Vermont Patent of the Month – November 2023

There has been a growing trend desiring nicely shaped and totally clear ice in our drinks. Crystal clear ice is both more aesthetically pleasing and ensures the ice is less likely to break apart in your drink. Wintersmiths, LLC, pioneers in the field, have made a name for themselves based on their crystal clear ice technology. Now, to complement this growing brand, the company has been granted a patent for their technology.

The clear-ice maker uses suction to remove and replenish water in the molds to ensure no impurities remain. As the freezable liquid within the mold freezes, a suction device strategically draws unfrozen portions out of the mold cavity, removing any impurities or air bubbles present in the liquid. Simultaneously, a replenishment system refills the drawn liquid back into the mold cavity, ensuring a continuous, controlled freezing process.

The company also utilizes different ice shapes to control the melt rate. This means greater control and prevention of your drink being diluted. The larger, spherical molds have the lowest dilution rate. This is due to a lower surface area compared to a similarly sized cube. A colder, less diluted drink is ideal for anyone who wants to maintain the flavor—whether it’s an iced coffee or a high-quality bourbon. By the same token, those who like their drinks more watered down could choose several small cubes or crushed ice, which have more surface area to volume and will dilute your drink faster. 

To meet this versatility, the ice maker has multiple mold options. The absence of thermal insulation surrounding the mold encourages the ice to grow inwardly, emphasizing Wintersmiths’ dedication to maximizing clarity and purity.

The mold’s architecture includes an inlet flow passageway connecting to a reservoir and an outlet flow passageway linking to the suction device. These passageways, arranged concentrically, play a crucial role in maintaining an active core within the mold cavity as the ice forms. The central flow axes, whether parallel, spaced, or coincident, are optimized for effective freezing and impurity removal.

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