You can freeze water almost instantly. For the first option, you can use ultra-chilled bottled water. The second option requires boiling water on a cold, dry winter day. However, both methods produce dramatic results.
When water freezes, it expands. This expansion can cause enormous pressure on whatever is containing it. This pressure can easily break through concrete and metal. Water freezing inside of pipes is one of the most common causes of pipe bursts. The expansion of the water can also cause tree limbs to snap and power lines to fall.
Water freezing instantly is not as common as one might think. In order for water to freeze instantly, it needs to be in contact with something that is extremely cold, such as dry ice or liquid nitrogen. When water comes into contact with something that cold, the molecules in the water change state very quickly and expand rapidly. This rapid expansion is what causes the instant freezing effect.
The first method is to freeze bottled water before the cooling process
Prepare a bucket of salty ice water. Fill three-quarters of a large bucket with ice. Fill a bucket with water, then stir in 3 cups (750 ml) of rock salt.
- Alternatively, you can also prepare four smaller individual buckets of salty ice water, one bucket for each bottle of water in your trick. If you choose to do this, add only 1 cup (250 mL) of rock salt per bucket.
- If you prepare four buckets of ice water for four different water bottles at the same time, you can try the four different tricks for freezing instantly. If you just want to try one method of making ice crystals, you just need to prepare a bucket of ice water for a water bottle.
- Let the bucket stand for a few minutes and then check the water temperature. Ideally, the temperature of the ice water should drop to around -12°C.
Cool four bottles of water. Place four plastic bottles filled with water into the ice water mixture. Make sure the ice water reaches above the water level in the bottle.
- Two bottles open and two bottles closed must be done.
- Use either plain water or carbonated mineral water, but the water must be demineralized in either case. Do not use tap water.
- Make sure the bottles are not touching each other.
Check the temperature. After 15 to 30 minutes, carefully check the temperature of the water in the opened bottles by holding a thermometer in it. The water should be cold around -12°C.
- Although water usually freezes at 0°C, sometimes it remains in the liquid state when it is pure enough. This will “cool” the water.
- For best results, the water in the bottles should be kept at this temperature for about 15 minutes. Because if it gets colder, it may start to freeze before trying the tricks.
- You should not disturb the bottles while they are cooling. Even the slightest touch can disrupt the process and ruin the experience.
- Make sure the water in each bottle is still liquid before trying instant freezing techniques.
Create ice crystals instantly
Pour water over the ice. Put some ice crystals in an empty bowl. Carefully remove one of the opened water bottles from the ice bucket and pour the bottle directly onto the ice.
- The water should freeze instantly when it comes in contact with the snow.
- The ice in the bowl is the “nucleation catalyst” and the weird ingredient that ice crystals can stick to and grow from there. Once an ice crystal formed, others could follow.
Drop an ice cube into the water. Carefully remove the second opened bottle from the ice bath and place it on the kitchen counter or table. Put a small piece of ice in the opened bottle.
- Once the snow touches the water, the water should crystallize from top to bottom.
- As before, snow is the driver of nucleation, which allows the cooled water to form ice crystals. Once the first ice crystal was formed, others could follow.
Give the bottle a firm band. Lift one of the closed bottles out of the water. Hold it by the cap and tap the bottle quickly and firmly on the table or counter.
- Ice should form instantly at the top of the bottle and spread slowly downwards.
- Do not open the bottle until you knock on the table.
- Supercooled liquids are not stable, and any shaking can lead to the nucleation or freezing process.
Open the sealed bottle. Take the last bottle out of the ice bath and open it.
- Ice should form at the top of the bottle and spread slowly.
- It is especially important to keep this water bottle in the ice bath at -12°C for 10 to 15 minutes before opening it.
- Because very cold water is unstable, changing the physical conditions by opening the bottle is often enough to freeze the water.
- This method works well for carbonated mineral water because opening the bottle causes the carbonation to bubble. This is a major disturbance in chilled water and stimulates better nucleation.
The second method is freezing boiling water
Wait for the cold weather. Temperatures need to be around -18°C for this technology to work.
- The weather should be fairly dry, so choose a day in the middle of winter without snow. There may be snow on the ground, but it may not be snowing.
- Cold weather and dry weather increase the rate of water evaporation. Since you are hesitant to steam for the cooling effect, a faster rate of steaming is better than a slow rate.
- Do not use pure water. Water needs impurities around which ice crystals can form.
Boil water on the stove. Fill a small saucepan one-third or even halfway with tap water. Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a gentle boil.
- Alternatively, you can heat water in a kettle until the water boils. Pour the water into a heatproof container, such as a Styrofoam coffee cup, and immediately move on to the next step.
- The water must be hot because hot water evaporates faster than cold water. As mentioned earlier, a faster cooling rate is preferable.
Pour boiling water into the air. Pour the water from the bowl or cup into the air in a quick, powerful motion. It must freeze into snow before it hits the ground.
- Do not leave the cup or pot. You just have to pour water.
- Pour water into the air as high as possible for best results. This gives the water more opportunity to freeze before it falls.
- Make sure to pour the water away from yourself and others. It may not completely freeze to the bottom, and if you pour it on someone, you can get burned.
- Boiling water is in a state of evaporation, which means that the droplets are smaller than water at room temperature. When these tiny droplets of cold air hit the ice, ice crystals form so that the water droplets freeze in the blink of an eye.
- These methods may take a few tries before the experiment works properly. If it doesn’t work the first time, keep trying and make small adjustments if necessary to change the outcome.
- Never use bottles if you want to freeze bottled water. The glass can cool very quickly and freeze the water in the bottle. If the water freezes at this point, the bottle may explode.
- Be careful when working with boiling water. Never touch boiling water with your bare skin and never pour it on yourself or in the direction of others.
What you need
Freeze bottled water
- ice cream
- rock salt
- 4 bottles of demineralized water
- More ice cream
- a pot
- table or kitchen table