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Another Way to Make Clear Ice at Home

I am honored to have as Alcademics readers people who are just as huge cocktail nerds as I am. Many take on projects that I run out of time to do, pass along better information to me, or fill me in on the science I'm missing.

Kevin Liu, who has recently started the blog Craft Cocktails at Home and also blogs at ScienceFare.org, tested a method of making clear ice that another reader left in blog comments. 

In this post, he discusses the science of clear ice and two methods to make it at home.

  1. The Igloo Cooler method, pioneered here on Alcademics. (An index of all of the ice experiments on Alcademics can be found here.)
  2. The High-Temperature Freezing method, in which you let water freeze into ice at just below the freezing temperature. It's also simple, and depending on your freezer may not take up as much space.

Read the post for more info. 



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The one technique I wanted to try was freezing water while pulling a vacuum (it would degas and stay degassed). At my old job, we had a vacuum pump and freezers, but I never worked down what vessel to do it in.


you could just put the water in a vacuum sealed bag such as is used for sous-vide cooking.


So does the distilled water method Not work? The Vaccum method seems rather interesting. If Only I could steal my roommates mini fridge I'd try this out.


After rereading the igloo container method I am refreshed. And Humbled.

Camper English

Nope, distilled water doesn't work. Perhaps it helps, but not much compared with allowing the air to escape.


I took a flat shallow tupperware type container. Gently poured water into it so as to not incorporate any extra air. Put the top on at negative pressure. I still got opaque ice. BUT... it all formed in the center of the container. The outer ring was emasculate! Used an Ice pick break off large clear chunks.

Camper English

That should work in any flat shallow container - it becomes clear how the ice freezes from the outside-in, leaving cloudy middle. That was one of the experiments that led me to the igloo cooler method:


High-Temperature Freezing method, can someone please explain this method again? I don't really understand the principles behind it. Thanks

Camper English

It's been a while since I read the exact science, but if I remember correctly it's because of the 'turnover' effect and warmer temperature allow the trapped air to escape before/as the water begins to freeze, because it's coming into equilibrium before the phase changes. It's pretty complicated, honestly.

and I highly recommend the book that info comes from.

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