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Old 04-26-2014, 04:38 PM   #1
festbier
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Default My letter to PicoBrew

I'm sure these guys have been mentioned on here before but here is a letter I sent them. I'm not completely sold on the idea, as it takes out the hands-on element of brewing. However, it would free up a lot of time to get into something else, like yeast culturing.

http://picobrew.com

Here it is:

Hello, I am a home brewer with a few years of experience. I like the idea of the PicoBrew system as it obviously eliminates a vast percentage of the effort (however, some, even myself at times, claim that is what home brewing is all about). Anyway, I would like to get more detailed information on the operation of the system. Aside from tweaking the recipes, how much more is controlled by the brewer (temps, sparge/boil time)? Also, what is the estimated brewhouse efficiency when following the recipe (as long as you don't pack in a ton of grain or too small of an amount)? Lastly, over time certain mechanical parts will need to be replaced. Is this something the brewer will be able to do?

An information video that is developed for home brewers that answers questions, such as the ones listed above would be helpful. Simply stating that all the work is done for you is ok for some, but most home brewers (which will be a great percentage of your clients) need to know more.

Also, one of your videos mentioned that the PicoBrew system eliminates the "home brew taste". That is total BS, and a disgrace to people who brew the right way and do a damn good job at it. There is no "home brew taste" that is unique to home brewed beer, unless we're talking about freshness. Which, in that case, we would not want to eliminate.

Sorry for the rant. All in all, I am interested in your system and would like to know a little more technical information, as it pertains to the DIY type of person that is your typical home brewer. Thank you.

Regards,

Brian Bearden
Hollywood, FL


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Old 04-26-2014, 05:12 PM   #2
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When did you send this to them? I am interested to see what their response is.


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Old 04-26-2014, 05:20 PM   #3
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Same here! Def post their response.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by festbier View Post
Also, one of your videos mentioned that the PicoBrew system eliminates the "home brew taste". That is total BS, and a disgrace to people who brew the right way and do a damn good job at it. There is no "home brew taste" that is unique to home brewed beer, unless we're talking about freshness. Which, in that case, we would not want to eliminate.
Because you were insulted by that means it's probably not the system for you.

I'm sure you're not their target demographic. Their target demographic is the guy who wants to make beer, but has no idea what they're doing... Lives in a small house or apt... He wants to be cool and show off his beer making skills and has too much money to spend and not enough time to dedicate. So he rather buy this gadget vs doing it the tried and true way.

Beers from kits can have that "Homebrew taste" they're doing all grain to eliminate that, so what they said isn't untrue. Again... This shows their target isn't the avid all grain brewer.

Bottom line, this gadget is for the guy who also owns a $3,000 espresso machine in his wall that he fills with beans and pushes a button to make "professional quality espresso"
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insanim8er View Post
Because you were insulted by that means it's probably not the system for you.

I'm sure you're not their target demographic. Their target demographic is the guy who wants to make beer, but has no idea what they're doing... Lives in a small house or apt... He wants to be cool and show off his beer making skills and has too much money to spend and not enough time to dedicate. So he rather buy this gadget vs doing it the tried and true way.

Beers from kits can have that "Homebrew taste" they're doing all grain to eliminate that, so what they said isn't untrue. Again... This shows their target isn't the avid all grain brewer.

Bottom line, this gadget is for the guy who also owns a $3,000 espresso machine in his wall that he fills with beans and pushes a button to make "professional quality espresso"
True, true...well stated!

To the others, I sent this today, just before posting here. I'll follow up with their reply when I get it.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:09 PM   #6
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You should ask QoB about the picobrew. From what I heard on the BN, she was pretty skeptical, but came around after using one. I could totally see owning one, although I'd probably end up brewing way more beer than I could ever drink.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by FarmerTed View Post
You should ask QoB about the picobrew. From what I heard on the BN, she was pretty skeptical, but came around after using one. I could totally see owning one, although I'd probably end up brewing way more beer than I could ever drink.
...and ended up working for them. It's a good episode for people to check out if they are skeptical. I agree it's not for everyone, and I completely understand why other people are leery about it. However, it does sound like very well equipped machine. The homebrew comment is probably just marketing, which is nothing new. Personally, if I'm going to spend more money it will probably be on another kettle to have a direct-fired mash tun, not a toaster-oven looking auto-brewing machine.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:26 PM   #8
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Default That "homebrew taste"

There IS a "homebrew taste".... but that's not normally a bad thing. It's the taste of something that didn't come from a factory, unique and personalized. It's the taste of interesting combinations put together in unique ways. It's the taste of a beer that might not be exactly the same as the previous batch.
Suggesting that a "homebrew taste" is something that should be eliminated implies that the ultimate in beers are factory beers. That we should all strive to produce products that are more like Budweiser............. And that is insulting to all of us!! It is extremely poor and misguided marketing that can only be meant to target "Joe Sixpack" who has tried a few poor home brews made with bread yeast, or otherwise botched.

We however shouldn't let stupid marketing prevent us from looking at the potential for this machine. A wonderful device that can fill a niche, and a great potential "business plan" for your local home brew store. Imagine going online at BeerSmith, and designing a recipe or tweaking one a little, logging onto the LHBS website where you have an account, and plugging your recipe into their system and "pulling the trigger". After work the next day you drop by and pick up your wort............ or pitch the yeast, and put it in their controlled brewing environment to collect later and bottle. Suppose you want to try half a dozen minor variants to hone in on what you want............... Suppose you are running a microbrewery and want to tweak a recipe, but you are busily brewing 15 barrel batches, serving customers, marketing product, etc............. Imagine you are looking to brew a batch specially for a friend's wedding, but it needs to be unique and original, and you want to hone in on a particular taste........... There are countless situations where the PicoBrew could be a real asset.

H.W.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:33 PM   #9
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I dunno, the homebrews I made in the mid-90's all had a 'taste'. I think it was called the "I used the dry yeast packet on the bottom of the extract can" taste. It wasn't for the faint of heart.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:37 PM   #10
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I've tasted some great homebrews, and some that at best have a "homebrew taste". Why? In-proper sanitation, fermentation temperatures, etc.


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