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PicoBrew Z - Any thoughts for a new brewer?

Hey All!

I’m brand new here and very new to brewing in general. I have a lot of interest, but not a ton of time. I was looking at the different machines from PicoBrew and the newly announced PicoBrew Z caught my attention. Can anyone share their thoughts on this machine in general and if they think it could be good for someone like me who is interested in brewing, the brewing process, and eventually fine tuning recipes of my own? I like how the machine is modular and can range from 2.5 gallons to 10 gallons depending on the model selected (but from what I understand you can upgrade later on as well). I would probably go with the 2.5 gallon model to start if I was to move forward on this piece of equipment. Here’s a link to the PicoBrew Z’s page for reference, I have no affiliation with PicoBrew and do not benefit by you clicking the link. Again, reference only - https://www.picobrew.com/Store/Products/Z

Thanks in advance for any information you can supply!

OK, looks pretty snazzy right there… It may be a simpler way to brew that a beginner can make some awesome beer… I didn’t see anything talked about the fermenting piece of the puzzle… I suspect it all electric, that right there is a great start… Its expandable… another plus… I’ve got the remnants of my beginning brew days loitering about in a shed… Maybe with more research you can tell us about how it goes through the process… Your the one interested, so you may as well do some digging to see what you come up with… We’re here when you’ve got questions… Sneezles61

Hey Sneezles61!

Thanks for your response. From my understanding you can create recipes or use existing ones using beerxml through the Pico platform. The initial brewing process takes about 4 hours and adds hops automatically (up to 4, but more can be added manually) at pre programmed times and is 10-14 days “grains to glass”. If I’m not mistaken the fermenting happens right in the 5g keg, there is no self chilling so it needs to be put in a climate controlled area, I already have a kegerator so I don’t think this should be an issue for me. Below is what I found on both the Picobrew Z1 (2.5 gallon model) from the website and then below that, the process of brewing with the Zymatic. The Zymatic process should be pretty similar to the Z I imagine as it’s the Z’s predecessor. I find it to be exciting, but I love new tech too so I can understand that some traditional brewers may not like using a semi automated process. The Zymatic Brews up to 1.090 gravity beers without adjuncts so I assume the Z1 will as well. I’m not knowledgeable on this element of the brew process yet so I’m not sure what limitation that puts on the different beers I can brew. I mostly am looking to brew IPA’s / Hop heavy beers. Let me know your thoughts, thanks!

Brew
Creates all BJCP styles, kombucha, and cold-brewed coffee

Brew Time
4 Hours

Ingredients
PicoPaks, or loose malt & hops

Recipes
100+ PicoPaks, 500 community recipes, or make your own

Tools
Online predictive BrewCrafter tool

Compatibility
PicoFerm, PicoStill, KegSmarts

WiFi
802.11 b/g

Z1

Heat/Power
1500W

What’s the whole process, from grain to glass?
Decide what you want to brew (select, import, or create your own recipe), adjust the recipe to your liking or leave as-is, load the ingredients, fill a keg with the specified amount of water, turn on the Zymatic®, let it synchronize to the internet and load your recipe, select it by name and the brewing begins.

While it brews, the Zymatic® logs brewing session data to the internet so you can keep track of it on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

At the end of the brew cycle, chill the beer or disconnect the keg to cool, pitch (add) yeast, attach an airlock, and place it somewhere cool to ferment.

Remove the ingredients containers, dump the waste into your compost bin, rinse the main container and replace it in the machine.

Attach a keg of water or other water source and run the rinse cycle on the machine to keep it clean for the next brew. Every few batches you’ll want to run a full cleaning cycle which is as simple as attaching a keg of water and adding a dishwasher tab. This deep clean takes longer but is an unattended process just like the brew cycle.

The ingredient containers can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.

Wait for nature to do its magic with the fermenting beer. This can take anywhere from seven days to three weeks depending on the beer style you have brewed, fermentation temperatures, and a number of other factors.

Transfer your beer from the fermenting keg to a clean serving keg, carbonate, and put it on tap in your refrigerator, KegSmarts, kegerator or bottle as you prefer.

Someone else simplified it a bit more… So I thought I’d share

“To go a little more in-depth, this machine automatically makes fermentable wort that yeast can turn into beer. So you bypass one step that other homebrewers do by hand.”

I also found this link that breaks down many of the automated brewing systems, and though it doesn’t have the “Z” yet it does have the Zymatic listed with how it’s features compare to the rest. Take a look and tell me your thoughts. Hopefully I didn’t bombard you guys with too much info. But hopefully it helps get some feedback as well. Thanks!

I got the email from BYO about this and have been seriously considering it for recipe development purposes. I’ve got a few days left to decide if I’m jumping on the pre-order or not. Would also have to convince the wife that it’s worth it which will be the difficult part. :grimacing: I do 5 gallon batches but I’m thinking about the 2.5 gallon setup for development that can be scaled.

:beers:
Rad

Hey Rad!

So I just pulled the trigger myself. It’s fully refundable until it ships in July so I figured it was a no brainer to get the discount and then do more research. I completely recommend you do the same and use that extra time to soften your wife up to the idea. :stuck_out_tongue:

I got to take advantage of the discount going on and used a coupon code from a forum user and got an extra $50 off. If you do move forward I would love for you to use my coupon code KYZ5R …you’ll save $50 and I’ll save some money too. If anyone else is moving forward on a Z feel free to use my coupon code as well.

Thanks for jumping in the conversation Rad! Even though I pulled the trigger and just bought one I would love to still discuss the merits of this machine as I have till July to cancel if I want. Happy Brewing!

I’m going to have to deal with my live in girlfriend as well… :stuck_out_tongue: FYI

My opinion not that it matters. Awful lot of money to brew beer. For that money you can just buy beer. Takes the hobby out of it unless of course you build it yourself. I can brew a batch in under 4 hours. If you want to save time brew up a 3 gallon extract batch. Looks like kind of boring way to brew. You asked

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Hey Brew Cat, it doubles as a Sous Vide!! I do feel like a sales pitch was delivered… Anyway, it looks like a good starter for some… I put my stuff together from the ground up, why? Because I wouldn’t be able to live with someone elses fabricated equipment… Some where, somehow, There would be a need to improve… My set up is very close to “there”. I’ve just got to get the chiller finalized… I’m able to pitch yeast the day I brew… I’m hands on the whole way through my brewing process… As I’m sure many of you are too! Beersotasty, you’ll need RO or Distilled water every time you brew… I suspect its for the keeping the hard water scale from accumulating on the elements… Sneezles61

Thanks for the input guys. Distilled water isn’t to make of a pain. Does it affect the flavor of the beer? Yesterday after getting all excited about my purchase I came down with the flu. Been in bed all day. So I’ll catch back up later. :frowning:

I’ll think that the pico kits has everything needed in them… If you make your own, then you’ll need to do water adjustments… Sneezles61
Get well…

Wow… I was down with the flu for over two weeks. That really sucked. Anyone else end up picking up a Z? They keep throwing in all these freebies which is pretty cool I’m excited to get mine sometime in July. They’re still 1/2 off for the next 55 hours.

Use this link and save an extra $50
https://www.picobrew.com/Store/Products/Z/?pbref=KYZ5R

Thanks!

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