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How Cold Till Heineken Left In The Garage Freezes??

  • m

a cold wave about to hit here in Minnesota.

to put it another way, how easy or hard is it for alcohol in a beer to freeze.

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  1. that's a darn good question, I'm anxious to hear the answer., also if you have a twelve pack of soda does it make a difference? Another exploded soda in my car and I'm gonna cry.

    1. Beer/Ale is usually around 5% alcohol. You asked about "how easy/hard for alcohol in a beer to freeze", since beer is only 5% alcohol, you should be worried about the other 95%.

      The water in beer will start to freeze ~30 F, based on my experiences, a bottle of beer will freeze solid at ~15F in a couple of hours, I would be concerned at any temp below ~25.

      Soda is similar, sugar lowers the freezing temp, but by only a few degrees (warmer).

      1. I had a case of Weyerbacher Simcoe IPA on my back porch in Philly this past week. Temp hovered around freezing (mostly below) all week and it did not freeze at all, and certainly not solid. ABV is a bit higher than the average ale or lager so I'm sure that played a part.

        Again, that's Philly cold. Minnesota cold I'm sure is another story......

        1. A few degress below freezing for water is probably a very good estimate. I would measure the temperature in your garage too, because it should be warmer than outside.

          1. I had six pacts of beer and cola on my enclosed porch last winter during a week in which the temps hovered around 10F. Heard some popping noise and looked. They were spraying all over the place! What a mess! If you wait untill the tops of the cans become swollen it may be too late. Get them to some place where they won't make too much of a mess, quickly!.

            1. I'm not sure what temp average beer freezes at, but I do remember that beer I had placed outside at cold temps (anywhere from 0 to 25 deg.) had stayed liquid, at least for the couple hours that I was chilling it for. However, it would turn to a mushy ice once it was opened (you had to let it warm up a little first). I can only figure that the pressure it was under in the bottle kept it liquid. I also doubt that it would remain liquid if it were exposed to those temps for more than a few hours.

              1. After coming home from shopping, I sometimes pop a few bottles into the freezer to get them cold quicker. This sometimes means that I leave the second bottle in the freezer too long, and when I pop the top, I get beer slushie. But I could have sworn that when I took the bottle out of the freezer, there was no slush...
                The change of pressure from the carbonation and popping the cap was enough to make the beer change from a liquid state to slush. So it's a combination of three factors; Temp, alcohol and other soluble material content in the liquid, and the pressure the liquid is under.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Thirsty Dog

                  Actually, the instant beer slushy doesn't have much to do with pressure. It has to do with the nature of how ice forms (crystals want something to form on). Quite often I have brought a liquid beer in from the garage only to open it and see it turn to slush right before my eyes. It is more likely to happen if I accidently jostle the bottle. If it is cold enough it will happen without even opening the bottle (no change in pressure or even an increase). What happens is the crystals form on the bubbles that occur when you jostle and or open the bottle. I would say the temp has to be below 20° F for that to happen though.

                2. When we were travelling on a coach to an away game (we are talking English footy here) we would make sure we had cold beer for the trip there and back. now we used to travel up and down the contry so trips ranged from an hour at the most to an 6 or 7 hour trip both ways. We always had cold beer on the way home. Can's in the freezer the night before and allowed to defrost during the trip down (while beers stored in the fridge were consumed) and the way home allowed us to enjoy cold beer...and more than one of those beer slushie's!!

                  Beer slushie is pretty good, it kills any taste the larger ever had, but its still good!!!

                  The trick to feezing cans is stand them upright, every know and then you'll get one burst its lid, but not that often.

                  1. I have had my beer out in the garage until today. Temp's hovered around 35-10° for the last several weeks and no frozen soldiers, even though some bottles were light lagers. I am guessing it must be closer to high teens for slushies.

                    1. Will it skunk at some point before freezing? I think I recall that happening to me once, but it was long ago, so perhaps the beer actually froze, or perhaps it was from something else.

                      (and, semi-off-topic, is it true that beer will skunk if you cool it down, then let it come back to room temperature, and cool it down again?)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Doh

                        "Skunked" beer, or more properly, "light struck" beer is the result of a chemical reaction between light (sunlight and florescent the worst) and the hops in beer. A good explanation can be found here http://www.evansale.com/skunked_beer....

                        If cold>warm>cold was the cause of "skunked" beer, then most all commercially produced bottle and canned beers from the large breweries would be bad, since beer is routinely filled at cold temps (reduces foaming) and is then heat pasteurized (to approx. 160ºF IIRC) in the bottle or can and finally is refrigerated again at some point by the retailer and/or consumer.

                        Extremes of temperature are not good for packaged beer, nor is age, but it won't cause what is understood as "skunking". Unfortunately, some folks mis-use the term "skunked" to mean any bad or off-flavored beer.

                        1. re: JessKidden

                          Thanks. I think in the case I was thinking of, we actually put the beer out on a deck because it was a cold day-- so it could well have skunked because of sunlight, not cold.