Does boiled water produce clear ice?

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Does boiled water produce clear ice?

Does boiled water produce clear ice? 

SPOILER ALERT....No, it does not not. In this blog we'll explore one of the most popular questions we receive at Dramson. Keep reading to see why boiled water does not produce crystal-clear whiskey and craft cocktail ice. 


Why does ice have a white cloudy appearance?

To get to the bottom of this, let's start at the beginning - Why is ice white? As water freezes and crystallizes to form ice, dissolved gasses (oxygen) and other minerals (fluoride, calcium, and others) are pushed away from the crystallization and into the remaining liquid. These components end up concentrated into the last part of ice to freeze. This concentration generates smaller crystallization which in turn reflects more light rather than letting it pass through. This presents as white, milky, or cloudy ice. When looking at a standard kitchen ice cube, it is common to see a cloudy white center or white at the bottom of the ice cube. This is that concentration of water impurities and the light it reflects.

To create clear ice, you need to remove the components that lead to cloudy ice. In theory, boiled water sounds like a potential solution for this. As the temperature of water increases, soluble oxygen decreases. Deoxygenating the water could help eliminate air from the water leading to less crystallization and less of a cloudy, white appearance.

Let's see what ice made from boiled water looks like

We're using distilled water (water made from boiled water vapor) and boiled water to test this theory. Using a standard 2.25" sphere silicone ice mold, we've prepared ice with distilled water and water that has been double-boiled. We compared these ice spheres to ice produced in a directional freezing clear ice system.

 

 

As you can see, there are noticeable differences in clarity between the three ice spheres. 

  1. Clear Ice System - There is no comparison here. The clear ice system produced ice with the highest level of clarity. Ice Clarity = 100%
  2. Double-Boiled Water - There is a marked improvement in clarity for the ice made with boiled water over ice made with distilled water. Ice Clarity = 40%
  3. Distilled Water - Using distilled water produced the cloudiest ice sphere of the three tested methods. Ice Clarity = 0%

 

Final Conclusion

Although boiled water did produce more transparent ice than water not boiled, we would not classify it as clear ice. The only way to truly achieve crystal-clear whiskey and cocktail ice is with a Clear Ice System.

 

Ice made in a Clear Ice System (Left) compared to ice made from boiled water (right)


Clear Ice Systems achieve high-end results through directional freezing. These systems do not eliminate the components that lead to cloudy ice; they're a cheat code that pushes these components out of the molds. When looking at the water reservoir of a Clear Ice System, you will find cloudy ice at the bottom. As water freezes from the top-down, air and other impurities are pushed to the bottom of the water reservoir, which is below the silicone molds, leaving behind crystal-clear whiskey and cocktail ice.

Additional Clear Ice Resources:

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  • Steve S