By Mark Frauenfelder at 3:13 pm Thu, Sep 2, 2010
Rob say: "I spent way too much time making a solid-ice beer tray, but I still feel it was worth the effort. To be truly complete, I should have test floated it in a pool or hot tub, but the bottle opener kept short-circuiting my experiments."
The Quest for a Solid Ice Beer Tray
Rob Cockerham, you are awesome!
I really want to try this, but where I live the time for ice cold outdoor beer is pretty much over. Here’s hoping that I will remember bookmark or procedure come next summer.
Wouldn’t it be simpler to find some slightly-tapered plastic cups about the same size as a 12-oz beverage can, and crazy-glue them to the lid of the container to make a mold? A hole in the lid would make it easy to fill.
That’s excellent, great idea!
I can’t believe Martha Stewart didn’t want to use it.
Now, make it out of Pykrete.
Or you can drill holes in a block of ice:
For cans, buy the 2 1/2 inch, plonk it on a drill press, and you have a tray making machine (plus shaved ice!)
Or save a few bucks and get the adjustable one. Good for cans and bottles.
Why couldn’t you just fill the cans with a mixture of water and alcohol – say, half-way? The alcohol would lower the freezing point of the water inside, so it would stay liquid and not expand.
I normally love Rob’s investigations, but this just seems like bad process – maybe i’ve come to expect more from him.
The water outside would still expand, crushing and locking the can or breaking the bottle.
Alcohol is exactly what I thought. Needs a bit of a chemistry re-intro, methinks.
or just buy quality beer that doesn’t need to be ice cold to mask the poor taste?
but, seriously, that’s some fun tinkering.
awww, the comment system edited out my novelty HTML tags “snobery” and “/snobery” above :(
If you use html, you get html.
I thought of pykrete, too! I bet shredded newspaper would work as a reinforcing/insulating agent, too…
Wouldn’t an ice water bath transfer heat from the can more efficiently? Plus it’s refillable once it gets too melty.
where I live the time for ice cold outdoor beer is pretty much over
Where I live, the season for going outdoors hasn’t even started yet. It was 113Â° today.
great home practical engineering project! the end result is much nicer than i expected. i also like the self-awareness in his writing style.
AS much as I like the project, this is not the best way to cool down some beers: the usual semi-melted ice “granita” has the advantage of always being in contact with the can, for optimal heat transfer. Those holes, instead, will become larger when they start to melt dramatically reducing the contact area (down to a single vertical line of tangency, in the ideal case).
Great project! Loved the read.
Paulatz: you get the No S.S. award for the day.
Why not just take the top off some cans, pack them with dry sand and wait for the ice to freeze. When it does, it’s no problem to tip the sand out, pour some hot water into the cans and have your container ready about a minute after taking it out of the freezer.
If the block is going to be floating in the pool, I’d also consider making the first layer of ice a fair bit deeper.
I salute this man!
paulatz – yes, but the intervening layer of melted ice should stay at the freezing point as long as there is sufficient ice, transfering heat efficiently.
What, no handle?
Wow, so much work for something that is simple.
1. put an inch or so of water in the bottom of the tray.
2. freeze it.
3. Take unopened cans or cans filled with bbs, dirt, marbles(whatever floats your boat)
4. Spray outside of cans with cooking spray.
5. Put the cans in the tray.
6. Fill with water.
8. remove cans and you are done.
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