Just about everyone is aware of how common it is to freeze water for the next day. After all, freezing water is a lot better for the environment when you consider that the alternative is to simply keep purchasing chilled drinks. With that being said, not everyone is aware that not all types of water are created equally. For example, distilled, tap, and carbonated waters are all different types of water.
In some cases, what this means for you is that you shouldn’t freeze a particular type of water because the freezing has a bad chemical effect on what is inside the water, causing quite a bit of trouble for your bottle of water and potentially your freezer.
In particular, the type of water that you need to make sure that you do not freeze is carbonated water. Carbonation and the way that freezers work are two elements that should never really be crossed together.
Before you can look into why freezing carbonated water is a bad idea, you first need to understand how the freezing process can affect carbonated water. From there, you may be able to get a good sense of how things work and what other ways you could opt to have a chilled drink of sparkling water throughout your day.
First things first, it is important to get a solid grasp on what carbonated water is. It is often referred to as sparkling water.
What Exactly Is Carbonated Water?
Carbonated water can go by a number of different names. These names include “fizzy water,” “sparkling water,” and “soda water,” and all of these descriptors refer to the fact that carbonated water has a similar type of carbonization that sodas have. This is what creates that “tingling” feeling that you feel in the water when you take a sip of it. But what exactly is carbonization and what does it do to the water itself?
To put it simply, carbonated water is water that has had carbon dioxide gas infused into it, under a fair amount of pressure. This is where the “carbon” of the term “carbonized” comes from. It simply refers to what molecule was used to create the effects that are so well-known in carbonized drinks all around the world.
The carbon dioxide reacts with the water on a chemical basis, forming carbonic acid. As the name might suggest, this is simply acid that has its roots in carbon, which is exactly what it is. It has been shown that carbonic acid will stimulate the same nerve receptors in your mouth as mustard does, which is another way that carbonated water gets its tingly taste that everyone loves about it.
Keep in mind that although pressurized carbon dioxide gas is the most common way that carbonized water is made, there are a few alternatives. For example, there are a few spring waters that are naturally “sparkling,” so to speak, and will usually contain more compounds than your typical tap water would, especially sulfur. Tonic water is carbonated water that also makes use of quinine to add that bitter taste that tonics are known for.
Aside from these exceptions, you can expect that your carbonated water is made from carbon dioxide gasses and some amount of pressure to create the drink that you know and love. The question then becomes a matter of how the carbon dioxide affects the freezing process when you choose to put sparkling water into the freezer.
The Problem with Freezing Carbonated Water
It is a generally known fact that water expands when it freezes as the molecules stop moving around and the liquid changes into a solid. As a rule of thumb, you can expect water to expand by about 9% when you put it into the freezer.
Carbonated water will expand at roughly the same amount, but because there are little bubbles of carbon dioxide in the water, it can cause some unusual swelling patterns that can cause issues when you are trying to freeze it.
The most common problem is that people will try to freeze carbonated water in the container that it came in, as to most people there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t do this. The truth is that very few of these containers allow for the irregular expansion that carbonated water will go through when you put it into the freezer, and what’s worse is that many people will put sealed containers of carbonated water into the freezer.
This is just about the worst thing that you can do, as not only is there going to be no room for expansion, the sealed aspect of the container will create a pressurized situation that will lead to an exploding soda can.
With that being said, this is one of the only problems with freezing carbonated water though. Aside from the fact that you need to be even more mindful about making sure that there is space for the water to expand, you can freeze it as you would normally freeze any liquid in the freezer.
You just need to take some care and maybe take some special steps to take the carbonated water out of its original container for the best results.
How Do You Freeze Carbonated Water Properly?
Once you know what to be on the lookout for, you can freeze carbonated water pretty easily. The way that you should freeze it depends on whether you are planning on freezing the whole drink or if you are planning to turn it into ice cubes. Regardless of which you choose, you will need to start out by measuring the height of the container that you will be putting the carbonated water into when it goes into the freezer.
Once you have those measurements, you will then want to subtract about 10% from that height to figure out the true height that you are going to be pouring the carbonated water to. You can choose to mark the tray or container at this point, but if you believe that you can memorize it, then this works as well. You just don’t want to overfill the container and be left with the mess to clean up.
You will then want to pour the carbonated water into the container until you reach the designated height. If you still have carbonated water left over, then you can decide whether you want to make use of it or if you want to find another container and add it to the freezer.
As long as you are sure that you have left ample space for the ice to expand, you can feel confident knowing that when you put the carbonated water into the freezer, you won’t have to give it a second thought.
You should check back after about one hour, but not before then because the water will not be frozen. Carbonated water still freezes at the standard freezing temperature because the majority of the drink is still water and there is not enough carbon dioxide in the water to truly affect the amount of time it will take to freeze. As long as you did everything right, you can sit back and relax with a glass of cold, frozen carbonated water in your hand.
If you are ever in doubt, remember that you can always make more ice cubes or that you can always add more of a drink to a container in the freezer. This means that if you overestimated how much the expansion would be, then you can easily add more of the carbonated water. Once everything has already frozen, you can’t really take the water away, so you are left with a mess to clean up.