My Frozen Beer

While I’ve already sent this to a scientific consulting group, and am waiting a reply, it occurred to me that the Internet at large might be quicker:

Last night I took a bottle of Corona beer out of the freezer (it’d been in there for about an hour). It wasn’t frozen at all. I opened it, and sat it on the counter. I then cut a slice of lemon, dropped it down the neck, and proceeded to watch the ENTIRE BOTTLE of beer FREEZE INSTANTLY before my very eyes.

I’m sure we learned about how such things happen back in 5th grade. But that was certainly long enough ago to justify my forgetting. Does anybody know what caused this?

15 thoughts on “My Frozen Beer”

  1. A colleague recently told me about a can of beer in very cold weather that froze instantly when opened. We conjectured that it might have be the carbon dioxide dissolved in the beer that lowers the fusion point. When the beer is opened, some of the carbon dioxide escapes and the fusion point raises above the current temperature of the beer, making it freeze.

    In your case, maybe the lemon triggered the escape of the gas.

  2. Isn’t it a case of the freeze point being lowered by the pressure buildup in the bottle? Such that when the bottle is opened and the pressure normalized, the beer, which had fallen to a below-freezing temperature, shift instantly?

  3. Theory only:

    Just as salt will lower the freezing point of water, maybe lemon juice heightens it.

    I might try this out this evening while watching State of Origin. We don’t have any Corona handy but will substitute a Hahn Lite.

  4. you guys are stupid, get a life, drink it instead of freezing it, if you scull a beer within three seconds it will not freeze. TOOLS!!!

  5. There are actually at least 3 factors: less pressure, escaping gas, and supersaturation. In this case I think it is supersaturation. The beer is cold enough to freeze, but it is too pure for an ice crystal to form. Once a foreign object is introduced the freezing begins.

    gv

  6. So I’m sitting here, wanting to drink some beer, but all that is around is the beer that has been sitting outside in the snow, about half a case. The first one I opened froze as soon as I opened it, so I came on here to find some answers and I read this… You guys gave me an idea, so I did a little test. Use this in case your beer ever gets this cold again…

    If your beer gets cold enough to freeze, (these beers didn’t freeze until they were opened, and they are in bottles) take it, and immediately upon opening the beer pour it into a glass. It wont freeze, you just get a damn cold beer. Thanks for your help, gents.

  7. There are two factors that would contribute to the freezing. 1. Release of CO gas, 2. chemical reaction.

    The first contributes the most. Anytime a gas is released from high pressure to low, there is a cooling effect. This is how Air Conditioning works.

    Some chemical reactions release heat, some absorb heat. I bet that the acid in the lime juice increased the release of CO from the beer, thus accelerating the freezing effect.

    I believe your beer was at a very precise temp, before it’s freezing point, so that the lime would push it over the edge with a couple degrees!! Very cool!

  8. I dunno, I just went out to the fridge in the garage to take a real cold beer out & found a couple of cases of frozen beer many of which had busted along with cokes, red bull and a bunch of other pleasing beverages that no longer pleased. Wondering if my frozen beer that is still intact is ok to drink? Maybe a new bar sensation, beersicles.

    ,.|./// …(@@) ooO_(_)_Ooo More pearls of wisdom available at Fredville –

  9. I have recently done this and seeing the effects myself. It is rather mind boggeling when your taking a swig and the damn thing freezes.

  10. I put my beer into a freezer for 5 minutes and… forgot it! Now thew can is SOLID FROZEN PIECE OF ICE. Is it safe to drink it once it unthaws? How do I unthaw it – by putting it in room temperatutre or puting it in the refregirator’s normal food section (not freezer)?

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

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