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Incandescent vs florescent lights

When I first started brewing about 4 years ago, a brewing friend told me that the worst enemy to beer is UV rays from florescent lights. Hence, I’ve racked every batch to secondary and bottled every batch using 2 incandescent desk laps, with the kitchen florescent lights off. Am I being too cautious? Do any of y’all work your brews under florescent lights? Will I kill my beer if I work under florescent? Just curious. I do appreciate all the advice I’ve received and viewed on here.

Paul

I do all my racking and bottling in my basement under CFLs. I’ve never noticed skunky flavors, but I don’t brew light colored lagers, either.

A quick look online shows that fluorescent lighting emits in 8 hours the amount of UV you would get from the sun 1 minute. Glass also absorbs a good amount of UV, so if you use glass carboys and can rack/bottle your beer in less than a few days you’ll be fine.

Anyone who brews outside likely gets far more UV exposure to their beer than you could ever reasonably get from CFL’s.

OK, thanks! I’ll stop dragging out the incandescent lamps. It’ll make things a little simpler for me.

Paul

This is great intel. Always so careful with brews once in the bottle but never would have made the connection when either brewing outside or aging in primary/secondary carboy. Thanks.

They do emit small amounts of UV, but keep in mind light follows the inverse square law. An object that is twice the distance from a point source of light will receive a quarter of the light. You would electrocute yourself trying to ‘skunk’ it. :slight_smile:

My understanding is that “skunking” can only happen after yeast is pitched, so brewing outdoors is not an issue. I make no effort to protect the wort from the sun, and have never had a skunked batch, so it’s true at an anecdotal level at least.

That’s correct. IIRC, it’s the niacin from the yeast that causes the problem.

I think it’s probably proportional to the radius cubed.[quote=“rellimkm”]They do emit small amounts of UV, but keep in mind light follows the inverse square law. An object that is twice the distance from a point source of light will receive a quarter of the light. You would electrocute yourself trying to ‘skunk’ it. :slight_smile: [/quote]

Inversely. :mrgreen:

The small amounts ov UV you will get from cf’s during racking should not affect things. I wouldn’t do it outside in the sun, or in a sunny window though. I usually cover my carboys after racking, during secondary with a tee shirt to keep the light out. If I were to do primary in a carboy, I’d prolly do the same, since they sit out in an open but sunlimited room in my basement.

I think you meant to ridicule the thread talking about measuring volume. “ME USE STICK”

Anyone have a sense of what it really takes to skunk beer? Like, does the sunlight have to be direct, how long does the beer have to be exposed, does it get worse the longer it’s exposed, etc?

The room where I do all of my fermenting never gets direct sunlight, but it only has a thin curtain on the window and ambient sunlight does come through. It’s no big deal to keep carboys covered, but I just wonder if it’s needed under those conditions.

[quote=“ickyfoot”]Anyone have a sense of what it really takes to skunk beer? Like, does the sunlight have to be direct, how long does the beer have to be exposed, does it get worse the longer it’s exposed, etc?

The room where I do all of my fermenting never gets direct sunlight, but it only has a thin curtain on the window and ambient sunlight does come through. It’s no big deal to keep carboys covered, but I just wonder if it’s needed under those conditions.[/quote]

I have had a very hoppy IPA skunk in just a few minutes when I set a glass of it in direct sunlight.

I thought that didn’t look quite right.[quote=“barneygumble”][quote=“TG”]I think it’s probably proportional to the radius cubed.[/quote]
Inversely. :mrgreen: [/quote]

Thanks everyone for the input. I do all my racking and bottling in the kitchen, so I’m just going to use the Kitchen fl lights from now on. My carboys sit in a fairly dark spare bedroom with covers, so I’m not too worried about that.

Paul

when using florescent lights for growing plants, you need to have the bulb no more than 2" or so from the plant. having them up on the ceiling wont effect anything.

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