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DIY ice ball maker


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At equilibrium, the ice will also be at 0 degrees (or whatever temperature the liquid is at due to alcohol depression). Because both glasses have the same amount of heat energy in the ice, whether the ice starts at -20C or -8C, the same amount of ice would melt until the ice and water were at the same temperature. Therefore, the only melting after equilibrium would be due to the heat gain from the air of the room, which, for all intents and purposes, would be the same for both glasses.

EDIT: I just realized something. If the drink is colder than 0 degrees

How do you explain crushed ice melting faster than cubed ice based on the above?

Has there been scientific testing to prove your conclusion?

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"---How do you explain crushed ice melting faster than cubed ice based on the above?---"

The ice may melt faster, but the total melted ice will be the same at the end. It depends on heat of phase change, which is a constant.

dcarch

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Has there been scientific testing to prove your conclusion?

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 :raz: ).

The ice may melt faster, but the total melted ice will be the same at the end. It depends on heat of phase change, which is a constant.

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.

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Chilling scotch to drink is one thing, but putting it in the freezer? Not sure many people would recommend that.

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.

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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.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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.

I wondered about this too, though I think re-freezing after shaping would be the answer.

However, there are plenty of spherical molds; the result may not look as nice as the ones using the press, but the ice should be pretty dry, since the shape is spherical to start with (and the molds are pretty cheap to boot).

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"---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. --"

Not really. The pressure from the weight heats and melts the ice.

The moment the pressure is removed the ice re-freezes.

That's whole reason/physics why you can skate on ice.

Remember Physisc 101? The wire goes thru the block of ice without breaking the ice?

dcarch

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Couldn't you simply take the sphere and toss it back into the freezer? You'd have to do this ahead of time, but I'm assuming that if you go to the trouble of building an ice-sphere carver, you'll be willing to make some ice in advance?

I think I'd do this just so that I had ice spheres on hand. It looks like the press takes around 30-60sec to melt the ice which might get annoying when you have multiple drinks to prepare. But the tradeoff would be that I'd have to wait for the ice to come up in temperature a bit before I could use them in a drink. See my reply to dcarch at the bottom about using straight from freezer ice.

I wondered about this too, though I think re-freezing after shaping would be the answer. However, there are plenty of spherical molds; the result may not look as nice as the ones using the press, but the ice should be pretty dry, since the shape is spherical to start with (and the molds are pretty cheap to boot).

I'm experimenting with spherical molds right now. The issue with them is that it's difficult to get clear ice with molds (due to outside-in freezing). One thing I'm trying though, is to place the molds in a water filled cooler to see if directional freezing can help.

Not really. The pressure from the weight heats and melts the ice. The moment the pressure is removed the ice re-freezes. That's whole reason/physics why you can skate on ice. Remember Physisc 101? The wire goes thru the block of ice without breaking the ice? dcarch

Although there is some pressure involved, most of the melting is due to the fact that the mold is a giant heat sink for the ice. A few of the molds have instructions that say to keep the mold in warm water before use, emphasizing the ice melting abilities of the mold. This is why the mold is made from aluminum or copper since they're great at conducting heat. Also, if you're talking about changing ice to liquid through pressure, that's not the explanation used for ice skating anymore. Also, the wire going through a block of ice is known as regelation, which can only occur with great pressure (not practical), and very cold ice (not desireable).

The reason you don't want straight-out-of-the-freezer ice for the mold is because the ice will crack due to the extreme change in temperature. If you took ice straight from the freezer and stuck it in this mold, it would have massive internal cracking (due to the melt water), which would ruin the whole purpose of clear ice balls. You have to let ice come up in temperature a bit so that contact with the mold doesn't shock the ice. This is the same reason why if you premake/order the ice balls, you should not pour liquid over them straight out of the freezer; you'll end up shocking them, causing massive internal cracks.

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