Miller Lite Home Draft Dissected

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DarthBeer

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Here's some pics of the Miller Lite Home Draft taken apart. I have the 60qt Igloo Cube cooler. It will easily hold two of these with plenty of room to spare.

The idea I'm kicking around for the 4th of July is to mount two of these taps on the outside of the cooler and the bottles on the inside of the cooler covered in ice. Tailgating! :mug:

It's very easy to disassemble and the only catch is the CO2 cartridge has a couple teeth that catch when the cylinder is turned and activated. Likely this is to keep some drunk from trying to remove a charged cylinder and causing damage and injury. A pair of vise grip pliers or channel locks will easily break those tabs off. It uses a standard 16gram CO2 cartridge.

After disposing of the Miller, I filled it with water and replaced the CO2 cartridge. It works great. No mod's needed. The bottle is stamped 1 PETE and feels alot like the material used for 2 liter sodas. Although it's a bit more rigid being that it stays rock hard until the bottle is completely empty to the last drop and the remainder of the gas discharges.





 

Revvy

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I thought so, by looking at the stupid commercials I knew it was just a glorified tap a draft system. In fact wasn't there a product out awhile back called the beer ball? Looks the the TAD valve system and a beerball

Thanks for doing this.....Hopefully your Miller disposal wasn't too nauseating. :D
 

Revvy

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Couldn't this be done with 3 gallon cornies and a cooler?
I don't think that's the market Miller is going for with these things. Just like the "Vortex" bottle, it's another marketing gimmick for the BMC crowed. It's the ability to have a small volume of their beer "on tap" in the fridge. BUT I think it's just desserts to see it re-habbed for homebrewers.
 
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DarthBeer

DarthBeer

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I thought so, by looking at the stupid commercials I knew it was just a glorified tap a draft system. In fact wasn't there a product out awhile back called the beer ball? Looks the the TAD valve system and a beerball

Thanks for doing this.....Hopefully your Miller disposal wasn't too nauseating. :D
I did try a glass to see how it tasted since I hadn't had Miller in a very long time. Free beer is better than no beer...usually. It seemed to taste flat and kinda nasty right from the first pour. Although that maybe just the way Miller is.

None of my friends wanted to come drink it and I wanted to tinker. So it all went down the drain.
 
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DarthBeer

DarthBeer

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Yeah.. but I imagine that these are considerably cheaper then the elusive 3 gallon cornies =)
I figured with the prices on the tap-a-draft site. The price for 3 of these versus the cost of 3 taps and bottles from tap-a-draft...that the Miller containers would cost about $70 less. So even if you just throw away the beer, your still getting a decent deal.

I'll have to look into what the tap-a-draft bottles are made of. They might be better quality. I like the Miller taps better though. It just looks like a better design to have one 16gram cartridge than two 8gram ones.
 

jcdillin

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This is a pretty damn good idea, I was looking for a way to take homebrew to my parents house on the 4th without having to lug 2 milk crates of bottles up. I may have to pick a couple of these up to try.
 

Revvy

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I figured with the prices on the tap-a-draft site. The price for 3 of these versus the cost of 3 taps and bottles from tap-a-draft...that the Miller containers would cost about $70 less. So even if you just throw away the beer, your still getting a decent deal.

I'll have to look into what the tap-a-draft bottles are made of. They might be better quality. I like the Miller taps better though. It just looks like a better design to have one 16gram cartridge than two 8gram ones.
I wonder if the threading or whatever on the miller setup would fit the TAD bottles. You can get the bottles relatively cheap.

The thing is, I'm sure these things turn up on trash day a lot, so garbage picking them may be relatively easy.
 

DrugCoder

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I'd love to tinker with one of these things but I still haven't seen any around here. Anyone in the North GA / SE Tenn area know where they're available?
 

FromZwolle

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i got two of these for free from a buddy of mine. they hold 5L, about 1.5 gallons. they work great with 16gram co2 cartridges, but all i have is 12g ones. i found that you can match the height of the 16g by dropping a dime into the bottom of the co2 holder. the width of the neck is too small on the 12g, but a small o-ring should fix that, but i'm too impatient and just wrapped it up in some plumbers tape. mini keg system for free=sweet.
 
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DarthBeer

DarthBeer

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Does anyone know what size the mouth of this Miller TAD bottle is? The reg TAD ones are 38mm (1.49 inches). These seem like they must be more like 1 1/8th inch. Since a 1 1/4th inch cap is too loose and a 1 inch cap is slightly too small.
 
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DarthBeer

DarthBeer

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Yes. Thats what I measured also. It seems the problem I was having was that I was trying to put a schedule 40 PVC cap on it. The sizing/threading on those must be different. A lid from a 2 liter sports bottle fits it just fine though.

I'm going to test though if I can force carb using this or not. 1 cartridge to carb and then another to dispense the beer. Right now I've got it filled with water and sitting in the fridge. I'm waiting for the water to get cold enough that the CO2 will more readily absorb into the water. It won't be exact given the difference in density between water and beer. It should give a general idea of the concept though.
 

DrawTap88

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I had this same idea when I saw one of these at my buddies house. Glad someone is taking the initiative on this.
 

android

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I'm going to test though if I can force carb using this or not. 1 cartridge to carb and then another to dispense the beer. Right now I've got it filled with water and sitting in the fridge. I'm waiting for the water to get cold enough that the CO2 will more readily absorb into the water. I won't be exact given the difference in density between water and beer. It should give a general idea of the concept though.
speaking of carbing, how are people getting the beer carbed inside them? are you just filling it slowly from your keg counter pressure style or what?
 

Mose

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I have "force Carbed" with the TAD system and it was fine, at least to my taste. I imagine you could do the same with this. I prefer to natural carb in TAD and use a single Co2 to push the beer, but that's really just my personal preference. I've found it works fine both ways, you can go through a lot of Co2 cartridges with force carbing though.

This looks pretty cool, not used with BMC of course, thanks for posting about it.
 

KFBass

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interesting concept. Is it weird to kind of wish they sold that in Canada now?? Maybe a road trip to buffalo is in order.
 

FromZwolle

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speaking of carbing, how are people getting the beer carbed inside them? are you just filling it slowly from your keg counter pressure style or what?
that's what i was doing. i used the bm bottle filler and filled it up, then used the cartridge to push. i believe read somewhere that someone was using them to naturally carbonate, but with the way the diptube sits, it seems like every glass would have a lot of yeast in it.
 

Mose

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that's what i was doing. i used the bm bottle filler and filled it up, then used the cartridge to push. i believe read somewhere that someone was using them to naturally carbonate, but with the way the diptube sits, it seems like every glass would have a lot of yeast in it.
That's a good point, I hadn't thought about that really. My TAD is set up the same way and I have not seen any excess sludge in my pours. I have a strawberry wheat carbing up naturally right now in a TAD bottle, when I put it on the cartridge I'll pay closer attention.

I can say that when the bottle is empty there is a little trubishness around the tube.
 
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DarthBeer

DarthBeer

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I've had a pressurized Miller lite TAD filled with water sitting in the fridge for the last week. It seems to be slightly carbonated. Enough to notice some tingling on the tongue. Although the regulator built into it doesn't seem to keep it at much more than 10-15 psi.

For comparison, I had a 5 gal keg of water carb'ing @ 30 psi for the same time period. The TAD seems to have maybe 25% the carbonation of the keg. Force carb'ing with the tad might still be good for small test batches though.
 
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DarthBeer

DarthBeer

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It looks like the price of the homebrew draft system is coming down in some stores. A month ago the price was $24.99. It's now $17.99 at the local Kroger grocery store.

This system seems to force carb pretty well using two 16gram CO2 cartridges. After 2-3 days it flows out slower and there's no bubbling sound of co2 being released into the beer. Then replace the cartridge and let it sit for another 2-3 days. I've got part of an apfelwein batch in there now. It's carbed nicely and tastes great!
 

enicholson

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I just picked one of these up at Harris Teeter for $17.99. Terrible price for 5.7L of Miller, but a great price for a (hopefully) reusable tap & bottle.

For those that were interested. The bottle is EXACTLY the same as my official Tap-A-Draft bottles, not just similar but exact. I'm sure these are the same 6L (5.7 + some CO2 space) bottles from the same factory. So any of the TAD caps, taps, or info should be applicable.

I'm going to order some CO2 and see how it goes. If it works out well, I'll probably buy at least one more.

BTW: I'd bet good money these are off the market in less than 3 months. What a worthless gimmick... Great for us brewers though!
 

Special Hops

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Question is - when will the rest of the country see these. I have never seen one in a store ( in SC). I am going camping in a couple of weeks and this would be a perfect way to carry some homebrew.
 

kegtoe

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I like your thinking but why not come up with something from a bells mini keg - that way you are supporting good beer and you can reuse the keg. I've seen some of the mini kegs go for 15 empty. The Bells beer is 20-25 AND you get delicious beer with it. You can buy a bung for a buck at lots of internet homebrew supplies if you ruin the original pulling it out.
 

CodyRay

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Just saw an ad today for a Coors Light version of this, it also holds 5.7L. Seeing as how I dislike Coors just a bit less than Miller I might buy one and see if it is also reusable.
 

Catt22

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I think they are all exactly the same. They are not intended to be reused, but that's never stopped us before. Someone gave me one several weeks ago, but I have not done anything with it other than test it out with some water to see how it worked.
 

CodyRay

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Any info on how long the bottles hold up with beer inside them? Say I want to fill it with an IPA or Imperial Stout with wood chips and let it age for a year.
 

Catt22

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Any info on how long the bottles hold up with beer inside them? Say I want to fill it with an IPA or Imperial Stout with wood chips and let it age for a year.
Supposedly, oxygen can penetrate the plastic, so this might not be the best way to go for long term storage. I would go with glass bottles, a corny keg or a glass carboy before I would try it with a plastic bottle.
 

CodyRay

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Ok, sacked up and drank all the coors light and have disassembled. It is the exact same system as the miller draft only it is black and silver. Gonna do a simple extract brew tomorrow and see how reusable this actually is.
 
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DarthBeer

DarthBeer

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Something I was just reminded of last night. Make sure you let the beer chill for 24 hrs before adding the co2 cartridge. If not, the bottle will pressurize but the majority of the cartridge will vent out the pressure release on the side of the tap. If that occurs, its probably best to wait a day or two for the co2 to absorb into the beer before removing the cartridge.
 

Ibrewaletx

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Something I was just reminded of last night. Make sure you let the beer chill for 24 hrs before adding the co2 cartridge. If not, the bottle will pressurize but the majority of the cartridge will vent out the pressure release on the side of the tap. If that occurs, its probably best to wait a day or two for the co2 to absorb into the beer before removing the cartridge.
Great tip.
Just tried using mine the 2nd time with water, this time chilled.
Had CO2 coming out everywhere (relief I guess).
I will bite the bullet when I bottle my IPA soon and give it a shot. If it doesn't work I guess I could have a few people hurry over and drink the 5.7L of IPA (or try to rebottle?)
 

Hannable1975

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OK, I had the same idea, and I dissected mine. It works PERFECT. I even use one with fruit punch and rum in it at parties. (swmbo likes it ) .

I am going to order a Tap a Draft Jug, just to see if the threading is the same / compatible. If so, I plan to stock up ( I have 2 jugs now ) and "economy keg" my brew until I can make a full fledged keg system feasible.

In the meantime, I plan to put up 2 gals of my current brew, and bottle the rest.

Will post results from using for home brew, but honestly at this point can think of no reason why it won't work and differently.
 
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