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GBIC >> Pepsi >> Freezing
Freezing
It is tempting to put a Pepsi in the freezer section of a refrigerator in order to make it as cold as possible. My first advice is don't. I've done it and have had at least a hundred cans explode in the freezer because I didn't watch them closely enough or else I simply forgot I had put them there. But just in case you decide to do it anyway, here is some advice on how to minimize the negatives aspects of freezing and on how to get the best possible experience despite the risks involved.

Warning!    Freezing    Clean-up    Meat   
Pre-cooling    Handling    Inspection    Emergency!   


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Warning!

Do not place a glass bottle of Pepsi in the freezer. Even with the cleaning tips I give below, an exploded glass bottle presents extreme health risks from the glass splinters that may be embedded in other foods in the freezer.

You might consider using only Pepsis in plastic bottles. Freezing a plastic bottle of Pepsi takes longer than a can, but if it explodes the results are better contained by the plastic bottle.


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Freezing a Pepsi - Despite Being Told Not To

A Pepsi takes between 30 and 45 minutes to freeze solid, depending on the temperature it was at before putting it in a typical home freezer. Be aware that most (but not all) Pepsi containers will burst if you keep them frozen for more than 2 hours. Bursting will not occur in the early freezing stages. Factors which affect this is how rapidly the freezing took place (how cold the freezer was, whether the Pepsi was placed directly in the freezing air flow, whether the Pepsi was placed standing up or laying down next to metallic objects which remove the heat more quickly), and the accuracy with which the bottler filled the container (content of a Pepsi may vary by up to a few percent - not that much but enough to affect whether the container will explode.

Sometimes the explosion will be violent, casting Pepsi in all directions. Fortunately it is more likely that a directed explosion will occur - releasing the Pepsi in a direction away from the lid of the container.

So, when freezing a Pepsi, be sure to point the opening of the container towards a corner. Do not point the Pepsi towards an open area. If the container explodes you will want to minimize the distribution of the Pepsi (onto other foods in the freezer).


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Cleaning an Exploded Pepsi

After the Pepsi explodes, the debris from the explosion will stick to just about any surface. Buildup of ice crytals with an underlying thick syrup is the typical residue from an explosion, although it sometimes happends that the syrup and Pepsi crystals separate. For either residue, do not try to simply wipe the area clean. The exploded Pepsi will often break apart and fall deeper into the freezer.

I recommend that you wet a cloth with hot water (keep the cloth saturated) and place the cloth directly onto the surface of the residual materials. Let is sit for a moment and try to pick up the underlying material. Again, do not try to wipe until the bulk of the material has been picked up. In the case where the Pepsi is stuck to the walls of the freezer, place a part of the cloth underneath the explosion residue before placing the rest of the cloth on top of the residue.


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Protecting Meats

Do not place the Pepsi near frozen meat packages, where the meat is package in the butcher's white paper wrapping. The white paper will absorb fluids from a Pepsi explosion and the stains cannot be removed. If you try to clean your mess so that your spouse does not know what happened, the Pepsi paper stain will be a clear give-away.


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Pre-Cooling Pepsi Prior to Freezing

Unfortunately Pepsi drinkers cannot keep Pepsi in the freezer at all time (see the section above on exploding Pepsi). So it is recommended that Pepsi be kept in the refrigerated section of the ice box (an antiquated terminology for a refrigerator). By pre-cooling the Pepsi prior to placing it in the freezer, the time required to reach maximum chill (just below freezing temperature) can be reduced from 40 minutes to as little at 20 minutes! The exact time depends on the conditions of the specific freezer that is in use.


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Handling Frozen Pepsi

Despite the best of intentions, Pepsi drinkers occasionally freeze Pepsi. In such cases do not give in to the tempation to pop the top and draw out as much fluid as possible (a frozen Pepsi typically consists of a solid core, mostly ice crytals, surrounded by thick syrup). Since Pepsi contains multiple fluids, and since those fluids do not freeze at the same temperature, the fluids will separate during freezing and when drawn from the can, will not pour in the same mixture as was intended to give the refreshing Pepsi taste. After pouring whatever fluids can be drawn out, a solid core of mostly frozen caramel colored water will be left behind. The Pepsi that was poured from the can will likely be flat and overly sweet.


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Inspecting Pepsi in a Freezer

You cannot simply shake a Pepsi to determine if it is frozen. Because the Pepsi is under pressure in its original container, it will freeze at a lower temperature. Remove the pressure and the Pepsi can then freeze at a higher temperature. This means that you can shake the Pepsi and it will appear not be frozen, but when the can is opened the Pepsi will freeze at that time - possibly overflowing the can. This immediate freezing occurs because opening the container reduces the pressure on the contents, allowing it to freeze at room temperature.


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Emergency Action

Sometimes you only have one Pepsi and you accidentally have frozen it. In such a case, as I have mentioned, you cannot open and pour it out because of the separation of the materials within the Pepsi (Pepsi is not homogenized like milk). The utlimate solution is to rip open the Pepsi can (using heavy duty shears) and pouring the entire contents of into a bowl so that it can be stirred. It's not a perfect solution, but if you're down to the last can you'll be desperate to do whatever you can.

Do not pour the frozen contents into a glass of ice. When the frozen content touches the ice, it will further separate - the syrup in the Pepsi will stick to the ice and the water base will not. Further, with the ice present you cannot adequately stir the frozen mixture. You need the frozen slush to thaw out and the ice will slow down that process.