The Stinky Science Behind Your Skunked Beer

The phrase “skunked beer” is no misnomer: As the American Chemical Society tells us, the molecule that gives skunky beer its stankitudinous flavour is almost identical to the one found in skunk spray. But how does it get in your beer? And how on earth do you keep it out?

Hops can be so cruel, making our beer worlds more delicious, but fouling it if we don’t care for it properly. A little light is all it takes to turn tasty hops into skunk stank so powerful, an eye dropper’s worth would ruin an Olympic pool full of beer.

So there you have it: Skunked beer has nothing to do with temperature, and everything to do with light. So keep that beer in the shade! It will taste better there. [ACS Reactions via Digg]