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Cathedral

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I brewed my first "manual" brew in it last night and I was pleasantly surprised that it is a much different process than brewing with a PicoPak, and is almost exactly like doing a BIAB with a recirculator. I doubt I'll ever buy a PicoPak again (which is fine, I brew so I can brew my own ideas.) I'll use it for test batches and when I hit something good I'll use a full scale setup for 5 gallons of drink.
 
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Well hopefully the servers stay up and the lights stay on at Picobrew, otherwise you will not be able to use the machine. If they do go dark we all hope they release an unlock for their equipment.
 
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Kevin posted on the official PicoBrew forums. Quoted below..

As you may have heard, we are currently in the process of being sold through the WA State Receivership process. The party of investors who have been funding the operation of our company over the last year have submitted a bid and plans to continue its support during this process. We anticipate no interruption of sales or support to our valued customers during this period.
 

Cathedral

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Well hopefully the servers stay up and the lights stay on at Picobrew, otherwise you will not be able to use the machine. If they do go dark we all hope they release an unlock for their equipment.
You know, I was literally just talking to my girlfriend about this scenario yesterday. There is a short story that takes place in the near future called "Unauthorized Bread" where the protagonist has a toaster that won't work because the company went out of business and the toaster can no longer "authorize" bread to be toasted, since it can't verify that it is "vendor-approved" bread. The dishwasher had gone out months earlier because of the same issue; company ran out of money and then the machine couldn't scan the dishes to ensure they were partner-collaborated dishes. So she hacks the toaster and is astonished at the joy of having the ability to toast anything she wants.

Pretty ridiculous that it doesn't at all seem like fiction.
 

Sebastian Weetabix

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I have a Pico Pro and a Pico Model C along with two picoferms, so this news was not well received. How-ever, what happens will happen whether I like it or not.
I am hoping that PicoBrew will release the picos into the wild without needing their servers. Since the Manual Brew update to the software, I ONLY brew manual.
But I have been brewing for a number of years, so if I have to go back to the Stone Age, then so be it.
I don't cry over spilt milk.
But spilt BEER is another matter!
 

Lbarouf

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Has anyone experimented with the RESt call server on Github? It's based off the Zymatic and dates 2015. I wonder if the Picos could use it? For manual brewing it would be good worse case. But I guess nothing we can do for paks.
 
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Can you link to the project. I know there was one project on github that worked for the OG Z but they have since moved over to HTTPS connections which killed that project.
 
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On a side note I just happened to go to my Multibrew Kickoff page, happened to run across it in my email when I was looking for something else, and it is not there. I guess the kickoff is dead, wonder if the multibrew is.
 
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That’s the project I thought you were talking about. I have heard it did work at one point but it is all http based. The new picobrew setup is https. So that project will not work anymore. I have not sniffed the packets myself but did see a log posted by someone that did. It is not impossible to impersonate a server for https traffic but it is not easy either.
 

Lbarouf

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Does the pico verify the cert signer? If not, a self signed cert could solve this.
 
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I am not sure if they are signing it or not. As I stated I have not sniffed the traffic my self I just saw a log that someone else did that showed it was HTTPS traffic. I have been meaning to sniff the traffic and take a good look but I have not had time to sit down and do that.

Yes if it is not signed by Pico then we could setup a relay server and basically take control of everything ourselves. This is basically what the project on github did with the OGZ. But if they are signing everything then it is almost impossible to take over anything.

On my side note, yes I see the multibrew page is still up but that is a branch of the main pico server. I was talking about the contest page they had for getting different people to signup for their email list and qualify for free coffee, enter for a Ember ceramic electric battery operated coffee mug, and something else but I dont remember what the last item was. Here is a link that I used to have to the contest. It is dead and just lands you on a landing page not found.

https://picobrew.us11.list-manage.c...55e5300f5291fa2a6e&id=d139e657e0&e=ac2738f45d
 

Lbarouf

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Ahhh.... yeah,, I sent a whole bunch of email addresses their way then never heard back. I know my friends get the annoying ads. Don't know what happened there, but no surprise in light of the efforts to getting bought.

On a side note, I wonder how the others are doing if PicoBrew, the most successful of them all in my opinion, is looking for a buyer. With ABInBev now owning indirectly the GrainFather... one could think they would have an interest in PicoBrew.

Sorry, I was corrected. BSG, who acquired the GrainFather company, is owned by Rahr, not by an InBev branch. My mistake. Maybe an even better fit than InBev actually!
 
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Knightshade

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yeah...better get familiar w/the manual brew process.

Friend of mine captured traffic from beginning to end of a PicoPak brew (Turning on, obtaining DHCP address, etc. to End Brew.) Pico traffic is in the clear (port 80) and provides only a smidge more detail than the raw data log you can get via your Brewhouse portal. There doesn't appear to be any type of auth mechanism, at least not in the traffic itself. Anticipate that the UID is associated with your account on a backend database, which is how YOUR portal shows what you've done w/your machine.
 

Werew0lf

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Unless this is a preemptive move to stabilize financially due to COVID19?

If not, I guess I'll use my newly purchased Pico Pro til it dies...sigh.
 

Werew0lf

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yeah...better get familiar w/the manual brew process.

Friend of mine captured traffic from beginning to end of a PicoPak brew (Turning on, obtaining DHCP address, etc. to End Brew.) Pico traffic is in the clear (port 80) and provides only a smidge more detail than the raw data log you can get via your Brewhouse portal. There doesn't appear to be any type of auth mechanism, at least not in the traffic itself. Anticipate that the UID is associated with your account on a backend database, which is how YOUR portal shows what you've done w/your machine.
So does this mean we won't need to connect to anything to brew? And/or we can take over the tracking process somehow if we can get a copy of the backend db?
 

Knightshade

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Potentially more complicated than that. Looks like the device "needs" to talk to picobrew.com or it will throw an error and you're stuck. Might be worth trying to spoof the site locally and see what happens. I'll see if I can try this over the weekend.
 

Sebastian Weetabix

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I disconnected from the net this morning and turned on my Pico Pro and the Model C.

They both refused to boot through to the brewing menu.

I’ll be brewing this weekend while I still can.
 

Lbarouf

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yeah...better get familiar w/the manual brew process.

Friend of mine captured traffic from beginning to end of a PicoPak brew (Turning on, obtaining DHCP address, etc. to End Brew.) Pico traffic is in the clear (port 80) and provides only a smidge more detail than the raw data log you can get via your Brewhouse portal. There doesn't appear to be any type of auth mechanism, at least not in the traffic itself. Anticipate that the UID is associated with your account on a backend database, which is how YOUR portal shows what you've done w/your machine.
is the dump available somewhere like pastebin github or elsewhere? He can obfuscate the UUIDs, as long as we know the field length. I could work on a fake server locally someone could run and track progress. Thinking of raspberry pi. A zero W, creates a Wi-Fi hotspot and redirects onto itself the picobrew.com traffic
 

Trevor Mack

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A local raspberrypi setup with DNS for picobrew.com pointing to it is the easiest solution if we can get said raspberrypi talking the protocols for the machine then the machine might not even know it isn't connected to its home base anymore.

I'm wondering if all the pico devices talk over the clear, I bet they do why would there need to be authentication when you have random strings... that hasn't ever bit anyone (*cough* Zoom *cough*).
 

Knightshade

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I did a little digging last night. They’re hosting in what I believe is a Microsoft environment and their SSL cert expires in September. I’d have to hope that they’re hosting fees are paid up and aligned to expire when the cert does.

We can, and should hope the auction is much ado about nothing or there is some master flip switch to release all the units if the company does indeed go kaput. Figure the more info we collaborate on, the better.

I’ve directed my bud w/the capture to this thread.
 

Werew0lf

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Thanks for putting the time in Knightshade! I too hope it is just part of restructuring but I'm sure there's a way to make it work if we have to.
 

Knightshade

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Well...I know this damn thing won’t move past the error screen after 30 minutes if it doesn’t have an internet connection. Paper weight.

Working on setting up a web server and redirecting traffic destined for picobrew.com to it, to see if that will be enough to just make the damn thing work. It has been too long since I’ve logged into my firewall so I’ve forgotten the credentials. Need to reset it at a time that is convenient for the entire household to not have Internet.

and if the work has already been done, a redirect to the info would be great.
 

Trevor Mack

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In more recent news we just got word from Annie that she has been let go... So that essentially means they no longer see a need to have a resident brew master. Likely meaning one of a couple things:

1) they got all useful knowledge out of Annie before dropping her (unlikely and shitty)
2) they are replacing her smile and knowledge with another individual and didn't really plan or give her notice (very unlikely)
3) closing shop
4) new buyer already has this position filled
5) new business model doesn't require a brew master and can be sustained with just an aspiring home brewer
 

Trevor Mack

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Assuming that she had to sign a NDA so she can’t relay the reasons for the separation?
I'm almost certain of that... given how she has responded to some inquiries from folks like us.

Another individual that has some close relationships with folks at Picobrew (or prior folks there) says that all employees and parties with stock options in the company are bound by NDAs they have signed. Anyways most companies require NDAs to be signed upon employment, these don't go away just because you part ways they are still legally binding.
 

Mutant

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Maybe they needed to offload picopaks due to shelf life? I don't think they stay fresh long. And maybe they decided to discontinue the line altogether while they were at it? Maybe selling off the actual Pico machines and other inventory will offset expenses? Just speculating...

Came across this as well...

https://thespoon.tech/selling-a-company-during-coronavirus-is-time-running-out-for-picobrew/
This could make it easy for someone to pick up what is left cheaply. If they get it cheap enough, they can keep the minimum components running - web access with annual subscription, and maybe parts?
 

Lbarouf

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This could make it easy for someone to pick up what is left cheaply. If they get it cheap enough, they can keep the minimum components running - web access with annual subscription, and maybe parts?
Yeah... AbInBev and they will only sell you CoorsLite picoPaks. I can buy these at WalMart... 5 Gallons of distilled water. Same thing.

Well, crossing fingers someone picks up the company but makes minimal changes. If I can only do manual brews is fine, but I prefer keep the option of paks. I did love some of those paks. And frankly, the manual brew process is as time consuming as doing a half barrel on a HERMs.
 

Brewfreedom

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Yeah... AbInBev and they will only sell you CoorsLite picoPaks. I can buy these at WalMart... 5 Gallons of distilled water. Same thing.

Well, crossing fingers someone picks up the company but makes minimal changes. If I can only do manual brews is fine, but I prefer keep the option of paks. I did love some of those paks. And frankly, the manual brew process is as time consuming as doing a half barrel on a HERMs.
I can count on one hand the number of problem free brew days I had on my old Zymatic. I feel bad for the dude who bought it off me. I did warn him that I thought they were F'd long term. Buddy of mine went full retard on the pico kickstarters and paid for the unlimited brewing thing they were offering. Guessing those aren't shipping anymore?
 

Sebastian Weetabix

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I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of problems I have had on BOTH of my Picos.
Two. Two problems and Pico immediately sent out a new Pico so I could use the box to pack up the old one and send it back under warranty.

I have brewed nearly forty manual recipes, and probably twenty PicoPaks.

YMMV but I have gotten good mileage out of mine.
 
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