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Can I freeze beer to cook with later?

s
snax Mar 24, 2012 10:01 PM

I am planning on making beer bread tomorrow and I'll have 150ml of beer left over. As I don't like to drink beer and it's kind of expensive to by it here (over $5 for this bottle) I'm wondering if I can just freeze it in a small container and use it to make bread again in the near future? I'm not sure if the freezing of the beer will mean it wont work when making bread.
Any thoughts?

Thanks

  1. r
    Roland Parker Mar 24, 2012 10:54 PM

    The beer will either explode or go completely flat or both.

    Only certain spirits can be successfully kept in the freezer due to their much higher concentration of alcohol.

    1. gmm Mar 25, 2012 03:38 AM

      I don't drink beer either, but once in a while I'll buy a large bottle or can to use in beer batter. If there's a significant quantity left over, I just put a sandwich bag over it and put a rubber band around it and store it in the fridge. I'm not sure what the maximum time is, but it does seem to last quite a long time. I would think in a bread recipe, it's there more for flavor than for the carbonation, but I could be wrong. I'm sure others will provide some more feedback.

      1. nofunlatte Mar 25, 2012 03:59 AM

        Might be worth a try--can't hurt! I regularly save leftover red wine and freeze it (transferring to another jar). It's nice not to have to open another bottle every time I want to add a half cup or cup of wine to a stew, a chili, or a sauce! It thaws overnight in the refrigerator.

        The other respondents (RolandParker and gmm) both rightly mention some good points--beer going flat and whether you are using the beer for flavor or carbonation. For flavor, the flatness probably isn't going to be an issue.

        1. m
          MikeG Mar 25, 2012 04:19 AM

          Yes, freezing beer for cooking works just fine. Flatness is irrelevant for cooking, but as Roland Parker alludes to, you wouldn't want to put an unopened glass bottle in the freezer. Water expands when it freezes so the bottle might crack apart. (Likewise, whatever you store your leftovers in, leave enough room for expansion.)

          I doubt the beer is doing anything in the bread that will be hurt by freezing it, it's probably just providing flavor and maybe a bit of carbs. Speculating wildly, even if it's unpasteurized beer and you're using it for some residual yeast, yeast survives freezing just fine.

          1. r
            ratgirlagogo Mar 25, 2012 12:02 PM

            Yikes! I can hardly imagine the cries of pain this question would have caused if you'd asked it over on the Beer board! Yes, beer will explode when frozen - any liquid in a container will explode when completely frozen because it will expand. Unfortunately I have accidentally exploded more than one beer since I sometimes put warm ones into the freezer to cool, and then forget about them.
            Also, even if it just partially freezes without exploding, it will go flat. If you're using it for a beer batter (like for fish and chips) it won't work, since the carbonation is necessary. In fact if you don't like beer you can always use seltzer water for a "Baptist beer batter." Also my understanding was that for beer bread the beer is used for the same reason - because the carbonation aerates the dough, so I would think you wouldn't want it in that case either.
            I also sometimes will refrigerate an opened beer that has gotten warm and drink it later. In general I haven't had good experiences with keeping it more than 36 hours or so. The carbonation will stay for about 48 hours but I think it begins to taste stale and odd, a little sour.

            1. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 25, 2012 01:55 PM

              I'm not quite sure why so many people are assuming the OP will be freezing the beer in its original bottle. As noted, it isn't a good idea to freeze any liquid in a sealed glass bottle because the liquid will expand. Just pour the leftover beer into a tupperware or ziplock bag or old yogurt container and freeze away.

              As far as making bread with it goes, you will lose the carbonation and any effect it causes in the bread. It will still add flavour, though, so if you don't mind your bread being slightly denser than normal, you can still use it. Or, as someone else suggested, you can use seltzer for the fizz and replace some of the water called for in the recipe with the flat beer, so you still have the proper taste.

              There are a ton of other uses for beer, however, where flatness doesn't matter. I often use it to add flavour to chilies or stews or in marinades or homemade BBQ sauces.

              1. chefj Mar 25, 2012 02:54 PM

                If the bread you are baking is a quick bread (chemically leavened)you may have problems.
                If it is a yeast risen bread you should be fine.

                1. s
                  snax Mar 25, 2012 03:50 PM

                  Thanks everyone for your help. I had plan to pour any left over beer into a ziplock bag. I do the same thing with red wine and it's fine. I like the idea of adding seltzer instead of H20 if using the frozen beer in future cooking. And yes this bread is a yeast risen bread. Hope it turns out well.

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