It was back about a year ago during the summer of 2012 that we discovered the Frost Boss. The Frost Boss took an age old technique, spinning a canned beverage in ice or ice water and the result is chilling the liquid contents much faster than placing it in an ice chest by itself. The Frost Boss basically automates this process in that it spins a regular 12 oz. aluminum can in ice and takes a warm can to cold in roughly two minutes. On top of that, after the can is chilled, there is no fear of the beverage can exploding or bubbling over because the liquid inside gets cold but not shaken up. We thought it was weird too until we tried it.
One of the major complaints we heard about the Frost Boss was that the concept of never being more than two minutes away from a cold beverage was attractive, yet the cost at about $40 was not that affordable. Because we tailgaters like our tailgating gadgets more affordable yet still effective, I sought out another way to chill a canned beverage cheaper and also add in a little “cool factor” to the process. That is how we were able to discover the Chill Bit.
The Chill Bit is made up of rubber and plastic that can snap onto the top of a beer can and hold it while being spun from a cordless drill. The back end of the Chill Bit fits into your drill’s chuck and once tightened, will hold onto the top of a canned beverage up to 1,100 RPM. You then place the can in ice or ice water and turn on the drill to start the spinning. After about 60 seconds a beer that is 80 degrees will drop in temperature by about 30 degrees. You want it colder than that? Spin it for two whole minutes and the contents inside will go below freezing and will actually form ice crystals on the inside of the can. Don’t believe it is true? Check out our video we did while tailgating prior to the Chargers vs. the Seahawks preseason game a few weeks ago.
As you saw in the video, the can did not fizz, foam or explode upon opening it right after spinning it for a complete minute. We could have spun the can for five minutes and we would have gotten the same result although the can would have been much, much colder. So if you are ready for a little science lesson, here is why carbonated beverages in cans or bottles can be spun without exploding or foaming over.
How does it work?
By spinning the container, convection is introduced to both the inside and the outside of the container. This increases the rate of heat transfer and cools the beverage down at a rate of at least 20 times faster. You may have spun a beer in ice water by hand but that can get boring and tedious. It is the same science with the Chill Bit but much faster and you get to use power tools to do it.
Why does it not explode?
It all has to do with the air pocket. A ‘carbonated beverage’ is one in which carbon dioxide is dissolved in the liquid under pressure (Henry’s law). When the can is opened, the liquid inside starts to equalize with the pressure in the atmosphere, and the CO2 comes out of solution to do so. All carbonated beverages fizz upon opening, but whether they fizz over (liquid comes out of the container) depends on how fast the CO2 comes out of solution.
In order for CO2 to come out of solution, it needs a ‘nucleation site’ to do so. Those nucleation sites can be either gaseous pockets, or an irregularity along the wall. (Look at how a stream of bubbles form on a specific spot on a glass of beer or soda. You can’t see it, but that spot is an irregularity.)
When a beverage is shaken, the air pocket is broken up into millions of small pockets dispersed throughout the beverage. When the container is opened, CO2 in solution has sites all over the place, and it comes out of solution so quickly, that the liquid has no time to get out of the way, and it rises up and out, hence, it fizzes over.
When a beverage is rotated, the air pocket stays intact and knocks all the small bubbles off the side of the container, making one larger air pocket. There are no nucleation sites dispersed throughout, and the usual slow decarbonation takes place at the infrequent irregularities, and at the surface.
Okay, now that you have gotten your science lesson done for the day, the bottom line is the Chill Bit works. You supply the beer and the cordless drill, the Chill Bit provides you with peace of mind knowing you are never more than one to two minutes away from an ice cold beverage. And honestly, if you can’t wait a measly two minutes to drink a beer, you may want to look into rehab centers. (Besides, rehab is for quitters.)
The Chill Bit is also available for bottles. The same concept is that you place the Chill Bit for bottles over the bottle cap and spin the bottle in the ice. Because glass is a better insulator than aluminum, spinning a bottle will take a bit longer than cans. Estimate spinning in ice for about two to four minutes for a 12 oz bottle and your beer will be ice cold.
If you couldn’t tell by the video and the fact that we added the Chill Bit to our online tailgating gear store, the Chill Bit is definitely “Tailgate Approved“.
The can or the bottle size is definitely small enough to fit in any tailgaters kit and at $15, is highly affordable for any tailgater on a budget. More than likely you already have a cordless drill and all you need to do is make sure the battery is fully charged if you plan on using the Chill Bit on multiple cans or bottles. Plus, the “cool factor” of chilling your beer using a cordless drill will attract a crowd and earn you some much needed parking lot street cred.
The Chill Bit for cans or bottles is priced at $15. If you want to learn more about it or want to buy one or two of your own, visit HERE.