How Long to Chill Beer in Freezer: Tips for Optimal Temperature

How long to chill beer in the freezer? It’s a question that has crossed my mind more times than I can count, especially when I’ve found myself in need of a cold brew on a scorching summer day.

We’ve all been there – you come home after a long day, craving that refreshing sip of ice-cold beer, only to realize that your stash in the fridge has run dry. Desperation sets in, and you contemplate the freezer as your last hope for a quick cooldown.

But before you toss that brewski into the icy depths, it’s crucial to know the ins and outs of this impromptu chilling method to avoid any frosty mishaps. So, let’s dive into the art of “beer in the freezer” and uncover the ideal duration for achieving that perfect, thirst-quenching frostiness.

How Long to Chill Beer in Freezer

Why You Shouldn’t Chill Beer in the Freezer

While it may be tempting to stick your beer in the freezer to quickly chill it, there are several reasons why you should avoid doing so.

First and foremost, freezing beer can cause the bottle or can to explode. The water in the beer expands as it freezes, which can lead to the container rupturing and making a mess in your freezer.

Additionally, freezing beer can alter its taste and texture. As the beer freezes and then thaws, it can lose carbonation and become flat. The change in temperature can also cause the beer to taste off or skunky.

Furthermore, some beers are simply not meant to be served at freezing temperatures. According to Unknown Brewing, “Beers with high alcohol content or those with a lot of residual sugars may not taste as good when served too cold.”

Overall, while it may seem like a quick and easy way to chill your beer, it’s best to avoid putting it in the freezer. Instead, opt for a refrigerator or a bucket of ice water to slowly and safely chill your beer to the desired temperature.

How Long to Chill Beer in the Freezer?

Chilling beer is an essential step in enjoying a cold brew. While there are several methods to chill beer, using a freezer is one of the most convenient and quickest ways to get your beer cold. However, it is crucial to know how long to chill beer in the freezer to avoid over-chilling or freezing the beer.

Factors That Affect Chilling Time

The chilling time for beer in the freezer depends on several factors. One of the most significant factors is the temperature of the freezer. The colder the freezer, the quicker the beer will chill.

Another factor is the size and shape of the beer container. Smaller containers such as cans will chill faster than larger bottles. The starting temperature of the beer is also a crucial factor. Beer that is already cold will chill faster than beer at room temperature.

Ideal Chilling Time for Different Types of Beer

The ideal chilling time for beer in the freezer varies depending on the type of beer. Light beers such as lagers and pilsners should be chilled for about 90 minutes to two hours in the freezer.

On the other hand, darker beers such as stouts and porters should be chilled for about two to three hours. Strong beers such as IPAs and ales should be chilled for about two to three hours. However, it is essential to note that chilling beer for too long can affect its taste and aroma.

Ideal Chilling Time for Different Types of Beer

To avoid over-chilling or freezing your beer, it is best to check on it regularly while it’s in the freezer. It is recommended to keep your beer inside the fridge for 60 to 90 minutes before transferring it to the freezer to avoid over-chilling. Additionally, using a damp cloth or paper towel to wrap the beer container can help speed up the chilling process.

Overall, knowing how long to chill beer in the freezer is crucial to enjoying a cold brew. By considering the factors that affect chilling time and the ideal chilling time for different types of beer, you can ensure that your beer is perfectly chilled and ready to drink.

Alternatives to Freezing Beer

While the freezer is a quick and easy way to chill beer, it is not always the best option. There are a few alternatives to consider that can help you cool your beer without the risk of it freezing or losing its carbonation.

Ice and Salt Water Bath

One option is to create an ice and salt water bath. This method involves filling a basin or large bowl with ice and water, and adding salt to the mixture. The salt lowers the freezing point of the water, allowing it to get colder than regular ice water.

Place your beer bottles or cans in the mixture and stir them around for a few minutes to help them cool evenly. This method can cool your beer in as little as 15-20 minutes.


Another option is to simply place your beer in the refrigerator. While it may take longer than the freezer, this method is less risky and can produce better results.

Place your beer in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or up to 90 minutes, to get it to the ideal temperature. If you are short on time, you can also try wrapping a wet paper towel around your beer bottle or can before placing it in the fridge.

The moisture from the towel will help conduct heat away from the beer, allowing it to cool faster.

Wet Newspaper

If you don’t have access to ice or a refrigerator, you can also try wrapping your beer bottles or cans in wet newspaper. The moisture from the paper will help cool the beer as it evaporates.

Place the wrapped beer in a cool, dry place and wait for it to cool down. This method may take longer than the others, but it is a good option in a pinch.

Overall, there are several alternatives to freezing beer that can help you cool your beer to the perfect temperature without risking damage to the beer or freezer. Consider your options and choose the method that works best for you.


When it comes to chilling beer in the freezer, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to avoid leaving the beer in the freezer for too long, as this can result in the beer freezing and potentially exploding. The recommended time to chill beer in the freezer is typically between 1 to 2 hours, depending on the starting temperature of the beer.

Secondly, there are a few methods that can help speed up the chilling process, such as using a SpinChill or wrapping the beer in a damp cloth before placing it in the freezer. These methods can help chill the beer in as little as 5 minutes, but it is important to monitor the beer closely to avoid over-chilling or freezing.

Ultimately, the best way to chill beer is to plan ahead and give it enough time to chill in the fridge. This will ensure that the beer is chilled to the ideal temperature without the risk of freezing or over-chilling. Additionally, keeping a bottle or can cooler on hand can help maintain the temperature of the beer once it has been chilled.

Executive Chef | Website | + posts

Chef Michael Correll began his restaurant career near his home in his teens as a pizza cook, but soon moved to Philadelphia where he first landed at Jones, an acclaimed Stephen Starr restaurant on Chesntut Street.

It was also in Philadelphia that Chef Correll pursued his culinary education, graduating from the Art Institute of Philadelphia in 2008.

After school he worked for Chef Marc Plessis at Nineteen in the Park Hyatt Hotel before moving to Pinehurst, North Carolina to open the Carolina Room.

See what and say about him.

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