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Beer Freezing Experiment

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk & Help' started by GrumpyOldTroll, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. So like much of the rest of the US it's been relatively cold here in the NYC area the last couple of days. Last night at 7:30 pm I stuck a bottle of '12 bcbs (15%) and a bottle of St. Arnold Endeavor (8.9%) outside. The temperature last night got down to 10F, and through most of the day was between 15-20F. I took the bottles in tonight and opened them up (after 24 hours outside at temps ranging from 10F - to about 20F). Absolutely zero freezing. The BCBS was totally unaffected as far as I could tell. the DIPA seemed a bit less carbonated until it warmed up. After it was warmer, I don't think I would've been able to tell the difference. Tomorrow I'm going to make it a bit more precise and try it with varied ABVs and different styles, depending on what I can find at the local beer store (two 5%, 6%, 7% and 8% beers, one to freeze and one not to freeze, then taste the two after the cold one has warmed up). Obviously nothing close to scientific and I wouldn't do this with a geuze but I thought it was interesting that there was no freezing at all and that the beer didn't seem to be affected.
  2. Mjmoser

    Mjmoser Savant (410) Illinois May 6, 2012

    Love it, looking forward to the results. I was just having this discussion today with a buddy as I have an IPA growler headed my way (Chicago) from Florida.....
  3. Yeah, I'm not sure how much this really matters (and for big time bottles I wouldn't take any chances at all), but at least at 9%, I think it's a good bet that 10F isn't going to destroy the beer.
  4. huadog

    huadog Savant (340) California May 13, 2009

    leschkie has some science regarding freezing I haven't read on here yet
    MarkIntihar likes this.
  5. I have iced distilled BCBS '12 in my freezer in an open vessel. The freezer is ~2 degrees F.
  6. Is this measured or reported? If you are in the city possibly urban heat island effect? Might not be as cold on your back porch as the news is reporting. Just thinking out loud.
  7. The temps are according to weather.com and are for Hoboken, which is approximately 1 square mile.
  8. jsilva

    jsilva Savant (365) Massachusetts Nov 10, 2009

    Be careful. I did this with a stone chipotle porter by accident and it exploded and made a mess.
  9. Mjmoser

    Mjmoser Savant (410) Illinois May 6, 2012

    What is the ABV on that? How cold and how long?
  10. ive had so many beers freeze on me, its not even funny. up to 9% (alesmith yulesmith) so beer freezes easily. watch YO weather. alesmith traveled from socal to st louis, 3-4 days most of which is warmer south west so total time in bitter cold would be less than 2 days at MOST.
  11. Interesting. I was sorta expecting this to happen. Maybe at lower ABVs...
  12. jsilva

    jsilva Savant (365) Massachusetts Nov 10, 2009

    5.9% Teens-20s for 12- hours or so.
  13. jsilva

    jsilva Savant (365) Massachusetts Nov 10, 2009

    I was actually thinking of freeze distilling bcbs or brooklyn choc and re-blending with regular for the hell of it. I remeber trying three philosophers after it had been freeze distilled and it was interesting.
  14. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    We need some fucking science up in this piece, yo.
  15. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast Initiate (0) Illinois Feb 19, 2009

    I suppose this is what you do after you drink Dave. ;)
  16. claaark13

    claaark13 Advocate (635) Indiana Nov 29, 2007

    Toss a 3f OG out there and report back.
  17. Sorry man, I'm limited to freeze or didn't freeze, tasted normal or didn't taste normal. So maybe this isn't super helpful. But it was fun and no beer was harmed in the experiment. :)
  18. Bad_Trader

    Bad_Trader Initiate (0) Namibia Nov 8, 2012

    The freezing point (°C) of beer = (-0.42 × A) + (0.04 × E) + 0.2, where A is the percent of alcohol content by weight, and E is the original gravity of the wort (°Plato). Therefore, each 1% increase in alcohol content lowers the freezing point by 0.42° C and each increase in gravity of 1° Plato raises it by 0.04°C. Thus, no beer will freeze at -1°C, and products at higher alcohol concentrations (including high-gravity brews prior to dilution) will withstand even lower temperatures.
  19. dvelcich

    dvelcich Savant (330) Illinois Feb 6, 2008

    I did my own beer freezing experiment where I put one bottle of Zombie Dust in the freezer, then back into the fridge until it thawed, and tried it side by side with another one from the same fridge. My theory was that the frozen one would push all the CO2 out into the neck space, it would all escape when I opened it, and the beer would be flat.

    I took out two identical glasses and tried to pour each at the same pace. I was wrong about the beer being flat. In fact, the head was WAY bigger on the one that had frozen. Upon tasting them, the flavors were both spot on. The only difference might have been that the frozen one seemed to have a little less carbonation in the mouthfeel, but my mind might have created that variance.

    My reasoning behind this was that the freezing process allowed the CO2 to escape the solution easier when it was poured, while the one at fridge temp held onto the carbonation better.

    I'm no scientist, but what I took away from my little experiment was that if a beer freezes, don't get all bitchy as I've done in the past. Just throw it back in the fridge until it thaws, and you probably won't even notice the difference.
  20. Got some 12 Horse and various other Genny related cases ( Magic Hat,Pyramid ) outside on my deck... Frozen solid as a rock . We havent been above 10 degrees in 3 days now. I can do an experiment and see which ones blow and which ones dont.. I have zero dollars invested in this beer and didnt intend on leaving them out but in the name of science I am up for the challenge.
    Do the tops normally blow off or do I need to worry about breaking glass ?
  21. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Bottles certainly can explode, but if they haven't by now they probably won't. When putting them in the fridge to return to normal temps I'd put the test subjects in a large ziplock bag personally.
    Retail1LO likes this.
  22. I sent out a box on Monday to CA with 8 BCBS and some extras, and will know by tonight when they hit CA whether they made it through gauntlet of cold weather, and update you guys when they are delivered tomorrow. I will also know if my Pliny's made it safe to me or not too...and yes we both knew the risk of shipping this week. Not worried about the BCBS freezing, just the extras a threw in.
  23. jsilva

    jsilva Savant (365) Massachusetts Nov 10, 2009

    This was the result of the stone chipotle porter.
  24. Put the bottles in a ziplock bag, then it won't matter.
  25. There are well over 40 bottles !
  26. ant880

    ant880 Advocate (635) New York Nov 7, 2010

    You know the area got flooded with BCBS when we are now at the point of performing science experiments with them ;)
    cosmicevan, vissai, Hanzo and 3 others like this.
  27. Seriously, you are willing to waste good beer to what end? It's not like we are shipping organs for transplants. Just wait until temps are reasonable.
    cbeer88 likes this.
  28. What about IPAS. I need them fresh as possible...I wish someone I traded with waited. Its in single digits today and I havd double daisy cutter on a truck to my place. I will report back. Idk what else is in the box, but if its lower abv Im not counting my chickens.
  29. I hope your day job isn't working in a lab.
  30. Then get a trash bag?
    WassailWilly likes this.
  31. No shortage of BCBS in these parts. It's still on the shelf.

  32. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Just bring in a few of each type to thaw in the fridge for testing.
  33. Thank god it wasn't anything that you would actually want to drink. FYI - it tastes like indigestion vomit at room temperature.
  34. That way I can leave it in there regardless lol
    GrumpyOldTroll likes this.
  35. You tried a bite of that didn't you?
    Pnell316, MarkIntihar, Hanzo and 4 others like this.
  36. Beer will freeze for sure at 0, most everybody has left something in the freezer at one point or another. Beer will not freeze at 32, because physics.

    Testing exactly where it will freeze in between there is difficult because there are so many variables - time, ABV, temperature fluctuation, movement, shelter, etc, etc. Bottom line - below 20 and you're in a danger zone.

    Your experiment was flawed, because the 24 hours outside is meaningless compared to the fact that they warmed up to 20 degrees. A 9% beer being outside for 2 hours at 15 degrees after starting at 20 degrees would likely not affect it. But 24 straight hours at a high of 10 degrees probably would.
  37. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    I am disappoint that no one has set up an experiment with a 5%, 7.5%, 10% and 15% beer with a controlled temp starting point and controlled environment to cool to freezing point and noting it for us all and FOR SCIENCE! I mean what the FUCK, I thought some of you mother fuckers were nerds and shit....
  38. I agree. I'd say below 32F is a danger zone. But I'm much less worried about bigger ABV bottles in the 20s.

    I don't follow -- i'm no scientist, but I don't think it would take very long for a 12 oz or even a 22 oz bottle to reach the same temperature as the air outside. 3-4 hours maybe? For the first 12 hours, it was sub 15F.
  39. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    I think I will send this problem into Mythbusters and see if they can handle it for us.
    oldp0rt likes this.

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