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Mutant

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Started brewing 13 gallons of a Light American Lager. The first 1/3rd will use WLP840 and the last 2/3rds will use WLP860. The WLP860 is a great yeast. Next weekend I'll hopefully do it all again, but will likely use WLP860 for all 13 gallons.

As for the Z storing recipes, I'm not sure. At startup, the first thing it does is synch with the server. No idea what it would do if it can't synch with server.
 

Mutant

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Let's all just hope that Bill Mitchell is able to put in the top bid for PicoBrew. I'd be willing to pay an annual fee to keep things going. I might even opt for a 3rd Z
 

Thorrak

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See if I'm misreading what this article says. Make sure you click on 'More News' to get the entire story.

https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=https%3A%2F%2Fbanknewsnow.com%2F2020%2F02%2F07%2Fpicobrew-is-up-for-sale%2F
Mitchell indicated the bridge lending group has plans to continue funding the company through the Washington State receivership process and hopes to essentially take full ownership of the company with a winning bid, but runs the risk that another bidder will swoop in with a higher bid.



It’s ambiguous, but I interpreted it as the bridge lending group taking over.
 

Mutant

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There have been several that do the generic profile and just change the ingredients and not the steps.. Would be interested to see if the few recipes will be maintained in the on board memory and run without calling home. Please keep everyone informed on what you find out.
I have too many customized recipes. Also, you have to consider when your adjuncts get dealt with - the timing and if there is any post-boil.
 

Virginia_Ranger

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I have too many customized recipes. Also, you have to consider when your adjuncts get dealt with - the timing and if there is any post-boil.
While it does take the automation part out of it a bit I have started doing my adjuncts like whirlfloc, lactose, random ingredients on my own by removing the keg stopper.
I started that after seeing my adjuncts didn’t get fully dissolved.
 

Virginia_Ranger

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Anyone use PBW for deep cleans? I know it says not to but I got sick and wasn’t able to do a deep clean or rinse after a big stout (been sitting for 3-4 days now). I really want to avoid wort darkening and at one point said screw it and used PBW on my Pico Pro to solve that issue. The Z to me is a lot less easily replaceable so I’m curious if others have ignored the manual and done it?
 

Mutant

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Anyone use PBW for deep cleans? I know it says not to but I got sick and wasn’t able to do a deep clean or rinse after a big stout (been sitting for 3-4 days now). I really want to avoid wort darkening and at one point said screw it and used PBW on my Pico Pro to solve that issue. The Z to me is a lot less easily replaceable so I’m curious if others have ignored the manual and done it?
You can use multiple cleaning tablets.
 

bejazzpiano

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Just FYI, I have developed a pretty robust glycol top off procedure that's been used by a number of Zymatic owners and at least one guy has made a very decent glycol port on the side of his Zymatic, which makes disassembly no longer an issue. And now that we pretty much have a source for every component in the Zymatic, it's a snap to keep running.

I'll be impressed the first time something goes seriously wrong with a Z1/2 and Picobrew actually allows someone to replace a heating coil, pump or other major component...I don't see that happening. but who knows...I've been wrong before.


Hello,

I'd like to say that I'm so glad I've found you and this information. I own a Zymatic. I was one of the first buyers on the Kickstarter campaign. In the past 5 years or so, I've had numerous conversations with Kevin and others at Picobrew and have had very good help and response from them. They have replaced my machine 3 times for free. I love my machine, when it's working. I really want to brew right now, but as you may or may not know, they've shut down at Picobrew, so, I'm having problems and I'm not going to get help. I'm getting tons of Fatal #1's and a few Fatal #17's. I assume I need to top off or massage the glycol. You mentioned that you have instructions on how to do this. Is there any way you can send me those please? I would be truly grateful.
 

Mike Howard

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Anyone use PBW for deep cleans? I know it says not to but I got sick and wasn’t able to do a deep clean or rinse after a big stout (been sitting for 3-4 days now). I really want to avoid wort darkening and at one point said screw it and used PBW on my Pico Pro to solve that issue. The Z to me is a lot less easily replaceable so I’m curious if others have ignored the manual and done it?
I use PBW all of the time for deep cleans and everything else on my Zymatic. But I have an old cracked step filter that I repaired with super glue, so I use that. It will crack your Step Filter, so unless you have a spare don't do it.

If its a Zymatic, you could always break it down and do a full PM on it but that might be overkill. Just start a clean with 1/4 cup of Cascade dishwashing powder, let it come up to temp, then just cancel the clean and let it soak for a couple days. Make sure you remove the Step Filter and rinse it out though. Don't let anything sit in your Step Filter, those things are junk and will crack just for looking at them wrong.
 

Virginia_Ranger

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I use PBW all of the time for deep cleans and everything else on my Zymatic. But I have an old cracked step filter that I repaired with super glue, so I use that. It will crack your Step Filter, so unless you have a spare don't do it.

If its a Zymatic, you could always break it down and do a full PM on it but that might be overkill. Just start a clean with 1/4 cup of Cascade dishwashing powder, let it come up to temp, then just cancel the clean and let it soak for a couple days. Make sure you remove the Step Filter and rinse it out though. Don't let anything sit in your Step Filter, those things are junk and will crack just for looking at them wrong.
Thanks, I will give letting it soak a try. Been having an issue lately where by the time I hit adjust 2 on my clean cycle, its drained the keg of water and overheats it self trying to pump nothing sense the keg is empty. Everything else seems to work fine just seems like you need more than 2.5 gallons they recommend to complete the clean. Anyone know how much the step filter will hold? Don't want it to overflow if I do two cleaning tabs in 4 or 5 gallons so it won't run out of water.
 

Mike Howard

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....Anyone know how much the step filter will hold? Don't want it to overflow if I do two cleaning tabs in 4 or 5 gallons so it won't run out of water.
The front chamber of the Step Filter is designed to overflow into the adjunct compartment, but I'm not sure how much it actually holds in water. Honestly, I never go by Picobrew's recommendations...I've learned they don't always have the best suggestions. I usually fill my keg by eye 2/3rds to 3/4s of the way full and never have an issue.

Important to note that at one point I had a husk of grain make its way to my drain pump and clog up the head. The pumps are diaphragm pumps with silicone valves that are easily clogged. When this happens the pump cannot effectively pull a suction and this leads to the wort pump out-pacing the drain pump. In this case you WILL get an overflow over the side of your Step Filter so make sure you watch it. If that happens, it will require you to tear apart the pump head and clean it. No big deal as they are SeaFlo pumps and easily cleaned. PM me if thats the problem and I'll walk you through it.
 

alestateyall

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Has anyone noticed the new Manual Brew option on the Z? It’s in the updated Z manual on the website also.
 

alestateyall

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Manual mode is a terrible way to use an automated brewer. I hope this is not their way of giving us control over our Z for when they are out of business.
 

alestateyall

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There is also a new Offline Mode. That takes away all recipes and leaves only the Manual Brew option.

Not very nice.
 

alestateyall

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I disconnected from Wifi and booted the Z. On restart it told me it could not find the Wifi SSID. From that screen I was only able try to connect or switch to offline mode (manual brewing only).

I wonder if the new buyer is going to sell us (subscription model) the right to use our machine in automated mode. If you don’t want to pay you get manual mode.
 

Trevor Mack

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Either that or when the picobrew servers go offline (if it comes to that) we can at least still use the machines. Though if it does come to that we will need to come together to re-create the protocol in an open-source server to be hosted locally and hack the local DNS to make it appear as if we have a connect back to picobrew.com
 

Mutant

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Either that or when the picobrew servers go offline (if it comes to that) we can at least still use the machines. Though if it does come to that we will need to come together to re-create the protocol in an open-source server to be hosted locally and hack the local DNS to make it appear as if we have a connect back to picobrew.com
You'll have trouble trying to hack an https without a certificate
 

Trevor Mack

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That depends on if they setup the script to validate and not allow self signed certificates. If it requires a domain locked CA certificate yeah would be bit hard to do, but if they simply aren't doing a strict validation it could be as easy as self signed certs.

If only there was a "utility setting" for the domain to ping at startup say in the maintenance bootup options then setting up a local brew environment would be easier... Maybe some day
 

Mutant

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That depends on if they setup the script to validate and not allow self signed certificates. If it requires a domain locked CA certificate yeah would be bit hard to do, but if they simply aren't doing a strict validation it could be as easy as self signed certs.

If only there was a "utility setting" for the domain to ping at startup say in the maintenance bootup options then setting up a local brew environment would be easier... Maybe some day
The one item that would most likely get purchased would be the domain name, as it has significant value.
 

Brewfreedom

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Lolz. They need to stay dead. With the current SHTF situation that is likely their fate. All they had to do is open up the source and make a few tweeks to allow folks to use these easily offline or against other brew backend hosts. I have yet to get a straight answer on how it validates certificates. I bailed on their facebook groups years ago. How are the fan boys reacting? bhahahahaahahah.
 

Virginia_Ranger

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I love my Z, can’t argue the company hasn’t been the best. I think they will get bought. I think Pico Paks are dead / anything that’s high in operations cost. Some subscription model seems to make the most since especially if it’s just for software, bigger bang for their buck.

On a positive spin (or really not), maybe the manual / offline brew option was a COVID response given potential connectivity strains or it was pre planned? A boy can dream....
 

alestateyall

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I love my Z, can’t argue the company hasn’t been the best. I think they will get bought. I think Pico Paks are dead / anything that’s high in operations cost. Some subscription model seems to make the most since especially if it’s just for software, bigger bang for their buck.

On a positive spin (or really not), maybe the manual / offline brew option was a COVID response given potential connectivity strains or it was pre planned? A boy can dream....
Kits are a viable model for homebrew supply companies. It seems to me that if a larger homebrew supplier (Northern Brewer, Morebeer, etc) bought Picobrew in a way that shed some debt they could do PicoPaks and provide ingredients for our Z’s.
I wonder how many Picobrew systems are in the wild? Is it enough to be worth a homebrew supplier’s time and effort?
 

TallDan

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Kits are a viable model for homebrew supply companies. It seems to me that if a larger homebrew supplier (Northern Brewer, Morebeer, etc) bought Picobrew in a way that shed some debt they could do PicoPaks and provide ingredients for our Z’s.
I wonder how many Picobrew systems are in the wild? Is it enough to be worth a homebrew supplier’s time and effort?
It's also a question of how reliable the machines are and how long they are usable to owners without some kind of hardware support. Ingredient kits are one thing, tech support, cloud services and hardware service are another. If NB buys what's left of pico, users are going to expect them to support their machines. NB didn't design those machines, and probably doesn't have the expertise to support them.

If this happened a year ago, i'd believe that someone would take a gamble on buying up what's left and making a new business out of it. Right now? Don't think so.
 

Mutant

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I'm focusing on my makgeolli production to refine the process. But, even good cheongju and soju become one dimensional compared to an almost infinite range of flavors for beer.
 

Mike Howard

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The biggest problem is and always will be the dependance upon the internet and a connection to the home office. Even for an automated system this is a huge flaw. You can offer SAAS as an upgrade and extended feature set, but the fact that it is tied to the house is a massive oversight on the homebrew community.
 

Virginia_Ranger

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If they truly were going under and wanted to support the community they would release the ability to self host a server locally to continue use. What makes me feel like they have hope to sell or are still looking to be a company is right now thats still proprietary and something they can market or have sold rights to. Otherwise if they really were going under and wanted to do us justice (not that they will), just allow for a local host.
 

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If they truly were going under and wanted to support the community they would release the ability to self host a server locally to continue use. What makes me feel like they have hope to sell or are still looking to be a company is right now thats still proprietary and something they can market or have sold rights to. Otherwise if they really were going under and wanted to do us justice (not that they will), just allow for a local host.
Seems like it's out of their hands. If they were going to do that, they would have had to do it before now.
 

Virginia_Ranger

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Seems like it's out of their hands. If they were going to do that, they would have had to do it before now.
True, seems odd to add the manual brew option though if their hands were tied though. Still feel like that one may have been in works for a while though and someone just decided it was time to flip the switch.
 

Trevor Mack

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Adding manual brew makes offline brewing possible, but then makes the "automation" aspect the "upgrade SaaS" option. Right now it is a "free upgrade" / "bundled". A potential business plan might be to start charging for that similarly to how they charged a yearly fee to be a "PB partnership network" (PBN) brewery which gave access to creating recipes for sale with commission/royalties. I wouldn't put it past PB or their new owners to enact this model to stay afloat. In the past I'd say that they should honor the "bundled" access to the automation to existing/prior customer by legacy (this is what we were sold after all) and then decrease the cost of entry and add subscription fees to newly sold units. This way buying a unit still has long term impact to the bottom line for a primary subscription based company.
 

Sebastian Weetabix

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I would love to know just how much R&D money was wasted on the Pico U and the Pico MultiBrew.
The Pico Pro and the Pico C both appear to have been brew platforms for the Pico U, while the Pico Z
technology was being adapted for the Pico MultiBrew.

Where would Pico be now without all of this emphasis on COFFEE?

Just sayin’.
 

TallDan

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Where would Pico be now without all of this emphasis on COFFEE?

Just sayin’.
Seems to me the coffee emphasis was really just a desperate marketing push to make it look like they have a product that's attractive to a market larger than homebrewers.

So, i'd say the exact same place.
 

Mutant

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Make sure you are:
1) getting your machine updated with the current download
2) offloading your recipes with details on 'brewing steps' and 'machine steps' <- this will help in manual mode
3) export the XML

Anybody know when receivership is finalized?
 

alestateyall

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I decided to make as large a batch as the Picobrew Z1 could handle. The Z1 can mash up 9 pounds of grain. I ended up with the following.

4.5 gallons at 1049 SG
8 lbs. Root Shoots Odyssey Pilsner
1 lbs. Flake Corn
35 IBU Saaz (FWH, 60, 15, 5)
Diamond Lager Slurry/Starter

The batch was 3.73 gallons after brewing. I topped up with water and the starter to get to 4.5 gallons.
 
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