Does carbonated water freeze differently than regular water?
January 22, 2004 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Does carbonated water freeze differently than regular water? [Further information provider by the poster upon clicking of the comments link.]

I once left some carbonated water in the freezer and when I pulled it out, I was relieved that it did not freeze. As soon as I unscrewed the top, I watched in delight as the entire bottle (12 oz) froze in front of my very eyes.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
Response by poster: Whoops. That should be "provided" rather than "provider" in the original question.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:15 PM on January 22, 2004

I believe it didn't freeze because it was under high pressure from the gas, and then it froze upon reduction of the pressure. Hasn't this happened to every college student with beer?
posted by planetkyoto at 4:36 PM on January 22, 2004

See here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:38 PM on January 22, 2004

CO2 in solid form is dried ice, which has a lower freezing point than water, ice.
Similar to why you mix salt with the ice when making home made ice cream, lit owers the H2O freezing point.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:46 PM on January 22, 2004

*runs off to kitchen to put bottle of soda in freezer*
posted by carter at 8:31 PM on January 22, 2004

Far out, dude.
posted by The God Complex at 8:32 PM on January 22, 2004

Also, sometimes carbonated water has salt in it. Salt makes water freeze at a lower temperature. That's why the ocean don't freeze too easy!
posted by Happydaz at 9:36 PM on January 22, 2004

I had the same thing happen with bottled water that was sitting out in the porch during a sudden onset of winter. It was non-carbonated, but I think it was spring water, so it may have had some mineral content. Sometimes the water would freeze as soon as I broke the seal, but other bottles stayed liquid until I gave them a shake or tried to pour them out. As long as they were sealed (under pressure, I guess) they wouldn't freeze no matter how much I shook them. The instant freezing looked amazing, and I think my friend and I opened all 24 bottles in the case just to watch the effect.
posted by teg at 11:03 PM on January 22, 2004

yea, this works pretty nicely with plastic coke bottles, like monju's link says though the key temperature is -8C, and a normal household freezer is around -18 to -20ºC so you can't leave it in there for too long or it just freezes solid. it's tricky, but pretty when you do get it.
posted by rhyax at 11:11 PM on January 22, 2004

teg: If it wasn't carbonated, it's probably the supercooling effect. This is much the same as superheating, where water doesn't boil even though it's at 100°C. If the insides of the bottles were smooth enough and the water pretty pure (mineral water should do just fine for that), there's no place for the crystallisation to start, and thus the water stays liquid. By opening the bottle, dust and such enters the bottle, and the water turns to ice. Did the crystallisation start at the top of the bottle, or was it too quick to see?
posted by fvw at 11:32 PM on January 22, 2004

Supercooling and Superheating.
posted by fvw at 11:33 PM on January 22, 2004

Supercooling experience:
Just a glass of water on a window ledge, combined with some serious cold weather (-10F). I sat the glass on the window ledge to chill. In that weather, this takes little time! When got the glass, I touched the surface of the water to feel how cold it had become. The ice began forming where my finger connected. A movie of this could be quite beautiful.
posted by Goofyy at 4:44 AM on January 23, 2004

This happens to me all the time when I get overenthusiastic at trying to cool my beer quickly by putting it in the freezer just a little too long. OK, until you open it, then instant solidification. Mmmm, beersicles. It actually is kinda fun, as it remelts, expands, and pushes a cylinder of beer slush out of the neck. Chewy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:13 AM on January 23, 2004

Is it just me, or did strangeleftydoublethink not answer his own question?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:24 AM on January 23, 2004

From monju's link:

Do not shake the unopened bottle, this may cause the dissolved gas to come out of solution, causing the beverage to freeze and the bottle to explode
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:09 PM on January 23, 2004

fvw: Your explanation sounds about right for the spring water. The freezing did start from the top if we just let the bottle sit. (It was very fast, but you could just barely see it.) I'm guessing that trying to pour them triggered the freezing because air (and dust) would rush into the bottle as the water started to run out.
posted by teg at 5:42 PM on January 23, 2004

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