You’ve probably heard of freezing alcohol and want to find out why that happens. Or, you’ve just had this phenomenon happen to you and want to find out why your alcohol froze.
Alcohol freezer due to the low alcohol content (ABV) of your drink, and the temperature of your freezer. Alcohol is made of ethanol and water. Water has a freezing point of 0°C (30°F) and ethanol has a freezing point of -114°C (-173°F). This combination is often found in your alcoholic beverage but at varying degrees, depending on the type of liquor you’re drinking.
When alcoholic beverages have low alcohol content, they are warm enough to go into freeze mode. But if they have a high alcohol content, they are cold enough to withstand the temperature of a home freezer.
So, if you’re sitting frustrated at your frozen drink and wondering what might be the cause, worry not! We’ll explain why your alcohol is freezing and the freezing point for the types of alcohol.
Why Is My Alcohol Freezing?
Alcohol freezes when it has a low alcohol content. Alcohol is made from water and ethanol, and these compounds have different freezing points. Water freezes at 0°C (30°F) and ethanol at -114°C (-173°F). Often, in the case of beer, wine, and liqueurs, there’s more water than there is alcohol. This means these alcoholic beverages are warm enough to freeze.
But, when it comes to spirits like vodka and whiskey, they have 40% ABV (or even more), so the liquor is cold enough for the ethanol to not freeze. The most you’ll get close to frozen is a slushy drink, but only because it’s the water that has gone into freezing mode.
NOTE: Even though some alcohol has a low alcohol content, it still won’t freeze. This is because liquors like Schnapps have very high sugar content. The sugar acts like an antifreeze, and so the beverage becomes syrupy thick instead of frozen.
At What Temperature Does Alcohol Freeze?
Alcohol freezes at different temperatures based on the alcohol content they have. Below is a table summarising the freezing point of the types of alcohol.
|Alcohol Type||Alcohol By Volume(ABV)/Proof||Freezing Point|
|Beer||3-12% (6-24 proof)||-6°C (20°F)|
|Wine||8-14% (16-28 proof)||-5°C (-23°F)|
|Liqueurs||20-32% (40-64 proof)||-7 and -23 (22°F and -10°F)|
|Spirits||40% (80 proof)||-27°C (-17°F)|
Why Is My Beer Freezing?
Beer has low alcohol by volume of 3-12% ABV (6-24 proof). Because of this, the alcohol is warm enough to freeze.
What temperature does beer freeze?
Beer freezes at 6°C (20°F)
Why Is My Wine Freezing?
Wine freezes because it has low alcohol by volume – 8-14% (16-28 proof).
What temperature does wine freeze?
Wine freezes at temperatures of -5°C (-23°F).
Why Is My Whiskey / Vodka Freezing?
Whiskey and vodka are unlikely to freeze in your freezer because the freezing point is 0°C. But, if this has happened, then it could be that your spirit has an ABV of below 40% or you stored the spirit in a chest freezer which can get as low as -30°C (-22°F).
What temperature do spirits freeze?
Spirits freeze at -27°C (-17°F).
Frequently asked questions
Can you freeze vodka and other spirits?
You can freeze vodka and other spirits if your freezer can reach -27°C (-17°F). Most home freezers only get to as low as 0°C (30°F). But, if you have a chest freezer, then you can freeze your spirits. Be sure to check on them now and then so they don’t explode.
Is frozen alcohol still good?
Frozen alcohol is still good to drink, as long as the glass jar didn’t explode. The only downside to drinking frozen alcohol is that it will have a flat taste. Because beer is carbonated, the carbonation evaporates when the water expands. And in the case of whiskey, the ice traps the aromas and flavors as soon as the temperature of the whiskey drops.
What typically causes your alcohol to freeze is the low alcohol content. Some beverages like beer, wine, and liqueurs are prone to freezing because they have an ABV of below 40% (80 proof). So, don’t be startled when your liquor freezes, now you know why.
On the other hand, getting whiskey and other spirits to freeze would be a tall order. Their freezing points are down to -27°C (-17°F). If you want a chilled drink but want to prevent these icy moments from happening, it’s best to leave your beverage in the freezer for not more than 6 hours.