Tag Archives: Zymatic

Pico is like the Keurig for homebrewing beer


Pico is a fully-automatic appliance that lets anyone brew their own mini kegs of craft beer, on demand.


Consuming an ice-cold brewski isn’t that difficult. Brewing it on your own, well that’s a different story. Fortunately, one Seattle-based startup is looking to do the same for beer as the Keurig has done for coffee. PicoBrew’s 3D printer-like appliance can be used by just about anyone to craft their own malted beverage inside their own home.

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If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you recall the team’s initial product, the Zymatic, which debuted earlier this year. The ATmega1284P powered device enabled ale aficionados to make their own stouts, porters and IPAs right from their kitchen. PicoBrew had raised more than $660,000 on Kickstarter and has since shipped more than a thousand machines. Now, its creators have returned with a smaller, faster and more user-friendly version of the Zymatic, which also happens to be half the price.

Whereas the Zymatic was originally geared towards experienced brewers, the Pico has been designed with the hobbyist in mind. The latest gadget employs much of the same technology as its older and bigger sibling, but with reduced complexity and cost. Ideal for any countertop, the Pico itself measures only 12 inches wide and is capable of producing five liters of fresh beer after a single brewing session. That size is more along the lines of a coffee-maker than a microwave.

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One notable feature of the Pico is the its new PicoPak system, which includes conveniently pre-packaged ingredient combinations (ranging from award-winning porters to Munich malts) from craft breweries throughout the world. These may be purchased and customized to taste. All the user has to do is fill a keg with water, load the hop and grain modules with the pre-packaged goods, and hit “brew.” Once it’s done, the beer is fermented by adding yeast from the PicoPak, and then transferred over to a mini keg where it stays for five to seven days to carbonate.

What’s more, PicoBrew recently launched a PicoBrew BrewMarketplace, which allows any brewer to publish their beer ingredient combination and earn royalties on every sale. Meanwhile, customers can find great craft beer by exploring ratings and recommendations and even communicating directly with the brewer.

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Earlier this year, the company also introduced its second product, KegSmarts — a Wi-Fi unit that attaches to a standard kegerator and provides information, like temperature and quantity, on an OLED display — all of which can be monitored and controlled from a mobile device.

Ready to brew your own personalized craft beer? Head over to Pico’s Kickstarter campaign, where the PicoBrew crew is currently seeking $200,000. Delivery is slated for April 2016.

Brew your own craft beer with the touch of a button


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.

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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.

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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.