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How long in the freezer to chill a Coke from 89F to 35F?
November 30, 2006 10:46 AM   Subscribe

So I just bought a can of Coke from a machine, and it came out hot so how long will it take to chill it in the freezer?

The machine is usually is 35F inside, the display was showing 89F. So if the Coke was at 89F how long will it take to reach 35F assuming the freezer is at 32F?
posted by zeoslap to Science & Nature (22 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't help you with the exact math, but ten minutes is the correct answer.
posted by jonson at 11:03 AM on November 30, 2006


I put mine in for 25 minutes. Any less and they're warm, any more and I run the risk of forgetting and having a nice sticky explodible mess in the freezer.
posted by beowulf573 at 11:06 AM on November 30, 2006


That would be about 20-25 minutes in a freezer. If you put it in a bucket of ice, that would halve that time. If you put water in that ice, it'd be cold (+- 5c) enough to drink in about 4-6 minutes, if you put salt in that water, you'd reduce the chill time to just over 2 minutes. Agitating the can in the water, rolling it around, reduces the chill time even more.

The fastest possible way is to grab a CO2 fire extinguisher and unload that sucker on the can.

Whatever you do, do NOT bury the can in sand, pour gasoline on the sand and set the sand on fire. That won't do anything.

This is all empirically gained evidence, not third party.
posted by asavage at 11:07 AM on November 30, 2006 [227 favorites]


Is this a math / thermodynamics question? Or do you just want a cold Coke?

If you just want a cold Coke, put it in ice water. If you've got salt, dissolve that in the water and then ice it. Ideally, have mostly ice to which you've added just enough water to fill in the cracks, as it were.

Also, a freezer at 32F is way broken. Freezers should be down closer to 0F.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:08 AM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Adam - I thought the admonition against sand and gasoline applied only to beer. Thanks for stopping me.
posted by jsteward at 11:15 AM on November 30, 2006


Ice water, yes. Cold water will suck the heat right out. Cold air - not so much.

If all you've got is the freezer, twenty minutes minimum, if the can is "hot." Don't forget it, though, or it might grow.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:15 AM on November 30, 2006


Thanks, after 25 minutes it was indeed cold enough to drink but it certainly wasn't as cold as it usually comes out of the machine.

I do like the idea of attacking it with a fire extinguisher though... Maybe next time :)

I was curious about the math aspect of it, so that next time I could calculate the time to perfection.
posted by zeoslap at 11:20 AM on November 30, 2006


Start with Newton's Law of Cooling. You can work from the last equation, but to solve it you need to measure the can's temperature again. Given the can's initial temperature of 89F and its temperature T1 at time t1, you can solve for t2, the time it'll take to reach 35°F.

t2 = t1 × ln[(89°F - 32°F) ÷ (35°F - 32°F)] ÷ ln[(89°F - 32°F) ÷ (T1 - 32°F)]
t2 = t1 × ln(19) ÷ ln[57°F ÷ (T1 - 32°F)]

Note: ln is loge, or log base e.

God I hope those equations come out right.
posted by Khalad at 11:21 AM on November 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


Also, if the guy had ice, why not just put the ice in a frickin glass and pour the coke in it like a normal human? I'm assuming he has access to a glass or cup since he has access to a freezer (i.e. he isn't walking around on the street).
posted by spicynuts at 11:34 AM on November 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


That was an awesome episode, asavage. I reference it at least a dozen times every summer.

It's quite possibly the most useful piece of information I've ever come across, aside from "Look out, moron!"
posted by Aquaman at 12:26 PM on November 30, 2006


I usually go 45 minutes to an hour. It makes it hella cold but not actually frozen.
posted by kindall at 12:45 PM on November 30, 2006


Do you have any liquid nitrogen handy?
posted by blue_beetle at 1:07 PM on November 30, 2006


20-25 minutes should do it.

However, I am really replying to emphasize the need for caution. If you put a can of pop in the freezer, please set your stove timer or some other sort of alarm. I once forgot a can in the freezer and went out. When I got home, my roommates asked me to open the freezer. The can had blown up, leaving frozen (ice-like, not slushy) Coke all over everything in the freezer. This was a terrible pain to clean up. I am also unsure as to whether the can could have injured someone -- the force of the opening bursting had obviously made the can fly around the freezer. I'm not sure what would happen if you opened the fridge just at that time.
posted by acoutu at 1:13 PM on November 30, 2006


Also, if the guy had ice, why not just put the ice in a frickin glass and pour the coke in it like a normal human? I'm assuming he has access to a glass or cup since he has access to a freezer (i.e. he isn't walking around on the street).

Because at that temperature, just opening the can would almost instantly result in the complete loss of carbonation. I don't even like to pour room temperature pop over ice. It's gotta come out of the fridge cold.
posted by peep at 2:38 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


You must take into account the Mpemba effect.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:15 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


If you have an open icemaker bin in your freezer, then this will work much faster: put the coke can on its side in the bin, and then, with your hands, spin the can in the ice for three or four minutes. It will be cold.
posted by raf at 8:18 PM on November 30, 2006


This thread gives me the perfect opportunity to link to this awesome picture and once more lament our dearly departed img tag.

Or in other words, "what acoutu said."
posted by litlnemo at 12:11 AM on December 1, 2006


Holy shit, am I the only person who noticed that the best-answerer here was (or at least purports to be) the Adam Savage?

I read the answer, and thought, "so why isn't he crediting the MythBusters episode that he so clearly culled his data from?," and then I had a look at the user name. "Oh."

Damn, I'm impressed. Nice to have you around, Adam.
posted by SlyBevel at 9:04 AM on December 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


SlyBevel, just so you don't have to use your weekly AskMe ration - the answer is probably Yes.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:34 AM on December 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


I put mine in for 25 minutes. Any less and they're warm, any more and I run the risk of forgetting and having a nice sticky explodible mess in the freezer.

Actually the can won't necessarily explode if it freezes. A while ago I put a coke in the freezer to cool it, and then forgot it was there. A couple of days later I found it and the can was intact, but the ends had bulged outwards. I left it in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw and when I opened it it sprayed a bit but tasted fine and was still properly carbonated.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:57 AM on December 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yup, mine did that too but exploded anyway. It didn't make too much mess in the fridge, at least.
posted by litlnemo at 7:58 PM on December 15, 2006


SlyBevel- yes, it's been confirmed several times now that it is in fact the real Adam Savage.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:14 PM on December 16, 2006


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