Window Tinting Fermentation Fridge

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ZmannR2

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I have a wine fridge retrofitted with a temp controller I use for fermenting. However I still have to throw a towel over my carboy to block out the light.

Would tinting the glass door with 100% UV blocking automotive window tint make it where I don't have to worry about light anymore??
 
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ZmannR2

ZmannR2

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Yes. There's so much natural light. Is UV rays the only thing that skunks beer? If so, I imagine the window tint would do the job
 

alexnova

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Yes. There's so much natural light. Is UV rays the only thing that skunks beer? If so, I imagine the window tint would do the job
I figured UV would do some damage. Plain old plate glass will stop UV-A but not UV-B. My gut says any light is bad (you never hear of light-struck beer straight out of a can). To the Googles!

Professor Beer says all light is bad:

This photochemical reaction is the only cause of skunked beer. Warm storage, while damaging to the flavor of beer, does not skunk it. Cycling the temperature of beer from warm to cold and back again is also not implicated. Storing beer in the dark is the simple way to prevent skunking.

Blue light, and to a lesser extent green and a bit of near ultraviolet are the most damaging to beer. Most wavelenghts of ultraviolet light are not a concern because glass blocks them quite effectively (that’s why you don’t get sunburned in your car). The color of glass is the color of the light that it transmits, so green bottles allow the green light though. Similarly, blue light passes unhindered through pretty, cobalt-blue bottles. Clear bottles transmit all of the visible light. That is the reason beer in green, blue, and clear bottles is almost always skunked. Yes, even some very expensive imports.

The photochemical reaction that skunks beer occurs very quickly; a well-hopped beer in clear glass can become noticeably offensive with just 30 seconds of exposure to sunshine. Brown glass transmits less visible light than the previously mentioned colors, and therefore offers some protection from skunking. It does allow some light through, so beer in brown bottles will skunk after a few hours of light exposure.

Since light is an essential ingredient in the skunking process, beers packaged in kegs, cans, and opaque bottles cannot be skunked.​

This article in Popular Science says much the same, but at the bottom of the page is a nice flavor profile chart of the same brew (a) kept in the dark vs (b) exposed to 3 months of day-night light cycles.

TL;DR - Forget the film and just black it out.
 

Qhrumphf

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Lol I just now got that
Good ol Natty Light!
That's a common spammer trick on here. He wasn't trying to be funny. He just blatantly stole your text and added a hidden link in that little smiley face (probably for SEO purposes). I've reported it to the mods as I do every time I see it. Usually they just blatantly copy an entire post though.
 

Qhrumphf

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As for your original question, if it's not too much trouble/cost to put up the tint, give it a shot and see. Rather than risking a batch, take a German lager (since noble hops seem to skunk worse than other hops) and leave it in there in a clear glass for a day or two. Probably won't taste great either way after that, but you'll still be able to identify if it skunks. Worst case scenario, you can go back to covering your carboys.
 
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