Best Flash Chillers?

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by TaliaBeeresistible, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. TaliaBeeresistible

    TaliaBeeresistible Initiate (0) Feb 10, 2015 Washington

    Exploring the best options for flash chillers for bottles/cans of beer for my workplace. We write about beer and need to taste everything at their optimal serving temps. Any recommendations? I see a cheap countertop Cooper Cooler for about $80 but it requires ice. Ideally I want to find a self-contained chiller, no ice necessary. Price isn't a huge factor. Help!
    #1 TaliaBeeresistible, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,011) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    For our office we bought a small refrigerator from the appliance store and some cold beer from the beer store. After that it was just a matter of keeping it full.
    nc41, cavedave, syppr and 5 others like this.
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The MythBusters folks determined that a quick way to chill beer is using a fire extinguisher (Episode 29).

    If you have any young people at your workplace (interns?) I am sure that they would volunteer to do this for you.:slight_smile:


  4. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,542) Sep 24, 2007 Washington

    Just put it in an ice bath for a few minutes.
    BayAreaJoe likes this.
  5. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (358) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    You'd think BA would be more helpful here, seeing as most of you drink your beer at precisely this or that rather than fridge temp. Now y'all drink everything ice cold? Make up your minds. (I'm assuming here that she wishes to chill beers to a specific temp. If she just wants them ice cold, my rant is obsolete)
    Junior likes this.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    So... what is your recommendation for a flash chiller that quickly gets a beer to a set temperature?:thinking_face:

  7. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,986) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not seeing the need for a flash chiller. Why not just get a few beer / wine coolers and preset them to the different temperatures you need? I'd think these would be much better than a flash chilling system for accuracy.
    LeRose, TongoRad and Lahey like this.
  8. woodchipper

    woodchipper Savant (979) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut

    Quick AND exact temp are at odds with physics. If you can't wait, the surface of the can/bottle may be correct, but the middle will not be. With consistent cans and bottles and some experimentation you may be able to chart out the right surface temp for the desired "average" temp. This is a tough design project.
    Just realized I'm getting too nerdy. Going to just drink my refrigerator temp beer now.
  9. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (358) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Great points, I didn't know if there was something that could flash cool to a specific temp. Apparently not yet, just when I though everything had been invented. There I go thinking again. I'm just gonna shut up and let the adults do the talking:flushed:
    #9 Lahey, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  10. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,478) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    If you take the flash chilling part of the equation out of it and just want to store your beer at more optimal temperatures, these thermostats are pretty handy:

    I have one that I used to use for fermenting beer and mead at constant temperatures, but it has now been re-purposed to keep my beer fridge at serving temp (or, warmer than a food fridge). They work best if you stick the probe in a glass of water within the fridge, because then it's controlling for the liquid inside the bottles.
  11. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (91) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Put it in the freezer. 15-20minutes.
    steveh, bbtkd, BayAreaJoe and 2 others like this.
  12. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,011) May 13, 2011 North Carolina

    I gotta admit...that's pretty sweet
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  13. honkey

    honkey Zealot (541) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Premium Industry

    Is your workplace a beer retailer or just a place where you allow alcohol consumption? If it’s just for fun drinking and you have ice, an ice bath in a pot is fine. I do that at home with guests all the time. If they complain about it (no one ever has) than they’re not worth the time to drink with... it’s just beer! Enjoy it.
  14. Ridgewalker_1999

    Ridgewalker_1999 Initiate (43) Nov 3, 2016 Tennessee

    For those desperate moments, wrap a bottle with a paper towel, then wet the paper towel a little. Before you set the beer in the freezer. The paper towel will turn icy quick. Having the icy paper around the bottle will lower the temperature quicker than leaving in the freezer since temperatures exchange is quicker with solids rather than air.
  15. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,011) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Of course we can't ignore the conversation appeal of a whizzbang gizmo.
    LeRose likes this.
  16. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Zealot (571) Nov 23, 2017 California

    Just don't drink something in the meantime and forget!
    Troutbeerbum likes this.
  17. JoePasko

    JoePasko Initiate (82) Mar 10, 2018 New York

    I once posted on Facebook how I wish someone would invent a reverse microwave, that can chill a warm sixpack to drinking temperature in the time it takes to heat up a Lean Cuisine. And yup, two people responded that when they were in the Navy, the used the fire extinguisher method.
  18. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,237) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    It reminds me of the old physics issue that if you know the speed of some thing you don't know it's EXACT location. Physics...:rofl:
    LeRose and woodchipper like this.
  19. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,610) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I think the wine store down the road has a chiller that uses nitrogen I think, he uses it to quick chill wines that are bought off the shelf.
    Beer_Economicus and beertunes like this.
  20. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,011) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    They still sell beer already chilled, around here at least.
  21. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,542) Sep 24, 2007 Washington

    OP, if your work is writing about beer on a regular basis, just invest in either a couple wine coolers, or a small fridge.
    BayAreaJoe and TongoRad like this.
  22. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,011) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    It's been my experience most offices already have a fridge.
  23. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,478) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Right, but the op also made mention of optimal serving temps, so that would probably necessitate a separate fridge, even a small one just for beverages.
    Beer_Economicus and Squire like this.
  24. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,319) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    What is the real need for "flash" - in other words, how fast is fast? As has been pointed out, physics and thermodynamics are not your friend in getting a uniform temperature inside the container. You can flash cool liquid pretty easily when it is not in a package. Flash cooling or heating in a container is a different beast and the best you'll get is a guess at the average temperature - I am assuming flash meaning instantaneous to a couple minutes duraton.

    There are viable options if you can factor speed out of the equation. The best being the already mentioned different small wine coolers at different set points by beer style. You could go with a circulating water bath if you aren't doing multiples at the same time, but even that would be a little messy and less convenient than the fridge/wine cooler approach. And that won't be much faster (see "physics"). Not understanding why you couldn't work with the timing - know when to load the cooler and when to taste seems the simplest approach.

    And how precise does it really need to be? Is plus/minus two degrees good or is the desire to be within a half degree? A plain old dorm fridge might get you close enough, but you would need to play with it to get the temp where you want it vs. a wine cooler with a setpoint. Or you could install a thermostat like home brewers use to control fermentation temps.

    Even Home Depot sells wine coolers with temperature control. Looks like the temp control range is 40 - 64 degrees which should encompass beer "needs".
    JackHorzempa, dcotom and TongoRad like this.
  25. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Devotee (468) Oct 28, 2010 Iowa

    I'd go to Home Depot and buy a 4.4 fridge for $150 and set it to each temp you need. Then put your beer in it and wait overnight.
  26. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,011) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    My office had two small ones just for beverages.
    TongoRad likes this.
  27. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (227) Jun 4, 2005 California

    Hopefully your current "office" still has room for one :wink:
    Squire likes this.
  28. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,478) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Sounds like my kinda place :slight_smile:.
  29. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,011) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    My current home office has two. Just following protocol 'ya know.
    readyski likes this.
  30. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (366) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    there is really no such thing as a flash chiller. well, temperature differential is just that.

    its a matter of heat removal. if the bottle or can has a lot of heat, say 100F, and it is put inside a 70 degree room, it will slowly get to 70.

    in a 38 fridge it will get to 70 faster, and eventually to 38.

    in a 0F freezer it will get to 70 quickly. 38 in a bit more time, and 0 eventually.

    so get a chest freezer and a timer.

    also, water is a much better conductor of heat than air, so make an ice bath. just remember to check the beer before it freezes, usually around 28. and change the ice water batch if needed.
    what the hell, put the ice bath in the freezer with the beer in the ice bath.

    and periodically blast all of it with a fire extinguisher i guess.