|What is the fastest way to cool a beer?
|During the hot months of summer, people turn to a variety of methods to keep cool. While air conditioning and going to the beach are the more common remedies, for some nothing beats a cold beer.
Often beer is sold refrigerated however sometimes this is not the case. The Instrument Choice Scientists will be investigating a range of methods to get that beer cold in the shortest possible time frame.
For this we recorded 5 different methods using 5 of SA’s finest Cooper’s Pale Ale Stubbies. The methods included:
• A refrigerator
• A freezer
• An esky filled with ice
• An esky filled with ice, 2 cups of salt and water to make a slurry
• An esky with dry ice, the bottle was wrapped in paper to prevent direct contact of the dry ice with the glass as a safety precaution
Super Thermocron Temperature loggers were installed in each of the stubbies and suspended so that their sensor was not in contact with the bottle and set to take a sample every second. The stubbies were left at room temperature for 15 minutes to stabilise before being placed in the relevant vessel for cooling. All stubbies were left for 30 minutes to obtain a number of results.
What were the results?
Somewhat surprisingly the fastest method turned out to be the ice, salt and water mix. We were under the impression that the dry ice would cool the beer at a faster rate however due to the small surface contact area it was almost as slow as the freezer despite its much lower temperature. The remainder were almost all on a level playing field, with the fridge being the slowest which was to be expected.
The reason the ice, water and salt mix cooled the beer in the quickest fashion is due to the fact the salt reduces the ice's melting point, allowing it to absorb more heat. The main disadvantage is that your ice will melt in a much shorter time frame. So, if you want to get a beer cooled quickly add some salt and water to your esky and you will have a nice cold beer in under 30 minutes. If you are looking to store your beer for a long period either an esky with ice or a fridge are still the most effective methods.
What experiment would you like us to do next?