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German Chemists Find Compounds that Cause Beer to Go Bad

April 22, 2011

Discovery News carried a story today about some research done in Germany about the chemistry of aging beer.  After extensive research and testing scientists have isolated several chemical compounds that breakdown over a period of time and cause beer to go from pleasantly bitter to unpleasant.

“The big take-home message here is that, as beer ages, a whole series of breakdown products grow with time,” said Tom Shellhammer, a brewing scientist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. “It’s another message to drink your beer fresh.”

Drinking beer fresh is one of the great advantages to being a home brewer.  It also explains why our beer often tastes so much better than bottled beer bought in a store, that is rarely refrigerated in transportation, and sits on a shelf for weeks to months at a time before being sold.  This is also why you should never buy beer from a store that doesn’t store it refrigerated.  If you are a home brewer, as soon as your bottle conditioning is done, move your beer to a refrigerated place to maximize its life and taste.

To read the whole article, click here.

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