• Welcome to the new forum! We upgraded our forum software with a host of new boards, capabilities and features. It is also more secure.
    Jump in and join the conversation! You can learn more about the upgrade and new features here.

InfaRED light and brewing??


Grandmaster Brewer
Sep 1, 2009
Reaction score
OK, so I have been brewing for 35 years, and have run into a string of batches (3 or 4) that have finished off with a strange taste that I can only describe as "hot" .... and have concluded that I must be producing fusels due to a high fermentation temp. Admittedly my last batch was a BIG beer and it got away at 80plus degrees F, but I can't recall he previous brews as going over 74ish (usually Safeale 05).

I had even replaced the fermentation buckets with new- to dismiss any scratches holding bacteria despite my "over the top" sanitation and sterilization procedures - and went to glass secondary. New grains, new tubing, everything was changed to eliminate any possibility.

Here is the kick .... all these beers coincide with the same time period that I had installed some Wireless IP cameras in the brewhouse, and during all "low light" situations (ie night) the infared lights are on, and pointed directly at the precious liquid. And they are bright enough to light up 30 feet away quite well.

So .... in light of the known  skunkies that can come from light struck beer - both sunlight and flourescent - has anyone heard research or experience with direct INFARED light exposure? I like to be able to see and watch my beers from afar (anal --- I  know) but would shut off the cams with the slightest substantiated hint of IR contribution.

Any feedback is appreciated.  I am not a scientist - nor do I play one on TV! :) :)
The research has shown that blue green light (475 -510) nm wave length invoke a chemical reaction with the isomerized hops producing a skunk like smell.  The taste is only mildly affected.  Yellow and red wave lengths do not produce the same affect. 
Infrared is basically more red and does not react with the hops in the beer.

The cameras are an anecdotal distraction.    The cameras have a throw of about 30 feet but the light is scattered and weak at the furthest distance.  Even at short distances, most wifi IR cameras the IRLED light is not very good. 

I would encourage you to better control the temperature and keep it held steady in the mid 60's, say between 65 and 67f.  Temperature fluctuation can cause yeast stress which results in off flavors.  I would also encourage you to pitch the proper amount of yeast.  Both under and over pitching can cause off flavors but underpitching with uncontrolled fermentation temperature can be a culprit of the that hot alcohol you experience.