Thursday, April 4, 2013

Micro Matic 48qt 304 SS Jockey Box - Initial Impressions

We were contacted by Micro Matic a few months back about sponsoring opportunities or product review opportunities with the blog.  We discussed it with them and we came up with a great idea to review one of their newest products.  It was so new that we were one of the first off the line to get one.  I received it about 2 weeks ago and while I haven't had a chance to use it I wanted to share with you some pictures and my initial impressions of it.  Of course the obligatory disclaimer here, we were given this product but we will do our best to give an honest review of the product but you need to know.

The product we are going to be testing and sharing at festivals across the state this year and years to come is the 48Qt Coil Cooler - 1 faucet, red 304SS.  You read that right 100% 304SS!  This thing is pretty impressive out of the box.

Here is the description from their site.

Pour cold draft beer anywhere! Just add ice to our portable party coolers, and with CO2 you'll be effortlessly pouring cold beer all day.

Beer Party Cooler Features:
  • The best in purity - only 304 grade stainless steel touches the beverage.
  • Ultratherm foam insulation in both the body and lid for superior cold retention.
  • 95hold open lid for easy access.
  • Heavy duty side handles with tie down loop for
  • Snap-lock child-saftey latch.
  • Recessed drain plug for easy draining of excess water.
They also have a nice benefit analysis of a coil over a plate.

So what all does this mean?  Well, to me it means this is the perfect solution for beer festivals to keep the beer pouring cold with little issues with ice and keeping things cold.  I can't wait to use it.  

What does having this be 100% 304 Stainless mean?  That is probably up to the user to determine.  To me it means that your beer will have no flavors imparted ever on the beer, as long as you keep it clean.  It also means that the durability of this unit will be unmatched.  

When taking it out of the box I have never set up or used a jockey box so I wasn't sure how much assembly I would have to do and if it was something I could do.  It was almost 100% assembled upon arrival.  You had to loosen the rear shank and get it extended out so you could attach the liquid line in, just a simple crescent wrench was required.  You also had to attach the faucet, that was fairly easy but I don't own a faucet wrench so I hand tightened it and will see if that is good enough when we run beer through it in a couple months.  I am guessing not and I will have to use a towel and wrench so as to not scratch it or find a faucet wrench.  

The included instruction provide you with how to get the proper system balance in place for the beer to serve it and the proper temps to keep your beer to prevent foaming.  You will need to keep your kegs cool but not cold and they suggest just a keg jacket and keep it shaded.  If it is really hot out putting it in some ice would probably be smart.

My only issue currently with the product is the price point seems a little high but keep in mind this is 120 feet of 304 SS.  That is expensive right there.  This may not be something a homebrewer would use and be able to justify the price but a commercial brewer definitely could.

We look forward to using this at several festivals this summer with Homebrewers and maybe even some commercial brewers as well.  We will do a review of it then and maybe get some thoughts from you who use these things regularly on what you think and it get posted up.

We would like to thank Micro Matic for giving us this opportunity to review one of their products.  It will be used by all Nebraska Craft Beer fans for years to come.  If you are looking for Beer serving supplies be sure to check them out.  

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