6 Ways to Ruin Your Beer
on 19/10/11 at 3:09 pmBeer
Appreciating a fine craft beer is not exactly rocket science. You pick a good one, pop the top and take a sip, right? But if you take a moment to peruse my slightly tongue-in-cheek list of “A Six-Pack’s Worth of Ways to Ruin Your Beer” and avoid everything on it, you’ll get a better tasting beer every time.
1. Heat it up
Beer is a Goldilocks beverage. Crank up the heat, and your beer will start to go bad very quickly. And the hottest places on any warm day — say, 85 degrees or more — are your car trunk, attic or garage, where the indoor temperature quickly soars to 130 degrees or more.
The hotter the temperature, the quicker the decay. For every 10 degrees of temperature, the amount of time it takes your beer to spoil is cut in half. The ideal temperature to store beer is around 38 to 40 degrees, which will keep the average craft beer fresh for 90 days or more. At 50 degrees, the beer’s shelf life will only be 45 days. At 60 degrees, it will be a mere three weeks.
So your best bet for ruining any good brew is to buy it off a warm store shelf, put it in your car and park in a sunny spot, so the trunk reaches a cozy 120 degrees. That should destroy your beer in as little as 8½ hours.
2. Keep it illuminated
Heat’s evil twin is light, which can skunk a beer in no time. Light-struck is the official term, but as anyone who’s ever taken a whiff knows, the condition makes your beer smell like a freshly spraying skunk.
Hops are the main culprit, because they contain compounds transformed through a chemical process brought on by UV light. So think of beer bottles as sunglasses for your beer. Brown bottles keep out UV light best; green or clear glass offer much less protection. And cans don’t let the light through at all.