Summer may be waning, but there are still a few hot days left before we put away our white pants and break out the sweaters. And while the sun is still out, you’ll want to down a frosty beverage, not some tepid libation. To help make sure your drinks are at their optimal cold temperature for EXTREME thirst quenching, look no further than the free, online Chilled Drink Calculator.

Just enter the type of beverage you are about enjoy (beer, soda, juice, etc.), the size and type of container it comes in (glass, plastic), what your starting point is (room temperature, outside), where you are putting it (fridge, freezer, ice bath) and how cold you want it. That sounds like a lot when spelled out, but trust us, it’s zippy to fill out.

Once you enter all those parameters, the Chilled Drink Calculator spits out how long it will take you to properly chill your beverage. This is especially helpful for those throwing any Labor Day parties and wanting to make sure all the drinks are at the right temperature.

If you aren’t so good at planning ahead and you find yourself with a bunch of room temperature drinks, the calculator also provides some chilling hacks like wrapping a wet paper towel around your drink container, using a salt ice water bath, and, if you are Bill Nye or some other scientist, dry ice.

How does the Chilled Drink Calculator work? From the description:

Despite appearances, this calculator doesn’t run on magic. Instead, it makes use of a much more powerful resource: physics! This calculator is an easy-to-use version of our own Newton’s law of cooling calculator that has been modified to include technical values for the most common combinations of containers and beverages.

Newton’s law of cooling:

T = T_ambient + (T_initial – T_ambient) * exp(- k * t),

which, solving for time (t), we transform into:

t = -log[(T – T_ambient)/(T_initial-T_ambient)]/k,

where

T [K]: temperature of the object at time t,
T_ambient [K]: ambient temperature,
T_initial [K]: initial temperature of the object,
t [s]: time spent cooling,
k [1/s]: cooling coefficient,

The cooling coefficient is equal to:

k = h * A / C,

where

k [1/s]: cooling coefficient,
h [W/(m² * K)]: heat transfer coefficient,
A [m²]: area of the heat exchange,
C [J/K]: heat capacity.

Duh.

The Chilled Drink Calculator was developed by University of Warsaw physics student Álvaro Diéz and his foodie pal Tibor Pal. It lives on the Omni Calculator site and is part of a collection of 843 free online calculators. The site even has other food-related calculators, like the “Do or Donut,” which tells you how much exercise you need to burn off after eating one of those delicious confections, the “Coffee Kick Calculator,” which helps you gauge your caffeine intake, and the “Perfect Pancake Calculator.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This calculator is wildly inaccurate. It’s built on an extremely simplistic cooling model that fails to take into consideration some basic thermodynamic principles (boundary layers, thermal gradients and natural convection among others)

  2. Well, it’s an Internet calculator, not a physics simulation. It’s meant to be an quick and easy approximation. Results have been tested (albeit only in one fridge/freezer) to make sure the results are realistic. Also, boundary layers are taken into account by the heat transfer coefficient.

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