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High Quality Ice [moved from SF Bay]

w
westbayjane Nov 27, 2012 07:23 PM

I have been trying to make better ice at home--larger than average cubes, solid, no air bubbles--like you get these days in your trendier bars, to keep cocktails at a nice temperature without watering them down too much. It ain't working. The interwebs tells you to boil water (twice), distill and/or de-ionize it, freeze the water slowly, vibrate the trays (yes, I tried that how you think I tried that and now it needs new batteries), and/or shrink wrap the top of the trays. Results? Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles.

So I post the queries, is anyone else having better luck with their home water freezing experiments, and/or does anyone know where you can buy weapons-grade ice in the Bay Area?

Thanks!

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: westbayjane Nov 27, 2012 08:07 PM

    Trendy bars use special Kold Draft ice machines. Maybe you could talk someone into selling you some.

    One reported alternative is to buy a block of ice and saw it into cubes:

    http://cocktails.about.com/od/history...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 29, 2012 08:32 AM

      I created a topic on the SF board on where to buy ice locally:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879718

      Existing ice topic on the Spirits board:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/530445

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 29, 2012 11:37 AM

        Two blog posts describing methods the authors say proved to work, one using an insulated cooler:

        http://www.alcademics.com/2010/08/a-h...

        Another using a dorm-style refrigerator:

        http://sciencefare.org/2012/07/12/wei...

    2. m
      ML8000 RE: westbayjane Nov 27, 2012 08:49 PM

      Did you try using boiling hot water in the trays? Hot water eliminates bubbles and the white frosty color in the middle.

      http://www.instructables.com/id/make-...

      1. s
        Sushiqueen36 RE: westbayjane Nov 28, 2012 09:23 PM

        I love your post (yes, for the reason you think I love it)!

        I haven't experimented with making ice to the extent that you have but it is something that I long for. My biggest complaint is why do most (or all as far as I can tell) built in refrigerator ice makers make half moon shaped ice? It hugs the sides of the glass making it nearly impossible to get the beverage out. Drinking becomes a not-so-fun game to me at that point - fighting the ice to see who will win. When I "win" my drink is gone in 3 minutes... when the ice wins it releases its dam and douses me with my beverage. I WANT SQUARE CUBES!! I'll work on the quality after that.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sushiqueen36
          Robert Lauriston RE: Sushiqueen36 Nov 29, 2012 08:34 AM

          Tovolo makes 1" and 2" square and 2.5" spherical silicone ice trays:

          http://www.cocktailkingdom.com/catego...

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            s
            Sushiqueen36 RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 29, 2012 09:23 PM

            I have a couple- they are red and require a flat spot in my freezer which doesn't exist. I really want my refrigerator to churn out square cubes. I would seriously buy a new refrigerator if it had an automatic square ice cube maker!

        2. JMF RE: westbayjane Nov 30, 2012 10:15 AM

          My friend Camper has been experimenting with ice for years. He lives in San Francisco.

          http://www.alcademics.com/2009/12/cle...

          http://www.alcademics.com/2012/05/ano...

          http://www.alcademics.com/2010/08/a-h...

          http://www.alcademics.com/2012/11/mak...

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