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Shipping Beer during winter below freezing temperatures

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk & Help' started by Puddleduck, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Disciple (60) Nov 21, 2012

    I talked to UPS and they can not guarantee that the package will not be exposed to below freezing temperature. Water greatest expansion is at the freezing point. Any thoughts on this issue.
  2. Send only high ABV beers if you must ship. Wait until there's better weather if its low ABV stuff or whales.

    Other than that, wrap them in a blanket, scarf, whatever to potentially keep them warm enough to not freeze or if you got the cash, send it 3 day or faster. But assuming you're sending it UPS ground, I'd suggest waiting until weather is better
  3. maximum12

    maximum12 Champion (755) Minnesota Jan 21, 2008

  4. Historically most traders in cold climates tend to either take a break or really slow down. You can totally do it, you just need to be careful, and there might be 3 week long periods where you shouldn't ship. Remember to look out for not only your area and your partner's area, but the places it will cross through en route. i.e. don't ship from Maine to Oregon if it's going to be -10 in Chicago for a week. Also really try to avoid it sitting in a warehouse over the weekend.

    It's better to wait than have bottles burst and have to send all over again.

    The difference between shipping a 5% beer and a 10% beer is only going to be about 5 degrees. i.e. that 5% might freeze at 25, and the 10% might freeze at 20.

    Wrapping them in scarf/blanket/etc literally won't do anything. The temp inside the blanket will eventually reach equilibrium with the temp outside the blanket, and the time it takes to get there will be inconsequential. Unless you have a heat source in there or some kind of crazy military Antartica grade thermos cooler, your packaging will make no difference after a few hours.
    TheElbow and BeerThursdays like this.
  5. xnicknj

    xnicknj Advocate (730) Pennsylvania May 25, 2009

    this becomes an issue every year for people - there will be suggestions of double boxing, shipping on monday so it doesnt sit in a warehouse, etc., but the only real solution is to wait until it's above freezing and pay attention to weather forecasts.

    it's only a matter of time before there's a thread about "hey my Beatification PH1 froze and leaked in transit i cant believe it!!!" patience can pay off.
    cbeer88 likes this.
  6. The latter part of my post was more of a joke. All that said, I did post without thinking exactly how cold it gets. Disregard my previous post. I'm only shipping to Southern states in winter though for the most part.
  7. What is the problem with bottles sitting in a warehouse for a few days? Everyone is always so concerned about this, but warehouses are heated and insulated. I don't think any beers will be harmed by being exposed to 60F-75F temperatures for a weekend. If anything, the temperature in a warehouse during winter is probably better for the beer than most "cellars" (which are probably 70-75F). Is the concern that the bottles will sit on a truck outside in the yard?
  8. If you are really concerned i would just let the beers warm up to room temp while being kept out of the light. and then use some packing material that would help hold head. styro shipper
  9. One of my buddies worked for a FedEx distro center and he always complained about it being cold as hell, IN CALIFORNIA, because they would have all the doors open. He would work in a jacket and long sleeve shirt all the time. But that was admittedly during the week. Maybe we assume the conditions are the same during the weekend when there's still work being done but not necessarily home deliveries.
  10. maximum12

    maximum12 Champion (755) Minnesota Jan 21, 2008

  11. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    Have you spent much time in warehouses in the midwest? They are neither heated or insulated for the most part....in fact I haven't seen one that is....though I am sure some are out there. But packed and loaded on truck just sitting there is the bigger concern.
  12. Yes, in fact I have spent a lot of time in warehouses, though not in the midwest -- it was in an area much colder than the American midwest. I don't recall ever experiencing freezing temperatures inside of a warehouse (and this includes temperatures down to -40F). But who knows, maybe it happens.

    This makes sense.
  13. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    Ahhh perhaps because it was somewhere much colder there is greater concern over it. I think here the general assumption is "oh it isn't THAT cold", but in reality it is plenty cold to freeze beer, especially lambic and low ABV stuff. In college I worked holiday seasons at a UPS distro hub for crack money and we were HAPPY when it was over 20 in there. Yes it never got QUITE equal to outside temps, but was bad enough.....our only heat were huge salamanders they blew up by the entrance to the offices.
    GrumpyOldTroll likes this.
  14. I've heard it completely depends, and you never know what you're going to get. Also it's the truck sitting outside and stopped with a box on it for 2 days.

    It all comes down to - "better safe than sorry". There's really no harm in waiting a few weeks for better conditions...
  15. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    I am just going to open the bottles I ship, dump 6oz, and refill with Everclear. That should get the job done with the freeze point.
    thampel09 likes this.

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