Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How hot is it? And how to get beer (or wine or soda) stupid cold in minutes

Stupid hot for April.

As I had said before, the weather goons at husband's place of employment said that by the second week of April, the weather would change very fast from cold and damp to HOT.  And it did.

It was 84 fucking degrees here today.  EIGHTY-FOUR!  And, it will be eighty-four here tomorrow, too.

So I am toughing to out, windows closed to keep out the heat and the fans going at it to at least circulating the air.

The second floor is 80 degrees, but the first floor is a tomb-like 65 degrees.  Unfortunately, there is no way to move the air between floors and my office is up here.

So here is Cookie's tip for getting beverages ice cold in a fraction of the time it would normally take.

You could buy them cold, but here in Baltimore where few things work as they should, most of the coolers aren't the greatest.

If its just you and someone else, you'll need a bucket, half full with cold water, a mess of ice cubes and some rock salt - you can use table salt, but the rock salt works better.

Put your drinks on the water and handful of the rock salt.  Put the ice in and throw some more rock salt on the ice.  Stir this mess up and let it sit for 15 -20 minutes.  Remove your drinks  They will be cold - much colder than if you poked them in the freezer (it can take up to 40-60 minutes for the freezer trick to work) for the same amount of time.

This works the same way as an ice cream machine works, and I often wondered why my grandmother added rock salt to the ice on a ice cream maker, and here's the reason why:

1) Fresh water freezes at 32 degrees, but SALT WATER freezes at 28 degrees.  So when you salt the water you lower its freezing temperature meaning it stays liquid longer and is thus able to envelop the container more fully.

BUT something else happens - the law of thermodynamics kicks in - heat lost is equal to heat gained.

What do I mean by that?  Well, Mitch McConnell aside, nature abhors a vacuum. Nature likes things working toward balance, and that's a good thing for us.

2) The salt, in addition to lowering the point at which the water freezes is also working at melting the ice, transferring that "cold" into the water.  But it's also converting the heat of the container contents in the canned or bottled vessel through the aluminum can or glass bottle, and its storing the storing excess cold in the bottled fluids.   As the heat is exchanged, the contents get colder and the water uses that heat to speed the melting of the ice.

Pretty nifty, eh?  Anyhow, this is how it works.

Just remember to wipe the can or bottle off when you remove it.


  1. and we're having a blizzard tomorrow. nice.

    1. Norma, I could have shared this with you in July, and you would still be having a blizzard the next day.

  2. Open the window in your office. Make sure it's the only window open on the second floor. Then open a window downstairs; the resulting air currents will cool off your office in a trice.

    1. I am going to do this. I'm a great fan of convection. No pun intended.

  3. 84?!
    Sorry, I just had to repeat that. Good lord.

    1. My blood hasn't thinned out, as of yet. Remember, I am a delicate hot house flower.

    2. And the day after I posted this hit 96 making Baltimore the hottest city in the US.