How To Chill a Beer in 20 Seconds

Pouring beer

This is known as the holy grail of beer drinkers the world over: how to chill beer in so short a time. It has puzzled the minds and hearts of beer lovers and bar tenders who risk pain when serving warm beer.

Try the dry ice method. Here’s something realistic but it’s not guaranteed to work 100%. It sounds cool nonetheless. First, you get some copper tubing, coil it around and stick it into the middle of an ice box. You then fill it up with dry-ice (solid carbon dioxide gas that is very, very cold) and mount a funnel to the top part. You pour in the beer into the funnel and end up with cold beer at bottom end of the tube. You only usually end up with a trickle of slightly colder beer in this case, though, since the liquid flash freezes so fast as it goes through the copper tubing.

Try the liquid nitrogen method. Another method involves getting a sheet of thick gauge aluminum, coiling it around and dipping it into a container that has liquid nitrogen. This cools the sheet way below the freezing point of water. Now you dip the aluminum coil into a glass of warm beer and--voila--cooler beer. This method, however, produces a shower of carbon dioxide gas in vapor form due to the gas suddenly expanding as the super cool coil is dipped into the beer.

Try the best method involving circulating very cold water through the beer. This takes account the fluid mechanics of warm and cold temperatures that exist in our test subject, namely warm beer. It’s kind of like how a refrigerator works. This involves the following materials: ice, salt, water, an aquarium water pump, some tubing to plumb the whole thing, a rack to place the beer in and possibly a Styrofoam cooler for the whole setup.

You set up the water pump and tubing in a way that it is below the water line. You place in the ice and throw in a lot of salt, filling it with water until the ice is almost floating. Place the rack and line it with beer. Now turn on the pump, making sure you add enough water to ensure the pump is submerged at all times. The cooler water goes up through the pump and cascades down the beer bottles or cans you have arranged on the rack, cooling the beverage. The water will be slightly warmer once it trickles down from the bottles, but will be again cooled as it passes through the salty ice mixture, before being pumped back up. You close the whole thing and leave it for a few seconds, after which you will have cold beer in no time.


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