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Old 05-04-2007, 08:18 PM   #1
Zymurgrafi
 
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I was at a food co-op I go to now and then in Montpelier, VT. recently. They have a pretty decent selection of brews so I pop in whenever we pass there. Anyway, the light in their beer cooler is red. The have a sign explaining that they use a red filter on the light because that particular color of light/part of the spectrum is best for protecting the beer.

Anyone else ever seen this or know more about it?

I tried a google search with no luck.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:24 PM   #2
mozicodo
 
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I've never heard of this, but it's good to know I can keep the beer in the dark room safely.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:30 PM   #3
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I think that makes sense off the top of my head but I am not certain. Red is emitting red wavelengths and absorbing the rest...from what I have read is the UV portion of the spectrum is responsible for the skunking, not towards IR.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:30 PM   #4
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Red light has the longest wavelength (in the visible spectrum), and is therefore lowest in energy. Because of that, is has the least capacity to do nasty things like mutate yeasts or denature proteins. I guess they are doing it to protect their clear-bottled beer. Not really an issue with brown bottles.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:33 PM   #5
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I have never seen that done, but it makes sense. The hop compounds in beer will react with various wavelengths of ultraviolet light to form mercaptans. In case you are unfamiliar with mercaptan compounds, these are what the gas companies add to natural gas to make it stink when you leave the gas running. It is also the major scent component in the spray that skunks shoot out when frightened.

Leaving a beer out in the sunlight or in very close proximity to fluorescent lights (like in most commercial beer coolers) will cause this within a few hours. That is why most beers are packaged in cans or brown bottles. It is difficult to find a Corona or Heineken that isn't at least a little skunked due to this. Miller gets away with clear bottles because the beer is so highly filtered and that they use some genetically altered hops that produce less of the mercaptan precursors.

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Old 05-04-2007, 08:54 PM   #6
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Darn it! Red light joke and I make a crack about photo developing. I must be getting old.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:00 PM   #7
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Cop: Didn't you see that red light?

Drunk Driver: Man, I didn't even see the house... "
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:20 PM   #8
Zymurgrafi
 
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Well that all makes sense. Then I start thinking... (oh uh.)

If a red filter makes the light less damaging than what about red glass bottles?

Cannot say I have ever seen red beer bottles, or any red glass bottles actually. Maybe it is really expensive?
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:54 PM   #9
kvh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knights of Gambrinus
Well that all makes sense. Then I start thinking... (oh uh.)

If a red filter makes the light less damaging than what about red glass bottles?

Cannot say I have ever seen red beer bottles, or any red glass bottles actually. Maybe it is really expensive?
Brown does the same job... probably not any more or less expensive... Red bottles would be strange.
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Old 05-08-2007, 03:39 AM   #10
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I've been looking for red bottles for a month now and I've found some that hold premium water, but alas, it's not bottlecapped, twist cap. I'm still looking though.... and I will not be denied!

RS

 
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