Kevin Boyer and Phillip James have created a device that quite literally turns water into wine in just a few days using a low amount of heat and a specialized Atmel-based, Arduino-controlled environment.
“Initially we have sourced 6 wine types that The Miracle Machine and its smartphone app (iOS and Android) will help you make,” the duo explained on the project’s official website.
“These are a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and rich Chardonnay from Napa Valley, a cool climate Pinot Noir from Oregon, an aged Tuscan blend from Italy, Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma, and a delicate red and a steely white from Burgundy. We expect to add 5-10 more over the next 3 months.”
According to Boyer and James, customers will be able to buy the grape concentrate, yeast and the final sachet of ingredients once the product officially launches. Each kit will make a different type of wine, with the Miracle Machine team ultimately planning to roll out a low-cost ($10) monthly “wine” club kit.
So, how does the device work? Well, as Phillip James told Wine-Searcher, at the heart of the miracle machine lies the fermentation chamber.
“Obviously we’re keeping the exact science under wraps, but we can tell you the chamber uses an array of electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps to provide a controlled environment for the primary and, as needed, secondary fermentation stages. For example, while a digital refractometer measures the sugar content of the liquid during the fermentation process, a custom-designed ceramic air-diffuser pumps filtered air under a regulated micro-oxygenated environment, aerating the wine and thus softening the tannins,” James explained.
“Meanwhile an ultrasonic transducer, positioned directly underneath the chamber, resonates effectively speeding up the flavour development of the wine. Each of these components, and others, are connected to an Arduino microcontroller that ensures the Miracle Machine is doing its job of making a fine wine of your creation in just a matter of days.”
Boyer and James say they plan on launching a Kickstarter campaign in the near future. Bits & Pieces will keep you posted, but in the meantime, you can check out the official Miracle Machine website here and Yahoo’s (UK) write up of the product here.