Beer Hacks: How to make your beers cold – quick! Photo: vladans | iStock | Getty Images Plus The following is an excerpt from Ben Robinson’s book, Hear Robinson’s creative workarounds for when you find yourself a legit bottle opener and his suggested glassware for specific serving temperatures, Every beer drinker has been in the Worst of All Situations: coming home after a long, hard day at the quarry and realizing that (1) you really need to get a cushier job, and worse, (2) the fridge is empty and all the beer in the house is every bit as warm as the freshly used multiblade gang saw from back down at the quarry.
- The Wet Rag + the Freezer Method
- Let’s start with the lowest-effort approach.
- Cold beer ETA: 7 to 10 minutes
Grab your least-gross rag, get it good and wet with cold water, then wring out the excess. The idea is that you want the water to freeze around the beer as quickly as possible. So, if it’s oversaturated, that’s going to be tough. Paper towels can work if you’re in a ragless pinch, but really, a rag or dish towel or even an actual towel is what you want here.
- Once it’s prepped, grab your beer and wrap it up, going once around the can or bottle with the rag/towel, or a few spins with the paper towels.
- Then just toss the beer in the freezer (if you can rest it on a tray or bag of ice, all the better), close the door (crucial step!), and set your stopwatch for 7 minutes (although if your freezer is crammed, it may take 10).
A standard 12-ounce can or bottle may not even take that long, and that time parameter should get a 22-ounce bomber decently chilled as well. When the time’s up, your towel should be frozen somewhat solid and want desperately to stay attached to the bottle. Ben Robinson Photo: Kaitlyn Flanagan
- The Spin It in a Bucket Full of Ice + Salt Method
- Yes, your hand is going to get cold with this one.
- Cold beer ETA: 3 minutes
All you need for this is water; a bowl, bucket, beer pitcher, or other fairly large receptacle to put that water in; enough salt to make all the slugs in your neighborhood uncomfortable; and a hand that likes to spin things/doesn’t mind getting a little cold.
Note: This is great for hotels, which often don’t have a fridge but do have all the rest of these things, especially if you’re bold enough to ask for a hundred salt packets from room service.) If you remember ninth-grade chemistry class, you’ll remember that protons have a positive charge, electrons have a negative one, and the emergency eye wash is completely hilarious to trick people into drinking water out of.
You may or may not also recall the principles behind boiling point elevation/freezing point depression. The technical definition involves entropy and thermodynamics, sooo, let’s skip all that and say: If you put salt into water, it makes the temperature at which the water freezes go way down.
- So, if you put salt into water and ice, it causes the ice to melt, making the whole bath significantly colder than ice plus water minus salt.
- Which makes your beer cold, if you put it in.
- It’s the same exact set of principles that make antifreeze work, but since you’ll be drinking the beer, maybe don’t think about that.
There are a couple of key moves to keep in mind here. First, you’re not using a pinch of salt; you need a lot. Like, cups of the stuff. Literal cups! Just dump it in and stir, then add as much ice as you can find. The next is that once it goes into the bath, you need to spin the bottle or can round and round as much as possible, which will accelerate the cooling process and make your hand remarkably cold (you will be a much happier/less frostbitten beer drinker if you do this with a bottle instead of a can, so you can grab and spin the neck outside the ice bath). Beer Hacks by Ben Robinson
- The Fire Extinguisher Method
- It may not be the most cost-efficient approach, but blasting your beer with a fire extinguisher will certainly get it good and cold.
- ETA: 20 to 30 seconds.
The most important thing: You need a carbon dioxide extinguisher, not a monoammonium phosphate version. It works by starving a fire of oxygen, but that same overabundance of CO2 also makes things very, very chilly. This hack is dead simple. You just put the beer in a bucket so it stays in one place (also, holding it would likely prove to be unwise), trigger the fire extinguisher in quick, repeating 1- to-2-second blasts at the beer, quickly rinse it off, and drink.
- Twenty to 30 seconds should do it, depending on the size of the beer.
- All CO2 extinguishers have a “horn” from which the discharge emits, but some have one that’s large enough to rest a beer snugly inside.
- If yours does, definitely do that, as the gas will contact the beer more directly and speed up the cooling process.
Also, do this outside. You’ll see why. Just remember to recharge the fire extinguisher, in case there’s an actual fire, and to put your beers in the fridge more promptly in the future, so you don’t have to keep recharging fire extinguishers. Important note: Fire extinguishers are simple to use correctly and safely, but if you’re not doing that, they can be pretty damn dangerous.
- 1 Is it OK to put beer in the freezer?
- 2 Can beer expire?
- 3 Can I drink defrosted beer?
- 4 Will beer freeze in 2 hours?
- 5 What is the coldest temperature you can store beer?
- 6 Does sealed beer go bad?
- 7 Why does beer freeze but not vodka?
- 8 Can you put beer in the fridge?
- 9 Can I cold crash beer in the freezer?
Is it OK to put beer in the freezer?
Africa Studio/Shutterstock If you like to drink beer, chances are you also prefer to consume it while it’s cold. Whether it be served from the tap in a frosty glass, or straight out of the can at a summer barbecue, there’s just something so satisfying about ice cold beer.
While it might be a common practice to flash chill room temperature beer in the freezer before taking a swig, according to product review site Reviewed, it’s not the best idea. Unlike other alcoholic drinks, specifically ones that are 70-proof or higher, beer will actually solidify and potentially explode when frozen for too long.
And unfortunately, even if you plan to leave your beer in the freezer only until it’s perfectly chilled, it’ll still be affected in more ways than just temperature. Per Reviewed, freezing beer can alter the proteins in the beverage, as well as the level of carbonation.
Does beer go bad after freezing?
Myth #2: Frozen Beer Is Ruined Forever – If the beer freezes all the way through, it is likely to lose some carbonation and taste flat, but it still retains its beer characteristics as long as the seal is not broken on the cap. The alcohol is retained, though it may separate from the water, and the hop and malt flavours remain.
How long does a can of beer get cold in freezer?
How Long Does It Take To Chill Beer in the Fridge or Freezer? The Best Way to Get a Beer Cold Fast Without Freezing or Exploding Picture this: it’s been a long, hot summer day. You’re tired. You’re sweaty. You’ve had enough. All you want in the entire world is a cold beer.
Bad news, you forgot to put some in the refrigerator yesterday, and you don’t have a single cold beer in the whole house. I know, it’s a waking nightmare. Unlike cocktails (or wine, if you’re one of those awful people who puts ice in white wines, or worse, in red wines), you can’t throw a few ice cubes in a beer to cool it down in the glass.
Trust me, ice is not good for the taste of the beer. Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Here’s how long it takes to chill a beer, and the fastest possible way to give a beer a quick chill so that you can enjoy it right away. The times we list are approximate, and depend on a few variables, like:
The size of the beer bottle or canThe current temperature of the beerThe alcohol content of the beerThe specific type of beerSugar contentThe average temperature of the fridge or freezerEtc.
Make sure you don’t cool beer past the right temperature. The ideal temperature to serve beer is usually between 40 and 43 degrees. If you’re lucky enough to have thought ahead and you have 7-8 hours before you want to drink the beer, just throw the room temperature beer bottles or beer cans right in the fridge. Beer will chill from room temperature (about 70 degrees) to drinking temperature (about 40-45 degrees degrees) in 7-8 hours.
Because it takes so long, this isn’t a great solution for someone who wants a beer now or within the next hour. So, while you use other methods to quickly chill a beer, make sure you put a few more in the refrigerator for tomorrow! In fact, if you’re trying to chill a whole case of beer, or even a six-pack of beer, it might make sense to quickly chill a few using one of the following methods, and then putting the rest of the case in the fridge to be consumed later.
The time it takes for a beer to get cold in a freezer depends on the temperature of the freezer and the amount of alcohol in the beer. A single bottle or can of beer at room temperature (about 70 degrees) takes about 40 minutes to reach drinking temperature (about 40-45 degrees) in a freezer set to zero degrees fahrenheit, which is the standard temperature for a typical household freezer. Be careful! If you leave the beer for too long in the freezer it will start to freeze. Beer is mostly water, and water freezes at 32 degrees. While the exact freezing temperature of beer depends on the residual sugars in the beer and the alcohol content, an average beer of 5 percent alcohol by volume freezes at about 27 degrees.
Some types of beer, especially those with higher alcohol concentration, may have a lower freezing temperature. Lower temperatures than 27 degrees, like those of a freezer, pose a risk of freezing, even for alcoholic drinks. Remember to set a timer and make sure you don’t let your beer get too cold by leaving it in the freezer for a long time! If you want to be extra safe, it might be a good idea to put the glass bottles or cans in plastic bags prior to placing in the freezer.
If 40 minutes feels like too long, there is a way to speed up the process. Wet a couple of sheets of paper towel and wrap them around the can or bottle before placing it in the freezer. Wrapping the glass bottle or metal can in a damp paper towel or damp cloth will bring the chill time down to 20 minutes or so.
Be careful, though, because this method increases the chances of accidentally freezing the beer and causing the bottle or can to burst. This also isn’t an economical solution for chilling a lot of beer all at once. It’s a lot of damp paper towels! Like water, when beer freezes it expands, which can cause it to explode.
This can be quite a mess, and if you’re chilling a glass bottle, dangerous as well. Unlike 70-proof liquor, beer cannot be stored in a freezer compartment for an extended period of time. Make sure to always set a timer when you put a beer in the freezer to keep it from freezing and exploding.
- Beer will chill to drinking temperature (40-45 degrees) from room temperature (about 70 degrees) in 20-30 minutes.
- The exact freezing point of alcoholic beverages depends on a few variables.
- The short answer is that, for beer, any more than 40-60 minutes, and you are risking ice crystals and ultimately a messy frozen beer explosion.
Big word of warning: from experience, exploded frozen beer creates a sticky mess of your freezer. It’s a big mess that isn’t fun to clean, so this problem is worth avoiding. Even if the cans or bottles of beer somehow avoid exploding, the freeze-thaw cycle is bad for the beer.
So now we have a 7 hour solution, a 40-minute solution, and a 20-minute solution. But what if you want a cold beer now? Like, RIGHT now? Here’s the fastest possible method to chill a warm beer to serving temperature. While this is the fastest, it’s not a convenient way to chill a lot of beers all at once, so you might want to use it in combination with one of the easier methods above.
Here’s the fastest way to get a can or bottle of beer to optimal temperature. You just need a big bowl or bucket of ice, cold water, and a lot of salt, stir it up, and place the bottles or cans in the solution. We’re not talking about a pinch of salt here, either.
- More like a cup of salt, or a few cups of salt depending on how many beers you’re trying to chill at once.
- How much ice you use is important as well.
- While you don’t need 10 pounds of ice to chill a single bottle of beer, you want as much as will fit in the bucket along with the water and beer.
- While a bucket of ice water works without the salt, the salt makes a big difference in the time it takes to chill beer compared to pure water.Because salt reduces the freezing point of water to a lower temperature, it will allow the water surrounding the cans or bottles to be colder than 32 degrees, which increases the heat transfer from the bottles.
This is the best way to chill a beer in under 15 minutes. In fact, it only takes between 7-15 minutes to get a room temperature beer to optimal drinking temperature. Here are a few ways to chill beer that we do not recommend. First, don’t be one of those crazy people who tries to use a fire extinguisher to chill beer.
They’re full of chemicals, make a mess, and need to be on hand for when you actually need one. We don’t recommend using dry ice, either. Dry ice is essentially solid, frozen carbon dioxide and may chill drinks fast, but it’s somewhat dangerous, dirty, and can cause the beer inside the can or bottle to be at different temperatures based on how close the fluid is to the dry ice.
We don’t recommend that you stick into the beer to chill it. They’re unpleasant to drink from and don’t really work well anyway. Don’t want to read all of that without a cold beer? We get it! Here’s the recap:
If you want a cold beer in 7-8 hours, put room temperature beer in the refrigerator.If you want a cold beer in 40 minutes, put room temperature beer in the freezer.If you want a cold beer in 20 minutes, wrap the can or bottle in a wet paper towel and put it in the freezer.If you want a cold beer in 10 minutes, mix ice, water, and salt together and place the beer in the mixture.
And there you have it! Now you have a nice cold beer. Don’t forget to start chilling the next one, and make sure you throw a couple in the fridge for tomorrow! Still have questions about getting your beer cold in a hurry, or anything else beer and brewing related? Leave a comment below or post in the ! Thank you for reading! If you like this article, please share it with your friends using the social media share buttons below! If you’re not a member of, we’d love for you to ! BrewTogether is completely free, and is easy! ! Now using BrewTogether is easier than ever! Download the FREE BrewTogether Mobile App – available on both the and the : How Long Does It Take To Chill Beer in the Fridge or Freezer? The Best Way to Get a Beer Cold Fast Without Freezing or Exploding
How long can beer be in the fridge?
Does Beer Go Bad In The Fridge? – Yes, both opened and unopened beer can go bad in the fridge. In a refrigerator, an unopened bottle or can of beer can last up to two or three years. However, an opened bottle or can will generally only be good for a day before the oxidation destroys all the good flavors.
Why does beer break in the freezer?
Why does beer explode in the freezer? – As water freezes, it expands. Beer is 95% water, which meansa frozen beer has a 95% chance of expanding! Kidding, that’s not real math, but you can be rest assured that as beer freezes, it expands. This also means the can or bottle could burst due to the pressure build-up as the ice expands.
Can beer expire?
Does Beer Expire? – Allagash Brewing Company A question we get often: does beer expire? Short answer, no. Beer isn’t like milk. With age, it doesn’t actually expire or become unsafe to drink. Old beer’s taste, however, will absolutely change. But stored properly, an old beer’s effect on your body won’t be different than a freshly packaged beer.
How does that work? The wort—or unfermented beer—is basically Pasteurized by the brewing process, effectively killing off any unwanted organisms. Once the beer is fully fermented, it creates an environment in which the types of pathogens or bacteria that can cause harm aren’t able to survive. This is due to the combination of alcohol, the beer’s low pH, and the antimicrobial activity of hops.
There are quite a few other microbes that can live in these conditions, but they’re not harmful. This means that in a properly brewed and packaged beer, you’ll just find the beer’s ingredients and a teensy bit of air. That tiny amount of air is important.
There’s no way to package a beer without a miniscule amount of oxygen sticking around. At our brewery, we measure this amount in parts per billion. With time, that oxygen inside every bottle, can, or keg, changes the beer. This is called “oxidation” and is responsible for a range of flavors. Some beers will develop a stale, cardboard-like flavor, accompanied by a note of sherry.
More malt-forward beers can develop a sweet, bready, and even toffee-ish flavor. In a beer of ours called —a bourbon barrel-aged Tripel—we’ve noted some of those pleasant toffee and almost caramel-like flavors developing with age. A beer’s “hoppiness” will also dissipate with age.
- Hop aromas in particular are notoriously time-sensitive.
- The bitterness hops impart in the beer will stay in the mouthfeel, but any of those piney, citrusy, or floral hop aromas that characterize a hop-forward beer won’t stick around in an older beer.
- But what about skunky beer? Light is the culprit there.
Beer ages poorly under any ultraviolet light (thus why a term for properly aging beer is “cellaring” or keeping it in a dark place). Brown bottles and aluminum cans are both effective at blocking out light. But beer in a clear or lighter-colored bottle will develop that signature “skunk-like” flavor if left out.
Another, different staling agent is heat. The higher the heat, the faster the staling. Heat doesn’t create a specific off flavor itself (unlike light). Instead, it acts to speed up the process of oxidation. Our lab actually uses a warm fridge to simulate age in our beer, to get an idea of how it will hold up with time.
Intentionally aging beer is an entirely different subject, and one that’s worth a blog post of its own. But long story short, if you enjoy beer, you’ll want to drink it closer to its release date. It’s the best way to taste the beer as close as possible to the way the brewer intended.
Can I drink defrosted beer?
It won’t kill you, but it won’t taste good (what precipitates out, things ice effects, and the generally rough nature of freezing, will not be good for the chemicals that give beer its flavor) (and even though some carbonation might be reabsorbed after it thaws, I almost guarantee you it’s flat).
Will beer freeze in 2 hours?
How long does it take to let beer freeze? – The time it takes to get your beer cold will depend on a couple of things but can range anywhere from 2 minutes to over 7 hours. The temperature at which the beer is cooled will play the biggest factor in how long it will take to chill.
- The amount of alcohol content in the beer will also play a factor.
- For example, as mentioned previously, rapid chillers can have your room temperature beer ready to go in about 2 minutes or less, while a refrigerator will take up to 8 hours to accomplish the same feat.
- Another factor is the size and type of beer that you have, as bigger bottles and cans will take a bit longer.
Lastly, the type of beer also plays a small role in how long it’ll take to get cold. Ales are thicker and more full-bodied than lagers, which can cause them to take a bit longer to chill, depending on the brand.
What is the coldest temperature you can store beer?
What’s The Best Way To Store Beer? – To prevent flavor loss and make sure your beer tastes exactly like it should, you should keep the bottles at a steady 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This is known as the “cellar temperature,” though you don’t need to have a cave in your basement to make this work.
In fact, any well-designed beer fridge will allow you to keep the temperature in this range. A good beer fridge will also protect the bottles from damaging UV rays. One quick note — many people will advise storing beer upright for long periods of time (cellaring) to prevent leaking or yeast buildup on the vessel’s wall.
However, other than those rare occurrences, storing beer horizontally won’t ruin your favorite brew.
Can you drink 1 month expired beer?
Yes—but its flavor will degrade over time. Beer is a perishable product that stales when it’s exposed to light, oxygen, and heat, which degrade the organic compounds that make beer smell and taste great. But even when its flavor is declining, it can be perfectly safe to drink.
Does sealed beer go bad?
The short answer is yes, beer expires.
Why does beer freeze but not vodka?
Alcohol You Shouldn’t Freeze – Beer and wine have significantly less alcohol than liquors, and they will freeze. Placing a warm beer or white wine in the freezer for a quick chill can bring it down to drinking temperature quickly. Just don’t forget it in there! While the entire contents of the bottle will not freeze right away, the water will.
- This creates a slush out of your beverage and can ruin the flavor.
- Frozen wine, for instance, may be best reserved for cooking rather than drinking.
- More importantly, beer and wine are bottled under pressure to maintain freshness and/or carbonation, and water expands as it freezes.
- When left in the freezer too long, corks and caps may bulge or burst, the glass could crack, and aluminum cans will explode.
This creates a nasty mess that will require deep cleaning your freezer.
Can you freeze vodka?
To Freeze or Not To Freeze – Many people think placing vodka in the freezer is the best way to store it. Freezing vodka does nothing to harm it — in fact it actually creates a much more viscous texture which is hard not to enjoy with vodka. But with alcohol, there are certain molecules that get “killed off” at various temperatures.
- For less-than-stellar vodkas, this “masking flavours by freezing” technique works to their advantage, and that’s why it caught on.
- But that’s not true for Grey Goose.
- The reason we suggest refrigerating rather than freezing Grey Goose is that with all premium vodka you can experience the whole spectrum of taste at the optimum temperature of between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius — not frozen.
It’s similar to how you would never want to serve a red wine too cold because you’d eliminate certain aromas and flavours. So while there’s nothing wrong with freezing your vodka, and you may enjoy serving it however you like, the best way to taste a truly great vodka is chilled, not frozen.
Why don’t we pour beer over ice?
If you ask for a beer with ice in the United States, most people will scoff, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it if that’s what you’re into. In other countries around the world, especially in Southeast Asia, beer is served over ice because there is not enough room in the cooler to keep the beer cold.
Therefore, the only way to ensure you get to enjoy an ice-cold beer is to pour it over some cubes. Due to this practice, many people who are from, or who have spent time in, that region of the world have a taste for beer over ice. If you’re into it too, go for it. However, the reason serving beer over ice isn’t common practice is because the beer becomes diluted,
This dilution mutes the flavor of the beverage, leading to a subpar consumption experience. This is probably not a big deal if you’re drinking a light lager whose taste profile is basically similar to water, which is the style of beer often consumed in the hot, humid climates of countries that drink beer over ice.
Does freezing beer increase alcohol content?
Eisebeer is a rich dessert beer – Eisbier (Ice Beer) is a traditional method of making beer stronger by freezing it. Water freezes out as ice and the remaining beer is stronger because it has proportionately more alcohol left in it. This is a Northern European traditional method, which is equivalent to the American Apple Jack method of concentrating hard cider.
- The method shown here is quite simple and doesn’t use any fancy equipment.
- You can do it at home with a standard food freezer.
- In the UK, it is too warm to do this using natural winter cold, but if you live in a northern state like Minnesota or Ohio, you can do this outdoors in the winter too.
- The resulting beer is an unusually rich and smooth malty brew.
This one is based on a dark amber Bock type beer I made especially. I made it with a heavy malt and low hop content. The original batch was called Sheddage as it was brewed in my shed and was brewed to about 9% ABV (alcohol by volume). The resulting eisbier I named Uber Sheddage and was probably somewhere between 15 and 20% ABV.
Can you put beer in the fridge?
Beer Storage by Container – Aside from factors like temperature and the type of beer, it’s crucial to know how to store beer based on its container to ensure the beer remains fresh. A general rule is that the best-before date on any type of beer is an accurate guide. It doesn’t mean that the beer will immediately expire by that date but, instead, that the beer will decline in quality only after the listed date — assuming you store it correctly.
Kegs: The clock starts on kegs as soon as they get filled and sealed. Even an untapped keg is best to use sooner rather than later, so first-in, first-out is a good rule of thumb if you plan to store multiple kegs. Make sure to keep kegs in a cool, dry space and away from other foods. It’s essential to avoid freezing the kegs, since freezing the beer will likely alter its taste. Avoid moving them around too much, because that can increase the amount of foam that will spurt out when you tap the keg. Bottles and cans: Store packaged beer in a cool, dry place that isn’t freezing. For optimal shelf life of bottled beer, store beer at a temperature between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit and, if it’s a bottle, make sure it’s upright. You can prolong the shelf life of beer in cans and bottles if you keep them just above room temperature and just below freezing, but if there’s no way to establish that, storing unopened cans and bottles in the fridge or at room temperature is acceptable. Growlers: Keeping growlers upright and in cool, dark spaces is, once again, the best way to go. The airtight lid will ensure the beer remains fresh for several days, and can remain fresh even longer if the bar that filled the growler did so with carbon dioxide. Once opened, the beer will stay fresh for up to 36 hours,
These guidelines are more appropriate for draft and packaged beers. Homebrews and microbrews will likely have a shorter lifespan, even with adequate storage. The lifespan of open beer, regardless of its container, will be notably shorter thanks to the external factors it will come into contact with, like air, light and potentially bacteria as well.
Leaving unopened beer at room temperature will ensure it’s at its best for four to six months on average. After that, the quality will begin to degrade. For refrigerated beers, stored unopened, you have six to eight months of peak taste to take advantage of before the quality begins to slowly decrease.
It’s also crucial to maintain the temperature at which you bought the beer. For example, if you bought a six-pack straight out of a refrigerated case, you should put it in your refrigerator when you get home. The flavor of beer can change based on the glass in which you drink it.
Can I cold crash beer in the freezer?
What Temperature Should I Cold Crash My Homebrew at? – The recommended temperature for cold crashing beer is 33°F (0.5°C) to 40°F (4.4°C). Some homebrewers are fine with cold crashing at 40°F (4.4°C). Usually, cold crashing at 38°F (3.3°C) will already give you good results.
Now, why do some homebrewers opt between 33F (0.5°C) to 35F (1.7°C) in cold crashing? Well The concept of cold crashing is to drop your beer’s temperature to icy cold temperatures ASAP, right? 33°F (0.5°C) to 35°F (1.7°C) is a good temperature range for allowing the sediment to fall to the bottom quickly.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t cold crash at 40°F (4.4°C). Cold crashing also affects your beer’s flavor and consistency in a slight way. At the end of the day, it mostly boils down to preference. If you want, feel free to experiment with different temperatures.