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Frost my mug
August 3, 2009 3:13 PM   Subscribe

How can I make my beer mug as frosty as humanly possible?

Sometimes you go out to a bar and they serve your beer in a mug so goddamn frosty, you wonder how you can replicate such a thing at home. Well, I have a beer mug -- pint size; it looks sorta like this -- and a freezer, but simply putting the mug in the freezer for a few days doesn't bring the frost level up to what you sometimes get from a bar.

Are there any tricks to making my mug extra frosty, or is the only solution a colder freezer?
posted by c:\awesome to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hmm... have you tried putting the mug in wet? Based on my experience as a dishwasher in (non-beer-serving) restaurants, most dishes go out without yet being fully dry. The mugs probably end up in the freezer with some residual water on them.
posted by McBearclaw at 3:15 PM on August 3, 2009


Leaving your mug a bit damp before popping it in the freezer should help.
posted by amelioration at 3:15 PM on August 3, 2009


If you pull the cold mug out of the freezer, assuming there's any humidity in the air, you'll get instant condensation all over it. Then you could pop it back into the freezer and freeze that condensation. Repeat for desired frost thickness? I've never done this before, just speculating, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
posted by knave at 3:18 PM on August 3, 2009


You do know that a cold mug is NOT the optimal way to serve a beer, right?

That is, unless you're drinking beer so horrible that you wish to not taste it. It's an unfortunate myth that the mass-market companies have employed. Cooling beer to near-freezing temperatures squelches the taste in a major way.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 3:20 PM on August 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes. I am drinking horrible, piss water beer. Got a problem with it? I want this shit as cold as goddamn possible!
posted by c:\awesome at 3:25 PM on August 3, 2009 [23 favorites]


Ha. Freeze away then, good sir!

(I just try to educate where I can!)
posted by chrisfromthelc at 3:26 PM on August 3, 2009


chrisfromthelc writes "That is, unless you're drinking beer so horrible that you wish to not taste it. It's an unfortunate myth that the mass-market companies have employed. Cooling beer to near-freezing temperatures squelches the taste in a major way."

Sometimes it's more important that the beer is cold than that it's a proper-tasting beer.
posted by mullingitover at 3:27 PM on August 3, 2009


You could use the salted ice-water trick to freeze the mugs far colder than a freezer can get. (Or crank up your fridge's temperature dial so that it runs colder)

But yeah, I think the bar mugs have frozen water on them.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:38 PM on August 3, 2009


First, we must understand why the mugs are that way. As the barkeep opens and closes the mug freezer throughout the night, there's a repeated condensation cycle that occurs. Warmer, wetter air enters the (rapidly opened) chest, cools and condenses on the (frozen) mugs. The happens over and over again, each time depositing the lightet, most delicate ice crystals upon them. Over the course of time, those tiny particles build up to a delightful frost.

So how can you replicate this at home? Placing wet mugs in a freezer will get icy mugs, but not frosty ones. Pulling a cold mug out into a low-humidity air-conditioned house won't allow enough moisture to condense around and freeze upon the mugs before the beer raises the mug's temperature to above freezeing. Your options, then, are to either regularly blow wRk humid air into your freezer, or to chill your mugs to well below freezing and place them in a humid environment for a short time, and pour nearly-freezing beer into them afterwards. A muggy afternoon should do quite nicely.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:40 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damned iPhone keyboard. wRk = warm.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:41 PM on August 3, 2009


I should add that, though I feel guilty for doing so, I do occasionally place my beer into a chilled glass that I keep on my freezer door, right near the opening side (opposite the hinge). That allows it the most exposure to the (relatively) humid air in my (80 degree) house. Given enough time and repeated freezer door openings, they get nicely frosty.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:46 PM on August 3, 2009


How can I make my beer mug as frosty as humanly possible?

Liquid nitrogen.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:49 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's muggy as hell here, so I'm off to move the mugs from the freezer to outside for a few repetitions. Will report back ASAP!
posted by c:\awesome at 4:02 PM on August 3, 2009


When I was in college I bar tended at a place which served Bud Light and Natural Light (actually, we only served Natural Light, but had a fake Bud Light tap.)

We had a system of 8-ounce glasses which would come out of the washer and go straight into an upright freezer.

When the glasses came out, they would then go into a Styrofoam beer-koozie. Not the foam rubber kind common today, but the old fashion type with the plastic ring around the top.

The Styrofoam kept the glass frozen and the beer drinkable.

I don't know where you'd find a Styrofoam koozie today, I know you can still special order them (that's what my bar did) but perhaps some combination of frozen glass and koozie will help you attain the desired results.
posted by wfrgms at 4:06 PM on August 3, 2009


Put your mug in the freezer straight after it's come out of the dishwasher; it'll have come out of a very hot, humid and most importantly, steamy environment. The glasses out of the dishwasher are always slightly damp, which will help to get the mug nice and frosty.

Maybe try leaving the hot steaming cup upside down whilst freezing (upright on the lip) to keep most of that condensation in so the inside is coated in ice crystals.
posted by ashaw at 4:16 PM on August 3, 2009


Putting a glass of hot water in your freezer with several of your empty glasses would cause steam to condense on everything in the freezer for a few minutes, until the water becomes cold. (Use plastic for that one.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:19 PM on August 3, 2009


Are you talking frosty or cold? A colder mug doesn't necessarily mean a frostier mug.

To achieve the frosting effect TheNewWazoo describes in less time (at home), perhaps you could put your mugs in the freezer and spray a fine mist of water on them a few times. You won't get as nice a frost effect, but they should have some nice frosting.
posted by Simon Barclay at 5:26 PM on August 3, 2009


"I want this shit as cold as goddamn possible!"

Try this.
posted by bodega at 5:58 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


By the way, if you have a self-defrosting freezer, as most of us do these days, that's also going to defrost your glasses.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:06 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Try this.

Indeed. I use 3 of those in rotation during my summer beer sessions (the el cheapo Korean ones, though) with great success. They ain't classy, but they get the job done.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:44 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, so, taking the mug out of the freezer every 10 minutes or so and letting it sit in the humid Missouri air for a few minutes before putting it back in the freezer did the trick! But it's too much effort and I guess I don't care as much as I thought I did. Thanks all!
posted by c:\awesome at 6:47 AM on August 4, 2009


Odd...I find the pint glasses we keep in the freezer almost always get frosty, and I hadn't really thought about why.

The glasses always get stored in the freezer immediately after washing rather than on the shelf. It might be as much as several days before the cold glass gets used.

Our freezer is set on the cold side. (Ice cream sometimes a little hard to scoop.)

The glasses sometimes go in a little damp, but not always.

In the summertime at least, our house is about the same temp as outside, generally 70s, moderate humidity.

On reflection, I think I've often had them go frosty while I had the freezer door open for a bit to get out something else. (Ice cream, juice concentrate, ice cubes, etc.) So maybe just opening the door periodically would do it?
posted by epersonae at 3:51 PM on August 11, 2009


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