What Liquids Can You Freeze Dry?

Some liquids that contain other substances like fats, proteins and sugar can be freeze dried. Other liquids like water and alcohol can be freeze dried but nothing will remain after the freeze drying process has completed.

Freeze drying removes water from a frozen product via sublimation. In the process of sublimation, frozen water bypasses the liquid state and becomes a gas. Liquids with no other substances in them can be freeze dried, but nothing will remain when the freeze drying process has completed.


What Happens if You Freeze Dry a Liquid?

Freeze drying (also known as lyophilization), through sublimation, removes the water from liquids and solids. First, the substance is frozen, then pressure is reduced, then finally, heat is applied to the substance and any water in the form of a vapor is removed through evaporation.

Ideally, when a liquid is freeze dried, there should be something like a fat or sugar contained in the liquid that will remain in a dry powder form after the liquid has freeze dried and the water has been removed from the liquid.

What Happens to Water in a Freeze Dryer?

When water is freeze dried, it’s first frozen on metal trays, then, the pressure is lowered in the vacuum chamber. This freezing and pressure change causes the ice crystals to sublimate and the water transitions from a solid state to a gas. At this point, all of the water vapor (gas) is collected in a condenser and the remaining moisture is removed either by heating the metal trays or using a vacuum pump.

Considering that all of the water vapor has been removed, and the process started with only water, there will be nothing left after you freeze dry water unless something like sugar or metals (like iron in hard water) were suspended in the water before the process began.

Can You freeze Dry Alcohol?

Freeze drying alcohol has the same limitations as those with freeze drying water that were mentioned above. Yes, it is possible to freeze dry alcohol, but when the process has completed, the only thing remaining in the metal freeze drying trays will be whatever sugars were added to the alcohol to flavor it in the first place (if any sugars were added).

Can You Freeze Dry Milk?

First up on our list of liquids that make sense to freeze dry is milk. Yes, it is possible to freeze dry milk. It’s easy and the remaining powder is lightweight and can be stored for a long period of time if handled appropriately. The average gallon of milk, once freeze dried, should fit in a quart jar.

Freeze dried milk is the equivalent of powdered milk that is bought at the store. Freeze dried milk stored in an airtight container with a 300cc oxygen scavenger away from light can potentially last for 25 years.

To maximize the amount of freeze dried milk that can fit in your container, blend it into a fine powder after freeze drying has completed,.

Can Heavy Whipping Cream Be Freeze Dried?

Next up on our list of good options to freeze dry is heavy whipping cream. Yes, heavy whipping cream can be freeze dried and is a delicious option. With all of the sugar and fat contained in heavy whipping cream, you’re sure to enjoy the final outcome. Either grind up the freeze dried cream and use the powder in your favorite cake or for another option, you can dollop the cream on your freeze dryer trays and enjoy dried cream bites!

Can I Freeze Dry Olive Oil?

Last on our list of liquids to freeze dry is olive oil. Yes, it is possible to freeze dry olive oil. Some cautions can be found online about freeze drying different oils, but olive oil will freeze dry nicely and freeze dried olives can even make a good snack (if you like olives).

There’s not a lot that can be done with freeze dried olive oil but it can be done.


Pure, water based liquids like plain water or alcohol can be freeze dried but are mostly a waste of time because only water will be left when the process has completed. Water based liquids full of fats or sugars like creams, whipped cream, or milk are great options for freeze dried liquids and allow for long term storage for later use and reduced spoiling of your food.

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