PicoBrew Zymatic

PicoBrew Zymatic

PicoBrew Zymatic

  • World’s first all-grain beer brewing appliance
  • Produces 2.5 gallons of finished beer batches
  • Recipe library of hundreds of award-winning craft beers
  • Fully automatic and brews any craft beer type in less than 4 hours
  • Note: Ships in 3 separate packages

The world’s first, fully automatic all-grain beer brewing appliance. Heavy duty construction and precision technology create consistently delicious craft beer.

List Price: $ 1,999.00

Price: $ 1,999.00

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MM

144 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Makes fantastic homebrew and makes me a more creative homebrewer, March 11, 2015
By 
MM

This review is from: PicoBrew Zymatic (Misc.)

I have been homebrewing since the winter of 2000/2001, and am part of a homebrewing collective (just a pack of friends who share equipment and brew days and beer). I bought the Zymatic with a brewing partner and it arrived in August 2014 (7 months ago). To date I have personally brewed 17 batches on this machine, including: a Belgian Abbey Ale, a Flipside IPA Clone, a Heady Topper Clone, a Pliny the Elder Clone (x3), a Fresh Squeezed IPA Clone, a Citrus IPA, a Red Racer (Red Betty) Clone, a Fat Tug Clone #1, a Fat Tug Clone #2, a London Ale, a Pale Ale, an Amber Ale, a Porter (x2), and a Spotted Cow Clone.

All tastings have been excellent (with the exception of the Heady Topper when my fermentation chamber went haywire and decided it was a sauna instead). My brew partners and several other friends and acquaintances have told me my Zymatic-brewed beer is the best homebrew they have tasted, that they cannot tell the difference between my homebrew and commercial beer, and several have said my brew was the best they tasted this year (commercial or otherwise). I can say that after 15 years brewing, this is the best and most consistent wort I have produced (and I was a very decent and conscientious homebrewer before). My brew partner and I brewed two batches of the same porter recipe and the same Pliny recipe to test the variance between Zymatic batches, and the results were identical (OG, FG, SRM colour, taste, etc).

So long as your fermentation and sanitation are tight, I don’t see any reason to doubt you could brew really excellent beer this way. I am way more confident about it now that I have used it 17 times and tasted end results. I have also run 4 deep clean cycles and 51 rinse cycles (1 before and 2 after each brew). I haven’t had any issues except for a lost wi-fi connection which stopped the brew.

I initially thought the batch sizes would be a little small, but my volume and production have actually gone up since purchasing it, as the brew and cleaning process is considerably easier than my more traditional set-ups. My creativity has increased as well: I am far more focused on programming interesting new recipes and testing mash schedules than I was before. And it’s just damn fun to use. Frankly, the Zymatic is a feat of imagination and engineering. Every time I brew I am amazed by all the details that were thought of…. and that it all works so flawlessly. The name of the game is precision in timing and temperatures, which makes the effects of different hops, yeasts, grains and water treatments much easier to detect and experiment with.

With regard to process: it’s almost as easy as they make it look. I brew on the deck next to my living room, and with the machine running I watched movies with my daughter and my buddies throughout our brews. Normally I’d be chasing her away from vats of boiling wort. The “boil” in a sealed keg is ingenious (re-sanitizes the keg with hot wort throughout the boil), as is the primary fermentation in the keg with the included keg seal. After fermentation is complete, you just replace the seal with the keg lid on the brew keg, attach the included transfer tubing to a new C02-purged serving keg, and you transfer the beer off the yeast cake, carbonate and serve. It’s an almost totally sealed system the second you start the machine to the point you serve, which keeps oxygen and contaminants out completely. You can also pressure transfer from the keg to bottles if you prefer – when I do I have used the transfer tubing with a spring-bottom bottling wand to easily fill bottles for parties.

Cleaning is more involved than I thought, but when doesn’t cleaning last longer than you wished? All the compartments, etc fit into a dishwasher as advertized, but the hop residue needs be thoroughly washed out of the mesh cages and takes some effort. Same with the inline filter. A soak in PBW goes a long way in this regard. Overall construction is sturdy, and nothing has broken to date despite my moving it to and from storage or back and forth in a hatchback with my brew partner.

I also appreciate being able to monitor temperatures and progress on my phone. I actually find it addicting somehow, watching it do exactly what I programmed it to do. On the backend, you essentially sign in to a website account, and you can edit mash schedules, hop additions, etc to your heart’s content and then sync it to your machine. Then you add your ingredients to the various compartments, turn on the machine, and select your recipe. After the brew you compost ingredients, run parts through a dishwasher, and you run a rinse cycle (about 10 minutes long), and you’re done. Every 5th brew run a clean cycle (lasts an hour or more).

Now, the reason I am writing this epic review: The Picobrew folks have truly been the best customer service experience I have ever had. I live across the border in Canada. When I…

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Luke Murphy

53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
I have the time to brew again!, March 24, 2015
By 

This review is from: PicoBrew Zymatic (Misc.)
I’ve had my Picobrew for about 9 months now. I’ve logged about 12-14 brewing sessions on it and a couple of Sues Vide recipes. I absolutely love the device.

I wanted the Picobrew for two primary reasons.

1) Between a toddler and hectic job, I found being able to sneak away for a 4.5 hour brew session wasn’t going to fly with the wife… It’s quite a treat being able to start up a brewing session as soon as I get home. I’m able to walk away, have dinner and family time and put the toddler to bed. I can keep tabs on the brew session from my phone and clean up when the session is complete (normally around the wife is asleep). I went from not having the time to craft my own recipe to allowing the process to fit nicely in my current routine.

2) I love the control that the Picobrew gives you. I utilized a cooler mashtun before and getting consistent temperature was always tough. I couldn’t always attribute a slight modification to a recipe to the recipe itself. With the Picobrew, that is not the case at all. I am able to play with minor changes in a recipe and know that shift in flavor and ABV are due to the recipe and not the process. It really helps with the refinement of a recipe.

The brew session takes about 4.5hrs, but I’m only needed about 20 minutes of that. It takes about 5-8 minutes to weigh out my hops, mill my grain and get everything set up. At the end, it takes about 10 minutes to clean up.

I absolutely love this machine.

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Nick

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Super fun as long as you know what you’re getting into!, July 28, 2015
By 
Nick

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: PicoBrew Zymatic (Misc.)
My previous brewing experience has been in extract brewing and with borrowed equipment. I also have made wine. When I started growing my own hops I knew I wanted to buy my own setup and after reading a bit more about what was available I knew I wanted to move to all grain. This is my first amazon rating, but I was annoyed by the guy who gave this a one star without having actually tried it or knowing how it worked, so I felt compelled to share my very positive experience.

I ended up deciding to purchase the zymatic rather than a full all grain setup because I added up everything I thought I would need for all grain brewing and it didn’t seem too crazy far off of the cost of the zymatic, plus I was enchanted by the connectivity and community aspect of the unit, particularly the globe that lets you see what people are brewing right now and in a previous time window. I was also interested in using it for sous vide and frankly I wanted to save time and still get to learn more about beer making!

My first experiences were a little frustrating as some of the instructions are hard for the uninitiated to follow. However, when I checked in the online forums I found every single question I had was answered in the beginner section…so a word of advice: don’t be too hasty (like me) when your unit arrives, check that beginner section of the forum out BEFORE you start (unlike me). Also, if picobrew folks are reading this, it would be really awesome if we could get our unit ID and create the account when the product ships so we can get all psyched reading the forums and be ready when it arrives 🙂

Brewing with this has been awesome and I’ve already gotten so addicted that I bought a second keg so I can brew again while one batch is fermenting. I realize I could just use a carboy but I like that the keg is self sanitizing since it is used in the boil. I’ve been reading tons of recipes and information about the science behind the timing and temperature of mashing and am looking forward to playing with different settings.

I just want to caution anyone who is considering this because they think they’ll save money on beer and/or thinks it’ll be super easy like a bread machine. It is certainly not cheap to buy the ingredients, even in bulk, and given the tiny margins you’ll get it would take a long time to “pay off” the machine and all of the other items you’ll need for bottling/kegging, taking measurements, controlling fermentation temp, and sanitizing. While it is less time consuming than any beer making I’ve done before, especially when it comes to cleaning time, it still does take a good amount of time to get everything going, the large pieces are a bit awkward to clean, there tends to be a medium to heavy amount of foam that gets in and around the machine, and the cages and screens tend to trap ingredients inside them pretty well. Once your brewing session is done the process is roughly what it would be for any beer to ferment and bottle or keg.

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