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Self-cooling beer cans

Problem: beer cans that get too hot. Answer:

… scientists have come up with a solution: the self-cooling beer can.

Slightly longer than a normal drink can, it simply needs a twist to cool its content down. It can, its inventors claim, cool a beer to the perfect temperature of 3C within three minutes.

The I C (Instant Cool) Can works by using water evaporation. The top half is surrounded by a layer of watery gel. The base contains a water-absorbing material in a vacuum, and a special heat-absorbing chamber.

When the bottom is twisted, a seal between the two halves is broken. The vacuum draws the gel, and the heat, into the base. The gel is absorbed by the material, the heat is absorbed by the chamber – and the drink gets cold.

You see? Now why didn’t anyone think of that before? Because they were too busy thinking about big insoluble problems instead of small(er – hot beer is no small problem) soluble ones is why.

I spent last night pondering, among other things, Europe’s demographic decline. What the hell can I do to stop that? Have some kids? Maybe, but not nearly enough kids to solve the problem. And I never really have been one for actually solving problems, even small ones. What I can do is salute those who do solve problems. On the whole, they are called “capitalists”.

My thanks to Dave Barry. Quite what the impact of self-cooling beer cans will be on Europe’s demographic decline is beyond the scope of this posting.

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11 comments to Self-cooling beer cans

  • John Ellis

    No. The people who solve problems like you mention are called “inventors”. Some of them are capitalists, but in the UK, sadly, many of them historically have been boffin-types who had no success in exploiting their inventions.

    Usually it is the money men who make even more money out of them. This is eventually good for “society”, arguably, but hardly for the inventors who get ripped off…

  • Woody

    I think you will find that most people are conceived when the parties involved are under the influence. Is that the causal link?

  • I heard about self-cooling cans about 15 years ago, which would have eliminated the need for refridgeration. But the coolant required was a CFC I believe, so the idea was suppressed, or something.

    It’s pretty easy when you think about it. Surround the can with a compressed gas which rapidly expands when the can is opened, and hey presto! your lager is cold. There may have been safety restrictions as well though.

  • James

    “what a piece of work is man”. Self contained, chilled beer. Nice.

    Right that’s sorted, next on the list; World Peace…I’ll need a pen, paper and a Miss World contest.

    …oh, and twist me a cold one while you’re at it.

  • From “Progress” by Samuel Hoffenstein (1890-1947), reprinted in The Oxford Book of Comic Verse:

    They’ll soon be flying to Mars, I hear —
    But how do you open a bottle of beer?

    We aren’t flying to Mars, but we have much better beverage containers nowadays.

  • Lord Worfin

    Brian: I have a suggestion re your question on EU demographics- move to the US, and let the EU cook in its own juices.

    Lord Worfin
    (fka Phil Winsor)

  • zmollusc

    ‘Surround the can with a compressed gas which rapidly expands when the can is opened, and hey presto! your lager is cold’
    Has anyone tried dissolving a gas in the lager itself and pressurising just one container? My suggestion would be CO2. Am I too late to patent this?

  • mitch

    this is probably the coolest thing that i have ever heard. this will change beer drinking FOREVER!!!!!! When does it come out???

  • Nic

    your demographic problem will be solved because alcohol increases estrogen levels – making both men and women aroused and therefore…. whoops… kids will be on the way in no-time all because of the self cooling can.

  • Adam

    Tim and zmollusc. What this particular article doesn’t say about this can, (do a google search online to learn more), is that there are no compressed gasses, etc in this cooling. Yes it it easy to have a chamber with compressed gas do it’s cooling thing, etc. But that can wouldn’t be able to be tossed away into a dumpster, etc. Or if it broke things could go boom. What they’ve pretty much done instead is put a disposable cold pack on the can. Same idea as a cold pack for muscles, etc. Much safer. Could you imagine a party of drunk guys tossing their beer cans into a fire if they used compressed gasses?

  • Derrick

    I don’t think there is any pressurerise gas is trapped in the beer can that Tempra is produced. It is just working on the principle of latent heat of evaporation. The material they are using as the dessicant is a non toxic mineral called zeolite which has a lage surface area for adsorption.