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Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 2:06 PM

This may seem to be a silly question, but it's something I as well as others I know have pondered, but given little real thought to. When I make a large glass of ice water, it's cold delicious and refreshing, but it seems to get better with age. I and others have noticed that Ice water that has had some time to "sit and chill" seems to be better, softer, and more pleasing than water that has been recently chilled/iced. Is there some kind of scientific explanation why Ice water that's been sitting around a bit to let the ice properly/partially melt at least appears to taste better/softer? I've been thinking about it a while now, and really have not come up with an explanation, after all it's all just water.

A buddy of mine will make a large insulated (approx 32-48OZ) cup of ice water each day, but wont consume the liquid until it's had proper time to "rest" (which is usually a couple hours) into it's more desirable "Old Ice water" form, which he claims (and I agree) that it just seems to taste better after it's "rested".

So, whats the deal? Is is just all in our heads that the "aged" Ice water tastes more pleasing, aside from psychological influences, there must be some way to explain it....

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#1

Re: Old Ice water VS New Ice Water

08/05/2011 2:16 PM

Were you able to differentiate between two, with out seeing or knowing about it? I mean had you ruled out the possibility of psychological influence with an objective method?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Old Ice water VS New Ice Water

08/05/2011 2:23 PM

Yes, there is a noticeable difference to the taste/texture (as if water has texture), or perhaps a better word is the "softness" of the water. I'm sure there are some psychological influences, but there is something more at work here.]

I'm guessing it has something to do with the ice itself, I dont know if the modern freezers with the "frost-free" features somehow soften the water in the ice before it freezes, or something of that nature... but I can only speculate. I'm no chemist, that's for sure.

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#3
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Re: Old Ice water VS New Ice Water

08/05/2011 2:29 PM

Taster should stay aways from maker for that duration and should come in with some cotton in ears and black strap on eyes.

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#4

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 2:30 PM

The solubility of O2 in water increases with decreasing temperature. Perhaps as the water sits there, some oxygen from the headspace dissolves into the water. I am really doubtful if that would have a noticeable effect that you could taste though.

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#5

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 2:37 PM

This isn't a complete explanation but..

If you pour water into a glass filled with cubes it takes awhile for the glass, water and ice to get to the same temp...not hours. Also you probably have an aerator in your tap. This defiantly speaks to your "softness and texture". Once that air finds it's way out or finds a dance partner on a molecular level you have a slightly different and stable mix.

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#16
In reply to #5

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 11:15 PM

This defiantly speaks to your "softness and texture".

de·fi·ance

  <a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/audio.html/lunaWAV/D01/D0117400" target="_blank"><img src="http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/g/d/speaker.gif" border="0" alt="defiance pronunciation" /></a> /dɪˈfaɪəns/ Show Spelled[dih-fahy-uhns]noun 1. a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force. 2. open disregard; contempt (often followed by of ): defiance of danger; His refusal amounted to defiance. 3. a challenge to meet in combat or in a contest. de·fi·ant·ly [dih-fahy-uhnt-ly]adjective 1. Descriptor of acting in a defiant way. You meant definitely, right? Otherwise, it really sounds funny.

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#26
In reply to #16

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 9:07 AM

Actually I had misspelled that. When I hit the spell check I was multitasking and simply picked the top choice in error. Thanks for taking so much time to point out my error in such a condescending fashion.

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#6

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 3:27 PM

Like many anecdotal problems, your old versus new ice water question cannot be actually solved by discussion. However, plausible differences can be proposed to delight all who will listen. Here's my offerings.

Two ideas come to me. First, chlorine is added to most municipal water sources to reduce the spreading of water born disease. By letting your glass of water to sit exposed to air permits the chlorine to dissipate. Part of the softness is a lack of chlorine. Second, many freezers maintain their compartments to 0°F. So by giving the glass time to melt the ice, you will now be drinking now a larger volume of cooler uniform total water that is an even blend of warmed formerly ice and chilled room temperature water. By drinking a freshly poured water over ice you will be getting the different temperature fluids contrasting in your mouth.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 4:07 PM

I think the Chlorine must be one of the main contributing factors... hadn't thought of that... Yet my buddy who Lives for his "Old ice water" is drinking from a well, far away from any municipal water source...

I know my mothers well used to have a slight sulphur taste when the water levels were high, and I used to let that water rest a while before drinking it, it seemed to make it a bit better as well...

But I'm sure that the chlorine plays a Major role at my hose as I'm connected to "The Grid"

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#29
In reply to #7

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 10:06 AM

I think this is a likely cause - not only chlorine but sulphur dioxide will evaporate while the water is standing. Volatile elements are degassed, and as someone else pointed out, suspended solids are decanted to the bottom of the glass.

One thing I wonder, whether there is also some degassing that happens in the ice making process? Ice cubes would then taste better than freshly poured water - they've already been 'standing' in the freezer long enough to degas...

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#40
In reply to #7

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/08/2011 5:57 PM

Its the food factor. The ice is made in your freezer, it is picking up the flavors of the refrigerator as it freezes.

So I imagine that some days you have the roast beef water and others it the strawberry shortcake water.

All kidding aside it has to be chlorine, most wells are hyper chlorinated or its the fridge food effect.

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#8

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 4:46 PM

This is no sillier that asking "How does a clown taste?"

I will agree with the chlorine bit. Maybe even a little potassium or flouride. Sounds reasonable. Or, maybe the good stuff that leached into the ice cubes from the plastic mold is adding some unknown but pleasant flavor agent.

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#19
In reply to #8

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 12:22 AM

Tastes funny.....

grin!

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#9

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 5:02 PM

I've noticed this as well. It's sort the same thing as a bed being more comfortable after you've slept in it a while.

I always assumed that it was that the ice cubes taste different - somehow "sweeter" I've always thought - than tap water. And after a while some of the ice dissolves and adds that flavor to the water.

Which suggests a couple of tests you can do.

1) put the ice in plastic bags and see if you get the same result - if you do then it's a question of what happens to water when it gets cold, not the taste of the ice.

2) melt some ice and compare that against the taste of your ordinary water and see if the melted ice water has the same "softness".

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#10

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 5:19 PM

As i have no explanations to this issue, let me add another doubt! Why does water* left overnight in a glass taste worst than fresh water???? This is just the opposite to what happens with ice cubes. (*) I´m talking about any (well, mineral, tap) water

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 6:50 PM

I have definitely noticed that after a glass has been sitting on the night stand overnight, or a day or more, it often tastes foul, and I'll need a fresh glass. I have always just figured that ordinary dust is settling in the glass, and dissolving in the water... but thats just an assumption.

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#14
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Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 7:16 PM

You see!!!! I´m not the only one!!!! Some people believe that water sitting in a glass overnight absorbs the negative energy from the room. Does anyone know how "bad energy tastes?

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#17
In reply to #10

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 11:17 PM

I have sometimes been disappointed at the flavour of an old glass of water, but usually, I let my drinking water sit in a pitcher for a day to let the chlorine off, and in the quart jars I use for drinking for a day or so without noticeable deterioration.

Water has many amazing and subtle qualities. I've seen tiny dirt particles circulating on the surface of ice with no apparent cause, and a friend has seen it on a wet, sloped surface.

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#11

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 6:09 PM

I don't think softer is the word. Once it reaches a uniform cold temperature it becomes denser.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 6:11 PM

Sounds like my last GF

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 7:34 PM

I used to start out with dense GFs. Over time they would get smarter and figure out that I just didn't care.

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#18

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/05/2011 11:50 PM

Perhaps as the water oxygenates trapped sediments in the water tend to settle to the bottom of the glass. Ice does contain a lot of oxygen molecules trapped within, which is why water expands as it is frozen. Water is an excellent solvent, which is why so many substances dissolve in water. As it sits the most likely explanation is that sediments slowly filter out and settle to the bottom. Also perhaps since as it sits the water becomes cooler as the ice dissolves than when the ice was first added and that may add to the experience. But I expect sediment settling is probably the cause.

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 12:56 AM

Exactly--The same reason that Decanters came about, which was for the purpose of pouring red wines, corked for many years, into a larger vessel, and to let them breathe , I.E. absorb oxygen-and to off -load pressurized gases-Now your glass of water does not contain pressurized gases, or, with the ice cubes, during freezing , does it? Just asking...

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#23
In reply to #18

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 4:06 AM

Ice does contain a lot of oxygen molecules trapped within, which is why water expands as it is frozen.

No! That is NOT why water expands when it freezes!

A simple Google search before stating such things could save you a lot of embarassment.

I lived in Miami, OK when I was in the 8th grade for about 8 months. This was a few, ahem, years ago.

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#20

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 12:52 AM

I know that demineralized water will absorb CO2 or other gases in the air until it reaches equilibrium, so perhaps after a few hours of absorbing gases into the mix, your water acquires a pleasant taste. Then after several more hours, it passes a curve characteristic which tends to be more unpleasant. Perhaps you could run a test on various water sources (i.e. tap, well, bottled, etc.) and find which minerals or gases make the water more pleasant or less pleasant.

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#22

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 3:50 AM

The silliness of your question lies in the format of your statement. When you use quotation marks around the critical descriptions and do not actually provide information about the transformations you seem to be describing, you are simply creating barriers to finding answers to your questions. If "rest" is the same as rest, then why is it in quotes? If it is different (to you), then why don't you tell us the difference? The obvious answer is that you don't want us to know, or you don't feel capable to describe the difference. To someone who might have the knowledge to be able to answer your question (and be interested in doing so) these options are annoying. Still, it is all just water after all, so does the "taste" seem to still be " Present' \ if you "heat up" the water after "cooling" it up (not down). Don't your think that if you "rest" the water, you should lay the glass over on its side? Have you tried measuring the actual temperatures? How about the gradient temperatures? Dissolved gases? How are the ice cubes made? Do you taste the ice-water with your lips in contact with the ice in the "new" ice water? Is the "old" ice water still in mixture with ice? Do you contact the ice cubes then? Oh, why bother - but wait! Have you watched closely while the ice water rests? Most importantly, does the ice "grow" as it melts? Does it crack and break apart, just crack, or not crack at all? I suspect your methodology is out of sync with my tastes, since I usually like the new ice water better than the rested- there is a "saltiness" to the brew, especially when drunk outdoors in the sun. In fact, why not whip up some home brew balancing the alcohol with the hops, and forget about the water - the CO2 bubbling out of solution actually cools your mouth - just keep the alcohol content down.

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#38
In reply to #22

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/08/2011 12:22 PM

wow... OK.. I used quotations around words cause I "Felt" like it.

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#24

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 4:46 AM

It's not as cold

See

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#25

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 8:42 AM

A bit off the subject, but I have noticed the same effect with carbonated beverages. I always let my cola stand in ice for at least 15 minutes before drinking it. This however is easily explainable as the dissipation of the CO2. Without the carbonation, the flavor of the drink is more noticeable. My preference is probably a result of being born long enough ago to remember when there was as much cola syrup in a 6 ounce bottle (do you remember those bottles?) as you now have in a 16 ounce bottle. The dissipated version is closer to my memories of cola drinks when I was a child.

This could be a semi-proof of the chlorine theory. Less gasses = better flavor.

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#27

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 9:35 AM

The explanation is:

As water freezes , air is trapped inside. Because of this ,fresh icecubes are kind of cloudy. When icecubes melt, air(oxygen) is released into the water.This gives the "better" taste. If you freeze "boiled" water you get crystal-colourless icecubes with no air inside.Good for drinks ,but not drinking water..

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#28

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 9:57 AM

I believe you are experiencing a combination of several factors already mentioned. Also, what are the sources for the water and the ice? Ice makers built in to freezers almost always have some sort of inline water filter that may be absent on your tap. I have noticed that the water from the door of my fridge tastes much better than from the tap a few feet away. To eliminate that difference, compare glasses of water made in your usual way with cubes frozen in a tray from the same source as your usual drinking water.

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 10:31 AM

why does Ice starts to taste and smell like Shi* after a couple weeks on the freezer?

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#34
In reply to #30

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 11:07 PM

Check your fridge for a dead Kritter ... it happens in mine every now and then!

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#36
In reply to #30

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/08/2011 8:13 AM

"why does Ice starts to taste and smell like Shi* after a couple weeks on the freezer?"

Perhaps you should take an inventory of your freezer, and remove anything that may impart an objectionable taste to the ice. One thing comes to mind...

[edit] I see r&ddoc had a similar suggestion. Didn't mean to step on your idea.

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#37
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Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/08/2011 11:26 AM

No bad feelings!

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#31

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 11:02 AM

Other unsealed food stored in the same compartment of the freezer where the ice maker and the ice cubes are may also affect the flavor and smell of the ice cubes.

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#32

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 11:17 AM

Entrained air in the cubes may have an effect. Freeze one tray immediatly after filling, another after allowing it to "rest" and test the difference.

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#33

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/06/2011 8:51 PM

I and others have noticed that Ice water that has had some time to "sit and chill" seems to be better, softer, and more pleasing than water that has been recently chilled/iced. Is there some kind of scientific explanation why Ice water that's been sitting around a bit to let the ice properly/partially melt at least appears to taste better/softer?

CO2 is significantly more soluble in colder water, and decreases the pH, changing the taste. To check it out, make a small volume of saturated CaCl2. Pour a small glass of ice water, put a drop or two of CaCl2 in it immediately, and see if any CaCO3 forms. If the formation of CaCO3 increases as the water chills, there is a good suspect.

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#35
In reply to #33

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/07/2011 8:19 PM

I agree with Ethanolics, as the water freezes (making the ice cubes), it dissolves significant amount of CO2. This dissolves in the water forming carbonic acid, then as the high CO2 ice cubes dissolve, the CO2 / carbonic acid is released into the surrounding water.

The extent of the pH effect will depend on the buffering capacity (alkalinity) of the water, but the small but significant pH change, is (what I would guess) is changing as the water stands (or rests).

This has nothing to do with O2, unless the water has something (ie. a flavour etc) which is able to be oxidised (and the resting duration is sufficient for this oxidation to occur - hours, days or weeks - but not minutes). Wine will oxidise (flavours, colours, etc) over hours at the fastest depending on catalytic factors present. But water has nothing to oxidise, and the O2 levels in water are already basically saturated, so any oxidation would have happened long before the water hit the glass. Hence this has nothing to do with O2.

My 10 cents - dissolved CO2 (forms carbonic acid) affecting pH. This combined with temperature is what I believe is being observed.

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#39
In reply to #35

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/08/2011 12:26 PM

That all makes sense... CO2 could be a likely cause.

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#41
In reply to #39

Re: Old Ice Water vs. New Ice Water

08/08/2011 11:00 PM

This is all kinda fun. You may have noticed I posted a link to physiology of taste - though one a bit 'tongue in cheek' - being my naughty 'cryptic' self.

Have you ever notice snow (not the yellow kind) has 'no taste'?

Might it be, your sensors just don't function at such low temperatures?

Winemaker also alluded to this, as wine makers, understandably, tend to be very aware of the relationship of temperature and taste.

Personally I wouldn't be surprised to find the reason behind this is "evolution', as drinking a large glass of ice water, when you are hot, can stop your heart. That it 'tastes better' warmer is perhaps a 'handy bit of selection'

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