Okay, you all are mail-bombing me and it is fantastic. I love me some “Ask Dr. Science” action while wielding a delicious cocktail. Bringing it on thusly:
Question 1: So, of the different Steins of Science, which one is best? These things are expensive and I want to get the best one.
Answer: This is like going to the slave market and asking a mother which of her children will provide good value for money. But, if I were going to judge strictly on beverage temperature stability I’d have to say that the 1000ml is your best performer. The cryostat properties are primarily a function of the ratio of vessel volume to liquid surface area exposed to air.
Let’s get numerical and create a “Beer Coldness Number” for the steins, AKA the volume to exposed surface area ratio, where lower is better: 350ml = 10.996, 665ml = 5.787, 1000ml = 3.848, 1900ml = 5.952, and 4300ml = 3.735.
Of the five, the 4300ml monster actually has the least exposed surface area for the liquid volume…but I somewhat doubt you’ll be wandering into a bar with the 4300ml. The 1000ml stein is a more reasonable size to confront the average bartender with and the 4300ml is only a marginal improvement in relative performance.
Which brings us to our next question…
Question 2: Will bartenders really serve me in these steins?
Answer: Mainly depends on how awesome your bartender is and if the place suffers from a bad case of computers. I find that the 665ml tends to be the most readily accepted size in my bar wanderings.
More seriously, most bar order tracking software has only been programmed to cope with pints & halves. Outside of German restaurants and the nation of Germany proper, the computer probably isn’t programmed to cope with 1000ml servings. Getting served with the half (350ml) and the imperial pint sized stein (665ml) hasn’t been a problem outside of Australia so far. Bars without newfangled order tracking systems tend to be more loose and free with what they’re willing to serve in, although they are welcome to be similarly loose and free with the price they charge you (I’m looking at you, England).
Now, the tricky part is does your stein fit under their taps? Shockingly, this has been a problem with the 1000ml at some places. To the best of my knowledge, no one has tried to take a 4300ml into a bar…
Oh, protip, some places will try to do a favor and stick your stein in the dishwasher to clean it. DON’T let them do this. Just water rinse.