is a myth. Bud Light might not be able to withstand it well, but any decent commercial beer and homebrew shouldn't be a problem.

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impatient View Post
Also, commercial beer will go bad if you get them cold, warm and then cold again.
I've heard this, but I wonder if it is really true. Anyone know?

Quote:
That is really cool
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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I've been lambasted in the past about my opinions on "skunked" beer. I don't think skunking is as common as people want to believe. Sometimes, beer is is just not as good as we think it should be, so we invent a reason for it. I'm not saying that skunking does not happen, just that it is the go to excuse for crappy beer.

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:36 PM   #7
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There's a Basic Brewing Video where they leave some SNPA in a clear glass in the sun. After 45 minutes, the beer was undrinkable!

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Old 01-31-2009, 09:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylornate View Post
I've heard this, but I wonder if it is really true. Anyone know?



That is really cool
From what I have read in the past, extreme temp differences (especially damaging are excessively warm temps) over a short period of time will degrade the quality of many brews. I ran across a site a while back were a guy subjected beers to all sorts of abuse and reported the results...I'll have to see if I can find it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 944play View Post
There's a Basic Brewing Video where they leave some SNPA in a clear glass in the sun. After 45 minutes, the beer was undrinkable!
But why would anyone do that!!?? I can do the same with a pound of pork sausages and tell anyone it is a bad idea.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt00l View Post
From what I have read in the past, extreme temp differences (especially damaging are excessively warm temps) over a short period of time will degrade the quality of many brews. I ran across a site a while back were a guy subjected beers to all sorts of abuse and reported the results...I'll have to see if I can find it.
I'm not that interested in anything extreme. I just want to know if you buy chilled beer and let it warm to room temp before chilling it again if it really has any impact.
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