About this project
I am trying to produce kits that we can sell at a reasonable price. The kit is all you need to make your own nICE mugs - a drinking glass made entirely out of ice. After much research and experimentation, I have designed a patent pending mold that is shaped how nature freezes water in a container: thicker at the bottom and thinner along the sides. The material is food grade reusable plastic. The nICE hold feels good in your hand, insulating your hand from the ice. There's a sponge at the bottom of the nICE hold to absorb the melting ice. I love how the product is all 100% reusable. Yea, it takes energy to freeze nICE mugs, but it's nice to know that there's no waste: your nICE mug melts and you can use what's left to rub on your sore shoulder.
nICE mug drink ideas:
One cold Minnesota winter night, as I trudged out to my backyard sauna, I realized that one of the water containers we use to dump water over our heads was left outside, full of water from a sauna a couple days previous. It looked frozen solid.
Sitting on the sauna bench, I dumped out the chunk of ice and noticed that the center was unfrozen. I poured out the liquid center and what remained was a perfectly formed drinking glass. Never to miss an opportunity for a cold beer in a hot sauna, my friend and I poured a beer into the ice and took turns sipping ice cold beer in my 180 degree sauna. We finished one beer, then started on another. The nICE mug melted down a bit, but it never leaked.
The beer tasted fantastic and nICE mug was born.
After that night, I started leaving more water containers outside to freeze, but realized I couldn't quite catch the perfect freeze point: either the nICE mug was too thin, or it came out frozen solid like a hockey puck. So, a mold became the answer. Not just any mold, but a mold that perfectly replicates nature's natural method of freezing a container of water - from the outside in.
We are excited to share nICE mug with you. Just fill the mold with water, freeze overnight, and pop out your authentic nICE mug drinking glass. Thanks for bringing the icy spirit of a cold Minnesota winter chill to wherever you find a thirst for an ice cold one.
nICE mug: if it works in a sauna....
Manufacturing Process and Plan
The Patent Pending nICE mug mold has been tested and refined over the course of many years, and many cold Minnesota winter nights. Nature freezes water in a container in a very unique way:
- Thicker at the bottom.
- Curved on the inside.
- Thinner towards the top.
Sounds simple enough, but it's not easy to copy nature. We had to figure out how to create a mold that contours the natural shape of the freeze, which makes for a stronger, longer lasting nICE mug.
The tool and die is tested, confirmed, and ready to start stamping out nICE mug molds. There are large fixed costs for manufacturing the tool and die, but with a successful Kickstarter campaign, we can produce enough volume of nICE mug molds so that it will be affordable for DIY nICE mug enthusiasts. To manufacturer the molds, we enlisted the services of a family-owned plastic injection molding company in Wisconsin. We have tested their production process at scale and are confident in the quality and fulfillment capacity of their operation. We are excited to have them as our supplier.
We plan to pack and ship nICE mug kits from my garage. Yea, I know, it may sound shoestring, but we ARE shoestring! We aren't a company that outsources everything to other countries. My wife is Shipping Coordinator, and our youngest son is being baited with new sneakers to help with the packing and shipping. We have close friends who run a business and ship from their garage. They will be supervising this family affair to ensure maximum efficiency and minimum drama. Our goal is to get a nICE mug in your hands with a smile on your face.
nICE mug Early Adopter Kit: 2 molds, 4 nICE holds. Make nICE mugs two at a time.
nICE mug Party Kit. Each kit: 4 molds, 8 nICE holds, 1 bottle of all-natural Clear nICE Drops to make clear nICE mugs for you and your friends. PLUS 1 nICE mug T shirt. (M, L, XL)
nICE mug Retreat: Escape to Pine Island, Lake Vermilion, a 7 mile long island in Northern Minnesota three nights for you and up to 5 guests. Hike a beautiful island trail amongst old growth pines, canoe, kayak, fish, take a short boat ride to golf at The Wilderness, Minnesota's top rated course, partake in authentic Finnish sauna session(s) and enjoy gourmet cuisine. Private Yoga sessions and Ayurvedic consultations also available. All meals, lodging, health and wellness services, and transportation from Minneapolis, MN included. PLUS never an arms distance from a nICE Mug.
How to make your own nICE mug:
Glenn Auerbach, inventor, has 20 plus years experience in the food and beverage industry. He understands how to market and sell conventional products but has a passion for things unique, artistic, natural, alternative and fun. He is founder of saunatimes, a leading web resource on sauna culture, and is often found detoxifying in his Backyard or Up North Health & Wellness Retreat (a.k.a "The Cabin").
Mike Johnson is a manufacturing and product development specialist with an eye for innovation. He is married and the proud father of four daughters and an owner of multiple manufacturing businesses.
Carrie Auerbach is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Printing Management. She has spent 30 years in the biz with a focus mostly on production and sales. Her background is in commercial print, packaging and pre-press; She loves working with the food and beverage industry the most. Some of her biggest clients were Snapple and Breyers/Good Humor. She joined the team in the name of fun and won't stop until every freezer in the world is chilling at least one nICE mug.
John Pederson our internet handyman. His day job is running a Web development agency in Minneapolis, MN. Before discovering his righteous passion for open source Web development, he produced programs for NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! and To the Best of Our Knowledge. He launched Indonesia’s first student-run radio station as a Fulbright Fellow in Sumatra, but you may remember him from local cult classics such as The Dance Shanty, Eat for Equity, and his most recent side projet, The Mobile Sauna. John came to the nICE mug campaign by way of Glenn's sauna club.
1. What is nICE mug? nICE mug is a glass made entirely out of ice.
2. How do I make my own nICE mug?
Get a hold of our reusable nICE mug kit. (2 molds, 4 nICE holds).
3. Then what?
- FILL mold with water. Snap on lid mold.
- FREEZE mold for 8 hours or so.
- POP out nICE mug from mold (after setting on the counter for a couple minutes to warm the outside) and place it into your nICE hold.
- POUR in your favorite beverage.
4. Is nICE mug safe?
Yes, the nICE mug mold and nICE hold are food grade plastic. Your lips won't freeze to the nICE mug because the outside will be wet to the touch, not sticky (like the flagpole in the movie "A Christmas Story").
5. What do I put in my nICE mug?
Lots of folks like beer in their nICE mugs. There's Margaritas, Martinis, and root beer for the kids. There is a sect of early adopter tribesmen enjoying prototype nICE mugs with Vodka Pomegranate, freshly grated ginger, and two wedges of lime. Whatever your favorite beverage!
6. Do nICE mugs leak?
7. How long do nICE mugs last?
5 minutes to 30 minutes or longer when you freeze the water without air bubbles. We have lots of tips on how to freeze clear nICE mugs at www.nicemug.com
Stockpiling nICE mugs is just another word for nothing left to lose.
a nICE mug kit produces drinking glasses made entirely out of ice. The nICE thing about a nICE mug kit is that you can keep making nICE mugs over and over, stockpiling your nICE mugs, building inventory for your next party.
The nICE mug kit contains two reusable molds and four reusable holds. how nICE is it to have a product that you can use over and over and over?
TIP: when taking nICE mugs out of your freezer, let them set up at room temperature for a couple minutes before pouring in your favorite beverage. This keeps your nICE mugs from cracking with excitement.
BONUS: making room in your freezer for an inventory of nICE mugs is a fun way to celebrate nature, nonconformity, and fun. Some think a beer glass with a gold rim is unique. We think a drinking glass made out of ice is REALLY unique.
Risks and challenges
Custom molds are really expensive, costing many thousands of dollars. We thank you for backing nICE mug because with your support, we can produce enough kits to ship yours at a reasonable price so you can enjoy making and using your own nICE mugs!
I am really excited to get user feedback on how to best make long lasting nICE mugs. With a bunch of folks making nICE mugs, I am confident that people will come up with some great tips to get their nICE mugs to last a long time. My personal record is 30 minutes. Air pockets are not good for nICE mugs. I've applied the "double freeze" method and this seems to work great. The Clear nICE drops (100% all natural lemon oil) also help get the air bubbles out. Lately, i've been using distilled and reverse osmosis water that make 100% clear long lasting nICE mugs. The product sets you up for an adventure. Not everyone may be up for the DIY aspect of this product or the participation and engagement this product requires. Ultimately, though, nICE mug is a celebration of nature - it's imperfection and beauty.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
about 12 oz. What's nICE about the nICE mug mold, is one can fill the mold full of water to make a tall nICE mug, or fill the mold with less water to make more of a cocktail glass size nICE mug.
Clear nICE drops are 100% all natural lemon oil. We find that clear nICE drops act as an emulsifier, helping to freeze water more clear. What's more, a drop or two of clear nICE drops in a nICE mug mold create nICE mugs that smell fresh, not overpowering, but a fresh, clean lemony smell. Some may not like this, and that's ok. Yet if folks have smelly ice cubes and freezers, they may enjoy the clear nICE drops in their nICE mugs.
Each nICE mug kit will be shipping with clear (cough, cough) instructions on how to make long lasting nICE mugs. The cough cough is because long lasting nICE mugs are directly relative to being able to make clear ice.
Clear ice can be tricky business. However, I have tested and perfected the process of getting water to freeze clear in the nICE mug mold.
Though nICE mug welcomes tricks and tips on getting water to freeze clear, we have extensively tested such things as:
2. Reverse Osmosis.
3. Filtered Water.
4. Holding one's breath and drinking 16 oz. of water. Oh, wait, no, that's for hick ups.
But seriously, here's the deal. Those of us from cold climates, like here in Minnesota, may have had the fortunate experience of ice skating on a freshly frozen lake. Nature provides perfect ice under perfect freeze conditions. Lakes don't freeze clear because they were boiled twice, or sent through a reverse osmosis machine. Clear ice happens beautifully, during dry, cold, calm winter nights. A thin layer of ice covers the lake, then layers build down from there. The nICE mug mold "tricks" your freezer by replicating this natural freeze process.
I can tell you more, yet there is more clear ice chatter to come on www.nicemug.com.
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