I was hoping that someone had worked out a formula to determine at which temperature a given volume of beer, at a given ABV, for a given length of time, will freeze?

I'm doing my first 6 lagers and will be dropping 2 of them to lagering temperatures soon. I've read the recommendation of laggering at 30-35F. I am concerned however because I regularlay freeze bottle of beer on accident in my freezer by leaving them too long.


They sure have, at least in terms of the temperature/ABV% relationship. The table provided is for pure ethanol/water solutions so the freezing points provided will be slightly higher than for actual beer. Accounting for the effects of residual sugar, proteins and other things in solution seems incredibly complex; this is touched upon in some detail later in the same thread.

Figuring out the rate at which a specific volume of liquid will freeze is a much different question though, and will depend on factors like the beer container (material, geometry, wall thickness, any insulation, etc etc) and the refrigeration system (whether there's forced convection in the refrigerant and the beer itself, the temperature differential, etc). For this, I don't think you could do more than venture a guess without more information.


Taking a look at the question's title, I should note that the volume of beer will have precisely no effect on the temperature at which it will freeze. This might be two separate questions, or that aspect of the question may be superfluous to the answer you're looking for here.

- edit II -

Turns out there is an equation for this (from this book):

Freezing point(°C) = -(0.42A + 0.04E + 0.2)

where A is the ABW% (alcohol by weight) and E is the original gravity (in °Plato). This equation takes account of the effects of both the alcohol and the residual extract after fermentation.

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    +1 for the table of temperatures and for the list of additional factors. One factor that I didn't see in your list was final gravity. The ABV% definitely effects freezing temperature but so does the presence of other compounds in suspension within the fluid. The abundance of these compounds can be sensed in the color, flavor and mouth-feel of the beer, but they can best be measured by looking at the final gravity. The higher the number, the more particles in suspension and the lower the resulting freeze point. Mar 29 '15 at 5:09
  • Cool. Yes, I thought the volume and time would be relevant but on second thought it is superfluous. Would you happen to have any idea of the formula he used for kicks? I couldn't identify it in the thread. Mar 29 '15 at 7:26
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    @HenryTaylor, yes the numbers in the table are for a pure ethanol/water solution. The thread goes into some detail about including the final level of dissolved sugars/other stuff in the calculation, if you're interested. Mar 29 '15 at 11:51
  • @MatthewMoisen, don't know the equation, but data tables exist from which you could probably derive a formula. Mar 29 '15 at 11:58

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