Does Moonshine Freeze? (Use This Rule Of Thumb)

Image of diy distilling does moonshine freeze we investigate

Sipping on chilled moonshine is pleasant every once in a while, especially on hot summer days. But, I’ve noticed that regardless of how long l let the spirit sit in the freezer, it never solidifies. It doesn’t even become slushy. After a bit of research, I uncovered the reasons behind this phenomenon, which I’ll share with you in a bit. 

Simply put, moonshine doesn’t freeze because of its high alcohol content. Because moonshine is ethanol, and ethanol has a freezing point of -114°C (171°F), it won’t freeze in your home freezer, unless you invest in a super cold chest freezer. Also, when you add sugar, the molecules disrupt the moonshine’s makeup, further lowering its freezing point. 

There’s a lot of science involved, but I’ll break it down in a simple way. Let’s dive in!

Does Moonshine Freeze?

The short answer is yes, moonshine can freeze, but it depends on several factors.  Because moonshine is mainly ethanol, and ethanol has a freezing point of -114°C (171°F), it won’t freeze in your home freezer, which is set at around -18°C (0°F). The higher the alcohol content, the lower the spirit’s freezing point. Also, if you add sugar to enhance the flavor or to create different varieties and infusions, like apple pie or peach moonshine, it will be more resistant to freezing than moonshine with less sugar. 

What Is The Freezing Point Of Moonshine?

Generally, moonshine starts to freeze at around -10 to -30°C (14 to -22°F).

Factors preventing moonshine from freezing

Image of diy distilling comparing the freezing points of different alcohols

1. ABV/proof

Alcohol molecules interfere with the hydrogen bonding between water molecules, making it more difficult for ice crystals to form. This is why moonshine, with its higher alcohol content, has a lower freezing point. But, if your moonshine has a lower ABV, its freezing point will increase.

2. Sugar content 

While sugar is a great addition to improve the taste and mouthfeel of your moonshine, you might wind up with the opposite effect if you’re hoping for a slushy drink. Sugar acts as an antifreeze agent. Its presence in moonshine lowers the freezing point by interfering with ice crystal formation. Simply put, sweetened or flavored moonshine will have a lower freezing point because of added sugar.  

3. Other ingredients 

Some ingredients–fruit, juices, syrup, extracts–can lower the freezing point of moonshine by introducing more sugar into the mixture. 

4. Your freezer’s temperature 

Unless you have a seriously cold freezer, your moonshine won’t freeze. Most home freezers are set at around -18°C (0°F), which is cold enough to chill your moonshine, not freeze it. But, commercial or chest freezers can reach much lower temperatures, which can freeze even high-proof moonshine.

Freezing temperatures by ABV

As mentioned above, the higher the moonshine’s ABV, the lower its freezing point will be. So, at what temperature will your moonshine freeze? At 40% ABV, the presence of alcohol molecules prevents water molecules from forming strong bonds to create ice crystals. This leads to a freezing point of around -30°C (-22°F). As the ABV increases to 50%, the alcohol molecules are even more effective at interfering with the hydrogen bonds between water molecules. Anything beyond 50% ABV,  your moonshine has an extremely low freezing point, because of the high concentration of alcohol molecules. The table below shows the relationship between ABV and freezing temperatures. 

ABV (%)Freezing point (°C)
40-30 (-22°F)
50-40 (-40°F)
60-50 (-58°F)
70-60 (-76°F)

Freezing Temperatures By Dissolved Sugar Content

The presence of dissolved sugar in moonshine further affects its freezing point. The molecules disrupt the arrangement of molecules necessary for freezing, which lowers the freezing point. Adding a little sugar won’t do much harm. But how is too much? The table breaks down the percentage of dissolved sugar against the spirit’s weight and how it affects the spirit’s freezing point. 

Sugar Content (% by weight)Freezing Point Depression (°C)
Image of diy distilling the freezing point of liquer like limoncello
Here, our limoncello starts to go slushy at freezer temperatures due to the lower alcohol but also disolved sugar

Will Freezing My Moonshine Affect Taste

Freezing moonshine can alter its taste and texture. The process of freezing and thawing can change the spirit’s flavor and mouthfeel because of the expansion and contraction of the liquid, which interferes with the flavour compounds and molecules. If you want to preserve the taste and aroma of your moonshine, I suggest you avoid freezing and thawing it repeatedly.

Other Methods Of Preserving Your Moonshine Without Freezing It: 2 Methods

Freezing is not the only way to preserve your moonshine. In fact, most types of moonshine do not need to be frozen at all, as long as they have a high enough alcohol content and are stored in a cool and dark place. But, if you don’t want to pop yours in the freezer, here are other methods you can use.

1. Store in a Cool, Dark Place

Storing your moonshine in a cool, dark environment is a simple yet effective way to maintain its quality over time. Direct exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures can degrade the liquid and impact its flavor and aroma. You can place it in the basement or a pantry that stays consistently cool and dark.

2. Use Airtight Containers

Oxygen exposure can lead to oxidation, which can negatively affect the taste–produces a tart, vinegar-like flavor–and aroma of moonshine. Storing your moonshine in airtight containers–preferably glass–minimizes the amount of air that comes into contact with the liquid. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can you store moonshine in the freezer?

You can store moonshine in the freezer, as long as it has a high enough ABV to prevent it from freezing solid. 

Q. Does the proof of moonshine affect its freezing point?

The proof of moonshine affects its freezing point. Moonshine with a higher proof will be more resistant to freezing than one with a lower proof.

Q. Is it safe to freeze flavored moonshine?

It’s safe to freeze flavored moonshine, as long as it is stored properly. But, freezing flavored moonshine can affect its taste and texture because the cold temperature can cause some of the ingredients to separate or crystallize.

Q. Do different moonshine flavors have different freezing points?

Different moonshine flavors can have different freezing points because of the added ingredients that affect the alcohol’s freezing point. For example, fruit-flavored moonshines with added sugars might freeze at a lower temperature than plain corn-based moonshine, with a low ABV, because sugar lowers the freezing point of liquids.

Q. Does freezing moonshine affect its quality?

Freezing moonshine can impact its quality by altering its flavor and mouthfeel, but in general, keeping moonshine in the freezer will preserve it’s taste rather than harm it.

Note: Drinking ice-cold moonshine will be perceived to taste very different to room-temperature moonshine due to how the cold alters our taste receptors. Be mindful of this when comparing the two side by side.


While moonshine does have the potential to freeze, its high alcohol content makes it more resistant to solidification.

The freezing point of moonshine is influenced by its ABV, sugar content, and other ingredients. If you add ingredients with a high sugar content, your moonshine’s freezing potential decreases because sugar acts as an antifreeze.

But I don’t suggest you always freeze your spirit as a way to preserve it; this can alter its mouthfeel and taste.

Instead, yYou can extend your product’s shelf life by pouring it into an airtight container–preferably glass because it’s inert–and then placing it in a dark place. The stable temperature and absence of light help minimize the degradation of its quality.

Let me know in the comments below how you like to store your moonshine and other distilled spirits?

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