Cool New Cooling Gadgets
By gigabiting on May 07, 2012
How do you cool the drinks when it's hot outside?
Mankind has wrestled with this one from the beginning of time. From fire and ice, radiation and resistance, to exothermic and endothermic reactions, we've tried it all. We've put a man on the moon, so why does it still take hours to chill a can of PBR or a bottle of Pinot Grigio?
Here are the latest gadgets to cool down your summer beverages.
Cool on the go with the Koolatron mobile wine chiller. It plugs into a car outlet with a 12V plug and 5-foot power cord, and chills a standard sized wine or champagne bottle down to 40 degrees F in about half an hour.
Japan's Kirin Brewery has created the world’s first frozen beer foam. It dispenses from a tap like soft serve ice cream. It tops draft beer with an ice cold frothy head and creates an insulating lid that keeps a pint cold for up to 30 minutes. The foam is made by aerating and freezing regular beer to 23 degrees, so there's no dilution as it melts.
The Instant Wine Chiller cools the wine instead of the bottle. Pull the gadget out of your freezer and attach the pourer to the neck of a bottle. Best for reds, as the wine passes through its internal coil system it's cooled by 15 degrees— taking wine from room temperature to cellar temperature instantaneously. The chiller is made from the same stainless steel used for fermentation tanks, promising to maintain the wine's taste and characteristics.
The Corkcicle also targets the wine, not the bottle, and does it a bottle at a time. You pre-freeze the Corkcicle, a BPA-free plastic icicle filled with non-toxic freeze gel and attached to a cork. Open a bottle and replace the cork with the apparatus.
The Beer 90 Chiller promises a cold one in 90 seconds. Fill the chiller with ice and drop in a can. Crank the handle to spin the canister. It creates a whirlpool effect inside the can that accelerates cooling by exposing all the beer to the now-chilled surface of the can. By the time you work up a thirst, the beer is icy cold. Alternatively, you can go with the Tinchilla; it operates on the same principle of thermal conduction, but a pair of AA batteries will do the work for you.
With Wine Chill Drops you can have a glass while you wait for the rest of the bottle to chill. Their manufacturer claims they cool a single glass in one-twentieth the time it takes to chill a whole bottle in the refrigerator. Place one pre-frozen drop in a glass of wine and remove it when the wine reaches the desired temperature.
The beverage industry has long considered the self-cooling can to be the holy grail of chilling technology.
Pepsi Cola thought it had cracked the code in 1998 with the Chill Can, but cancelled its plans when the can was challenged by environmentalists over its use of a greenhouse gas-contributing refrigerant coolant. Then in 2006, Miller Brewing launched its I.C. (Instant Cool) can. After much celebrating and fanfare, it was also scuttled due to environment and design concerns.
They're at it again.
The Chill Can will be re-introduced this spring. West Coast Chill will be shipping its all-natural energy drink in a new and improved version in which the harmful refrigerant has been replaced with an environmentally innocuous process involving activated carbon derived from organic renewable vegetable materials, and carbon dioxide reclaimed from the atmosphere. Press a tab on the can and the temperature of the liquid inside will decrease by 30ºF within three minutes.
West Coast Chill has not publicly released details of its patented technology, but the website has an explanation of the science behind heat exchange units. The company is promising to provide special recycle bins wherever the drink is sold since traditional recycling can't be utilized.
Gigabiting: where food meets culture and technology.
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