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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:18 PM
Original message
What's the freezing point of beer?
We've had a pretty mild winter so far and I've been using my back porch as a beer cooler. So far no beer has frozen.

Tonight it's supposed to get pretty cold and I'm thinking maybe I should bring the beer inside, or at least put it in my garage.

Does anyone know the freezing point of beer? Obviously it's different with different kinds of beer but I wonder if anyone has had their beer freeze at certain temperatures and knows what temp I need to start worrying.

thanks
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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. This sounds like it will need experimenting.
Much experimenting.

:beer:
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. I suggest you bring your beer in
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lost-in-nj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't know what the freezing point is
I do know it freezes.....btdt

But, I would put it in the garage at least to stay cold...
If you bring it in and let it get warm then try to get it cold again
you will probably skunk it.... blech

lost
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. It does freeze. I've left beers in the freezer overnight and they
do freeze. Let it thaw and then refrigerate. At least it works with Busch beer!
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AllegroRondo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. depends on the alcohol content
higher alcohol content = lower freezing point.

actually, what will happen is that the water will freeze and the alcohol wont, leaving you with stronger beer. Ice beer was originally made this way, so was applejack by using hard cider.
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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. That's usually refer to as 'ice distilling'.
There are a few uber-sweet dessert meads made that way too.
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SacredCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. If it freezes....
Edited on Wed Jan-02-08 04:23 PM by SacredCow
you're not drinking it fast enough. Call friends to assist you.

:toast:
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. *bows head*
Amen!

:toast:
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. Alcohol is the determing factor (the amount in it)
I don't think you are going to get it too freeze out back..The freezing point of alcohol is -117 degree C, vs. 0 degree C for water..
http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/1997-12/874802766....
Science nerd post of the day.
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cloudbase Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
8. Most likely a little bit below 32 degrees F. due to the alcohol content.
Not significantly lower, though. It's worth experimentation, as a previous poster noted. Share the results here and we'll peer review it.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. it's been in the teens all day and so far
nothing has freezed. I have a few Coronas and some local organic beer. I don't know the alcohol content but now I'm interested to see when it freezes.

I might have another thing at play- the beer is not exposed to the air for the most part. I have the cooler filled with snow which I guess is going to insulate it a bit but I imagine if it's 5 degrees outside air temperature, how much warmer could it be inside the cooler? Not much... insulation only keeps heat in, if there is heat to keep in. I think eventually the snow (and beer) will have the same temperature as the air.

I guess I'll leave it out there for a while and keep an eye (and stomach) on it and report the results back here. If you don't hear from me, the beer exploded in my face.
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cloudbase Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
22. Since cold is the absence of heat,
you've got more heat inside the cooler. The cooler's insulation will definitely retard the transfer rate of the warmer contents inside the cooler, but how long is a function of a bunch of things, and given enough time the temperatures inside and outside the cooler will equalize.

Enough with the geeky stuff, though. If we don't hear from you, know that you gave your all in the name of science.

Happy new year!
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
11. What's the point of freezing beer?
Too lame a copycat to merit it's own thread...
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A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
13. You'll find it will be liquid in the can until you open it...
down to about 25 degrees F or so. Once the pressure is released it will turn to slush pretty quick if it is cooled to much below 32 degrees F. American beer is mostly water but it is water under pressure inside the can. My experience (and yes, i have plenty in this regard, i am proud to say) is that a can chilled down to about 29 or so will turn to slush within a minute or so of opening. One way to tell if this will happen is once you have taken it out of the huge walk-in cooler (your porch) wait and see if the condensation on the outside of a can turns to frost. If it does, the can is probably below the point that the beer will slush when opened.

If it is going to go down to the low twenties, i would put it in the garage if it is warmer or bring it inside.

I don't know about the taste buds of others but beer that has frozen and then thawed definitely tastes different to me. Different as in worse.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Cans?
I stick with glass.

And it's already about 8 degrees now, and there's still golden liquid inside those Coronas.

It's been in the 20s for quite a while and it's been no problem.
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A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Fair enough, but the issue is that the liquid is under pressure
and it will not readily freeze until the pressure is released. I imagine your bottles will fare a bit better than cans but the beer will still freeze if left at 8F too long. I admit the "experience" i spoke of was mostly with canned beer, but i have drunk my fair share of bottled beer and used the walk-in cooler concept every winter when i lived in Michigan.

Either way, good luck.



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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
16. It tends to explode in the freezer.
Someone placed a box of beer into the freezer at a party I once held. I'd never think to look there, and the next morning, mess time.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
17. Wouldn't the freezing point be determined by the alcohol content?
I would think the higher the ABV, the longer it takes to freeze...
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. yes
and I think I just sadly learned that my favorite beer has the lowest alcohol content. (the oatmeal stout).
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Sadly, because your favorite beer is now frozen?
ABV isn't everything! Besides, since you like it, a low alcohol content means you can drink more! :bounce:
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-03-08 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. sadly because...
well although I do like the taste I must say that when I drink it's at least in part because the alcohol is a form of therapy (which I need after 7 years of Bush), so the more potent the better. but that stuff tastes so good I'll deal with drinking a little more of it :)
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
18. I have some preliminary results folks!
Edited on Wed Jan-02-08 05:53 PM by garybeck
It is 7 degrees F out right now. I just went to go check on the little ones.


Still liquid: Corona Extra, Wolavers India Pale Ale, Wolavers Brown Ale, and a bottle of champagne that was neglected on new year's eve

Frozen solid: Wolavers Oatmeal Stout and Wolavers Pale Ale



Conclusion: It's freaking cold out and i have some beer to drink. My favorite beer (the oatmeal stout) evidently has less alcohol. It looks like they know how to party in India.

I almost got frostbite on my fingers, just taking them out of the cooler and evaluating :)

no cracks or breaks in any glass, luckily!

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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-02-08 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
21. Unless you're drinking American shit beer, you don't want it that cold anyway.
Cellar temperature is cold enough.

But if it's Miller or other shit American beer, then, yeah, the colder the better since the cold destroys the taste.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-03-08 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
24. Only a few degrees below that of water. Here's a table.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ethanol-water-d_989.h...

I'd estimate about 27 degrees Fahrenheit a 5% ethanol solution. It's possible to calculate the precise freezing-point depression, but I'd have to look up the formula. I suspect that, as has been suggested above, the other ingredients' effects are small. Beer is essentially an ethanol-water solution.
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