DIY Gadgets Videos

From Water to Ice In An Instant–Supercooled Water

The video above is not camera magic – I actually poured a bottle of water into a room-temperature glass and watched it instantly turn into ice.  I stumbled upon this phenomenon when I was experimenting with the optimal temperature at which to serve Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.  Long ago, I modified the freezer in my basement to maintain precise temperature control using a PID controller.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been sampling cans of PBR at different temperatures.  Incidentally, I have concluded that PBR is best served right around –8.5C.  At that temperature, the beer is still liquid, but has a small amount of ice crystal formation (which is just delightful).  I just happened to have some small bottles of Arrowhead water in the freezer and I noticed that a few of the bottles remained liquid while others were already frozen solid.  I wondered if these bottles might be supercooled: chilled beyond their freezing point but not yet frozen because the ice didn’t have a nucleation point from which to form.  Turns out, they were.

And I have video proof.

From now on, this is what I want when I order “ice water” at a bar.

7 comments on “From Water to Ice In An Instant–Supercooled Water”

I would have never thought to make a pbr/crappy beer freezer. I need to get hackin’.

There is a video up from alinearestaurant on youtube of Grant and the boys playing with a polyscience “superchiller”. Looks like fun stuff!

You need fairly pure water and a clean container for this to work.

It’s also fairly easy to superheat water in a microwave so that it will boil when it is disturbed. Be very careful if you try that because the boiling can be violent!

Hey There Seattlefoodgeek,
Maybe a little off topic, however, …..before we emigrate to Kenya, Cairo or Kinshasha, remember: South Africa is not Africa; it is No 1 inside Africa. No additional country has elecricity or water 24/7, public universities plus hospitals, good roads and railways or an efficient, comparatively uncorrupted civil service. …..the list goes on……..
Keep up the good work

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