Make Your Own Whisky Stones From Raw Soapstone

Make Your Own Whiskey Stones from Raw Soapstone

Whisky stones are small soapstone cubes that you use to keep your grown-up beverages chilled without diluting them. If you prefer the DIY approach, they're easy to make.

The key element is the soapstone, which Instructables user alaskantomboy notes is easily available at eBay or from hardware stores. All you need to do is measure out your cubes, mark them with a sharpie, and start cutting.

Alaskantomboy used a metal cutting blade on a standing chop saw to do the trick, but also notes that if you don't have one, it's soft enough to cut with a hacksaw, though you'll have to go a little slower. Once you're finished, use some sandpaper to smooth out the sides and round off the edges (so you don't break your glasses when you drop the stones in).

Whiskey Stones from Soapstone [Instructables]


    Whiskey stones DO NOT work. Ice cools down liquid because the heat (energy) in the liquid is used to convert the ice to water, which in turn reduces the amount of heat in the liquid. Since stones don't melt, the degree to which they cool down the whiskey is negligible. Just Google whiskey stone reviews to see how crap they are.

      Either quit your trolling or go back to school

        Practice what you preach. Dman's talking about the latent heat in the ice > water phase transformation dwarfing the amount of energy the stones can absorb just through specific heat capacity / temperature rise alone.

          Thank you for explaining it better than I did :)

      I've always thought that too - the energy used to transform the ice to water (latent heat) is taken from the whiskey. All you get from the stones is the heat capacity of the rock.
      So one way around this might be to use small frozen water balloons. That way you get the latent heat transferred without the dilution. Maybe use cleaned condoms (medical grade silicone) or the fingers from medical gloves so that you don't get the taste of latex.

        i picked up some stainless steel ones the other day for my dads birthday. it will be interesting to see how well they perform in comparison to the soap stones.

      I've got some at home and don't find them to be very effective at all. Mostly use them as a party trick now.

      On the contrary, these are perfect for cooling whisky...

      Since it's supposed to be drunk at (UK) room temperature, the slow cooling that these stones give would probably only be good for that!

        In that case, you're better off just putting your glass in the freezer for a couple of minutes prior, rather than spending money on whiskey stones.

      I have these little plastic balls filled with (frozen) liquid that I put in drinks. They seem to advertise the same benefits (ie, cooling a drink without diluting it), however these do work. I'm not sure what the difference would be, possibly the heat transfer between plastic and water is better than stone and water.

      Good people,

      You need to understand the difference between raising the temperature of something (e.g. the temperature at the surface of the whiskey stone going from -1 to +1 celsius), and the energy required for a phase transformation (ice to water, water to steam).

      It takes a lot of energy to change the phase from solid ice to liquid water, even though the ice and water may both be at 0 degrees celsius. This energy is called "Latent heat". The amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of a set volume of material, say liquid water, from zero degrees to +1 degree is called the specific heat capacity.

      The whiskey stones have a low specific heat capacity compared to water, and they also stay solid (no phase change). Water not only has a high latent heat (from memory), it and also a very good SHC.


        The specific heat capacity of soapstone is 785J/Kg.K. The specific heat capacity of water is 4185J/Kg.K. And that's after the required 334000J/Kg for the phase change from ice to water.

        Last edited 21/01/14 2:06 pm

        Again from memory, but I think the latent heat to liquefy is smaller than the general heat capacity, so changing the temperature from say -5°C to 0°C will consume more energy from the surrounding whiskey than the melting process.

        Interestingly though, soapstone has a higher capacity as a solid that water so stone going from -5 to 0°C will do a better job than water. Once you get above 0 though, liquid water takes over as better absorber of heat, so a plastic ball mostly filled with water and frozen is probably your best bet for cooled, undiluted pleasure!

          That is incorrect.

          The specific heat capacity of ice is 2108J/Kg.K. That is the energy required to warm the ice by one degree (but not to melt it). The latent heat required to melt ice (to cause the phase change) is much higher: 334,000J per kilogram.

          Soapstone has a lower heat capacity than ice: 785J vs 2108J per kilogram to change by 1 degree. Therefore both ice and water are better at cooling your beverage than soapstone.

            I stand corrected. Serves me right for not double checking my figures.

      You're right, but also wrong..
      You're right, cause they don't do much cooling, but you're wrong cause you assume that people want to drink ice cold Whisky (or Whiskey depending on its origin).

        Actually @godfrey is completely right. It has nothing to do with drinking anything at 0 degrees.

        The energy required to heat the rocks or melt the ice is taken from the liquid being cooled. The combination will eventually reach an equillibrium above 0 degrees (ignoring the effects of atmospheric temperature which is the same in both cases).

        Last edited 21/01/14 2:12 pm

          "The combination will eventually reach an equilibrium above 0 degrees."

          But that's OK.. In fact, that's actually the point!
          Cool your whisky too much and you lose the ability to taste the subtle flavours that are the whole point of drinking very expensive alcohol.
          At most (ie. if you're drinking Whisky after a heat wave and the house (and the whisky) has warmed up to 27-30 degrees.) you might want to take <5 degrees off the temperature.

          Personally I don't like them, but to say they have no cooling effect is blatantly incorrect even if there are "better" solutions that might do too much of a "good" job.

            I take your point - As a non-drinker I do not appreciate these finer distinctions, being only concerned with how long my soft drink will stay cold and how bland it will taste in the final mouthful :-)

            Who said they have no cooling effect? Of course they do, only less than ice.

              OP - "Whiskey stones DO NOT work"
              Me to OP - "you're wrong cause you assume that people want to drink ice cold Whisky"
              You to Me - "Actually @godfrey is completely right. "

              Summary, both you and the OP said that they have no cooling effect. You were just more specific.

                Ok, so I see where you got confused.

                The commenter that said they "did not work" was dman. And I agreed with godfrey, who merely pointed out that the energy involved in the ice experiment dwarfs the soapstone experiment - which it does - but never actually said they "don't work".

    It's not that the stones don't work. It's that they work very poorly compared to ice. Unfortunately, ice melts and dilutes the drink. The best result would be obtained by wrapping ice in a suitable heat-conductive container like glad wrap then remove after the ice has melted. Not pretty but effective!

      Unfortunately, ice melts and dilutes the drink

      Your doing it wrong your meant to make ice cubes from whisky in your super cold -40 freezer.

      wrapping ice in a suitable heat-conductive container like glad wrap

      Can't say I'd enjoy seeing glad wrap bubbles kicking around in my drink especially since surely youd have a bunch of excess from tying it up ?

    What sort of sick person hasn't finished before the ice has ruined the drink?

    Use Frozen Grapes - not as good as Ice, but much better than stone.
    The Scotch melts the inside of the grape, but the skin holds them together and you can eat them at the end :-)

    This article was not about how efficient the whiskey stones are. But to save you spending $30 on a inexpensive material for its size.

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