by Nathan Hak Beer journalist at Beerwulf.com 17 June 2021
How to cool beer fast?
You’ve just been given a crate of beer and you can’t wait to get started on it. Your visitors are at the (caravan or tent) door, but the beer isn’t cold enough - so what do you do now? With these 5 tips, you can enjoy a nice cold glass of beer, even without a fridge! Ideal for camping, the beach, festivals and picnics.
How to cool beer even without a fridge
1. Au naturel: the wet sock (or newspaper)
We begin with the ultimate tip. This can be done in the garden, or anywhere out for that matter. It's the one and only: wet sock method. Wet a sock, the colder the water the better. Put the beer in the sock and place in a windy spot. The end result will depend on various factors: the air in the Arctic circle is of course colder than a Southern French breeze. However, wherever you are, your beer will be cold with this method! You can also use wet strips of newspaper instead of a sock.
2. Cool beer in ice saltwater
Take a large tray or bowl. A sink will also do the trick, but a nice glass dish looks fantastic. Just make sure the beer has enough space. Fill the dish with water and add plenty of ice cubes. Add a few tablespoons of salt - lots of salt isn’t anything to worry about. Stir and place your beer in the dish. After about a minute give it another stir and a minute later your beer will be cold - after just 2 minutes!
How does it work? Saltwater freezes at a much lower temperature than freshwater. By adding salt to ice water, a chemical imbalance is created, whereby a self-cooling (cryogen) mixture is produced. To rectify this imbalance, the temperature plummets to below freezing (the eutectic point) to extract energy from a heat source - in this case, your lukewarm beer. Impressive stuff, right?
3. Cold beer with a compressed air cleaner
You might have seen them before: the spray cans filled with air to clean keyboards and other electronic equipment. At least that’s what they’re supposed to do: in reality you’re just moving dust from one place to another. Better use them to cool your beer instead. Especially handy when your beer is delivered to a campsite! And it’s easy too: just turn the spray can upside down and spray the air (upside down) on your bottle of beer. Not too long or you’ll end up freezing the beer- and be careful not to freeze your hands either.
4. Cool beer on a drill
Are you savvy with a toolkit? A DIY expert so to speak? And have you ever thought of investing a little time in a super fast cooler? Then make your own beer attachment by securing a can or bottle to a drill. A mixer works well too, as long as it turns. Be creative: with the lid of a thermos flask (one where the lid also functions as a cup), a bit of elasticity and some technical insight, you can work wonders. All done? Then just secure your can or bottle to the drill and place it into a tray of ice. Turn the beer in the ice with your drill and within a minute you’ll be enjoying an ice-cold beer!
Not such a DIY pro or need some inspiration? Two American friends have created a prefabricated ChillBit. Less satisfying, perhaps, but incredibly simple.
5. Beer in the freezer with toilet paper
This tip does require a freezer.
Putting beer in the freezer is a no-brainer, but it can still take an hour before your beer is cold enough to drink. That’s less than ideal if you havent prepped and fancy a beer all of a sudden. Or, if you Beerwulf delivery has just arrived and you can't wait to try your beers. Fortunately, there’s a way to speed things up! Wet a little bit of kitchen roll or toilet paper, wrap your beer in it and place it in the freezer. After 10 minutes your beer will be cold!
Whilst these tips work with bottled beer, they work best with cans.