It’s official: The Internet of Beer has arrived.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to infiltrate our homes, we’re finding a number of new and unusual connected gadgets suited for both the kitchen and man cave, of course. At this year’s CES, we came across countless smart machines including the world’s first fully automatic, all-grain beer brewing appliance, which aspires to do the same for ale as the Keurig had done for coffee.
Imagine that, a product that can easily craft fresh beer right from the comfort of your home, as well as tap online resources and services with just a press of a smartphone button. The PicoBrew Zymatic is shaped like a metal oven — which measures 20.5” x 14.5” x 17” in size and weighs 50 pounds — and is driven by an ATmega1284P MCU running on Arduino-based firmware.
To make beer, a user simply pours their desired amount of malted barley, hops and water, then pushes a couple buttons to set a recipe. In just about hours, that water turns into beer. Fast forward a week of fermentation, and the countertop device produces nearly three gallons of some good ol’ ale.
Developed by Seattle-based veterans of Microsoft and the F&B industry, the team’s goal was to use IoT technology to simplify the brewing process, remove its associated menial tasks, and allow advanced beer making to be more accessible to the masses. Users simply place their beer ingredients (e.g. grains and hops) in a cartridge tray that goes inside the appliance. Once done, the beer can be poured and stored for days, or even a few weeks, while the machine itself cleans itself. Meaning, you can kick back with a brewski without having to worry about cleaning up. While the brewing is automated, the Zymatic also comes equipped with Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, enabling users to control it from a mobile device.
For those with a diverse taste, the machine boasts over 100 recipes in its built-in library with the option for users to add their own customized recipes. So whether you’re a fan of lagers, stouts or ales, PicoBrew has you covered. While one may think this is a relatively niche market, home-brewing is a decently-sized hobby with more than 1 million Americans already crafting their beverages under their own roof, according to the Brewers Association.
What began as a succsesfully-funded Kickstarter project, the automated appliance is now being shipped to its initial backers. Meanwhile, the ATmega1284P powered Zymatic is currently accepting pre-orders for $1,699, with delivery expected in March 2015 — and can be found on its official website here.
Stay thirsty, our friends.