Hello! If you're heard of directional freezing, learned to make clear ice in a cooler or in a thermos, purchased clear ice cube trays, or just heard that this is the place to learn about clear ice, heck yeah, that information all came from me, Camper English, writing here on Alcademics.
This page is an index of how to do all the coolest ice tricks as well as a historical record of my research building up to it. My big discovery of what became known as directional freezing came ten years ago in 2009, and now it's used all over the world in smaller cocktail bars, in homes, and in the form of many commercial ice cube trays (none of which are owned by me, sadly).
This is an index page of the ice experiments here on Alcademics. If you'd like to view all blog posts from most-recent backwards, you can start here.
And check out the gallery at the bottom of this page for plenty of pictures and inspiration.
Most Important Pages
- What is Directional Freezing? (the basic theory behind clear ice).
- Clear Ice Blocks at Home in an Igloo Cooler
- Make clear ice balls using a thermos
- Make Death Star ice balls
- Freeze things inside ice balls including flowers and cherries)
- A Homemade Giant, Crystal Clear Ice Cube Tray
- Clear Ice Cubes Using a Tray in a Cooler and a less effective double-layer version.
- Branding your ice cubes
- Recommended Ice Tools
Ice Care and Handling
- What to Try When Directional Freezing Doesn't Produce Clear Ice
- Cutting Blocks of Ice with an Icepick
- Ice Advice: The Right Way to Store Ice in the Freezer
- Carving Big (and clear) Ice Cubes
- Specialty Cocktail Ice Providers
Fun Ice Projects
- Make the Death Star Ice Mold come out clear
- Fire inside ice
- Pokemon Ice Balls
- Rainbow Mini Ice Balls
- How to freeze a bottle inside a clear ice block
- Easter Ice
- More Fun with Ice: The Time Bomb
- Watching Ice Melt
- Freezing Objects in Ice
- How to freeze a bottle inside a clear ice block and more ways to freeze bottles and make bottle displays in an ice block.
- The Double Rainbow Cocktail
- Another Ice Banner Attempt
- An Icy Weekend in Monterey
- Frozen Juice Makes Nice Ice Balls
- Dinosaur head ice block
- Halloween mask inside ice block
- Sunglasses and a Shark in an ice block
- Make clear ice balls (or Death Star ice balls) using an insulated mug
- Freeze things inside ice balls including flowers)
- Fun with Limes Inside Clear Ice Balls
- How to Freeze a Spiralized Lime Inside a Clear Ice Ball Sphere
- Make crystal clear ice balls using an insulated mug
- Ice Balls Made Easy
- Spiders and Insect Ice Balls for Halloween
- Eyeball Ice Balls for Halloween
- More eyeballs and vampire fangs!
- More Ice Ball Shenanigans
- Cherries Frozen Into Ice Balls
Ice Books and Ice History
- Modern Day Pond and Lake Ice Harvests in America
- How Machine Ice Is Made
- How Water Freezes
- The History of the Ice Trade
Cool Ice Stuff
- A Dramatic Video About Ice from The Aviary
- Tales of the Cocktail Seminar: How to Build a Cutting-Edge Ice Program
- Tales of the Cocktail Preview: The Chainsaw Shift
- Great Garnish (And Ice) With Alex Kratena of the Artesian Bar in London
- Ice Meets Chainsaw
- Inside the Freezer of an Ice Nerd
- Ice As Art
Commercial Ice Products
- Recommended Ice Picks
- A Clear Ice Ball Maker You Can Buy
- The Clear Ice Maker That Already Exists
- Another Commercial Clear Ice Cube Tray
- A New Clear Ice Maker That Seems to Work Okay
- Trying Out the Roca Patron Ice Ball Press
- Testing the Rabbit Clear Ice Tray
- Iceberg Animal Ice Tray
- Clearly Frozen Clear Ice Tray
- Alphabet Ice Molds
- IceOlogy Ice Trays
- Testing Out The Ghost Ice Clear Ice Tray Insert
Articles About Ice (Many of which I wrote or am quoted in)
- Freezer Harvest, A History of Ice Cubes
- The new business of big ice.
- Directional Freezing as a patent law exam question!
- Nice Ice in the News
- How Directional Freezing is a type of distillation.
- Ice Experimentation in Australia
- Carved Ice Balls: Starter Molds
- Fortune Ice: Like A Fortune Cookie But With Ice
- Nothing Shaken, Nothing Stirred: The Perennial's Strained Relationship with Ice
- The Life and Death of Kold-Draft
- How to Make Better (Clearer) Ice at Home, According to Bartenders
- Does Clear Ice Really Matter?
- Directional Freezing, Freeze Distillation, and an 1890 Story About Ice Purity
- Ice Tips in Southwest Airlines Magazine
- The Life and Death of Kold Draft
- 5 Best Ice Makers for Cutting Edge Cubes at Home (Wall Street Journal)
- A Brief Guide to Enjoying Better Ice In Your Cocktails (The Manual)
- Super cubes: inside the (surprisingly) big business of packaged ice (The Guardian)
- Doing Fancy Bartending Techniques at Home Is Easier Than You Think (Thrillist)
- How to Make Cocktail Ice That’s Crystal Clear (Cook's Illustrated)
- How to Make Clear Ice at Home With a 6-Can Cooler (Men's Journal)
The following three sections are material and experiments when I was developing Directional Freezing. They're probably not relevant except for historical interest.
Clear Ice Methods That Sort Of Work
- Releasing Air Trapped in Ice
- Cutting Corners to Make Clear Ice
- Another Clue to Ice Clarity: Slow Freezing Like a Japanese Pond
- Another Way to Make Clear Ice at Home
- How to Make Clear Ice, The Hard Way
- Perfectly Clear Ice Balls - A Clever Trick
- Making Clear Ice Balls with Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds and a Cooler
- Clear Ice Blocks from a Soft-Sided Cooler
- Percent Cloudiness in Top Frozen Block Ice
- Improve ice clarity slightly in Directional Freezing system by boiling water
- Canning water to improve ice clarity and testing this theory
Other Methods for Making Clear Ice
- Making Clear Ice Blocks from the Bottom Up
- Freeze objects inside ice blocks using an aquarium pump without an insulated container
Things That Don't Work to Make Clear Ice
- Using Distilled Water
- Melting and refreezing water
- Hot Water vs. Cold Water
- Carbonated Water vs. Still Water
- Horizontal vs. Vertical Container Shapes
- Freezing water in Layers
- Stovetop Ice Balls: A First Attempt
- Does Refreezing Clear Air-Free Ice Result In a Large Clear Block?
- Using Salt Walter as an Insulator to Make Clear Ice
- Making Clear Ice Without a Cooler
- Is Faster Frozen Ice Less Cloudy than Slower Frozen Ice?
- Clear Ice and Container Shape
- Clearly a Failure
- Making Clear Ice Using a Blast Freezer
- An Attempt at Clear Spheres with an Upside-Down Thermos
Gallery - All these images come from my experiments linked above.