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Mar 24, 2012 10:01 PM

Can I freeze beer to cook with later?

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?


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  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.