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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Skunked in 10 minutes?
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default Skunked in 10 minutes?

I have a nodding familiarity with how sunlight interacts with the hop oils/acids and skunks the beer. But get this: I had a couple glasses of my Maris Otter/Centenial SMASH (kegged, so. I sunlight exposure) inside and all was well.

Brought a fresh glass outside and set it in the patio table in direct summer sunlight while I spent 10 minutes futzing with the smoker. Came back for a sip and it tasted old skunked-out beer.

Could the reaction really happen that fast or am
I imagining things? And this is not a hoppy beer - only .60 oz of Centennial pellets at 60. Cheers!

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Old 08-19-2013, 01:39 AM   #2
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I'm pretty sure things can skunk that quickly. Check out this video from the guys at Basic Brewing:

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Old 08-19-2013, 01:50 AM   #3
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Yes. I've tasted it a number of times, and 10 minutes is about the right time when 'skunk happens'.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:54 AM   #4
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It's not only a fast reaction but the flavor threshold for 3-MBT is in the parts per trillion, where most compounds in beer have a flavor threshold in the parts per million or billion.

Here is a good write up if your interested

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Old 08-19-2013, 01:57 AM   #5
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Never would have guessed it could happen in just minutes. I've had many beers outside on sunny days and never noticed it. Yikes. Need to get out the ceramic beer mugs for drinking on the patio.

Maybe someone needs to market amber-colored pint glasses for outdoor consumption. Or make them out of the glass they use to make welding goggles.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:59 AM   #6
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Yes. I see pictures all the time of people drinking outside in clear glasses, and I just wonder how they can drink skunked beer. I know some commercials use hop oils or something that doesn't skunk, but I doubt many crafts do that.

I had a nice IPA when brewing, it was skunked in literally minutes- had to pour it out. I live in CO, so maybe it happens faster here, but it does happen and super quick.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:41 AM   #7
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To prove a point about skunking, last weekend I sat a pint of my amber ale I bottled in a clear bottle outside in the summer sun for an hour and then chilled it.

I blind taste tested it against another bottle of the same amber that was bottled in a brown bottle that went straight from the cellar to my fridge on the same day.

I couldn't taste or smell any difference. Neither could my housemate.

Maybe higher IBU (more than 35) or dry hopping makes a difference in skunking time. The only beer I have that meets that criteria is an all Brett one. It already smells like sweaty horses and gym lockers and its still in the fermenter. So that experiment will have to wait a while longer.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:22 AM   #8
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This happens to me all the time when I'm outside working on the yard. I should probably use red solo cups or a big coffee mug.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:22 AM   #9
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I can confirm I experience the same thing and it's startling how fast it happens.

When I'm mowing the grass I usually leave my glass in the garage (aka beer) fridge and access it as necessary. Warm skunky beer is no good.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by nobeerinheaven View Post
I'm pretty sure things can skunk that quickly. Check out this video from the guys at Basic Brewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZuHmglowJA

This video is a great piece of education and it makes me wonder....

I have a milk stout that I completed primary in a bucket. I then split into several one gallon secondaries to try out cocoa nibs and/or vanilla beans. The one gallon secondaries are one gallon clear glass carboys. I've put them in a pantry closet to keep the temp near 70 before I bottle.

My question is will the intermittent opening of that closet door (south facing, no less) cause. My stout to skunk?

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