Crystal Clear Ice Cubes
- jayt90 Feb 28, 2012 02:24 PM
My ice cubes are 80% clear.
I use Brita filtered water (Lake Huron source), and rap (tap) the tray to release bubbles before freezing.
There is usually a white spot somewhere in the finished cube.
How can I eliminate this?
Camper English wrote a lot about it in the last two and a half years. He shows that filtering, boiling, melting/refreezing, using distilled, and other methods can reduce the amount of bubbles, but not eliminate them. He had better luck in changing the way water cools by using an insulated cooler (open) and then trimming out the bubbled ice that appeared on the bottom part.
The professional way is to freeze in successive microlayers which Camper found impossible to reproduce in his freezer.
The complete series can be found here: http://www.alcademics.com/ice/
Clear ice looks really cool, but I also don't take the trouble to make it.
Problem is all the ice I've ever bought from a store was in the shape of thin cylinders that are not particularly good for making cocktails, and in my opinion don't look very nice either. So you would probably need to get a slab from a specialty ice company, and then you would still need to break it down into usable cubes. That still sounds like a lot of work to me.
For my parties I make all my own ice, regular cubes for shaking/stirring, and Tovolo perfect cubes for serving drinks on the rocks. Of course if you know a place that you can buy nice big clear cubes, that would be perfect.
If my memory serves me correctly, makers of clear ice have a couple of tricks up their sleeve, including using cooled boiled water as others have mentioned. Chief among the big tricks is constant agitation to shake out those micro-bubbles that form and cloud the ice. A colleague of mine experimented with strapping ice cube trays to a *ahem* battery operated personal massager to create the desired effect on a home scale. He never divulged the results. I'm going to guess that if you want to do this more than once, you'll want either rechargeable batteries, a huge cache of regular batteries, or one of those industrial strength plug-in personal massagers.
Personally, I think that all this time worrying about micro-bubbles in the ice is time you could have spent drinking instead.
re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
The problem with that concept is that once the ice shell forms around the outside, any agitation will not free the air bubbles that form during freezing. The clear ice makers lay down microlayers so that the air bubbles never form inside the ice, and repeat these layers in making clear blocks.