Why doesn’t alcohol freeze? Talk Radio News


People love alcohol for different reasons and many love our cool drink after a long day at work. Most people keep their hard liquor in the freezer.

Surprisingly, alcohol does not freeze in a freezer. It surprises most alcohol lovers when they turn to the internet to find out why.

If you are among them, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will see the reason for this.

Wondering if Walmart sells alcohol? Find out here.

Why doesn’t alcohol freeze?

Usually, most forms of alcohol are ethanol, which is grain alcohol. It is present in wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages.

Also known as ethyl alcohol, which becomes a renewable fuel after being mixed with gasoline, it is used for transportation in some countries. The list of these countries also includes the United States.

Alcohol comes in different forms, and each of them has a specific freezing point that is different from the others. For this reason, different alcohol variants reach their freezing point at different temperatures.

Furthermore, the type of container in which it is stored also plays a vital role in determining the temperature at which it would freeze. Typically, manufacturers use different containers to package alcohol before they put them on the market.

Want to see how different forms of alcohol react to freezing temperatures? You can check it yourself. Store a bottle of vodka and a pack of wine coolers in the freezer overnight. Notice the difference between them when you take them out the next day.

The vodka bottle wouldn’t change much even after standing in the freezer overnight. But the pack of wine coolers would be sticky the next day.

But does alcohol freeze? The answer is yes. However, this happens when you provide the right temperature, depending on its composition. So you can see your alcohol in its frozen form if you provide it with the right temperature.

How to calculate the alcohol concentration?

As discussed earlier, the concentration of an alcohol variant contributes to its freezing point. The alcoholic concentration, also called the alcohol test, plays a determining role. Usually this is 2x the alcohol percentage.

Vodka, wine, and grain alcohol are the most common forms of alcohol. The wine is close to 24 proof. So in percentage terms it stands at 12%. On the other hand, vodka is close to 80 proofs, which earns it 40%.

Grain alcohol has the highest number, which is close to 190 proofs. Thus, grain alcohol or ethanol leaves far behind other alcoholic compositions to be closest to the pure form of alcohol.

Why do most freezers seemingly fail to freeze alcohol?

Most of the freezers currently in use have one major limitation, they do not cool enough to freeze alcohol in a solid form. Most freezers only reach 0 degrees Fahrenheit as the coldest temperature possible.

It’s not cold enough to freeze even common forms of alcohol. Generally, the majority of alcoholic drinks have a higher proof. This property lowers the freezing point of alcohol.

Besides, the alcohol makeup also makes a freezer look puny when it comes to freezing alcohol. This property of alcohol also makes it difficult to freeze. This will become clear if you consider what happens when you store common forms of alcohol in a freezer.

Suppose you store a bottle of Everclear in a 190-proof freezer. It usually freezes at -173.2 F. If you keep it in the freezer overnight it will get very cold but it will still be in its liquid form.

Now consider what happens when you store an 80 degree vodka in a freezer that freezes at -16.5 F. Again, the result would be the same – it would withstand even the coldest temperature of a freezer. and would still come out unfrozen.

What happens if you increase the freezing point while minimizing the alcohol content?

In a nutshell, this kind of situation can lead to a freezing disaster. But why? The answer to this question lies in how water and alcohol freeze separately at different temperatures. Let us take the case of wine as an example to understand.

From the point of view of its composition, wine consists of both water and alcohol. Water constitutes about 85-90% of its overall composition, while the remaining part is alcohol.

Although the freezing point of wine is close to 20F, the water content freezes at 32F. The alcohol component of wine begins to freeze as soon as its water component freezes at this temperature. The same also happens with beer.

Water tends to expand after reaching its freezing point. As a result, it increases the pressure. What does this mean for a bottle that contains alcohol? This means that the water content of the alcohol will freeze and increase the pressure inside the bottle.

Because of this, the bottle would explode and its cork would be thrown away. You can imagine the same with beer cans.

You should be careful when leaving new or unfinished alcohol bottles or cans inside the freezer. Leaving them unattended in the freezer for hours can cause them to explode.

Nine times out of ten, you are likely to face this situation by creating an iced or frozen drink. Be sure to set a timer so you don’t forget to leave your wine or beer in the freezer.

Final thoughts

In general, alcohol does not freeze if you keep it in the freezer overnight. However, you need to be careful if you want to keep certain types of alcohol in the freezer. This will help you avoid the explosion of a bottle or can containing your favorite alcohol.

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