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Feb13-13, 12:37 AM
P: 10
It is commonly said (based on a quick Google search) that wrapping your beer in a wet paper towel and placing it in the freezer will allow it to cool faster than placing it in the freezer without said paper towel.

Newton's Law of Cooling suggests otherwise. The fact that water releases energy when it freezes (the paper towel tends to freeze) suggests otherwise (although this effect is probably minimal). Specific heat capacity doesn't seem to be relevant here because the water is initially above the temperature of the air in the freezer (so it is likely detrimental). Perhaps it could be that water has better "thermal conductivity" (is that even a thing?) but then its still just an intermediate layer between the air and the glass, so we'd still be bound by the rate at which the air cools the water.

Anyway, I'd love to hear a definitive answer to I can put an end to this (likely) urban myth.

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