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# Can beer explode when left in the freezer?

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kibkid    0
Here's the technical explaination:

Taking water for an example, its density is exactly 1. However the density of ice is around 0.8 because of air bubbles that get trapped during the freezing process. Lets say you put this liquid in a closed system (such as a beer bottle). Everyone knows density is weight / volume. Since the weight remains constant (you aren't adding or subtracting anything from the closed beer bottle) that means you must change volume in order to decrease density. Since volume is on the bottom of the divisor it has an inverse relationship. That means you must increase volume to decrease density during the freezing process. We know that a beer bottle can only hold so much volume of liquid, so when that volume starts increasing its going to put pressure on the glass. This is about when it cracks and makes a mess.

I think its mass over volume isn't it? Becuase mass is the amount of matter in a substance which is what actually matters when we are talking about density. However weight is just the mass * the acceleration of the Earth's gravity (Earth in this case) on the substance.

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henryfitz    0

While density is a factor of the "exploding" beer in the freezer as a result of a volume increase, where D=M/V, there are other factors to consider. Factors that would more appropriately determine a time based solution to how long "when left in the freezer" actually is. Yes, a beer will explode in the freezer, but when will it? And, really, at what time should it be taken out in order to enjoy a perfectly chilled beer?

Beer is made of mostly water, and the varying alcohol concentrations--more appropriately the water concentrations--in each different container determine the beer's new freezing point (a result of a freezing point depression calculation). Next, we need to know some information about the system and the surroundings. Such the beer's initial temp, the beer's freezing temp, and the freezer's ambient temp. By using Newton's Law of Cooling (the differential equation) you can determine the time [t] at which the beer has reached its freezing point.

My point being, a beer that was just purchased off the shelf of a blazing hot liquor store, because they were out of cold ones, is going to have a greater change in temperature requirement to reach its freezing point, and is going to take longer to freeze, then a beer that was already in the fridge, but not frozen. (e.g. shelved beer is about 20?C, and refrigerated beer is about 2?C).

-->easier said then done right? nope. you need to perform experiments to determine their "rate constants." This is because each beer, or pop, has different physical and chemical properties. The freezing point depression constant [k] is a little harder to determine and not useful for this application, but for Newton's Law of Cooling, the constant can be determined by solving for [r] after collecting data from the following experiment:

Experiment:

Record the beer's initial temp, and the freezer's temp. Put several of the same beers of the same temp in the freezer at fixed intervals apart in time, and check them periodically. If the beer#1 exploded, then the beer#2 is (interval) away from exploding and you can more precisely monitor the next few, and so on.

Calculations:

Record the final beer temp, and the time it took to reach its final "exploding" temp. Insert the data into Newton's Law of Cooling (the differential equation) and solve for [r]. That way, next time, you can roughly determine how long it will take to perfectly chill that beer without exploding it. Solving for the rate will allow you to use beers of varying initial temps in the future and get a close estimate, but collecting an average rate from varying initial temps would increase the precision for future estimates.

T(t)=Tenv + (To - Tenv)e^(-rt); where: T=beer temp at time t, Tenv=freezer temp, To=initial beer temp.

Now, on to: cans vs. bottles, dark beer vs. ale vs. light beer, twist-off cap vs. pop-off cap...beer vs. pop..:|:|

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Andrew Lyle    336

I've never seen the bottle shatter before, just the lid pop off from the pressure and leak from the top.

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Napalm Frog    13

Holy thread resurrection batman! Best is frozen coke, it never goes back to normal... The water and syrup separate, haha.

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Ji@nBing    53

Wow!! Way to resurrect a 5 year old thread!!

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acnpt    39

It's still a valid thread though :laugh: .

My method is just to keep them in the fridge :p

However in emergencies just put a couple in the freezer, wait 30mins or till there cold, then keep replacing when your drinking.

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KyleGM    1

Iced water and a handful of salt will make those babies ice cold in 2 mins :p

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chevyordeath    1

Don't know about a glass bottle, but a can will.

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ozgeek    157

When I was a kid, my mum left some softdrink in glass bottles in a freezer and the glass exploded. It does this because carbonated drink expands when frozen and will keep on expanding and when there is no room in the bottle, the drink still keeps on expanding and so it pushes the glass out ("exploding it") and keeps on expanding.

It doesn't explode, just the glass cracks open like a hatching egg. Drink might leak and freeze into the floor of the freezer.

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d4diesel    6

the drink expands while being frozen but not enough to cause a explosion (however, it will crack the bottle). as the temperature drops, the ability of the liquid to hold dissolved gas gets lowered. as a result the gas will try to leak out of the liquid and this is what causes the pressure inside the bottle more than the expansion of the liquid itself. now, as for the explosion, it might also depend upon the way the bottles are manufactured from place to place and how they are sealed. a cheaper glass will easily crack and may not cause that big spill or a boom since it wont be able to hold much pressure inside initially before cracking. a better quality glass may be able to hold off for a longer time with a much higher pressure and when it does crack, that excess pressure may cause that boom. similarly, non-screwed on caps can easily be popped of with a slight pressure preventing the explosion as the liquid or the carbonated gas inside leaks out slowly.

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