Great Western Beer Freeze Project

Great Western Beer Freeze Project

Submitted By Greg Longman

Test Conditions

  • Date: February 1, 2007
  • Start time: 3:40 p.m.
  • Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Latitude: n50° 29’ 57”
  • Longitude: 104° 40’ 44”
  • Elevation: 1894ft
  • Ambient temperature: -21.8c (-7.24f)
  • Dew point temperature: -28.7c (-19.7f)
  • Barometric pressure: 29.88 in
  • Humidity: 71%
  • Wind speed: 7.4 kmh (4.6mph)
  • Wind direction: nnw
  • Wind chill: -26c (-14.8f)
  • Sky condition: sunny (end of test was after sunset)
  • Moon phase: waning crescent 28% of full
  • Sunrise time: 8:33am
  • Sunset time: 5:52pm

Test Subject

  • Great Western Light
  • Great Western Pilsner
  • Great Western Premium

Test Personel

Test Personel

  • Greg Longman: unemployed ( do you have any job opportunities?)
  • Kevin (GB) Gregorie: on vacation from Canada Post at time of testing
  • Gerald (The Pirate) Toth: self-employed (we are not sure what he does)
  • Bill Mackay: retired

Test Equipment

Test Equipment

  • Electro-Therm M/N Srh77A Digital Thermometer
  • Electro-Therm M/N Sh66A Digital Thermometer

Description Of Test Procedures

Single Bottle Test

One bottle each of the test subjects were place outside on the test bench. A temperature probe was affixed to the bottle and temperature readings were taken @ 5 minute intervals and recorded.

Single Bottle Test

12 Bottle Case Test

Three full test subjects were placed in the beer case. (we could not sacrifice a full dozen in good conscience). Nine empty bottles were filled with h2o and allowed to acclimate to the test subjects’ temperature before the start of the test. Bottles were placed in the beer case as per the picture below:

12 Bottle Case Test

One temp probe was affixed to bottle #1 in the centre of the case and the second probe was placed in the air space between the bottles.

A probe was place on the test bench to monitor ambient temperature during the test period.

A wind sock (toilet paper taped to a stick) was installed on the test bench to monitor wind speed and direction

A wind sock (toilet paper taped to a stick)

Beer Freeze Data Notes

  • Note #1 (4:25p.m.): Bottle was turned so that the temp probe was in the shade not in direct sunlight
  • Note #2 (4:35p.m.): Single bottle light beer froze. We felt that the probe affixed to the bottle was not an accurate internal liquid temperature so we opened the bottle and used an insertion style probe and recorded an internal temperature of -1.83c (28.7f) This temperature was very close to the calculation we had derived from the properties of aqueous ethanol solutions found in Lange’s Handbook of Chemistry - 10th addition on the subject of freezing point depression.
  • Note #3 (4:40p.m.): Attached temp probe to single bottle of premium beer and insulated probe from ambient air. Continued testing.
  • Note #4 (4:50p.m.): Single bottle of Premium beer froze @ -2.78c (27.0f) internal liquid temperature. Same procedure used as with the Light beer.
  • Note #5 (5:00p.m.): Test bench was now in the shade and the ambient temperature dropped to -22.5c from -17.6c in the sun. (this shows that there is still some heat in the sun in February in Saskatchewan)
  • Note #6 (5:10p.m.): Continued testing on beer case only and went to 10 minute recording intervals.
  • Note #7 (5:40p.m.): Did a visual check on the bottles in the case and discovered the h20 filled bottles had frozen as well as the full Pilsner bottle on the perimeter of the case was just starting to freeze. Final temperature of the 2 internal bottles in the case was 0.05c (32.9f) completed final temperature reading. Cleaned up test facility as we were running low on test subjects and the poker game was starting soon.

Summary of the Beer Freeze Test

From our extensive and exhaustive testing we can safely say: "that beer will freeze in Saskatchewan in February"

A single bottle of great western light beer @ 4% alcohol by volume froze in 50 minutes@ the afore mentioned test conditions with a final internal product temperature of -1.83c (28,7f)

A single bottle of great western premium beer @ 5% alcohol by volume froze in 65 minutes (1 hour 5 minutes) @ the afore mentioned test conditions with a final internal product temperature of -2.78c (27.0f)

We can surmise from the time versa temperature data that the cardboard beer case offers some insulating value all be it a very low r value (1” of cardboard = value of r3)

Test beer case thickness 0.045”

We feel that the beer case helps retain the heat given off from the bottles and the contents and slows the cooling process.

From our data if you were to leave a 12 bottle case of beer in the afore mentioned test conditions you will have only two unfrozen bottles with a final internal product temperature of 0.05c (32.9f) for a period of 115 minutes (1 hour 55 minutes)

Observations of Beer Quality After Freezing

Each frozen beer was sampled by the test group and compared to a non frozen one. The following comments were recorded:

  • Flat
  • Bitter
  • Watery
  • Tastes like sh-t (sorry didn’t mean to type that)

Consensus is that frozen beer is no good, so please drink your beer ice cold but not frozen.


Some of the data collected in the latter part of the test may be skewed slightly due to the consumption of several cases of the test subjects during the collection of this data.

View Beer Freeze Project Data