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How much light is too much light?

I've read most of the posts about skunking and fluorescent lights, and from what I can tell it would take quite a bit of light to skunk my beers in my current setup, but I thought I'd ask and share some pictures anyway. I have my beers in flip cap bottles - a variety of green, blue, amber and clear. They sit in vintage wooden beer crates I found on Craigslist or Ebay. The whole setup is in my utility closet and I'm in and out of the closet 5-6 times a day, and the fluorescent light gets flicked on and off (mostly off, obviously). What does everyone think? I guess the easy answer is to cover the crates, but I don't want to if I don't need to. I've only brewed 4-5 batches, so far some have been fine, others not, but I don't think I was tasting skunk flavors, more like sour flavors which I think was a sanitation issue and/or other newbie mistakes, like brewing a lager in the middle of July, LOL.

Bottle conditioning and storage

Evil(?) overhead fluorescent light gets turned on for short periods

  • 1
    Sweet bottle crates.
    – David PGB
    Nov 11, 2012 at 23:21
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    " I guess the easy answer is to cover the crates, but I don't want to if I don't need to." - Maybe I'm missing something here, but just how hard would it be to put some newspaper pages over the tops of the crates? Nov 12, 2012 at 15:05
  • It would be extremely easy to put newspaper pages on top of my antique beer crates. But it would look lame. That's why I don't want to if I don't have to. I like looking at my beer! Nov 12, 2012 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


This is why brown bottles are useful; they protect the beer from the light (UV).

I know that clear bottles are the worse at this job. For the green and the blue, I wasn't sure, but according to this link, they are no better than the clear ones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_bottle

So the best solution would be to use only brown bottles. If you can't, try to hide the clear bottles from light.

But it is probably not a big deal. Many companies use clear bottles, and while it does affect the taste, it doesn't seem to be a big problem.

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