Does Beer Freeze? How to Salvage a Frozen Beer
As winter rolls around, we found ourselves asking “Does beer freeze?”… So we did some research and here’s what we found. Spoiler Alert: Yes, beer does freeze. Continue reading to find out how to prevent your beer from freezing, and things you can do with frozen beer.
By Mairyn Chorney 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, which is why it’s a common belief that booze doesn’t freeze. This leads to the question… Does beer freeze? If so, at what temperature?
Does beer freeze?
In short – Yes, beer does freeze!
What is the freezing temperature of beer?
While it is possible to freeze your beer, the freezing temperature is always different. The freezing point of beer depends on the beer’s alcohol content. For most beers, around 4-6ABV%, it 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! Don’t store your beer in the freezer, it might explode!
Why does beer explode in the freezer?
As liquid freezes, it expands. This means that if your beer bottle or can is unopened, it may burst due to pressure. Not only is this a waste of beer, you’ll end up with some serious cleanup.
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.
If you can 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?
This is how brewers make beer styles like Eisbock!
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.
Now that you know beer does freeze, here are some other articles we think you might learn from:
What is a Session Beer? – What Makes Beer Sessionable?
Session beer. You hear the word all the time, but what does it mean and what does it say about the beer you are drinking or considering.
Pilsners vs. Lagers: What’s the Difference?
What is the difference between a pilsner and a lager? Is pilsner a type of lager? If you find yourself asking questions about pilsners and lagers every time you reach for one, continue reading for your answers!
Beer Styles 201: What is a Bock?
Bocks: 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 the difference between Ales, Lagers and Hybrids?
You might think the differences between ales and lagers has to do with color or flavour…but for the most part, you’d be wrong. Find out more…