Many of us enjoy a beer, and we all know that beer is often best enjoyed cold – but how cold is too cold? At what point does beer actually freeze?
Most of us have had that one friend that has put their beer into a freezer, only to discover hours later that it wasn’t the best idea! But what temperature caused this to happen?
We’ve answered all of these questions and more with our handy guide below.
Does Beer Freeze?
The answer is yes, beer can freeze. However, there are some factors that will affect when your beer freezes. These include:
- The type of beer you’re drinking (some beers are better at freezing than others)
- Your fridge’s setting (if you leave your beer in the fridge for long periods of time, it may freeze)
- How much alcohol is in your beer (the higher the percentage of alcohol, the lower the freezing point)
- If you drink your beer straight from the bottle or keg (less likely to freeze if you do this)
What Is The Freezing Point Of Beer?
When it comes to the freezing point of beer, there are two main types of beer:
Lager (or Pilsner)
This style of beer contains very little carbon dioxide, so it doesn’t foam up as quickly as other styles of beer. It also tends to be less bitter than other beers.
This style of beer is made using malted barley which allows the brewer to add extra sugars to the wort before fermentation.
This means they get an even sweeter taste than lagers, and it also gives them the ability to create a lot of different flavors.
Freezing Point Of Lager And Ale
As mentioned above, lager beer has a low carbon dioxide content meaning it won’t foam up as quickly as ales. As such, it takes longer for lager to reach its freezing point.
However, because of the high sugar levels in ale, it reaches its freezing point quicker than lager.
The average freezing point for both lager and ale is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do All Beers Freeze At 32 Degrees Fahrenheit?
No, not all beers will freeze at the same temperature. For example, Guinness stout will freeze at a slightly lower temperature than Budweiser.
This is because of the high level of carbonation in Guinness.
Typically, 4-6% ABV beers will freeze at 28 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long Does It Take For Low Alcoholic Beer To Freeze?
Low alcoholic beer will take probably about 2 or 3 hours to freeze into a slushy cube, whereas a strong IPA will take double this time due to its ABV.
Why Do Some Beers Freeze So Quickly?
There are many reasons why some beers freeze faster than others. One of the most common ones is the amount of alcohol present in the beer.
Higher percentages of alcohol mean that the beer will take longer to freeze.
So, Do Spirits Freeze?
You may be wondering that if it takes longer for higher ABV drinks to freeze, do strong spirits freeze at all? Well, the short answer is yes and no.
Spirits don’t freeze because they contain a large amount of water.
If you were to pour vodka on ice, you would see that it stays liquid while the ice starts to melt away.
But What About Wine?
Wine will freeze just like any other alcoholic beverage, but it does tend to freeze faster than other beverages.
This is due to the fact that wine contains a lot of sugar.
When it comes to freezing, the sugar molecules start to move around inside the glass causing friction between the liquid and the glass.
This makes the wine freeze faster than other beverages with similar amounts of alcohol.
Can I Drink My Beer After It’s Been Frozen?
Yes! You can drink your beer after it’s been “frozen solid” but it will need to be thawed out (unless you want a beer Popsicle!)
Will Freezing Beer Make It Last Longer?
Not necessarily. Some beers should never be frozen anyway like stouts, and some beers will have their taste completely changed after being frozen and become much more bitter – even if they are still safe to drink after a while.
Generally, it’s better to enjoy a beer as it was intended!
Will A Bottle Of Beer Explode In A Freezer?
If you leave a bottle of beer in a freezer for too long, there’s a good chance that it could explode.
The reason for this is that when the pressure builds up inside the bottle, it creates enough force to blow the top off the bottle.
How To Keep Your Beer At Its Best Temperature
Keeping your beer cold is easy. Simply put the bottle into a fridge, a cooler, a bath of icy water etc.
Ensure your beer is out of direct sunlight and try to drink it as soon as you’ve opened it.
If your beer has spent a while out in the sun and has not been opened, put it in the fridge for a few hours before you drink it.
Can I Quickly Cool My Beer Down?
A quick way to cool your beer down and ensure it doesn’t freeze or explode is by doing this method:
- Wet a rag or towel
- Wrap the rag around your beer
- Place the beer in your freezer
- Set a timer for around 10 minutes
- Check on your beer
This should have quickly made your beer nice and cold without being too cold, but this is under the assumption your freezer is set to freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
The Bottom Line
Beer freezes very easily so make sure you keep an eye on it if you’re going to opt for a freezer to quickly chill your beer down.
Remember, if you do find yourself in a situation where you need to use a freezer to quickly cool your beer down, make sure you check on it every 5-10 minutes to make sure it hasn’t frozen over.
However, in reality – you’re better off chilling your beer in the refrigerator and enjoying it after it’s been sitting for a few hours.
- Home brewing beer beginners information guide - February 19, 2024
- A Comprehensive Guide to Home Brewing Equipment: From Fermenters to Professional Systems - November 29, 2023
- The Evolution of Home Brewing: From Ancient Origins to the Modern Craft Beer Movement - November 28, 2023