Drinking a warm bottle of beer is a crime against humanity; cracking a nice cold one is a nice way to end a stressful day. While your freezer’s ice maker can be up to the job of chilling your beer, you may find that the cooling is inadequate and you don’t like the taste of watered-down beer. So you had a bright idea: why don’t I just put the beer bottles in my freezer?
While you can certainly give your beer bottles a quick chill in the freezer granted that you’ve taken the necessary precaution beforehand to prevent them from cracking (and even exploding!), leaving them in there for too long can result in a few broken bottles.
In this article, we will find out why glass bottles sometimes crack in the freezer, and what precautions to take to safely store them in the freezer.
Can beer bottles go in the freezer?
Most refrigerator manufacturers state in their operation manual that you shouldn’t put glass bottles in the freezer as they might crack, explode, and then damage your freezer and cause physical injury.
This can even void your warranty as this falls under the “customer misuse” clause in the warranty card.
However, if you take some precautions before putting your beer bottles in the freezer, it is generally safe to do so – you just need to be attentive.
Why do beer bottles break in the freezer?
The beer bottles do not break because of the glass, but because of the content of the glass.
Beer is 95% water, and water expands when it freezes. As the ice expands, the pressure builds up and you will either get these three outcomes: (1) cracks in the bottle, (2) popped caps, or worse, (3) bottle explosions.
Not only will this lead to a time-consuming cleanup, but this can also physically injure you; to add insult to injury, you’ve also wasted a few bottles of beer.
How to keep beer bottles from breaking in the freezer
With the proper precautions, you can chill your beer in the freezer without any issues. The keyword here is chill – not freeze.
At what temperature does beer freeze?
To prevent beer bottles from exploding in the freezer, you must prevent them from freezing up in the first place
Generally, the freezing point of beer is at -2.0ºC. Keep in mind that most freezers have a temperature range of -10ºC to -18ºC, which is far too cold for a bottle of beer.
To prevent your bottles from freezing up, you must take them out of the freezer at the right time. Which begs the question: how long will it take for beer to freeze in the freezer?
How long does it take for beer to freeze in the freezer?
In general, if you set the freezer at -18ºC it takes around 2 hours for beer to start freezing. If you take the bottles out before that, they won’t have a chance to explode in your freezer.
So if you’re going to try to chill your beer in the freezer, please be attentive, and use an alarm clock!
Alternative ways to get ice cold beer
We here at 101appliance don’t want to leave you without giving an alternative. Here are some other ways to get ice cold beer:
- The wet towel method – Get a clean towel and get it wet with water. Wring out the excess water, and then wrap your bottles in the towel and put it in the freezer. Set a timer for 7 – 10 minutes, and take out the bottles by that time.
- The ice cream method – Get a bucket, put a few of your beer bottles in the middle, then fill it with ice and water. Add a lot of salt (maybe a cup or two) to lower the ice water’s freezing point, making it a lot colder. Now, just like an old-school ice cream maker, keep spinning the bottles around carefully in the bucket. Do this for at least 3 minutes per batch.
To summarize, it is generally safe to chill (not freeze!) your beer bottles in the freezer, as long as you take them out before they freeze over.
- JustBeer. (2018, December 13). Does Beer Freeze? At What Temperature Does Beer Freeze? Just Beer. https://justbeerapp.com/article/does-beer-freeze-how-to-salvage-a-frozen-beer
- Answered: How Long It Takes to Cool a Beer in the Refrigerator and Freezer. (2019, June 6). SurviveSummer.Com. https://www.survivesummer.com/answered-how-long-it-takes-to-cool-a-beer-in-the-refrigerator-and-freezer/
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.