Throwing an unexpected is a hassle, especially if you’re unprepared. You searched for your stash of beer in your fridge but ran out of it when needed.
So you went to the grocery, but unexpectedly, there was not enough cold beer available. You had no choice but to take the warm beer, put it in the freezer, and hope it’ll be cold before the party.
But how long does it take to chill beer in the freezer? Will you have enough time, or is it too late? Chill out because we will answer your question and give you some tips to chill your beer fast!
The Time Needed for Beer to be Cold
We cannot precisely tell you how much time is sufficient to chill your beer in the freezer. After all, there are a lot of factors that may cause the time to cool your beer to change. Some of these factors are:
The Type of Beer
To put it simply, different types of beers need different temperatures for the drinker to satisfy the flavor fully.
The Alcohol Content of the Beer
Beers with a higher alcohol content will have a lower freezing point. This will result in a long time for the beer to be cold.
Size of the Beer Can or Bottle
The size of the beer can or bottle also affects how fast it will cool. The larger and thicker the container, the longer it would take to cool.
The Temperature of the Beer Before Chilling
Well, this might be a bit scientific, but beers at room temperature get cold faster than they cool a little.
The Temperature of the Freezer
While more excellent freezer temp can produce ice faster, this can be an advantage in cooling your beer.
Is it too much to think about? Don’t worry; we’ll give you cues to determine whether your beer is ready!
The Ideal Temperature for Every Beer Type
Beers are best served cold. Generally, beer can be enjoyed at around 40 to 45°F (4 to 7°C). But there are certain temperatures to make your beer more enjoyable. Certain types of beer are better served colder than others, which would affect how long they stay in the freezer to chill.
Inspect first what type of beer you have. After determining it, check the table below for the recommended temperature for different types of beer. After checking, you can now put your beer in the freezer and wait.
|Type of Beer||Temperature|
|American Macro Lagers/Light Lagers||33-40°F (0.5-4°C)|
|Pale Lagers/Pilsners||38°F (3°C)|
|Amber/Marzen/Oktoberfest Lagers||45-50°F (7-10°C)|
|Blonde Ale/Cream Ale||40-45°F (4-7°C)|
|Pale Ale||45-50°F (7-10°C)|
|India Pale Ale||45-55°F (7-13°C)|
|Stout/Black Ale/Porter||45-55°F (7-13°C)|
|Wheat Beers||40-45°F (4-7°C)|
|Sour Beers||40-45°F (4-7°C)|
|Belgian Dubbels/Quads||50-55°F (10-13°C)|
Chilling in the Freezer
If your beer is at room temperature or 72°F (22°C), then that’s your luck! Ordinarily, you can put your beer in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours, which will do. Within an hour of putting it in a freezer at 32°F (0°C), the beer’s temp will drop to 36°F (2°C), and the temp will start to stabilize.
It is recommended to keep your beer inside the fridge for 60 to 90 minutes. Generally, your beer is ready to drink by then because most beers in that temp are acceptable and within the ideal range. But for perfectionists, this is where you make your call.
Remember that it will reach 36°F (2°C) after an hour. So, for beers with lower recommended temps, American Maco Lagers, for example, is best to keep them for a few minutes before getting and opening them.
But for drinks that are at best at a higher temperature, like Belgian Dubbels or Indian Pale Ales or Porters, you can open your freezer even before the one-hour mark or within the 60- to a 90-minute duration and let them thaw a little before drinking.
However, if you want to make a slushie, let your beer stay for a little longer until they reach 21-25°F (-6 to -8°C) before getting them out and consuming. Be careful when doing this because the beer can be completely frozen, or worse, it can explode.
How Long Before Your Beer Freezes and Explodes?
While putting beers in the freezer might be your remedy to chill quickly, watch them closely and remove them from the freezer before they explode. This can ruin your party plan or your movie night. The average beer with 5% alcohol will start to freeze at 27°F (-2.7°C).
Prolonged stay in the freezer will develop ice particles, and eventually, they will expand. If the container can’t take the expansion, it’ll break. Unfortunately, this could be a disaster if your beer is in glass bottles. It will also add to your stress of cleaning the mess.
How Long Can I Store my Beer in the Freezer?
You might ask, what if my beer survived the freezing? Can I drink it after I thaw it? Well, it is both yes and no. Storing your beer in the freezer will not make it stale if you leave it for a short time. However, if you drink it, you might not taste the same.
Remember that beer is primarily made of water; if it freezes and expands, the flavor will change once it returns to room temperature. It will taste flat, and nobody wants a flat beer. So, keep it at the right temp.
Chilling Through Other Methods
Now, if you have no patience to wait for about an hour or two to chill your beer or you need a fantastic beer asap, there are other ways to make your beer chill faster. Instead of throwing it in the freezer, you will need tools and other materials to make it chill more quickly. Here are five of them!
The “Soaked Towel” Method
For this method, you need to wet or damp a towel. Wrap your beer cans or bottle with a towel and put them in the freezer. When the damp towel is exposed to the cool air, it will absorb the heat from the beer, helping it cool faster, but this can take about 15 to 20 minutes. That is not bad, considering it halved the waiting time.
The “Copper Foil” Method
The copper foil method is an alternative to the soaked towel method. If you have extra copper foil at home, wrap your beer in copper foil and leave it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Copper conducts temperature well. It absorbs the warm temperature of your beer and transfers it to the cold air in the freezer more quickly than the damp towel.
The Ice water + Salt Method
No space left in the freezer? No problem! Just grab a bucket and fill it with water, ice, and salt. Put your beer inside the bucket and wait for about 10 to 15 minutes. The salt makes the ice’s freezing point lower than regular ice, so it gets colder than its usual freezing point.
By Using Spin Chill
This is a fantastic way to do it if you like to produce a lot of cold beer at once. A spin chill might cost you a few bucks, but it works wonders. Put salt and ice wonder in the spin chill, dump your beer cans or bottle, and start spinning. After 5 minutes, you’re done.
By Drilling the Beer Can
To do this, you should have a hand or electric drill. Bore a hole in the top of a beer can, fasten it with a screw, and spin it in ice water with salt. It has the exact science as using the spin chill, but if you’re not knowledgeable in using house equipment, maybe this is not the method for you.
For a better comparison of these different methods, here’s a table showing the amount of time the beer would need to chill:
|Method||Amount of time|
|“Soaked Towel” Method||15-20 minutes|
|“Copper Foil Method||15 minutes|
|Ice water + Salt Method||10-15 minutes|
|By using Spin Chill||Under 5 minutes|
|By drilling the beer can||About 5 minutes|
Take note that these methods are just alternatives, and it is still better to use the freezer. Plus, do not experiment with other techniques that will promise an instant result because they can include chemicals, dry ice, and fire extinguishers, which won’t do any good to you.
Care to know more about how you can best chill beer in your freezer? Check this video for a quick info guide!
Although there are a lot of factors that you should consider chilling your beer inside the freezer, recall the 60- to 90-minute waiting time. By that time, it probably reached 36°F (2°C), which is fine, especially if you need to chill more. Another thing to remember is not ever to forget your beer in the freezer.
Now you’re set for the party! Beer is a great way to end the week, and there’s no better way than to enjoy it cold.
So, the next time you’re going to throw a party or you’re planning to drink a little while watching a movie, make sure to put your beer about an hour before. Just remember to watch over the beers to avoid an explosion in the freezer.
On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry, you might want to try different methods, as mentioned above!
As a homebrewer, Michael would get frustrated about the lack of brewing information on the internet. After hundreds of gallons of spoilt batches, Micheal had enough. And he founded Unknown Brewing as a resource for homebrewers.