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Everything posted by Junkbot

  1. It's always a dilemma to order a drink at a place you've never been to. I've made it a habit to take the time to ask the waitstaff/bartender how they make a particular drink (even though it's a bit tedious at times) ever since I ordered a sazerac made with no absinthe
  2. Thanks for the podcast. He brings up a very good point that I didn't think about with the ice balls being very wet when taken from the press. Guess this would counter-act all the dilution savings from the ice being a sphere.
  3. It matters what "people recommend" because... Recommendations are usually good for people who are just starting out in an activity. They don't have to be followed in the strictest sense, but are often a good rule of thumb. One such recommendation would be to try whiskey at room temperature. Some people don't like this as it burns a bit. Cooling it takes the edge off the alcohol burn, but also dulls the aromatics, which are more easily released at warmer temperatures. Another recommendation is to add water, which again, takes the edge off the alcohol, and allows for other flavors to come through, but this sacrifices the intensity of the flavor. You could add milk to single malt scotch if you wanted. Most people wouldn't recommend this, but since you place so little value on recommendations... On the other hand, you might end up LOVING this.
  4. Chilling scotch to drink is one thing, but putting it in the freezer? Not sure many people would recommend that.
  5. Not a good idea for scotch, which is primarily what I've seen ice balls being used for.
  6. Junkbot

    Crystal Clear Ice

    Clear ice is mostly aesthetic. The only venues that really care are upscale bars. Granted, huge chunks of crystal clear ice in your cocktail does look pretty nifty since it's so novel. The reason it's so novel is because most people have never tried to make it at home, which is fairly trivial to do. The easiest way to do it is to freeze water in an open cooler. The bottom layer will be cloudy, but if you can just melt/chip it off. Try serving your guests clear ice at your next get together; it'll be sure to get many comments.
  7. I don't think a test is needed as the experiment would be so trivial. If you really want an experiment, just try it; at this point I think it would be best to see the effect yourself (although if you really want an experiment, then here you go ). The total amount melted would only be equal if the cups are not losing any energy to the environment. The numbers are completely hypothetical, but if crushed ice takes 3 minutes to cool the water to 0 degrees, and it takes the cubed ice 7 minutes, that means that the room had an extra 4 minutes to transfer heat to the drink with cubed ice, resulting in more melted cubed ice even though both are now at 0 degrees.
  8. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-an-ice-ball-maker/?ALLSTEPS Looks like someone put up some specs.
  9. How do you explain crushed ice melting faster than cubed ice based on the above?
  10. Were you trying to get a more even heat profile or lower the overall heat? I'd only use cast iron as a flame tamer as it is a very poor conductor ie. will have hot spots.
  11. So this is only for removing the manufacturing wax? Pity there wasn't a more wide-spread application to this.
  12. You'd be correct that the heat energy exchange between the liquid and ice is the same in both glasses (how much water gets melted for an equivalent amount of cooling) if the glasses were in a closed system, which they are not. You're assuming that both drinks will have the same equilibrium temperature, and thus no energy loss to the outside environment. However, the drink will not have the same equilibrium temperature. Because of the greater surface area of the cubed ice, the drink will be overall colder since it is drawing energy out of the liquid at a faster rate (faster than the rate at which the room/air can heat up the drink). It may not be much, but there will be a temperature difference in the drink with the spherical ice since the rate at which it cools the drink will be less than the rate at which the cubed ice cools its drink. Hence, if the room/air is putting heat into the system at a constant rate, the drink with the smaller cooling rate (spherical ice) has to have a greater temperature. Another way to think about this is with CPU heatsinks. You'll notice that every design is finned to maximize surface area, which increases the rate at which heat can be dissipated, thus lowering the overall temperature of the CPU. Ultimately though, simply do the following observational experiment: put crushed ice in one cup of water, and the same mass of cubed ice in the other. Which one melts first? Granted the crushed ice will make the drink colder, but it will not last as long. The most used application I've seen for the ice balls is for whiskeys, particularly scotches. Most people don't really want their drink to be super cold, just cooler than room temperature (which is why most people don't put scotch freezer). Furthermore, they don't want to water down the drink too much, but a little water is desirable. I'll be the first to admit that the rate at which spherical vs cubed ice melts won't be that great, but the idea is scientifically sound. And again, the presentation is over the top, which I think contributes to the overall experience. True, but I'm not sure how well they'd perform at cooling the drink. Steel has a specific heat capacity of ~0.5 J/gK compared to ice, which is around 2 J/gK. So you'd have to have a a lot of steel to cool the drink down and maintain that temperature. They make something like what you're suggesting: whiskey stones (http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/ba37/), which are made of soapstone (~1 J/gK). Puts a whole new twist on whiskey on the rocks *rimshot*.
  13. If you're talking about how much ice gets melted, yes. But that doesn't depend on the shape or surface area of the ice, only the temperature differential. By minimizing the surface area, less ice melts in a given time compared to ice with a comparatively larger surface area. How do you figure? I believe melting ice is a function of surface area (given all else is equal) since the ice-water interface is where the most heat transfer occurs. Crushed ice will cool a drink considerably faster since it has a much higher area to transfer heat compared to cubed ice. However, that means that crushed ice will melt much faster as well, resulting in drinks that come back to room temperature in a relatively short period of time. A cube of ice will cool a drink much slower and most likely to a warmer temperature compared to the crushed ice. Overall, the same amount of energy will be transferred from the ice to the water as they both will eventually come back to room temperature, but the time it takes for that to happen will be different. This can be easily done by freezing water in a cooler. The directional cooling (freezing from the top down) will effectively 'push' all dissolved gases and impurities down, resulting in very clear ice. Camper English has a blog that experimented with this idea a ton (www.alcademics.com).
  14. Has anyone tried one of these copper plates with cast iron? My cast iron pan develop some ridiculous hot spots due to my old electric range. I was hoping a thick copper or aluminum plate would even out the heat.
  15. What's the deal with boiling potato skins to clean cast iron/carbon steel pans? Apparently DeBuyer had instructions on prepping a pan for seasoning by boiling potato skins first. Something to do with the starch binding to gunk on the pan? Searching around the internet, there seems to be some merit in using potatoes to clean pans. What's the science behind this?
  16. If you're talking about how much ice gets melted, yes. But that doesn't depend on the shape or surface area of the ice, only the temperature differential. The purpose of spherical ice is to minimize the surface area of ice/water contact. By minimizing the surface area, less ice melts in a given time compared to ice with a comparatively larger surface area. This is most beneficial for drinks you want to keep cold, but not get too diluted. Another experiment to try is to get the same mass of cubed and crushed ice, put them in separate cups of water, and observe which melts first. Also, ice balls are very nice for presentation
  17. Interesting. All the recipes and pictures I've seen always has the meat fairly deep in liquid by the time it's done. Do you discard the fat when you make your sauce?
  18. So I want to make some pulled pork in my slow cooker, and didn't want to waste the liquid that's leftover before pulling the meat. Anyone have suggestions on what to do with this liquid? I was thinking about using it as a sauce, but was curious as to what 'base' other people used (eg. saw a recipe using Dr Pepper. How would a BBQ sauce based on Dr Pepper taste?).
  19. I agree. I'm following Camper's method of clear ice formation through directional cooling (stick a cooler of water into the freezer), and have made wonderfully clear ice. Was hoping to get more fancy with the presentation than chunks of crystal clear ice. I know Camper has experimented with 'molds' in the cooler with success, and as cool as perfect rectangles of clear ice are, I'm still trying to figure out a viable method of making ice spheres.
  20. So I'm sure people have seen the original Taisin model. But the price was fairly ludicrous ($1000+). Then other companies started making knock offs with different materials that were a bit cheaper. Now I've come across DIYers that have made pretty much the same thing for even cheaper. Sold on Etsy. My question is, has anyone here tried to lathe one of these themselves? I'm sure the material is a bit expensive, but the concept is so simple. The DIY post above goes into some detail on the process, and it looks a bit more involved.
  21. Have you tried putting a carton or bowl of baking soda in the freezer? It's one of the recommended uses, and I found that this helps cut down on the smell in both the fridge and freezer.
  22. Junkbot

    Crystal Clear Ice

    I wouldn't say successful, more proof of concept since they look a lot better than the other trials. This person seemed pretty successful, as well as this one.
  23. Junkbot

    Crystal Clear Ice

    I know Camper has gone to length about clear ice, and I do think that the cooler method is probably one of the easiest, but I was curious if there were more methods on making clear ice. One question I had though was how much oxygen can be removed from water through boiling it? I know the boiling method doesn't work too well (as Camper has shown), but has anyone tried keeping the water in a vacuum so that it is not exposed to air during the freezing process? What I was thinking about was to fill a bottle completely with water, then stick that into a boiling pot, making sure that the water level in the pot is higher than the top of the bottle. After letting it boil for a while, cap the bottle (making sure this is done while the water is still boiling), and freeze it. If done properly, there shouldn't be any airspace in the bottle, preventing any air from reabsorbing into the water. This experimenter found some success in preventing some reabsorbtion (albeit, not as extreme as this experiment; just a covering in plastic wrap). Also, it seems that the boiling method doesn't work too well on larger blocks of ice, but I've seen other sources showing that the boiling method was fairly effective for smaller ice cubes. Was there a reason for this? I would assume that there would just be a proportionally smaller cloudy center in the smaller ice cubes, but they look clear all the way through. Finally, one other experiment that I was curious about was layering ice. Camper tried this, but not with his directional cooling method. What I wanted to try was to freeze an initial 'seed' layer (about an inch thick) in the bottom of the cooler (which would be cloudy). Then put subsequent 1/2-1 inch thick layers of ice cold water (making sure there are no chunks of ice in it) on top and stick it in the freezer with the cooler lid on. Would the water freeze from the bottom up since it is on top of the ice and relatively insulated all around? I'm wondering if any ice is formed, would it form and grow on the seed layer or float to the surface? I was thinking that since the water is freezing from the bottom up, any dissolved oxygen would be able to escape to the surface.
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