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  • SummitSips posted 3 years ago

    You are referring to the Mpemba Effect. The details surrounding this include a vast array of factors from starting temps, container shape and size, whether the freezer itself changes temperature in the presence of hot liquids, conductive cooling from the surroundings through the vessel holding the water, convection in the water, surface ice insulation, evaporation, and the temperature differential between the water and the freezer. I am probably missing a few. By trying to control these factors while observing the rest, science has had a difficult time explaining everything perfectly. However, a few practical experiments on your own can quickly reveal that hot water is not likely to freeze faster than cold water in your own freezer. Even with subtle Mpemba effects, a very hot liquid is going to take additional time to cool to match a room temp liquid before each of them cools enough to freeze. In other words, plain common sense will tell you that, generally speaking, hot water takes longer to freeze than cold water. Try it.

    A similar myth is that cold water boils faster than hot water which is ridiculous.

    All of this is moot because you don't want fast freezing ice anyway. Fast ice has haphazard crystals. Slow freezed ice has large, clean, clear crystals. You want slow ice formation. In fact, it's the slower freezing of warmer water that has people seeing clearer crystals when they boil water. But as I mentioned earlier, this is easier to control and get good results by raising the temp of your freezer to just below freezing. That will extend freezing time much longer than using hot water.

  • username.neil.ae798a posted 3 years ago

    My understanding is that hot water freezes faster than cold water.

  • SummitSips posted 3 years ago

    Boiling water to get clear ice is a partial myth. The thought behind this practice is that boiling drives off dissolved air bubbles. The problem is that it's not true or the effect is temporary. Any air freed from the water will return as the water cools, so boiling to remove air doesn't work.

    However, hot water slows the freeze time, and long freeze time allows purer crystallization and fewer intersections of crystals growing every which way. Hot water also has a warming effect in the freezer itself as the heat is exchanged with the temperature in the freezer. A warmer freezer extends freeze time again, but this can be achieved more accurately by setting the temperature of your freezer closer to freezing temp, not by heating the water.

    Using pure water (distilled or reverse osmosis) eliminates impurities. This is beneficial because fewer impurities means fewer ice crystal nucleation points. Coupled with slow freeze time you get purer crystals again.

    The best way to get clear ice is through directional freezing. That's how Kold-Draft does it. As the inevitable air bubbles get trapped, you want to trap them on one side of an ice chunk, not the middle. By insulating a container in the freezer (like using an open cooler) you can encourage ice to form from the top down. Then, either pull out your ice while some liquid water remains, or cut off the bottom of your ice where the air was eventually trapped. Warmer freezer and pure water helps make better crystals in this process too.

    Freezing bottom-up can also work if the surface is agitated to prevent a top ice seal from forming.

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