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raceskier

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Haven't been hanging out here much lately. Did a search and didn't find anything on this. A couple Microsoft guys came up with this system:
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MOD EDIT: Kickstarter Projects require a kickstarter account.
 

kal

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There seems to be a lot more "brewing appliances" that are coming to the market, meant for people who want to press and have wort (or in some cases actual beer) come out.

BrewBot (Kickstarter Link Removed) is another.

While neither is something I'd be interested in myself, I do think more interest in making beer yourself is a good thing for the homebrewing hobby in general.

The more people that are interested in making beer (regardless of how it's made), the better for all of us. Imagine a day when there's a LHBS to buy supplies on every street corner (like today's convenience stores) and every one of your neighbors talking about what they've brewed up last. Now that would be cool!

Kal
 

hunter_le five

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I think that is a very cool concept for the more casual beer nerd. I doesn't really interest me though because I actually like the "hands-on" aspects of brewing. This kind of saps most of the fun out of the process IMHO. I'd (almost) rather just go to the store and buy a sixer of craft brew and save $1300 or whatever this gizmo cost. OTOH I guess this is that far off from some of the more highly-automated rigs I've seen some people build on this site.

TLDR; great for beer nerds, probably not as much for brewers
 

Marquez

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There seems to be a lot more "brewing appliances" that are coming to the market, meant for people who want to press and have wort (or in some cases actual beer) come out.

BrewBot (Kickstarter Link Removed) is another.


Kal

When the operator starts this bot up it reminds me of blinkenlights.

blinkenlights_poster_1_centered.jpg
 

Warthogrugby

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The great thing, I think, about a system like this is that it allows you to focus on a recipe while getting rid of a lot of potential process variation. Here is an article from the Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2021921820_briercolumn30xml.html

I just had my first child and I quickly realized that I don't have time for the brewing process, but I still want to have my own recipes. With this, I can refine exactly what I want without worrying about a botched batch.

I ordered mine this morning and am super excited to get my hands on it.
 

kal

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The one thing I do wonder about after reading the FAQ is Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) which can give beer a sweet corn off-flavor.

The system appears like a (somewhat) closed system, but they do say:

For DMS, the process itself seems to be very low in production. When the liquid is dropped into the step filter for the boil stage, there is plenty of opportunity for the DMS precursors to escape.
So doesn't sound like a vigorous boil? But somehow SMS is allowed to escape?

They do also say:

The fact is, we have made hundreds of batches, and had many professional beer brewers come through our tasting room. They typically go through our taps trying to find that one beer that has off flavors from the brewing process. To date they walk away impressed.
Dunno. If I was using it, first batch would be a bo-pils with 100% pils malt just to see myself. ;)

Kal
 

jpalarchio

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FYI guys, the site owner requires a special kickstarter account in order to post kickstarter projects. Please PM TxBrew to set one up.
I'm sure there's a reason behind this rule but I do enjoy seeing this projects and checking out some of the innovations people may have come up with. As impractical as many of them might be, they do a good job of making you think outside the box.

I suppose as long as we don't start killing the thread completely or removing the project's name, Google will get me there.
 

MarcusKillion

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I almost bought one for the 1,599 today . It seems like a great machine to me . I am almost done brewing because I can not pick up the kettles and tun without hurting my back do to bad discs . So i looked at this . that would resolve the problem . Only thing is I do not want to have to brew 2.5 g at a time . but I guess if there is no work involved , 2 3.5 hour brews would do it and I could simply put them into a bucket and ferment them and bottle . this would leave the keg open for auto brewing another batch .
No kegging for me . I would have to buy too many kegs as I like to have 3 or 4 different beers going all the time .
CRAP ! I may still buy one now that I think more on it . 2K is still cheaper than a wheel chair when I destroy my back picking up them 8 gallon boils .
seems to have a lot of good reviews from breweries and others .
 

kal

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Only thing is I do not want to have to brew 2.5 g at a time . but I guess if there is no work involved , 2 3.5 hour brews would do it and I could simply put them into a bucket and ferment them and bottle.
+1

That's the one thing that many overlook. Yes, it's a smaller batch but there's little work to do a double batch to get up to 5 gallons.

Kal
 

MarcusKillion

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kal, the more I think on it the more I want one . the beers I brew are almost all light blondes and nut browns . this would work great for that I think . Can always brew by hand if I want a complex brew .
I just wish I would have known about this 500 bucks ago when it was cheaper and came with a keg . I think for 1600 plus shipping and taxes they should give up the damn keg with it .
Probably cost at least 2500 + after they go into production .
 

Spintab

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I've had it in mind to develop something similar to this thing but more brewer-centric. I hate how this thing takes the brewer out of brewing. I also hate how it is a plastic wonderland. If you're gonna put something out that is supposed to make great beer it should have little to no plastic. Also, how do you regulate ferm temps? What are you supposed to do with your beer once it's fermented? Rack it out of the keg into another? What about saving yeast? I really think there is a whole lot more that can be done to make a product like this better and more attractive to brewers.

That's the one thing that many overlook. Yes, it's a smaller batch but there's little work to do a double batch to get up to 5 gallons.
This is the same batch size I've thought about. I'm not sure why they chose it but for me it's about the biggest batch you can brew all electric from a household outlet (120v/15amp).

The one thing I do wonder about after reading the FAQ is Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) which can give beer a sweet corn off-flavor.

So doesn't sound like a vigorous boil?
It doesn't actually boil at all. I read in the FAQ or something that they hold it at only 208F for a while.

I would be extremely interested to taste the beer that comes out of this thing. They've taken the usual brewing process and turned it on its head.
 

MarcusKillion

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they claim lots of brew experts have tasted it and liked it .
I f I had a lot of money to blow I would buy one just to check out .
 

Octavius

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Marcus,
I sympathize on the bad back.
Have you thought about getting a March or Chugger pump. $200 should get you the pump, silicone tubing, connectors.
Cheers
 

MarcusKillion

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Marcus,
I sympathize on the bad back.
Have you thought about getting a March or Chugger pump. $200 should get you the pump, silicone tubing, connectors.
Cheers
Bought a chugger pump . Only problem is it is too much of a hassle to use it . The hose has to be 25 feet long to get into the house where my ferment pot is . I need to move so I can have a garage or basement to brew in where I can set up everything together putting in a vent in a window to vent out the hot air and gasses so I do not die from carbon monoxide poisoning from the propane burner . Actually I have used it in the kitchen in winter by opening up front and back doors for air . Burner kept the hose nice and warm . Removing the hose from the boil pot and getting out all the wort is hard without spilling it all over with that long hose .
 

Owly055

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The Picobrew definitely has it's place in the world of brewing...... assuming that the results live up to the billing.

Imagine owning a home brew store, and having a line up of 2 or 3 Picobrews in the store.

Your customer opens an account and pays by credit card.......... Sitting around drinking his latest pale ale, blond, cream, barley wine, etc..... with friends, they start wondering what that latest hop variety would do to flavor, perhaps they want it a little sweeter or drier, so they start passing the Ipad around, and design a new version, and push "send" , or perhaps "spend"........... It's billed out and put in your brewing queue. The next day you weigh out and measure ingredients into the hoppers, and push start, and when the process is complete, set the keg aside with their customer number on it. The keg rental clock starts ticking, as the wort is set in the cooler. At this point the customer must drop by, receive the wort, and sign for it. He can take it home to complete the process, or simply pitch the yeast and document that he has, and put it into your temperature controlled fermentation storage room. When the fermentation is complete, you move it into the crash and lager room, and the customer picks it up for bottling or to put in his kegerator.

So long as the customer receives the wort and pitches the yeast, and it is documented, there really is nothing the feds could object to. You aren't selling an alcoholic beverage, just grain, hops, and yeast............

The service could be really valuable to microbrewers for prototyping also. The LHBS has a lot of diverse inventory, and the microbrewer is faced with having to buy the materials for a prototype beer in retail quantities (except base malt). He had just as well dial a brew, as try to do it in his brewery. He might order 6 or 8 variants at a time. It could end up being an excellent business................

H.W.

H.W.
 

KCBigDog

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I'm very close to pulling the trigger on one of these. Have any of you fermented in carboys to free up the keg for more brewing?
 

sbartelski

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I'm very close to pulling the trigger on one of these. Have any of you fermented in carboys to free up the keg for more brewing?
Yup, I transfer to a bucket for primary to free up the brew keg, and to keep the keg clean. It also allows me to aerate more too.

I think the secret is keeping the machine clean, I do a couple of rinse cycles before and after each brew, and a deep clean every fourth brew.
 

Crucial-BBQ

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The one thing I do wonder about after reading the FAQ is Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) which can give beer a sweet corn off-flavor.
Well saying that it can also implies that it can't.

And DMS gives a sweet corn off-flavor? Well tell that that to the 100s of 1000s of people who swear they "hate" a beer because they can taste the corn adjunct :rolleyes: Seriously though, just joshing you. For some styles DMS is appropriate and I like it myself. Then again some people go gaga over sour beers, and even though no one HBT would admit to it--some also like the skunk of Corona or Heineken; so to each their own. I like that skunk, though, which I guess makes me my own liar :mug:

The makers of this product insist that the DMS is driven off through agitation and not necessarily carried away with the water vapor during boiling. Who knows, though? Perhaps "you don't need to boil to drive off DMS" will be the next "secondaries are not necessary", "decoctions are not necessary", "you really do not really need to chill as fast as possible to achieve "cold break"" argument and so on.

I've had it in mind to develop something similar to this thing but more brewer-centric. I hate how this thing takes the brewer out of brewing.
Honestly, what is the difference between this and a fully automated electronic HERMs? I mean, besides about $10K less dollars and ~17.5 gallons less brewing capacity? The Pico is just the Mini Me of HERMs that you do not have the enjoyment of building yourself (and yes, I know that building it is a huge part of it).

If I had $2K to spend on a Pico, I'd opt to upgrade my system elsewhere but I do think it is pretty cool. I'll consider a future revision when they figure out to get it to fully ferment, condition, and carbonate all within 24 hours.
 
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