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Ice cube trays are a ubiquitous part of la-di-da lifestyle.
Right now, I have five of them in rotation, and frankly,
that's barely enough to supply my fastidious gin drinking
requirements. I could buy more. They're not expensive.
They do however, take up space. My freezer is tiny
standards. In London it's an extremely well
insulated studio with remarkably good frontal access,
£1950 PCM. Understandably, I don't want more trays, it
would require a whole second column and cause
argument about frozen chicken stock storage.
The problem isn't really about space... just
While we can quite easily motor through 5 trays of ice in
hours, the other 20 hours a day the freezer is having a
relaxing time of it and the ice just sits about, like a
with a permanent contract. Now, go and look at an ice
cube tray, it's got a whole lot of space underneath, good
for airflow I suppose. So. Fill it. Fill it with stuff. Fill it
with stuff which only just freezes at normal freezer
temperatures*, about -20. Make sure there is enough of
this stuff to totally freeze a freshly refilled tray. From
memory, a 22% salt water solution should freeze at -20C,
so a roughly equal mass of salty water at -20 should get
regular tap water below freezing point.
Now, you walk to your freezer, dump out an ice cube
and re fill it. It's frozen within a minute or two of being
the freezer.... you still have four more... you have
effectively doubled your batch-to-batch ice making
capacity with a small increase in space.
* I actually thought if this idea 15 years ago, as a tedious
undergraduate, I called a local engineering company and
asked how much it would cost to make a 5 kg copper ice
cube tray. I abandoned the idea in favour of warm drink
and financial solvency. Eutectic is the cheaper and
way to go. Moral of the story... don't give teenage
access to infinite ice. Spoils them.
||I remember old ice cube trays made of aluminium, these were close to this idea. I didn't see any of these for years, just plastic ones. Surely the cost is a factor and the plastic trays are easier to demold, is like a compromise between low freezing time (metal trays more or less massive) and demoulding (plastic and other flexible materials). I like the idea , I am going to see if I can get an aluminium ice cube tray since this is not fully baked yet. [+]
||I like the idea of a cast copper ice cube tray - I suppose I could compromise on bronze, which might be more practical*
[*] - less impractical
||// I suppose I could compromise //
||Those are not words that a true halfbaker should ever speak.
||Ooh, eutectic is a good word.
||This sounds pretty good - maybe it should be described as eutectic *and* copacetic?
||Hey! I learned a new word. Now I'm going to unlearn it.
Its dangerous. Before you know it I'll accidentally insert
that word into the metabolism review I'm writing... I'll be
up late, get a bit desperate... be unable to find the
appropriate reference and before you know it
acetoacetate will be metabolised to acetate via
copacetic acid by copacetic acid decarboxylase. The
arrows will get drawn and in 24 years time, when
metabolism is fashionable again, some experimentalist
will have all the idealism scienced out of them by
discovering the crap I added to the literature.
||//I like the idea of a cast copper ice cube tray - //
||I wanted to get it machined out of billet. The cost of the
billet alone was, prohibitive. Gold would work nearly as
well, incidentally. If anyone has any spare ice-cube tray
sized gold billets hanging around I'll happily take them off
||As an added bonus, for those who don't use ice very often
and the ice cubes evaporate and start tasting funny,
these trays could be stored in the freezer with no water.
Does anyone have an educated guess as to how long it
would take to refreeze? The "minute or two" in the idea
text sounds optimistic to me. I'm sure you'd get some ice
at the edge of the cube pretty quickly, but I suspect it
would take a while for the cube to freeze solid. Smaller
ice cubes would be acceptable to reduce the time to
refreeze, though that might reduce the overall ice
capacity of the tray.
||//Does anyone have an educated guess as to how long it
would take to refreeze?//
||There's a lot of factors in play here. My standard plastic
trays, when re-filled, take quite a while, especially when
stacked on top of one another. The plastic is insulating,
the stacking messes with the airflow. The freezing time
from tap to solid is about an hour when it's on the wire
shelf alone. Now, the eutectic tray has a couple of things
going for it. The water is in contact with the most
conductive material I can reasonably make it out of. So
you have a liquid, in contact with a solid, the other side
is a solid which is about to phase change and become a
liquid. If you make the eutectic component right, it
should have pretty phenomenal heat performance
meaning that it will stay at -20.... How fast... not sure.
But, it's friday in the lab. So, I have 3 litres of antifreeze
solution in the freezer... and I'm going hunting for an
aluminium ice cube tray.
||// But, it's friday in the lab. So, I have 3 litres of antifreeze
solution in the freezer... and I'm going hunting for an
aluminium ice cube tray. //
||I love it when armchair speculation degenerates into real
world experimentation. I'd give you another bun if I could.