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Accidentally froze my cellared beer

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by musicman7070, Apr 30, 2013.

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  1. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Disciple (357) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Alright so basically I had some beer that I was cellaring in my closet but wanted it to go to a fridge before the temperature got too high/hot. I borrowed a fridge from my brother to store said beer and put that beer in my new fridge. About a week later, I checked the beer and it was frozen...and these were 10-15% ABV beers too! So, my question to all of you is, did I just completely ruin all of those beers for good? Has this ever happened to any of you before? I ended up taking them out of that fridge and stuck them back in my closet. Any insight would be super helpful here. Thank you.
  2. PaulQuinn

    PaulQuinn Initiate (174) May 27, 2011 British Columbia (Canada)

    I only did that with BMC, so my experience is limited, but I believe they are probably just a shadow of their former selves now. That is to say they aren't undrinkable, but not as good as they would be otherwise. The high ABV might have helped too. Only way to be sure is to pop one open and give it a try.
  3. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    They froze and the glass didn't break? Are you sure it's frozen? Ice occupies more volume than water, and the one time I froze a beer it was a C&C and it blew out the cork and there was beer slushie everywhere.

    I'm not really sure what would happen if one froze and survived, I think it would be fine because it would eventually recarb, and there's nothing else ice would damage, but I really don't know. I think you'll just need to try one.
  4. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Zealot (524) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Typically the only thing that really effects beer is huge temperature fluctuation. The beer was at room temperature, so you brought it below freezing which is a forty degree drop or so. The mistake really comes in now that you removed the bottles from their frozen state and back into the room temperature setting which is another extreme fluctuation of up to approximately forty degrees again. I wouldn't say ruined, because you never know until you open the beer, but the idea of storing is to keep an ambient temperature over a long period of time. The best move you could have made after finding them frozen would have been to switch the bottles into another refrigerator so that they could kind of thaw out, but not drastically and not suddenly. Chances are, they're damaged.
  5. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Disciple (357) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    This makes me so sad reading this. I really really hope you're wrong or hope that I won't notice a difference in the quality. This sucks.
  6. bomberdawg

    bomberdawg Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2012 Oklahoma

    Think of it this way, at least you have yourself a brew to drink. Many a person on hard times would lust over a frozen beer.
    musicman7070 likes this.
  7. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    If I'm understanding him correctly then he's wrong. Temperature fluctuations really aren't that big of a deal. I can't think of any problem with freezing beer other than CO2 coming out of solution, which would just make it flat. This isn't like freezing meat or vegetables where if you do it wrong you get ice crystals that destroy the cellar matrix and thus ruin it, there aren't any large structures to damage in a beer (well, except spent yeast, but I doubt popping some yeast cells will hurt anything).

    I still think that if the bottles didn't break and you let it sit a few days so the CO2 can go back into solution then you'll be fine. Let us know how it turns out.
    musicman7070 likes this.
  8. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Disciple (357) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I will for sure let you guys know how it turns out. I will be opening a KBS this weekend that was from my "frozen fridge" and will post on here as soon as I'm able to.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  9. steebo777

    steebo777 Zealot (511) Jun 30, 2009 Michigan

    Pretty sire it will be fine. Just make sure it is ~60deg when drinking it.
  10. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Has anyone said that the beers are ruined and send them to me for proper disposal yet? If not that is my answer.
    beerinNV and Kopfschuss like this.
  11. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Disciple (357) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Nice try Hanzo. lol
  12. AndrewK

    AndrewK Aspirant (235) Oct 20, 2006 California

    its a bit contentious in the brewing world apparently, but yeast autolysis is definitely a thing and can lead to off-flavors.
  13. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

    They should of blown up if they froze
  14. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Disciple (357) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I guess they didn't freeze all the way then? Maybe they were like halfway frozen. Hopefully since they didn't blow up, they're quality hasn't dropped off too much.
  15. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,253) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Had a box of beer I got in trade show up after sitting on a train at 20 below. None blew their crown caps, and the lower ABV ones were definitely frozen. Only two big stouts survived without freezing, and it's possible they had frozen slightly and melted.

    I let them melt, albeit slowly in fridge, and only one beer had an off flavor I thought might have been from freezing, the rest tasted fine. I bet yours all do as well.

    The myth of temperature change ruining beer is hard to die (does anyone actually think those big swings don't happen before we even buy the beer?), but there is no doubt that extended storage in heat will destroy beer.

    Let us know.
    musicman7070 likes this.
  16. jrnyc

    jrnyc Savant (924) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    According to the Coors commercials I have been seeing lately, that is supposed to be how beer is drank, you should be fine.
    Tacoboomerang likes this.
  17. musicman7070

    musicman7070 Disciple (357) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader


    Had my "frozen fridge" KBS on Saturday. Sorry to have posted so late. KBS was just as good as the one I had a few weeks back. There was NO change in quality! :slight_smile:
  18. Phillyz

    Phillyz Initiate (0) May 20, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Be wary if the beer is hop heavy. I drank a few too many, and left my six pack of nugget nectar in the freezer overnight. They all froze, and after I let them thaw, I decided to consume. It was absolutely gross, all the hops faded. I also got extremely sick from drinking them - and no, it wasn't just typical over-drinking sickness.
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