Beermkr

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Anyhowe

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Don’t see a thread for this yet. A new guy trying to get to the market. This is going to be awesome when we have multiple well functioning units to choose from.

Right now I think we have two auto systems. The Brewie and the Pico. The Beermkr, if it works, i think will be the first Beer making device as the other two are really just wort makers.

All these guys are on the bleeding edge; given the lack of units since the first Pico it is apparently not simple to do. I love to see people pushing the edges. One just has to expect that these ‘first wave’ auto units will not function as trouble free as a stainless pot and a blue flame. Great to be a player in all of this.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/433436998/beermkr-all-in-one-craft-beer-brewing-machine

The beermkr will be interesting to follow. Not sure how they deal with what appears to be mash only hops. And I don’t know how they will cool fermentation temps in warmer climates and/or for lagers. But they do have some in house knowledge for cooling. Interesting stuff indeed.

Like always with new stuff there will be way more questions than answers at this point. Get your popcorn...
 
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Anyhowe

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Ask , and ye shal recieve. From Aaron.

BEERMKR relies on Steam Hops to get bittering (www.steamhops.com). They can be added at any point the the brew to aroma, flavor, and bitter match specific timing profiles. They're incredible and we've been using them for quite some time.

The heat exchange system is thermoelectric. It actually takes the technology from a BrewJacket Immersion and puts it in the BEERMKR. BEERMKR can get to 35° above or below your ambient temperature for fermentation. So if you're in a 75° house you'll be able to get down to freezing or up to 100°.”
 

Onthebrew

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It looks good. I am tempted. i would see it as an addition to my set up- a hassle free and quick way to experiment with limited wastage. However i am not sure how flexible it is. i am in the UK and not even sure you can get steam hops here. I take it you can create your own grain bills though? am tempted
 

kh54s10

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Boy what a snotty presentation. Claiming that it takes massive amounts of expensive equipment and years of learning and even then you might not be able to make a craft beer quality product. I don't know about other people but I had invested less than $200 by second extract brew and I would say that it was better than 80% of commercial craft beers. Now, after 7 1/4 years, I do have a lot of equipment, it does take longer to finish. But I would rate 75% of my beers are better than the average commercial craft beer. The ones that don't make the grade are usually beers that are pushing the limits. Besides, I enjoy brewing the beer almost as much as drinking it.

And I end up with 5 gallons not just 1!
 
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Anyhowe

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... I don't know about other people but I had invested less than $200 by second extract brew and I would say that it was better than 80% of commercial craft beers. Now, after 7 1/4 years, I do have a lot of equipment, it does take longer to finish. But I would rate 75% of my beers are better than the average commercial craft beer.
So if I read you right, after 7.5 years you are actually producing worse beer than you did when you started?
 

kh54s10

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No you didn't read that right. The ONE, second beer, was better than 80% of commercial beers. All the rest combined, 75% of all my brews, I would say that most were better than an average commercial beer. Among those were a few that I would rate better than any commercial craft beer in the range of $9 - $15 a sixpack. I can't rate them against a beer that costs $20 a bomber because I have never bought one of those. Of the 25% that weren't better, many were better than a lot of commercial beers, Some were not so good, most of the not so good ones were experiments and only 2 dumpers in 102 batches. Both of those 2 were extreme experiments.
 

TechFanMD

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Boy what a snotty presentation. Claiming that it takes massive amounts of expensive equipment and years of learning and even then you might not be able to make a craft beer quality product. I don't know about other people but I had invested less than $200 by second extract brew and I would say that it was better than 80% of commercial craft beers. Now, after 7 1/4 years, I do have a lot of equipment, it does take longer to finish. But I would rate 75% of my beers are better than the average commercial craft beer. The ones that don't make the grade are usually beers that are pushing the limits. Besides, I enjoy brewing the beer almost as much as drinking it.

And I end up with 5 gallons not just 1!

But the fact is, it does take equipment that requires space, and there is a cost to that equipment, and there is a lot of work and time involved. Some people who enjoy the process of brewing wouldn't mind something easier sometimes. I could see buying this to do pilot batches and experiment. Because it requires less time, people would be able to brew more often (every week or so) and still have other interests or spend more time with their family. It isn't for everyone, but for people with limited time or limited space it would be great. If you can't afford to do an all electric setup it is great in harsh climates to be able to brew when it is too cold/snowy/windy for months of the year.

Their presentation did come across a bit extreme, but it was pretty close to the reality that keeps people from getting into brewing or causes them to leave the hobby.
 

chiefwigms

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Saw it last night - looked pretty cool, but basic. Add all the adjuncts in w/ grains, and let it do its thing.
 

thunderwagn

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Guess it's all in what you want to do and what interests you. I didn't take the presentation as snotty at all. Anyone advertising has a sales pitch, and when I stopped by beermkr last night at GABF, they were anything but snotty. The staff was very helpful and friendly. Much more so than the Pico crew when I stopped by their booth. I put a purchase in this morning for the beermkr unit with 3 kits on the kickstart program. I brew all grain and will continue to do so, but I also like convenience and playing with cool homebrew toys. I think it's a cool unit. The temp controlled fermentation and the fact that you don't do any real transferring, other than removing the wort bag from the brewing/fermentation unit and then place it in the dispensing unit, pretty much sealed the deal for me.
These units aren't for everyone. I'm just fine paying a few bucks ($12 or so) for what amounts to a 12 pack. I get to continue brewing 5+ gallons with my all grain set up and have a few extra beers in the fridge with the beermkr set up. All sounds like fun and beer to me!
 
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Anyhowe

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This is my set up with the grinder, stirrer, dehydrator, Pico, PicoStill, and Zymatic.

This unit could be the real deal for apartment dwellers and those who live in small quarters like a boat. Space for quality controlled Fermentation, racking and storing are the missing links for both Pico and Brewie.

The Z does all I need it to and I really don’t use the pico much at all ‘cept for use with the PicoStill. And even that will go away with the Z2

That said, if this became scaleable to 2-3 gallons or more that would be interesting indeed.
 
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8rnw8

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I’m in. I will continue doing 5-10 gallon batches for personal and competitions, but this is a SUPER easy way to quickly test recipes, or just have a 12 pack of something rather than 5 gallons of it.

To be able to throw stuff in, taste it in a week with my brew partner, tweak the recipe if needed, and be ready to brew 5-10 gallons on brew day will rapidly decrease the experimental period where we are perfecting recipes, and be much cheaper in the process (once the unit is paid off obviously).

To the poster who says they were brewing better beer than the commercial craft breweries when they first started in extracts, I’d say great for you! I’d also wonder which commercial craft beers you are referring to. Regardless, it’s great that you had such early success. Many many newbies in both extract and all grain struggle initially for a multitude of reasons. Hell, the pursuit of perfection continues to drive my brewing process.

This isn’t going to replace my kettle, or mashtun. It is however, going to be a new tool in my arsenal for faster recipe development, and also something fun to have around when I feel like a 12 pack of something different, that I developed, and way cheaper than I could buy it in the store.
 

rjs3273

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I keep changing my mind. Every day I seem to blow back and forth between being keen and not. I'd love to spend some time playing with this. One of the biggest appeals would be trying out all sorts of crazy and less crazy ideas. Anything from outlandish experiments to trying to go for absolute consistency and repeatability. But... I am not convinced anything I discovered on this would be scalable to bigger brews. I could fine tune some sort of ambrosian nectar on this, but how reliably could I then do a 5gal version?

Funnily enough, and despite their noble goals, I think lack of space is actually one thing that is discouraging me. All the kettles, buckets, burners and junk are out in the shed. This would have to come indoors and there is just no room in our tiny apartment kitchen.

I just wish I still lived in Boulder. I'd like to visit them and have a look at it for myself.
 

rjs3273

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To be able to throw stuff in, taste it in a week with my brew partner, tweak the recipe if needed, and be ready to brew 5-10 gallons on brew day will rapidly decrease the experimental period where we are perfecting recipes

I hope you and others will be writing up your experiences on here. I am really looking forward to that. As I said in my post, I worry that scaling from this to a 5gal batch (ramped mash temperatures? boil? conventional hops?) may turn out to be an unreliable process. Even just for the 1gal batch though, it still looks pretty appealing.
 
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Anyhowe

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I hope you and others will be writing up your experiences on here. I am really looking forward to that. As I said in my post, I worry that scaling from this to a 5gal batch (ramped mash temperatures? boil? conventional hops?) may turn out to be an unreliable process. Even just for the 1gal batch though, it still looks pretty appealing.
Won’t be perfect, but no reason it should be very close for Home brew purposes.
 

8rnw8

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I hope you and others will be writing up your experiences on here. I am really looking forward to that. As I said in my post, I worry that scaling from this to a 5gal batch (ramped mash temperatures? boil? conventional hops?) may turn out to be an unreliable process. Even just for the 1gal batch though, it still looks pretty appealing.

Sure! I’m excited to try it. Remind me if you don’t see it fairly shortly after release, and I’ll write up a full report.
 

oddcopter

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It sounds interesting, but my biggest hangup is having to use the special hops mentioned. They don't appear to be widely available.

I also wonder how well the trub/yeast trapping capability works.

If it worked with off the shelf ingredients and I could build my own recipes without ordering a kit, I would definitely buy one.
 

HarkinBanks

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Interesting product, thanks for posting. I have a Brewie+, a Robobrew v3 and a Vessi, might as well add this one to the mix. I like people trying to push the edge of the envelope. The steam hops, no true boil (only hits 150F), and all in one machine including temp controlled fermentation, are intriguing. They priced it right, any higher and I wouldn't have bit.
 

deadwolfbones

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I keep changing my mind. Every day I seem to blow back and forth between being keen and not. I'd love to spend some time playing with this. One of the biggest appeals would be trying out all sorts of crazy and less crazy ideas. Anything from outlandish experiments to trying to go for absolute consistency and repeatability. But... I am not convinced anything I discovered on this would be scalable to bigger brews.

Yeah, this is my concern as well, especially given the use of SteamHops/hop tea and adding extra ingredients before the mash. It just doesn't translate to my larger system.
 

Brewfreedom

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Started getting ads for this thing on facebook. Hard pass. They seem to have also attracted the same obnoxious fanboy types that pico's ads and forums was infested with right up until the lights went out. I get it you have to white knight your $500 soon to be paper weight to not feel like an idiot when they stop supporting you.
 

bwible

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I’ve been getting ads for this too - most recently from the AHA. I’m not opposed to this kind of system, especially being north of 60 and realizing I don’t want to be doing lifting etc. The idea of an automatic brewing system is appealing, but this thing leaves many questions.

For starters, how much beer does it make? Their website has multiple instruction videos but I couldn’t find basic info. Whoever is doing their website and marketing is doing a poor job.

Second, what about those bags? It seems like they are not designed to be re-used, yet I can’t find any for sale. They make a point to tell you that you can brew your own recipes but all they have for sale are 4 packs or 6 packs of their “randomly selected” beer kits. (edit: I’ve been told now you can buy them in their app. But again, poorly communicated.)

Could you re-use yeast? It seems like you could probably take it out of the waste bag. If I was brewing frequently on a small scale system like this then that would be a big deal - given the cost of yeast and the small batch size.

They only have you add hops after the mash is complete and the hops are not boiled. In fact, the wort is never boiled at all. Can’t imagine thats going to work well unless you want to brew NEIPA exclusively. Maybe you would buy hop extract and add that but that would be trial and error. This would have me wanting to drain the bag to my kettle after the mash to boil that for an hour with hops. And that no-boil part alone is probably the biggest deal breaker for me.

Then there’s that beer dispenser. That thing just looks like a real PITA.

Lastly, as stated previously - how long does anybody think these guys will even be around looking at the string of previous failures? $579 is too much to spend for a toy to only use for a couple years.
 
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bucknut60

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Here's a link from their FB page that goes into a little more detail. BeerMKR. I'am a kickstarter backer of the project, and I recieved my unit in December after a very long wait, mostly due to covid. I bought the unit to do small batches and experiment with new styles, after almost 30 years of homebrewing I've come back to more simple brewing. I still do 2.5 gal biab and keg, but this machine gives me more freedom to try styles and ingredients I might not other had tried for fear of making something I couldn't stand. Since getting I've done 4 batches, most recently a Kolsch kit from BeerMKR, having never brewed a Kolsch and only drank 1 or 2 commercial ones, I really enjoyed this one and will definitely brew it again this summer and maybe get a little creative with the ingredients. Only thing I don't like is the beertap that is used to dispense the beer, it has alot of problems with the valve connections and the tubing. Most of us have came up with a work around for the C02 regulator and have got it working pretty consistently for the most part. Others are transferring the beer to other servicing devices. So far, I'm pretty happy with it as it works as advertised, and the beer coming out is very good.....imho.
 

bwible

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Here's a link from their FB page that goes into a little more detail. BeerMKR. I'am a kickstarter backer of the project, and I recieved my unit in December after a very long wait, mostly due to covid. I bought the unit to do small batches and experiment with new styles, after almost 30 years of homebrewing I've come back to more simple brewing. I still do 2.5 gal biab and keg, but this machine gives me more freedom to try styles and ingredients I might not other had tried for fear of making something I couldn't stand. Since getting I've done 4 batches, most recently a Kolsch kit from BeerMKR, having never brewed a Kolsch and only drank 1 or 2 commercial ones, I really enjoyed this one and will definitely brew it again this summer and maybe get a little creative with the ingredients. Only thing I don't like is the beertap that is used to dispense the beer, it has alot of problems with the valve connections and the tubing. Most of us have came up with a work around for the C02 regulator and have got it working pretty consistently for the most part. Others are transferring the beer to other servicing devices. So far, I'm pretty happy with it as it works as advertised, and the beer coming out is very good.....imho.
Thanks but I’ve been off of FB for several years and have no plans to ever return....
 

joesc230

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I'm super interested in the BeerMKR. Looks fantastic. My only concern are the plastic internals, like the brewing pouch and the screw on caps. Has anyone asked the company about the possibility of the plastics releasing chemicals into the beer while the heating process is occurring?

Don't get me wrong - I know alcohol isn't exactly a health food...but I'd rather minimize any potential risks to just the alcohol itself.
 

bucknut60

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I'm super interested in the BeerMKR. Looks fantastic. My only concern are the plastic internals, like the brewing pouch and the screw on caps. Has anyone asked the company about the possibility of the plastics releasing chemicals into the beer while the heating process is occurring?

Don't get me wrong - I know alcohol isn't exactly a health food...but I'd rather minimize any potential risks to just the alcohol itself.

Here's the reply from BeerMKR, " Thanks for asking. The materials are food safe for being heated. The plastics are all polypropylene and the bag is an evoh/nylon mixture good with food and beer. "

I know some guys are choosing to reuse the bags, but that's kinda were I don't feel comfortable doing, so I just toss/recycle them.
 

Brewfreedom

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Boy what a snotty presentation. Claiming that it takes massive amounts of expensive equipment and years of learning and even then you might not be able to make a craft beer quality product. I don't know about other people but I had invested less than $200 by second extract brew and I would say that it was better than 80% of commercial craft beers. Now, after 7 1/4 years, I do have a lot of equipment, it does take longer to finish. But I would rate 75% of my beers are better than the average commercial craft beer. The ones that don't make the grade are usually beers that are pushing the limits. Besides, I enjoy brewing the beer almost as much as drinking it.

And I end up with 5 gallons not just 1!
I got the same impression. And as much as I crapped on pico over the years their machines, when they worked were actually capable of making some really good beer. It says its cloud controlled. So big red flag there. What happens when their cloud is down? Is it a paper weight? Website doesnt give me much details on mash temp control and seems to indicate i throw my grains and hops in at once? And the answer to hop addition timing is to buy diff types of steam hops. I cant get past the fermenting in a bag part. Why? Just no. No please go away. I dont get the appeal at all. Im sure this process can work for a gallon of beer and there are guys in federal prison applying these very same techniques brewing similar sized batches in toilets. Im still not going to drink it.
 

bucknut60

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Yes, the Beermkr makes really good stouts, porters, but I'm still trying to get a good ipa. The hop bitterness comes through, but flavor and aroma don't so much. I will say it's alot of fun though trying to figure it out and I'm enjoying brewing with it.
 

medvitz

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I have two Pico Cs, so my appetite for this machine isn't that high. However, the Steam Hops looks interesting, and look like they could take the boil step out of my process. That would give me more time for a muti-step mash, with longer rest times, which might improve my efficiency. If I did that and like the results, I'd likely consider buying small volume grains from them, although they don't have near everything I normally use. Maybe that little bit could help keep them viable for a longer term.
 

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I've been brewing for 35 years. Started out with a couple of buckets and a pot doing extracts. Worked my way up to a KRIMS system with temp controlled conical fermenter. I do not drink as much beer as I used to so 5 gal kegs were a bit much. I started making 3 gal batches, but that was a lot of work for 3 gallons. Enter BEERMKR. I didn't purchase one during the Kickstarter campaign but got one several months ago. I brew a 1.5-gallon batch every couple of weeks. So far, I have only had one failed batch, due to a faulty BeerTap. I now put them into 1.6 gal kegs. Steam hops are, by far, the easiest to use. You can easily make your own version by brewing a hop tea. It is the length of time boiled that brings out the various hops characteristics. When it is about time to pitch the yeast, remove the waste bag, dump it into a small pot, bring it to a boil and add hops according to your schedule. Reattach the waste bag (sanitation is key here), cool the tea, crack the lid, add it to your brew along with your yeast. My brew day now takes all of 30 minutes, with a couple of 5-minute steps along the way. I transfer to keg and start a new batch at the same time. I've made all of the lighter kits (I don't care for dark brews), which came out great, and now create my own recipes. The Excel app scales down very well. I recently made a session IPA that tasted so good, I immediately made a 5-gallon batch. It tasted pretty much the same. Using the kit costs about $16 per 12-pack. By DIY'ing it, my batches only cost me about $9-$10, and are as good, if not better, than the craft beers sold in stores for $12/sixpack. I have also had no problems reusing the bags. I replace them after every 5 or 6 brews.
 

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Had my BEERMKR since last August. As a long-time all grain brewer, I was interested in small batch experimentation, and the ease of doing so. All in all, after 7 batches, I overall would give the BEERMKR (machine that brews) an 9 out of 10 and the BEERTAP (machine that dispenses beer) a 4 out of 10. The BL is that it can very easily make really good beer; one of the best Tripels I made was a MKRKIT (BEERMKR brand kit). In fact, I am making a DIY batch right now, an Ordinary Bitter, for a club competition. The Kegland 1.5L mini-kegs are an easy and natural way to serve the fantastic results, and much less fuss than the BEERTAP. Love my BEERMKR!
 

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Sorry to be a naysayer, but I really can't justify spending $650 for an appliance that makes such a small amount of beer. I can brew small BIAB batches on my stove top and then use 3 gallon corny kegs (about $75) for serving the beer. I don't need special hops and my ingredient costs are about 3-4/gallon. I'm staying low-tech and hands on for now.
 

bucknut60

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Sorry to be a naysayer, but I really can't justify spending $650 for an appliance that makes such a small amount of beer. I can brew small BIAB batches on my stove top and then use 3 gallon corny kegs (about $75) for serving the beer. I don't need special hops and my ingredient costs are about 3-4/gallon. I'm staying low-tech and hands on for now.
You mean you can make a typical 5 gal batch for 15-20 dollars? That's a bit of a stretch but possible I guess if brewing low abv beers, but I see where your coming from. Don't forget though to factor in your time, my cost using the beermkr using diy recipe beers is about 10-15 dollars a batch (1.15gal), and I spend about 30min total brewing, oh and that's using reg hops (no special hops needed). I do still occasionally spend a Saturday afternoon in the garage brewing the traditional way (biab) and make 2.5 gal batches, but thats like a 5+ hour day.
 

madscientist451

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You mean you can make a typical 5 gal batch for 15-20 dollars? That's a bit of a stretch but possible I guess if brewing low abv beers, but I see where your coming from. Don't forget though to factor in your time, my cost using the beermkr using diy recipe beers is about 10-15 dollars a batch (1.15gal),
10 lb of grain of 2 row at More Beer is about $15, but I can get better deals buying by the sack or from other vendors now and then.
Add some specialty malt and hops and $20 for 5 gallons is a reasonable target. If you are making a high ABV IPA with a lot of trendy hops, its going to be more, but nowhere near $10-15/gal. My 3 gallon BIAB batches take about 3.5 hours, but once I hit strike temp and get the mash going, I can do something else for an hour and also during the boil, so the time isn't 100% spent on "brewing".
 

bucknut60

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10 lb of grain of 2 row at More Beer is about $15, but I can get better deals buying by the sack or from other vendors now and then.
Add some specialty malt and hops and $20 for 5 gallons is a reasonable target. If you are making a high ABV IPA with a lot of trendy hops, its going to be more, but nowhere near $10-15/gal. My 3 gallon BIAB batches take about 3.5 hours, but once I hit strike temp and get the mash going, I can do something else for an hour and also during the boil, so the time isn't 100% spent on "brewing".
Yea, it's not for everyone. It's cost per gallon is going to be a little higher than other methods, simple because of the automation/time saved and I can see were the initial cost of the machine is a bit high to some, but it makes really great beer and is another tool in my toolbox.
 

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I was just gifted one this past xmas. I'm not a pro like most of you guys -- haven't yet done a real mash, but I have done maybe 100 kits, extracts and my own recipes.

I'm really enjoying playing with the BEERmkr thus far. Haven't broken it, so that's a good thing.

I have managed to break the picnic tap that comes with their dispenser. The top lever has some thin vulnerable plastic tabs that bend or sheer. As the company went with a non-common nipple size (1/8 rather than the more common 3/16-1/4"), it took a while for me to realize the same company makes both - so I could unscrew the top valve assembly from a 1/4" one and thread it on to the 1/8" nipple body. Beer flow restored.

Sure, it's a bit pricey. The capitalization for the engineering probably wasn't free -- even if the founders laid the groundwork for the controllers. But they seem to continue with some firmware updates.

Where they could really shine would be to open up the software a bit. Presently, both the BEERmkr and the phone app have to call home to interact. That requires an internet connection for both -- so those of us who sometimes find ourselves vacationing off-grid would be SOL for a batch. Will they evolve the software to work solely on a LAN, perhaps with the phone app or a desktop app to hold recipe libraries and manage the BEERmkr device locally remains to be seen.

Thus far (only two batches in), it's a fun small-batch solution.
 

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bucknut60

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I was just gifted one this past xmas. I'm not a pro like most of you guys -- haven't yet done a real mash, but I have done maybe 100 kits, extracts and my own recipes.

I'm really enjoying playing with the BEERmkr thus far. Haven't broken it, so that's a good thing.

I have managed to break the picnic tap that comes with their dispenser. The top lever has some thin vulnerable plastic tabs that bend or sheer. As the company went with a non-common nipple size (1/8 rather than the more common 3/16-1/4"), it took a while for me to realize the same company makes both - so I could unscrew the top valve assembly from a 1/4" one and thread it on to the 1/8" nipple body. Beer flow restored.

Sure, it's a bit pricey. The capitalization for the engineering probably wasn't free -- even if the founders laid the groundwork for the controllers. But they seem to continue with some firmware updates.

Where they could really shine would be to open up the software a bit. Presently, both the BEERmkr and the phone app have to call home to interact. That requires an internet connection for both -- so those of us who sometimes find ourselves vacationing off-grid would be SOL for a batch. Will they evolve the software to work solely on a LAN, perhaps with the phone app or a desktop app to hold recipe libraries and manage the BEERmkr device locally remains to be seen.

Thus far (only two batches in), it's a fun small-batch solution.
I've been brewing with mine for a year and half now and love it, I agree with the comment about the app. Wish they would open it up more for customization, If I had to guess they are keeping it locked down so everyone is fairly sussesful with their beers and we get comfortable with brewing with it. I haven't seen much love/intrest for it in this community, or else were for that fact, which is a shame....becuase it makes DAMM good beer. Cheers
 
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