Beer + Freezing = ?

I read through my web stats every now and then. Ok...maybe like everyday. Is that healthy? Anyway, I keep seeing referrals from Google searches on things like...
  • freeze beer
  • freezing beer bad
  • why does beer go flat before freezing
  • my keg is frozen
  • what does beer freeze at
  • does beer freeze
Who cares? These referrals are all from the last month. Seems like some people are interested in what happens when you freeze beer. Maybe they want to know how to salvage or whether to throw it away.
In an effort to explore the answers I'll throw out some ideas to you my dear readers. Each idea is it's own. They may even contradict each other. First here is the summary of what your comments from the last time I brought this up.
  • broken bottles and swollen cans from the ice increasing the volume of the beer
  • we tend to think this shouldn't affect taste
  • loss of carbonation
Now for some thoughts around the subject. These all assume that beer decarbonates (Is that a word?) when frozen.
  • Freezing beer doesn't ruin it, but, it may decarbonate it.
  • Freezing beer may cause some proteins to fall out of suspension. (via cold filtering link)
  • Freezing beer is a way to make a special kind of beer called ice beer an example would be the German style Eisbock. Cold filtered beer doesn't seem to be the same thing.
  • Would recarbonating beer that was frozen restore it to its previous state? (flavor, texture, aroma, appearance)
  • Would this process work to recarbonate beer? You know dissolve the CO2 back into the beer. I mean its all still in the container right? Thaw to serving templ, keep cold, shake vigorously, wait X amount of time, repeat shake, wait X amount of time, etc. Try tasting the beer. I'll have to try this.
  • Another process could just be to thaw and let it sit and dissolve over a week or so.
  • Does the container make a difference? Can vs Keg vs Bottle
If it were me and I had a frozen soda keg full of homebrew, I would just thaw and recarbonate. I would expect it to taste a little cleaner or watery. Again, this is unfiltered hombrew I'm talking about.
What about commercial beer? I probably wouldn't hesitate to drink bottles or cans that were frozen. I might wait a week for recarbonation before serving them to friends after a taste test. If it were a keg of filtered beer, just thaw to serving temp and recarbonate by keeping it tapped on C02 for a while. To recarb faster increase pressure and shake keg.
Just my two cents.

Hopefully that answers your questions about freezing beer. Want to learn more about beer? Check out these books. They are some of the best!

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