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How Long Does It Take Beer To Freeze?

Norah Clark
Beer in an ice box.

It can take up to 1-2 hours for beer to freeze. Beer can be chilled within 15 minutes in the freezer, but if you leave beer bottles or cans in the freezer too long, they may explode or become  slushy, unpleasant-tasting beer!

Hosting an outdoor party may be a challenge to keep enough cold beer in your fridge. Consider placing some beer in the freezer to ensure all guests can enjoy a refreshing beverage.

Thinking about using your freezer for cold drinks during summer? Keep reading to discover essential tips for chilling beer in your freezer!

How Long Does It Take Beer To Freeze?

Pulling a beer bottle from the freezer might raise eyebrows, but it’s not a bad idea. Most beer tastes better chilled, especially during hot summer days.

Using a fridge to cool beer is great, but not ideal for larger quantities. It could take 5 to 6 hours for a fridge to perfectly chill a beer. So, if you run out of cold beer, you’ll face a long wait for the next batch.

Using the freezer to cool beer is faster; it can take 15 to 20 minutes to chill sufficiently. Just don’t forget about the beer!

Beers sitting on ice. Credit: Unsplash
Beers sitting on ice. Credit: Unsplash

 

To determine the best way to achieve optimal results when chilling beer in the freezer, let’s examine the effects of freezing beer more closely.

Read also: How Long Does Beer Last In The Fridge?

At What Temperature Does Beer Freeze?

Unusual things occur when alcoholic beverages freeze. In a standard freezer, the drink’s water content freezes while the ethanol, or alcohol, remains liquid.

Most household freezers won’t freeze the alcohol in beer. Alcohol freezes at -172.3°F, far colder than typical home freezers can reach.

However, beverages with lower alcohol content freeze at higher temperatures. This is why Bailey’s freezes more easily than vodka (though we’re unsure why you’d want to).

 

How Does Supercooled Beer Freeze Instantly?

The supercooled beer party trick, where beer appears to freeze instantly, has a simple explanation.

Rapidly lowering beer’s temperature beyond its freezing point causes it to form a solid mass instantly when shaken. Certain molecules shift into position, creating lattice-like structures that allow other molecules to follow, resulting in a solid mass forming within seconds.

What Happens When You Freeze Beer For Too Long?

Many people put beer in the freezer to quickly chill their favorite summer drink. But what if you forget about the cans and bottles of beer in there? Will it be a disaster, or can the beverage be salvaged?

When beer cools, the liquid turns into ice crystals. These take up more space than liquid, so the beer’s volume increases, and it starts to solidify.

If beer is left in the freezer too long, pressure builds up inside the bottle or can, and can explode!

In the worst case, you might find shattered glass beer bottles in the freezer. This isn’t just messy; it can also be hazardous, as there may be glass shards hidden in the freezer.

If you have beer cans in the freezer, the situation may be less dire. Cans are more resistant to explosions than glass bottles, so you might find everything’s fine in your freezer.

However, if a beer can splits open, we recommend discarding the contents, as the drink might contain metal shards.

Can You Drink Frozen Beer?

If you find partially frozen beer where the container hasn’t burst, is it safe to consume?

Partially frozen beer is slushy and unpleasant to drink. Be careful not to remove the ice, as this is the alcohol-free part of the beer. Removing it leaves only the alcohol behind!

Some people enjoy slushy beer in the summer, as it’s refreshing and cold. 

If you don’t want to drink slushy beer, let it thaw in the fridge or another cool place. 

However, freezing stops the carbonation process, leaving your beer flat. Frozen beer might also taste dull, especially without the fizzy, foamy head we love.

So, if you plan to chill beer in the freezer, set an alarm! 

How Long Does It Take Beer To Get Cold In The Freezer?

Run out of cold beer at a gathering? No problem! Follow a few simple steps, and you’ll have an ice-cold drink in no time!

Remember, the freezer isn’t for long-term beer storage. It’s a rapid chiller to quickly cool your beer. Once it reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the freezer and transfer it to the fridge or an ice bucket.

The time it takes to chill cans and bottles in the freezer is similar. 

To quickly chill beer in the freezer, use a damp, clean towel. Wrap cans or bottles in the wet towel and place them in the freezer.

The wet towel effectively chills the beer by transferring heat away from the container while absorbing the beer’s warmth.

In just 15 minutes, you’ll have cold beers that taste as if they’d been in the fridge overnight.

It’s crucial not to exceed this 15-minute limit, so set a timer or an alarm. Once your drinks are sufficiently chilled, remove them from the freezer and put them in the fridge.

What’s The Best Way To Keep Beers Chilled At A Party?

Maintaining cool beers at outdoor parties can be challenging. Consider borrowing a fridge or beer chiller to ensure a steady supply of chilled beverages for your guests.

If fridge space is limited, use cooler boxes or insulated picnic bags to keep beers cold. Frozen ice bottles and ice packs can also help maintain low temperatures.

For keeping drinks chilled, use buckets filled with cold tap water and ice. If possible, store drinks in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight.

Read also: Best Italian Beers – Most Popular Italian Beer Brands

What Is The Best Temperature To Serve Beer?

Serving beer at the right temperature is essential for enjoying these tasty beverages at their best.

Overly warm beer can taste dull and unappealing, while excessively cold beer may be bland with masked aromas and flavors. So, what’s the ideal serving temperature, and does it differ between beers?

Serve all beers at temperatures between 38° and 55°F. Lagers, lighter, and less potent beers are best served on the colder end of this range. Macro Lagers should be served as cold as possible.

Serve darker, stronger beers, such as authentic ales, stouts, and porters, at warmer temperatures. Using a chilled glass can help keep your beverage cool while you enjoy it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take a 12oz can of beer to freeze?

This depends on several factors, including the temperature of the freezer and the alcohol content of the beer. In general, it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours for a can of beer to freeze solid in a standard home freezer.

How long to freeze a beer to make a beer slushy?

To make a beer slushy, you’ll need to freeze the beer until it’s partially frozen, which typically takes around 2-3 hours in a standard home freezer. However, the freezing time can vary depending on the alcohol content and other factors, so it’s best to keep an eye on the beer and check it periodically to make sure it doesn’t freeze completely solid.

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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