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Ewelady

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Man, I just can't get over the edges of the grain bed being dry. After brewing I've opened every picopack and noticed the same thing. I'm thinking about making a little sparging arm of sorts to help spread out the water from the center nozzel. Any ideas?
It works fine for me that it's dry and I've brewed a lot of packs. Most recently Belle of the Ball, OG on the label 1.069, my Tilt read 1.068 (close enough for me). And the chickens like that dry grain, they eat that first.
 

Ewelady

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Shuttle pump has to be replaced... they are shipping the part out. Anyone else having failures? This was during a deep clean, water didn't get hot, kept saying it was priming the steam pump. Finally it came up with an error message to contact support.
 
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jrb03

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Shuttle pump has to be replaced... they are shipping the part out. Anyone else having failures? This was during a deep clean, water didn't get hot, kept saying it was priming the steam pump. Finally it came up with an error message to contact support.
Bummer. No I haven't heard of many Pico failures, 29 brews here without issue yet. Not near as many as the zymatic seems to have. It's awesome that you can replace, most zymatic failures seem to be a ship back and wait. Let us know how it goes.
 

Ewelady

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Bummer. No I haven't heard of many Pico failures, 29 brews here without issue yet. Not near as many as the zymatic seems to have. It's awesome that you can replace, most zymatic failures seem to be a ship back and wait. Let us know how it goes.
the only aggravation is that there is no phone support, only via their email. This takes a lot of time since I am not sitting at my computer all day waiting for messages. Diagnostics could have been done in one phone call rather than 2 days of emails.
 

Oleary

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Shuttle pump has to be replaced... they are shipping the part out. Anyone else having failures? This was during a deep clean, water didn't get hot, kept saying it was priming the steam pump. Finally it came up with an error message to contact support.
I had a pump fail after the first brew. The replaced the Pico and the pack I was brewing. 4 brews later no problems (well, other than a user error).
 

Oleary

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Just curious if anyone has heard when the brew unlimited will start? I need to order soon. I'll e-mail them if no one has heard.
 

brew-in

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During the KS they said it could be started between July and December. Customer's choice as long as between those dates...
 

Ewelady

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Just curious if anyone has heard when the brew unlimited will start? I need to order soon. I'll e-mail them if no one has heard.
I am having the same problem. I did get the Pledge Manager on the 19th, and I signed in right away. But I've heard nothing more and no explanation of how it's going to work? Will we have a constant credit balance on our account? Will it be tied to Brew House somehow to know when we've done two? I've got a pack ready to brew (tomorrow) and then I've got a pack on the way for doing my own pump installation. But that's it and with the long shipping times to me I am going to be out of beer very soon. :(
 
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jrb03

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They haven't answered any of these brew unlimited questions yet. I'm guessing it won't start in July unless we hear very soon.
 

Kody_Wulfe

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Its not going to be Customer Choice the whole time??? It damn well better be... I do not like IPA's and I will not have them send them to me.. I plan on brewing all the others... That was NOT specified in the Kick Starter.
 
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jrb03

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Its not going to be Customer Choice the whole time??? It damn well better be... I do not like IPA's and I will not have them send them to me.. I plan on brewing all the others... That was NOT specified in the Kick Starter.
Huh?
 

Oleary

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During the KS they said it could be started between July and December. Customer's choice as long as between those dates...
Its not going to be Customer Choice the whole time??? It damn well better be... I do not like IPA's and I will not have them send them to me.. I plan on brewing all the others... That was NOT specified in the Kick Starter.
I think customer's choice means we can choose the start date as long as it's between July and December.

I sent an e-mail to [email protected] this morning asking for more information.
 

bobbob911

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You definitely get to order the paks you want. And yes it starts as early as July 1st.
 

Oleary

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You definitely get to order the paks you want. And yes it starts as early as July 1st.
[email protected] responded with the same information. July 1st is Saturday, so I guess I'll wait to order. I have a case of Zombie Dust to tide me over but it does seem like we should be getting an update if they plan to start it in July.
 

Zaufendouble

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My Pico S upgrade is in transit now. Any early indication on where the 'brewers choice' pack have landed for folks? I'm figuring one of the Pico branded recipes and not one of the partner paks.
 
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jrb03

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My Pico S upgrade is in transit now. Any early indication on where the 'brewers choice' pack have landed for folks? I'm figuring one of the Pico branded recipes and not one of the partner paks.
Very random, all packs seem in play. Luck of the draw it seems.
 

rawlus

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Is anyone curating a list of must try pico packs?

I bought the Pico C then upgraded to the S as a very early bird. I've been brewing for a very long time all grain and have been using a Grainfather for 5gal batches since it came out, but the Pico caught my interest as a travel brewing system... something I can easily transport to friends yards/houses to spread the home brewing bug.

Looking at a lot of the comments about the US-05 yeast and issues people have been having the first thought that comes to mind is fermentation temp - seems like many are getting unwanted esters...

I know they market the fast ferment as being capable of higher fermentation temps without ester and other off flavor production but I've not tried it yet to validate for myself. I tend to use liquid yeasts in all my other brewing and ferment in a temp controlled chamber. I'm looking for the pico to fill in gaps in my tap lineup, be a bit more automated with smaller batches and something I can travel with, both to brew and to serve.

Looking forward to trying it out.
 
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jrb03

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US05 issues are NOT fermentation temp related. Many long time brewers like myself are using Pico. It's not a beginners problem. FF works great by the way.

The website has ratings but take it for what it's worth. If you don't like Porters your not going to like Party Porter etc. I've brewed over 30 packs and haven't found a bad one yet, many excellent ones to my tastes. Brew the styles you like.
 

uwjester

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This thing is great! I just brewed for the first time in about 6 years. Too many responsibilities between work and family to divert time into a 6 hour brew day. The pico is a great compromise for me.

I got the pico delivered yesterday as part of the kickstarter campaign with the early-bird upgrade to the "S". For whoever is tracking, I got the Tweaties pico pack. It is a rye wheat beer. Probably not what I would have chosen, but it is beer.

These pico folks have put a great system together. Enough information and data gathering that you can feel like you remain a part of the brew, but enough automation that you can walk away when necessary. I can't wait for the next pico pack to arrive.
 
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jrb03

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Sounds like a very similar story to mine, although I wasn't out of brewing as long as you. The Pico has been a lot of fun, and some great beer. For you new users make sure and read some history here for good pointers like fermenting longer than manual tells you and pitch much less yeast, 1/2 tsp of US05 or 1 tsp of the others. The Pico can make great beer but following the manual won't get you the best results possible.
 

uwjester

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Hmm. I hadn't considered that the pitch rate was too high. Makes sense though. I'm thinking I may just go back to white labs yeasts and pitch the vial. Seems like that may be about the right cell count. I guess I'll go find a calculator and figure out for sure.

Good call on the fermentation time. I'm used to watching specific gravity to determine when fermentation is complete. I'll probably just rely on that. I'll have to wipe the cobwebs off my refractometer.
 
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jrb03

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If using liquid yeast half the vial is more than enough, so a lot of us brew two packs and split the vial between them. The tilt hydrometer works great for watching fermentation without opening the keg. I would never open the keg to bother with gravity readings on a Pico batch, waiting 10-14 days is just easier, and the average time I see batches take with my tilts.

If you go liquid yeast save the yeast cake for the next batch, the Pico leaves a very clean yeast cake behind since everything is filtered. About 1/4 the yeast cake is more than enough for repitch.
 

Zaufendouble

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If using liquid yeast half the vial is more than enough, so a lot of us brew two packs and split the vial between them. The tilt hydrometer works great for watching fermentation without opening the keg. I would never open the keg to bother with gravity readings on a Pico batch, waiting 10-14 days is just easier, and the average time I see batches take with my tilts.

If you go liquid yeast save the yeast cake for the next batch, the Pico leaves a very clean yeast cake behind since everything is filtered. About 1/4 the yeast cake is more than enough for repitch.
Thanks for the refresher, I've read every page of this thread, but in the lead up to delivery it is nice to see the wisdom put succinctly.
 

brew-in

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Just got an email from picobrew. Due to slower than expected deliveries of Pico S to those who upgraded, all who upgraded will get a coupon for a free Pico Pack.

Really a great company!
 

pagrider

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it is a great company. Got my pico today. I went on the website to create my free pico pack and there are very, very , very limited options. No way to use it to make test batches. However, I plan to drink some great beers from great breweries so no biggie. I will just continue to use my zymatic for messing around with new recipes and my pico will be used to brew beers created by people far my talented than me. For those waiting its an impressive unit and looks very well made.
 

rawlus

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This is probably a dumb question, but here goes. We're going to try our first batch with liquid yeast this weekend. I'm assuming we don't use the whole thing, just as you don't use the whole packet of dry? How much do you recommend using?

Thanks!
https://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/
Enter your OG, and batch volume, select yeast strain and go for maybe pro brewer 0.75 to ensure a healthy amount.

I'd guess a half packet would be great.
 

Zaufendouble

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Got mine today. Came with Brew Free or Die. Color me surprised, I figured on getting Tweeties, which I'd have been fine with too.
 

brew-in

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Mine comes today.. Would love Brew Free or Die.. One of my favorite brews...
 

Mark_H

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Received my Pico S upgrade this week and will be brewing Central Valley Dark Mild tomorrow as my first step into this hobby. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread as it has been an informative and enjoyable read. It seems the big take home points are limiting the US05, extending fermentation time and avoiding use of the serving keg. To that end I ordered the Pico Pro upgrade package as the rest of the kickstarter addons probably won't be shipping for several weeks. Also ordered some Star San and PBW as well as a couple of additional Picopaks.
 

Zaufendouble

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Received my Pico S upgrade this week and will be brewing Central Valley Dark Mild tomorrow as my first step into this hobby. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread as it has been an informative and enjoyable read. It seems the big take home points are limiting the US05, extending fermentation time and avoiding use of the serving keg. To that end I ordered the Pico Pro upgrade package as the rest of the kickstarter addons probably won't be shipping for several weeks. Also ordered some Star San and PBW as well as a couple of additional Picopaks.
How quick did the pro upgrade package ship?
 

rawlus

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Is the pico normally loud? Seems like the pump and other stuff are fairly loud when running yeah? Normal?
 

DrSafety

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Is the pico normally loud? Seems like the pump and other stuff are fairly loud when running yeah? Normal?
Just brewed my first batch yesterday and it was loud. The manual even tells you to expect the noises
 
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jrb03

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I don't find it "loud" but it certainly makes noise, the manual warns you of this. But since I've seen this question asked so many times, I would say yes most people find it louder than expected!
 
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jrb03

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Received my Pico S upgrade this week and will be brewing Central Valley Dark Mild tomorrow as my first step into this hobby. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread as it has been an informative and enjoyable read. It seems the big take home points are limiting the US05, extending fermentation time and avoiding use of the serving keg. To that end I ordered the Pico Pro upgrade package as the rest of the kickstarter addons probably won't be shipping for several weeks. Also ordered some Star San and PBW as well as a couple of additional Picopaks.
Sounds like your on the right track, good luck!

I know it's an extra expense, but you will be so much happier using the Pro upgrade for serving!
 

Lbarouf

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Just brewed my first batch yesterday and it was loud. The manual even tells you to expect the noises
The machine makes a strange noise for me as well.... sounds like an old diskette reader, or the old scanners' optical reader. You know, those old computer sounds?

Brews fine though. For sure, its something you want to keep in mind. Unless you get a room in the basement, no late night brewing if others are sleeping.

I remember the first time I brewed with it, I jumped when I heard the Errr Errr sounds. I thought something was clogged. I've let it continue and it finished fine. While I was puzzled, it looked fine to me.
 
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jrb03

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The pumps make a strange noise to me.... dons like an old diskette reader, or the scanner optical reader. You know, those old computer sounds. Brews fine though. For sure, its something you want to keep in mind. Unless you get a room in the basement, no late night brewing if others are sleeping.

I remember the first time I brewed with it, I jumped when I heard the Errr Errr sounds. I thought something was clogged.
That strange noise is the rotary valve for the manifold, moving around to divert the flow through the different outputs. You really hear it working during the final rinse.
 
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