Accidentally froze keg, then did taste test...My Findings

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DesignatedDrinker

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Does frozen keg ruin beer? Here is my experience....

So somehow(I'm still not sure how), my kegerator setting got changed to "permanently on" during the chilling process before carbing for a porter i made. Well it sat overnight and when i checked it in the AM to add pressure to start the carbing process, half of it was frozen. temps were reading 16 degrees.

This one was one of my 2.5 gallon kegs, so i thawed it in the sink with room temp water around it. Once thawed I stirred it up gently not to aerate or splash and carbed it for a week.

Just did a side by side taste test against a bottle carbed brew of the same batch and the keg one is horrible! Has an increase alcohol taste like the alcohol was concentrated or separated from the rest of the liquid. It also picked up a metal-like taste which i would think would of been brought off from the keg walls during the freezing process, then thawing? Its a SS keg so Im not sure. Its very bitter too, almost like the IBU's became concentrated. Keep in mind I did stir it up before starting the carbing process, but did not stir after that.

The bottled porter was perfect tho.

This is just my experience I thought i would share for people wondering if the should toss there accidental frozen batch...next time i will dump it if it happens again.

cheers,
Chris
 

nktsvls

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I froze a half full keg of oatmeal stout once. Was hopeful it'd still be okay after thawing. Straight down the drain it went. Never again!
 

Jmarsh544

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Thanks for sharing your experience; I always wondered about that.


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dzlater

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I froze a keg.
I just reset the temp. to 45. Let it thaw out. Hooked up the gas , and carbed it up. Tasted great.
 

theck

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Just thawed one of my Hefes, well the last 1/4 of it I sometimes forget to move them when they get low or they freeze if the keezer is too low... tasted fine to me, finished it out to put on another. I've had ones from winter in the keezer freeze when the bulb wasn't set right and they too where fine. I did move them to another section and they did shake a bit maybe that's key? I'd thaw and taste it before dumping maybe it's a particular style that doesn't freeze well too?
 

Drizzt

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You guys are scaring the crap out of me. I was having trouble with my keezer getting ice and getting beer sluchies so I added temp controller quickly. 2 days later I check and the temp was 18 degrees. Lot of frozen and very over carbed beer. My temp probe was at the top not the bottom of the keezer. I thawed and bled them 2 weeks ago and am serving them to a bunch of beer snobs this weekend.


I'm not sure if my the flavors in my beer are off or complex 😳
 

LLBeanJ

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Both last winter and the winter before I've had kegs freeze during extreme cold spells (Polar Vortex!!!11!!1) due to my keg fridge being in the garage. They were fine once the weather warmed up and the beer thawed.
 

Teromous

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If it tastes so bad, I'm wondering what works to make a good eisbock. It's one of those beers on my "to do" lists, but even BYO mentions that you can use a stainless steel corny keg but makes no mention of a metallic flavor. Perhaps the metal flavors you are tasting are from something else?
 
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DesignatedDrinker

DesignatedDrinker

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If it tastes so bad, I'm wondering what works to make a good eisbock. It's one of those beers on my "to do" lists, but even BYO mentions that you can use a stainless steel corny keg but makes no mention of a metallic flavor. Perhaps the metal flavors you are tasting are from something else?


Not sure. Out of every beer ive ever made i have never had that off flavor. But its already dumped so oh well!
 

Quadrupled

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Regarding your "off" flavors, beer can stratify after freezing and thawing (think of ice melting in a cup of pop - the top is mostly uncolored and watery while the bottom is mostly unaffected). Likely your fear of ruining your beer along with tasting the freeze-concentrated liquid drawn from the bottom accounts for your tasting experience. Give your keg a roll/flip and I bet it will taste the same as it did at first pour.
 

johngaltsmotor

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I could easily see it being an issue if you froze it while under pressure. The extra dissolution of CO2 into the beer would make it more acidic. I wouldn't think you could get it so acidic as to react with the SS, but you could likely make it acidic enough to have a metallic taste in your mouth.
However, if it was at atmospheric pressure with no gas....
 

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