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The curse of Green and clear bottles

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God Emporer BillyBrew

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Why do you guys think that certain beer escape the curse of the clear or green bottles? Grolsch, Heineken, Tsingtao all taste dang near exactly the same to me. But I feel like Samuel Smith's beer taste is preserved somewhat. Their Nut Brown, Oatmeal Stout, and Winter Welcome all have distinct and consistent tastes. Same for Newcastle. Do you think the importer does a better job of keeping them away from light? While typing this I realized that the first beers I mentioned are all in green bottles, while the latter are all in clear. Wonder if that makes a difference?
 

Alembic

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What I would like to know is why does Heineken and Co. package their beer in green bottles when we all know that light will skunk them!?

Do any of you remember a Miller ad way back when that was saying that they were above the competion of something because they put their beer in clear bottles so you could, their argument was, see the beer? It cracks me up!
 
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God Emporer BillyBrew

God Emporer BillyBrew

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Alembic said:
What I would like to know is why does Heineken and Co. package their beer in green bottles when we all know that light will skunk them!?
Yeah, I've always wondered about that also. I've read somewhere, maybe on this forum, where someone asked, "do you think Heineken want's their beer to taste skunky?"

I'm thinking that apparently, they do. :tank: These guys must be drinking skunky beer!
 

Chairman Cheyco

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I have heard that corona exposes their beer to the sun before putting it in cans so it still has that authentic taste. What a bunch of wankers, I hate that sh!t.
 

david_42

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Heineken in cans has a very different flavor. There is always the possibility that someone in the mass market distribution chain really cares about beer and treats it properly.
 

RichBrewer

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Cheyco said:
I have heard that corona exposes their beer to the sun before putting it in cans so it still has that authentic taste. What a bunch of wankers, I hate that sh!t.
There is no denying that skunky flavor in Corona is there?
 

BrewBrothaRick

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billybrew said:
Why do you guys think that certain beer escape the curse of the clear or green bottles? Grolsch, Heineken, Tsingtao all taste dang near exactly the same to me.
Now that you mention it, yeah they do taste the same.
Grolsch bottles are cool though.
 

boo boo

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The thing is they are imports and are standing around longer before being shipped here and consumed. Domestic usually don't have the shipping times that imports do.
 

sheephrdr

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Ive enjoyed Grolsch in the past and have bought it for the bottles but the last bottle I had was definately skunked.
 

casebrew

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My reading on skunkiness is that it is caused by VISIBLE light, in the blue/green color, so green bottles let it skunk. Corona is skunked in their clear bottles, so they always picture it being served in the bottle, so you don't smell as much skunkiness. Then, they also push lime slices, so as to cover up the skunk smell even more so. Notice that Corona boxes don't even have hand holds to lett he light in?...I've read that some brewers actually run their swill through clear lines surronded by lights to skunk it on purpose. Seems they think Americans LIKE skunk. Heineken is put into brown bottles for Eupoean sales. Also, much beer is bottled here under liscence, and may be skunked on purpose, and not imported at all.

My hypothesis is that dark beers don't let the light penetrate as much, and therefore don't skunk as much- Newcastles, Dos Equis, etc., unless the roasted grains do some other chemistry?
 

mpetty

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Alembic said:
What I would like to know is why does Heineken and Co. package their beer in green bottles when we all know that light will skunk them!?

Do any of you remember a Miller ad way back when that was saying that they were above the competion of something because they put their beer in clear bottles so you could, their argument was, see the beer? It cracks me up!
Well, MGD allegedly won't skunk because they use hop extracts instead of hops. Apparently, whatever is getting skunked stays in the hop cone with the creation of a hop extract.
 
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God Emporer BillyBrew

God Emporer BillyBrew

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mpetty said:
Well, MGD allegedly won't skunk because they use hop extracts instead of hops. Apparently, whatever is getting skunked stays in the hop cone with the creation of a hop extract.
Hmm, it's still a lame beer, but skunkiness is definitely not a flavor I association with MGD.
 

todd_k

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I guess I'm part of the minority that likes Heineken. Just don't take the one in front! Reach behind it and grab a 6 pack that is shaded from the light. It really doesn't take skunky if you do this. Also, bars and restraunts tend to have skunky beer so get it on tap or in the can.
 

andre the giant

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I went to a local bar one time and noticed that they had Pilsner Uruquel in the cooler. I got one and OHMYGOD was that a skunkified beer. I don't know how it coulda been any skunkier. I think they must have left it in the sun for a couple weeks, allowing it to heat and cool a lot, then they must have stuck the bottle up a skunk's anus for good measure.... I mean, this bottle of beer was the worst I've ever had.

When I went back up to the bar, they asked me if I wanted another, I replied that sweet death would be preferable to that horrid witches brew.

Since that time, I've had Pilsner Uruquell, (or PU as I like to call it) and it was not too bad. Obviously, the grocery store takes better care of the beer.
 

Porter fan

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andre the giant said:
I went to a local bar one time and noticed that they had Pilsner Uruquel in the cooler. I got one and OHMYGOD was that a skunkified beer. I don't know how it coulda been any skunkier. I think they must have left it in the sun for a couple weeks, allowing it to heat and cool a lot, then they must have stuck the bottle up a skunk's anus for good measure.... I mean, this bottle of beer was the worst I've ever had.

When I went back up to the bar, they asked me if I wanted another, I replied that sweet death would be preferable to that horrid witches brew.

Since that time, I've had Pilsner Uruquell, (or PU as I like to call it) and it was not too bad. Obviously, the grocery store takes better care of the beer.

He He now that's funny!
 

Janx

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I'm suprised to hear you praise the consistency of Samuel Smith's. It's good beer, as I know from the very few times I have had it when it wasn't skunked. But I so often see it sitting warm on brightly lit shelves for $10+ a six-pack. Give me a break! Almost every time I have grabbed some, it tastes awful. I'll take my own fresh beers, thanks ;)

I have had the occasional well-handled Sam Smith's, but dang they don't make it easier with the stupid clear bottles.
 
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God Emporer BillyBrew

God Emporer BillyBrew

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Janx said:
I'm suprised to hear you praise the consistency of Samuel Smith's. It's good beer, as I know from the very few times I have had it when it wasn't skunked. But I so often see it sitting warm on brightly lit shelves for $10+ a six-pack. Give me a break! Almost every time I have grabbed some, it tastes awful. I'll take my own fresh beers, thanks ;)

I have had the occasional well-handled Sam Smith's, but dang they don't make it easier with the stupid clear bottles.
hmmm, I've very rarely ever had a skunked one.
 

Ivan Lendl

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i just read a paper a chemist wrote about this very subject, he was saying that miller and newcastle use a modified hop that isnt susceptable to the effects light has on unmodified hops, and corona puts thier beer in boxes that dont let light in...he also says that its cheaper to use clear bottles, but its even cheaper to use plastic, and so the future is in developing plastics that dont let 'polymers' into the beer ruining the flavor.(or whatever, i just drank a big glass of vodka)..so i guess we have to look forward to a future of drinking genetically modified beer in clear plastic bottles...mmmmm
 

El Pistolero

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Ivan Lendl said:
so i guess we have to look forward to a future of drinking genetically modified beer in clear plastic bottles...mmmmm
I guess that's better than drinking clear plastic beer in genetically modified bottles. :confused:
 

sonvolt

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Bjorn Borg said:
so i guess we have to look forward to a future of drinking genetically modified beer in clear plastic bottles...mmmmm
Nope . . . no we don't . . . because that is why we homebrew . . . .;)
 

McCall St. Brewer

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casebrew said:
My reading on skunkiness is that it is caused by VISIBLE light, in the blue/green color, so green bottles let it skunk. Corona is skunked in their clear bottles, so they always picture it being served in the bottle, so you don't smell as much skunkiness. Then, they also push lime slices, so as to cover up the skunk smell even more so. Notice that Corona boxes don't even have hand holds to lett he light in?
Regarding lime in the bottle, I have noticed that if I squeeze a little lime into some Miller Lite, it tastes just like Corona with lime in it-- and, at about half the price or Corona!
 

El Pistolero

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casebrew said:
My reading on skunkiness is that it is caused by VISIBLE light, in the blue/green color, so green bottles let it skunk.
Actually, it's UV light that causes skunkiness...light from the sun or flourescent light fixtures. Amber bottles block UV, so they don't skunk...green, blue, or clear bottles let UV thru.
 

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Agree w/ El P here... UV is the culprit. Check for yourself... a six pack of Corona has exposed clear bottles, and they are always skunk city. Get a closed box of 12, and they aren't the same beer at all.

I think Cheyco's just pissed off at Corona cuz a "Corona Girl" at the bar told him to keep his hands to himself.
 

Sasquatch

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Bet the joke's not the only thing you got on her.:cross:
 

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Noticed yuengling started offering cans fairly recently.. I'm still trained to stay away from can's but I may try it just to see how the can's compare to the bottles. For what it's worth I do try to buy a 12 pack so that the light exposure is minimized by the box. What really pisses me off is those aholes at yuengling use brown bottles for their porter and black and tan and they put their lager in [email protected]%$*&# green bottles! :ban:

I had a dear friend go to europe 1 yr ago and he actually visited the heineken brewery and reported that the fresh beer they serve there actually tastes good!

I'm starting to think that light beers and lagers especially are 'supposed' to have a hink of skunk funk.. maybe we should petition to revise the BJCP syle guidelines ;)
 

casebrew

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Re: UV vs visible light, here's a link to a page with a graph:

http://realbeer.com/spencer/bottle.html

Note how all the bottles tested don't do much in the UV range, but that the advantages of brown bottles show best in the blue range. SOoo, if brown bottles actual do better than green ones, it has to be because they block the visible (blue) light.

Interesting to note that even even clear glass blocks LOTS of UV light, so looking through the windshield of your care should make you go blind...
Yes, flourescents bulbs are bad for beer, but they also put out LOTS of blue light.
 

El Pistolero

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casebrew said:
Note how all the bottles tested don't do much in the UV range, but that the advantages of brown bottles show best in the blue range. SOoo, if brown bottles actual do better than green ones, it has to be because they block the visible (blue) light.
Actually you've got it reversed...the verticle scale on that graph is optical density, not "light transmitted". From the graph, the amber bottles transmit almost no light in the high UV range, and very little in the blue and near visible UV range
 

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El Pistolero said:
Actually, it's UV light that causes skunkiness...light from the sun or flourescent light fixtures. Amber bottles block UV, so they don't skunk...green, blue, or clear bottles let UV thru.
I knew to keep the brews out of the sun, but this thing about flourescent light is good to know. What about regular lightbulbs and the like? Reason I ask is I use green bottles and the brew gets exposed to light during the bottling process. As a newbie, this takes a while so it's good to know whether it'll help to keep the flourescent kitchen light off and use a plain lightbulb light instead.
 

El Pistolero

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MrBulldogg said:
What about regular lightbulbs and the like?
Incandescent bulbs are OK...very little blue or UV coming from those. As to turning the kitchen light off during bottling tho...personally I just cover the bottles with a dish towel after they're capped. I guess mine might be exposed to the flourescents for 5 minutes or so, but I don't worry about that too much.
 

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Lost said:
Noticed yuengling started offering cans fairly recently.. I'm still trained to stay away from can's but I may try it just to see how the can's compare to the bottles. For what it's worth I do try to buy a 12 pack so that the light exposure is minimized by the box. What really pisses me off is those aholes at yuengling use brown bottles for their porter and black and tan and they put their lager in [email protected]%$*&# green bottles! :ban:
yuengling cans have been around for several years, Specifically the black & tan, and the premium beer.
I don't know if they still market their returnables anymore. Back when I was in college you could buy a case of yuengling returnable 16oz bottles for under 10.00 (including the deposit). It would be worth it to look for these returnables to use for bottling, as they are virtually indestructible, and brown in color.
 

casebrew

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El Pistolero said:
Actually you've got it reversed...the verticle scale on that graph is optical density, not "light transmitted". From the graph, the amber bottles transmit almost no light in the high UV range, and very little in the blue and near visible UV range
Read the scale however you like, but all the bottles have the same effect on UV light, they block it. SOoo, no advantage to brown bottles as far as UV goes. But we do know that brown bottles do prevent skunking. And we know that brown bottles have different blue light transmission characteristics than clear bottles. Could skunkiness be caused by blue light, do you think?

Beer IS susceptible to UV light, but any color glass, even clear, blocks it. But blue light also skunks beer. Amber glass blocks blue light, clear and green do not. SOoo, if the beer in your clear bottle got skunky, it was the blue light that did it. NOT the UV, that can't get through the clear glass.
 

Lost

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glibbidy said:
yuengling cans have been around for several years, Specifically the black & tan, and the premium beer.
I don't know if they still market their returnables anymore. Back when I was in college you could buy a case of yuengling returnable 16oz bottles for under 10.00 (including the deposit). It would be worth it to look for these returnables to use for bottling, as they are virtually indestructible, and brown in color.
Keep in mind I'm down here in FL, I think the only product we receive is whatever comes from the Tampa plant. I've never seen any 16 oz pop tops or anything over 12 oz from yuengling but I'll have to keep my eyes open. I think we just get very limited product availability down here either b/c the plant doesn't make it or b/c the brand is relatively new so they stick to a few "blue chip" beers (i.e. the lager, lite beer, and blk and tan). I first saw the porter a year or two back and, while still hard to find, it is showing up more often at the liquor stores and even at Publix.
 

UNOmar

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I actually did a small test on my last brew. When I bottled I filled 2 grolsh green bottles. One conditioned in my living room while the other conditioned with the rest in the closet. My living room does not have any flourescent lights, but the blinds are nearly alway open so the mid-afternoon to evening light shone in quite readily. Perhaps I should have conducted the test on the east side of my house, but I failed to notice a difference in taste. I thought for sure that 2.5 weeks in occassional sunlight would skunk it, but no dice. And for the record the beer was 15 HCU (~10 SRM) so not super dark.
Has anyone else done any testing like this with different results?
 

casebrew

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UNOmar said:
I actually did a small test on my last brew. When I bottled I filled 2 grolsh green bottles. One conditioned in my living room while the other conditioned with the rest in the closet. My living room does not have any flourescent lights, but the blinds are nearly alway open so the mid-afternoon to evening light shone in quite readily. Perhaps I should have conducted the test on the east side of my house, but I failed to notice a difference in taste. I thought for sure that 2.5 weeks in occassional sunlight would skunk it, but no dice. And for the record the beer was 15 HCU (~10 SRM) so not super dark.
Has anyone else done any testing like this with different results?
One fella said he put a bottle on his windowsill in the direct sun. Tried it after 15 minutes, slight skunk. Another few minutes made it nasty. Sheer drapes, dirty windows, or window screens could make a big difference in light transmision.
 

scorp13

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all glass blocks UV. Testing in the house won't work because sunlight is already filtered by the windows and second your bottle. I design fire protection systems. I designed the first foam-water systems for the B1 Bombers in Korea. We utilize UV and IR detectors for actuation of the systems. UV detectors require a quartz lens because glass blocks the UV. You can buy light bulbs in every wavelength. Beer has a shelf life. Many things can make the process go bad. It could be water deposits from the sterilization of your bottles that could have caused a problem. The water from your tap is poisoned water. Just not poisonous enough to kill you. It does kill bacteria and algae. you can try and filter it but it is far easier to buy distilled for serialization and the whole process. Everyone always says distilled water tastes flat. It has no taste it is oxygen and hydrogen and nothing else. I want to taste my beer and not the water. You need bacteria for this process so why kill it with the water. sunlight and UV light in particular is not good for beer. So don't store it in the backyard. I don't know how you guys do it but, I store it in a cooler in the dark and drink it. The brewing process can be done in the dark too. How much light are you exposing your beer to and why? As for putting it on a windowsill in direct sunlight is basically cooking the beer and ending its shelf life. I bet the same thing would happen to milk.
 

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