Defcon 15: Beer cooling


When I checked it out, only two teams had appeared for the cooling contest. The method of choice? Rubbing alcohol and dry ice. The dry ice cools the alcohol, but doesn’t freeze it. [Team Hebrew] was my favorite – they used a vinyl hose to carry the beer into the cooling liquid. They managed a 45 second run at one point, and used a simple electric blower to evacuate the beer from the cooling line. They found that it was a bit easier to just blow it out the old fashioned way.

Comments

  1. 23 says:

    I heard that fire extinguishers work quite well (in the neighborhood of 5 seconds), because it is essentially CO2 that is decompressing.

    But of course, complicated is always better. :)

  2. Alcoholic 007 says:

    What were the parameters of the competition?
    Speed to cool the liquid?
    Ease of retrieval from the cooler?
    Funny that they had this competition as it’s the kind of thing we used to speculate about as kids.. maybe a new kind of cooling system for a processor.. but I can imagine the dry-ice needs becoming quite insane.

  3. recon says:

    “I heard that fire extinguishers work quite well (in the neighborhood of 5 seconds), because it is essentially CO2 that is decompressing.

    But of course, complicated is always better. :)”

    Except for the point that fire extinguishers don’t last too long, the refill is expensive, and it creates one hell of a mess.

  4. FushNChups says:
  5. ben says:

    i do recall that mythbusters tried the fire extinguisher cooling method with little or no results. as i remember they got great results (somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 minutes) with ice water especially over ice, which i assume is because of the greater surface area on the cans and they got even better results with salted ice water, somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 minutes. i would think you could apply the alcohol/dry ice method just in cooler with even better results, and no wasted and flat beer ;)

  6. zip22 says:

    actually, the fire extinguisher was the fastest on the mythbusters episode.
    “(With this myth quickly busted, Adam and Jamie tested other cooling methods. A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher was able to cool a six pack to a satisfactory temperature in approximately 3 minutes. In terms of practicality, though, one’s best bet is to use icy salt water, which cooled the beer to an ideal temperature in 5 minutes. Barring that, normal ice water was next fastest at 15 minutes. The other methods tested (the freezer, ice only, and the refrigerator) did not cool the beer rapidly enough to warrant their use in a spur-of-the-moment event.)”
    http://mythbustersresults.com/episode29

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