How to Make Clear Ice

Rob Cockerham was determined to make perfectly clear ice. He tried boiling and cooling it, double-boiling it, filtering it, insulating it, and various methods for making it freeze from the top down, or from the bottom up. He cobbled together various gadgets to warm it, stir it, and de-gas the water as it froze. After about a month of experiments, he finally found a technique that worked for him. Sort of. You might think it cheating that Cockerham ultimately had to slice the bubbles off the clear parts, which is what I suggested in my head at the beginning of the saga. Read about the process at Cockeyed. -via Metafilter


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I have a sure-fire technique to easily eliminate bubbles, but the expansion cracking is not going away easily. So far, the only solution is to freeze a large amount of water and cut away the cracked part.

Alternately, we can do it the Minnesota way: drive to a lake and cut out a chunk with a chainsaw.
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Now that I have read twenty things that did not work, I am going to try some other techniques. The one in the freezer right now is going to use successive, thin layers. Will report back in a day or so.
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I think degassing then slowly freezing it from the bottom would work, but he simply didn't have enough vacuum to pull all the dissolved gasses (even when we had lab-grade vacuum at grad school it'd take an hour or so to completely degass a small beaker of water).
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