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What is the temperture threshold on shipping?

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk & Help' started by lonewolfcry, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. lonewolfcry

    lonewolfcry Champion (865) Minnesota Dec 7, 2007 Verified

    I'm fairly new to trading & in the middle of a couple of trades.
    I live in MN, they live in CA.
    Is there a point (temperature wise) that we have to call it off and just wait?

    I would believe, with ground service, as long as it's not like a constant 10 degrees (or below that), if your beer is packed/insulated well - than we should be good to go.

    Any input would be much appreciated. I'm planning on shipping tomorrow & next week for my return box, the forecast is to be highs in teens & 20's next week.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
  2. This topic keeps coming up, it's easiest just to search.

    For quick reference summary though:

    Below 30 degrees and you should start getting a little nervous.

    Below 25 degrees and you are solidly into potential freezing territory.

    Below 20 degrees and you should really not ship under any circumstances because your bottles will freeze and potentially explode.

    A couple of other points:

    It's not the "highs" you want to go by, it's the "lows". Those boxes generally just sit on a cold truck overnight.

    Packing/insulation has a negligible effect. Without a heat source inside the box, the insides will eventually reach equilibrium with the outsides. And that doesn't take more than a few hours to do with standard beer box style packaging.

    Hate to break it to you, but living in MN you should more or less just shut down the idea of trading for the winter. If you insist, you really want to wait for a week where the lows are going to be 25+.
    jegross2, tewaris, Brew33 and 2 others like this.
  3. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    Also remember windchill especially if box may sit on a porch for a few hours.
  4. moose3285

    moose3285 Savant (290) Florida Jul 19, 2007 Verified

    Unfortunately I think you just missed your window to ship this week. I shipped to a trading partner in MN this week since the weather was a bit more mild. But it looks like it's back to well below freezing for the foreseeable future after today. Keep and eye on your 10 day forecast and wait for lows that are consistently above 25F.
  5. maximum12

    maximum12 Champion (910) Minnesota Jan 21, 2008 Verified

  6. maximum12

    maximum12 Champion (910) Minnesota Jan 21, 2008 Verified

    I could not dislike this horrible, horrible, nasty sentence any more. :D

    Read the other thread, but there's no need to shut down trading for the winter. Just like in the summertime, it pays to watch the forecasts & check your internal risk-thermometer.

    I've been trading for years without only one (incoming) casualty due to the cold.
    tewaris likes this.
  7. It certainly can be done, but you are experienced, careful, and know the limits. Somebody who is even contemplating shipping with "highs in the teens" is not in that boat...
  8. lonewolfcry

    lonewolfcry Champion (865) Minnesota Dec 7, 2007 Verified

    Thanks to all for the feedback
  9. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    I think you are all trolling as everyone knows the true answer here is 42.
    RC0032 and MinorThreat like this.
  10. gklover1

    gklover1 Savant (320) Colorado Oct 18, 2009 Verified

    It is called "Today".
    MordorMongo likes this.
  11. Hugonaut13

    Hugonaut13 Champion (780) Illinois Nov 29, 2012 Verified

    Depends what's being shipped. Higher the alcohol content, lower the freezing point.
  12. tewaris

    tewaris Advocate (605) Minnesota Jul 14, 2009

    While beer is not exactly a solution of just water and alcohol, and will probably have a lower freezing point than a solution of similar strength, this could serve as a guide:
    Source: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ethanol-water-d_989.html

    So, I will go with cbeer88 here and not ship at all. Of course, keep checking the forecasts. Supposed to warm up on Wednesday (I think).
    lurchingbeast likes this.
  13. gklover1

    gklover1 Savant (320) Colorado Oct 18, 2009 Verified

    I'm gonna find out today. Guy shipped me a BB Sexual Chocolate and an Olde Rabbit's Foot last week that has been sitting at the UPS warehouse (hopefully - unless on a truck outside) all weekend here in Denver...

    *Did anyone happen to catch the temps at the Broncos playoff game?? o_O

    I'm just waiting for the "exception" message today...

    I will update u all.
  14. When you're dealing with beer, it doesn't matter a whole lot, because all beer is pretty low alcohol. The table tewaris posted above pretty clearly shows that even a 10% beer can freeze below 25. Good rule of thumb is (32 - ABV) = freeze.

    The upside of being that cold is the beer slushies all over the box won't drip through, so it should get delivered fine. :)
    gklover1 likes this.
  15. Hugonaut13

    Hugonaut13 Champion (780) Illinois Nov 29, 2012 Verified

    That table helps. I thought the freezing point was something like 1.3 degrees less for every 1% of alcohol.
  16. aasher

    aasher Poobah (1,260) Indiana Jan 27, 2010 Verified

    I sent a box to CA from IN on Friday when it was 60 degrees. I'm very grateful I did that because now its 25 degrees out and the box is somewhere in the middle of the US.
  17. gklover1

    gklover1 Savant (320) Colorado Oct 18, 2009 Verified

    Well, the saga continues...

    It got to my porch around 3pm. The temp was 8 degrees. It sat (I was INSANELY busy at work) until 5, when I called my neighbor to grab it. I owe him a rebuilt laptop, so I didn't feel right getting my beer until I fix his computer. Went to rebuild it last nite...bad sector on the hard drive. o_O

    I will get him a new hard drive today, and do the exchange tonight. I am DYING to see what happened. It hasn't been over 15 degrees here in 5 days...

    More later.
  18. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Advocate (605) Massachusetts May 28, 2010 Verified

    aasher likes this.
  19. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    bah, you should be fine at 29.93. Amateur.
  20. Maybe something cool like this:

    BTW, for anything that is frozen but otherwise not exploded... put them in your fridge to thaw at a graceful temperature - don't try to warm them up quickly or anything at too high of a temp. Let them sit for a while before drinking. They should pretty much be ok at that point, other than some crusties under the cap. I wouldn't hold onto anything too long that was once frozen though, as the cap could have gotten knocked off a slight bit.
  21. MinorThreat

    MinorThreat Advocate (615) Nebraska Apr 7, 2008 Verified

    One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious
    tylerzombie and MordorMongo like this.
  22. gklover1

    gklover1 Savant (320) Colorado Oct 18, 2009 Verified


    Well, I don't know how UPS stores their shipments in CO, but what I do know is my BA Sexual Chocolate and my Olde Rabbit's Foot, after a weekend with them and then 2 hours on my front porch when the temp never made it above 8 degrees made it just fine. Very cold, but no ice and no issues.

    I'm a happy boy. HAPPY BOY!! (Beat Farmers)
    vurt likes this.
  23. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast Initiate (0) Illinois Feb 19, 2009

    When will you engineers stop trying to prove things?

    Ship in completely encased styrofoam with activated hand warmers.

    Or wait for spring. What kind of adventure is that?
    tewaris likes this.
  24. tewaris

    tewaris Advocate (605) Minnesota Jul 14, 2009

    This does sound like a good idea; have you tried it for real?
  25. Hand warmers only last a few hours, so they wouldn't do much. Also classified as a fire hazard by the FAA, but take that for whatever it is worth...
  26. I just shipped to Chicago yesterday. I saw they had good weather all week, and neglected to check anything else in the Midwest. Got hit with the news that there may be delays because of storms. Hope everything is fine for my shipment
  27. Hugonaut13

    Hugonaut13 Champion (780) Illinois Nov 29, 2012 Verified

    Ifs its scheduled to land by saturday at the latest, youre probably ok
  28. Yeah scheduled to land Saturday. I saw the weather and took advantage. Hopefully there's no delays in transit
  29. Im in your boat...got my package to fedex from boston today...should be in chi by friday hopefully...if not I could be SOL.
  30. Good luck man. The only plus on my end is that the weather in Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, and Illinois is mild this week. it pass through Minnesota or any of the real cold states? I doubt it. I think it's being shipped right through Missouri and Iowa so I should be good. Hopefully.