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Shipping Beer during winter below freezing temperatures

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

  1. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Initiate (0) 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. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    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 Poo-Bah (3,352) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

  4. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    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.
  5. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    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.
    creepinjeeper and cbeer88 like this.
  6. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    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. GrumpyOldTroll

    GrumpyOldTroll Initiate (0) May 5, 2012 New Jersey

    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?
    tylerstravis likes this.
  8. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Champion (841) May 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    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. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    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.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  10. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,352) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

  11. GrumpyOldTroll

    GrumpyOldTroll Initiate (0) May 5, 2012 New Jersey

    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.
  12. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    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...
  13. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    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.
  14. CGuil220

    CGuil220 Initiate (53) Feb 11, 2015 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Well this gives me the warm and fuzzies because I just shipped and thought I would be OK and now the weather from where I am shipping to shifted from being 28 to being 0. Sounds like my first trade is a real roll of the dice. Also hope the people receiving are able to run home at lunch and get the box.
  15. Adrena1ine

    Adrena1ine Aspirant (226) Nov 22, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Before shipping boxes I always check the origin temps and destination temps. I typically wont ship in below freezing conditions unless the other party requests it. If they proceed to say they still want the box Ill ship. If it arrives frozen or explodes its on them.
  16. nograz

    nograz Disciple (313) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    My buddy just sent me my Bruery allotment and unfortunately, last week when he dropped it off he was told the truck had not left... it did. That delayed the package over this past weekend, which was below 0. Luckily, only lost 3 bottles and 2 of them are easily replaceable. In hindsight we should have held or recalled the boxes, but had it shipped in time, they would have been fine. Oh well, lesson learned.

    He still has to send me my V14 box set and a few other beers. We will be waiting for a more flexible window of warm weather with those. Just one day can have a drastic effect.
  17. TheVicster

    TheVicster Disciple (352) Feb 28, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    this. Patiience is the key here. Because of how severe the winter was last year in the NE it literally took me over two months to complete a certain trade.

    If you or you're trading partner just NEED to have those beers in your little paws, and either of you live in extreme climates like the NE, winter trading may not be for you
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  18. sonoma01

    sonoma01 Initiate (190) Dec 3, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I had a patch of luck this past week. I had a box of 11 Crooked Stave bottles coming from Boulder that missed the dropoff deadline and missed the Friday delivery by me. According to the tracking it sat on the delivery truck in Illinois over the weekend with subzero temperatures. When the box arrived on Monday it was cold but there was no signs of freeezing at all. The next time I will just wait a bit longer to ship and not try to ship within a weather window.
  19. Dan_K

    Dan_K Disciple (378) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Always ship on a Monday if it's going across the country. I've been doing this with FedEx and it arrives on Thursday every time.
    creepinjeeper and maximum12 like this.
  20. Sturgeon83

    Sturgeon83 Aspirant (294) Mar 11, 2015 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    I just did a trade where I was sending only an hour and a half away (Louisville to Cincy), but FedEx delayed it a day in 20 degree temperatures. Got delivered today, but I haven't heard back from the recipient yet, so I'm sweating this one out.

    When I worked at UPS, our sorting facility was more or less at outside temperature (probably a little warmer because of lights, machinery, other ambient heat), and we loaded packages onto tractor trailers where they would sit outdoors until a semi picked them up. There were other buildings on site that were more climate controlled, but knowing that my package is sitting anywhere in a facility or on a truck doesn't fill me with confidence.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  21. smanson56

    smanson56 Savant (906) Feb 15, 2014 New Hampshire
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    If your worried about packages sitting out after they are delivered then just use the tracking number to do a hold at location and you can pick it up in a nice warm store if you want.
  22. WI-Beer-Man

    WI-Beer-Man Devotee (452) May 29, 2014 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    How good are frozen IPAs once they thaw? Are they ruined or do they taste the same or similar?
  23. WI-Beer-Man

    WI-Beer-Man Devotee (452) May 29, 2014 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Also...the struggle is real. Yes, I'm an idiot for requesting shipping during this part of the year.
  24. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,352) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Toss them in the fridge so they thaw out slowly, otherwise you risk more breakage. I've only had a couple of beers frozen over the years & they turned out just fine. Good luck!

    Assuming you received these today, the problem was undoubtedly shipping over the weekend. It was nasty cold/below zero in this part of the world this weekend. Sad, but not surprising, that the combo was fatal.
  25. mikevanatta

    mikevanatta Aspirant (290) Sep 29, 2014 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    To add to this, they'll probably take a couple days to thaw fully. Patience is key.
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