Does Beer Freeze? At What Temperature Does Beer Freeze?
Summer or winter, there’s always a way to accidentally freeze your beer. We did some research and here’s what we can tell you about frozen beer, and what you can do to prevent your beers from freezing.
By The Beer Community on Nov. 09, 2018
Have you ever heard that alcohol doesn’t freeze? Well, this is a popular misconception. Alcohol actually does freeze! Most alcohols, like vodka and rum, freeze at temperatures around -114ºC – which is way colder than your typical household freezers and also why it’s a common belief that booze doesn’t freeze.
But what about Beer? Does beer freeze? If so, at what temperature?
Does beer freeze?
In short – Yes, beer does freeze!
What temperature does beer freeze at?
While easy to freeze your beer, knowing the exact freezing point can help you prevent it from happening. The freezing temperature of beer will depend on the alcohol content. Most beers (which range from 4-6ABV%) will generally freeze at around -2ºC.
If you’re interested in calculating the temperature that your specific beer will freeze, a chemist on reddit shared his formula in which you can do so. We hope it makes more sense to you than it did to us… We’re beer geeks, not math nerds!
How long does it take for beer to freeze?
The sugars in beer also lowers the freezing temperature. You’ll notice a “beer ice cube” isn’t as solid as a pure water one would be. It comes out as more of a grainy, slushy, and flaky ice. This is because the sugar in the beer keeps the water in your beer from freezing completely. If your beer has a very high alcohol percentage and sugar content, it will take longer than the usual 2-3 hours it takes for a more typical beer style to freeze.
Should you put your beer in the freezer?
While putting your beer in the freezer can help it chill quickly, it is important to not forget about it! And definitely, don’t store your beer in the freezer because a frozen beer can explode!
Image of a Frozen Beer from @beerme.now
Why does beer explode in the freezer?
As water freezes, it expands. Beer is 95% water, which means…a frozen beer has a 95% chance of expanding! Kidding, that’s not real math, but you can be rest assured that as beer freezes, it expands. This also means the can or bottle could burst due to the pressure build-up as the ice expands. Not only is this a waste of beer, but you’ll end up with some serious cleanup, so avoid letting your brewskis freeze.
Can you salvage a frozen beer? What to do with a beer that has froze:
Did you leave your beer in the freezer too long (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!)? Or maybe you live in Canada and accidentally forgot about that case of beer in the trunk of your car on a cold winter’s night. We get it… As much as we love beer, we understand that sometimes it is forgotten about.
Safety first though – if your frozen beer is in a glass bottle and the bottle broke…you’ve got to toss the beer. It’s not worth the risk if even a tiny little shard broke free into your frozen beer. Blahhh, it’s like a scene from Saw *shivers*
If you manage to catch your beer while it is only slightly frozen, you can put it in your refrigerator and save it for later. This may slightly affect the flavour and taste of your beer. If you drink a partially frozen beer, be aware that the beer will now have a higher alcohol concentration. This is because the frozen pieces are mostly only water, leaving behind all the alcohol in your beer. Did this just turn into a hack on how to up the alcohol percentage of your beer?
Fun Iced Beer Fact:
This is how brewers make beer styles like Eisbock!
Eisbock is bock subjected to freezing, creating a fraction of ice that is then removed, concentrating the beer.
Another way you can use frozen beer is to make yourself a beer margarita! Take your beer slush, mix it with a lime margarita or lime concentrate for a great way to cool off on a hot summer day. If you’re interested in making a beer margarita, the food network has instructions on safe ways to freeze your beer.
You can use your frozen beer in cooking as well. In most cases, you won’t be able to tell that the beer you used in your recipe was frozen and then thawed. Check out some of our favourite recipes using beer, here.
CHAMPAGNE FREEZES TOO!
Now that you know the icy details of frozen beer, here are some other articles we think you might learn from:
What are Beer Varieties? – The Origins
David Nuttall is an instructor at the Alberta Beer Festivals’ Beer School. He has worked in almost all aspects of the liquor industry. He is the current Judging Co-ordinator for Calgary International Beerfest and completed the Beer Judge Certification Program in 2012. He is passionate about beer and beer culture. This article is the first of a fascinating series on different beer styles.
Beers That Taste Bitter & Hoppy (Flavour Profile – 2 of 7)
Bitter and Hoppy Beers: The perfect beers for anyone who loves the bitter flavour of black coffee or a strong grapefruit.
What is a Porter?
Porters: where they come from, their appearance, flavour & aroma, palate & mouthfeel, food pairings and serving suggestions are all explained in this Beer Styles 201 article.
What is a Sour Ale or Wild Ale?
Sour Ales: where they come from, their appearance, flavour & aroma, palate & mouthfeel, food pairings and serving suggestions are all explained in this Beer Styles 201 article.