I recently received an email from Gordon Ryan of the forthcoming bar ReviveR in Gosford, Australia, who has been experimenting with some of the ice concepts posted here on Alcademics (an index of all of the ice experiments on Alcademics can be found here). He agreed to let me share his trials with y'all.
I’m going to be opening a new bar about an hour north of sydney in a few months time and one of my key things is to get ice that compliments the drinks we’ll be serving. I recently went to Tales and saw both the ice sessions, so picked up some great tips there, but your post on using the cooler to make the ice inspired me to see what I could come up with, so I thought I would share my efforts. Please excuse the roughness of the build as it was something that I threw together as a proof of concept.
His first experiment is with a homemade and extra-large version of the Polar Ice Tray that I wrote about here. (It might be best to check that post out if you're not familiar with it.) Gordon writes:
I started by buying a largish plastic crate and then a bunch of 2.5 Litre tubs (2.5 Quart?). I also bought some expanding foam filler, set two of the smaller tubs into the foam and then waited for it all to dry.
I then took one of the tubs and drilled a series of holes in the bottom. (This is to imitate the Polar Ice Tray.)
(He then placed the perforated tray into a solid tray and placed that into the insulated cooler. The next picture is the result.)
In this method, the cloudy part forms at the bottom of the insulated container, and ther perforated bucket should make it easy to separate the clear part (inside the inner bucket) from the cloudy part (outside the inner bucket but still inside the outer bucket).
He says, "And so this was the result. Not perfect, but still pretty good I think." Agreed!
For the next experiment, he created an insulated ice cube tray, sort of a version of the Igloo cooler method that fits ice cube trays. In his words:
I also grabbed some of the Styrofoam boxes today and made a new tray specifically for the Tovolos.
I started with a box that was used to ship broccoli, then cut it down so I had sheets of foam. I then traced out the trays, then cut out the holes. Once that was done, I used spray adhesive and glued it to one of the uncut sheets.
Then he added the ice cube trays back in as pictured above, and froze them. And here is a nice cube they produced.
He says "I think the key is to take the ice out of the freezer while there is still water in the base as you can see you can get some great results at the top of the cubes and then it gets cloudy at the bottom."
Agreed. It's the same with large ice in the Igloo cooler. The cooler method (controlled-direction method, pond method, whatever we're calling it) does not reduce the amount of trapped air or impurities in ice. It only controls where in ice they form - in the last part to freeze.
Thanks for sharing Gordon!