Trying to Make Clear Ice - page 6
The pumped water worked against two things I thought I understood. The frothing action on the top of the water seemed like it would throw more air into the water, not less. And the water spray on the top seemed like it would grab coldness out of the freezer and pull it into the water faster, kind of like the opposite of a convection oven.
The pump method looked promising. There was a thick layer of clear ice at the bottom of the tub, but when I tried to remove it, the remaining liquid surrounded it, and was peppered with ice bubbles when I continued the process.
I tried once again.
O the second attempt, freezing the ice took a very long time, about a day and a half. Eventually the top froze over and I knew the ice would buckle if I let it continue freezing. I pulled it out of the freezer and decided to stop the freezing and remove the remaining water.
A drill didn't crack the ice. It drilled right through like it was going into soft wood.
I drained the remaining water and liked the way the block looked. The pump was frozen into place. The top had bumps and streaks and bubbles, but it had a thick, clear layer on the bottom. This was it!
I put the drained ice back into the freezer for a few hours while I went to borrow a long hand saw.
I brought it outside to cut the good from the bad. So many of my ice block experiments had cracked, I had formed the impression that ice was fragile.
The slab on the left had no bubbles. It looked great!
The slab on the right was a bit opaque and had a water pump frozen inside.
I wiped the saw marks with a wet cloth and watched them disappear, leaving me with an almost perfectly clear block of ice. It looked awesome!
Here are a couple of shots of the ice in front of the television, in an attempt to show its clarity.
The block was about an inch thick. I was extremely happy with it. It looked like a slab of clear acrylic plastic, and I now had the recipe to make it even better:
- Use a water pump to churn the water surface
- Stop before all the liquid is solid.
- Cut or chip away ugly parts. The ice can handle some tooling without crumbling.
Thank God that finally worked. I can't remember the last time I had to try 20 different things to get something to work.
In retrospect, I was mislead by the first few links on the internet. When they failed to deliver the answer, I marched off on my own, wandering around, trying everything in the garage to get the results I was looking for.
Then, after a dozen failures, I went back and found the answer on the internet, I just had to test them for myself.
In conclusion, WikiHow sucks and Instructibles is unreliable, but the rest of the internet holds great promise.