picobrew pro review

PicoBrew Pro Review

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How about having your own craft beer home brewery that fits on your countertop?

Tempting?

Well, PicoBrew Pro aims to cater to exactly this segment of beer lovers. However, it offers much more.

Creating high-quality craft beer with a predictable taste is a challenge for most home brewing systems. PicoBrew delivers this predictability of taste, brew after brew.

Read on for our PicoBrew Pro review to see if it’s the right fit for the type of homebrewing you’re trying to accomplish.

PicoBrew Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance for Homebrewing,Stainless Steel,49"x35"x8"
  • Brews 5 liters of beer at a time - the equivalent of 13 12-ounce bottles
  • Fine-tune the ABV (alcohol content) and ibu (bitterness level) of any PicoPak to your liking, or create a custom PicoPak with your own recipe of grains, hops, and yeast.
  • Designed for home brewing elites, the Pico Pro comes with two 6. 6 liter (1. 75 gallon) ball-lock kegs, easy to connect to your kegerator or the included CO2-powered party tap

PicoBrew Pro Features

Ease of Use

The PicoBrew Pro is an automated all in one brewing system that’s simple and straightforward to operate. The brewing process involves adding the water and the raw ingredient pack (PicoPaks) to the machine and pressing the “Brew” option on its 2.7 inch display. Let the machine run for about 2 hours until it indicates that the wort is ready.

After the wort is ready, let it cool and to ferment, pitch the yeast. When the beer is fermented, transfer the brew from fermenting keg to serving keg. The machine performs the transfer by using an air pump. At this stage, you add the priming sugar you received among the raw ingredients to the wort for the carbonation to take place. In about 1 week the carbonated beer is ready for you to enjoy using the CO2 party tap.

PicoPaks

PicoBrew Pro makes brewing an award-winning beer just like the brew master made it possible by using PicoPaks. Its ingredients include high-quality fresh grains prepared on-demand by PicoBrew and delivered to your doorstep.

PicoBrew Pro recognizes the PicoPak based on its RFID tag. The rest of the process is automated. PikoPaks are not included and are sold separately, with hundreds to choose from.

You can choose from an almost endless list of PikoPaks from their marketplace. If you want to step up your brew game a little more you can FreeStyle and create your own starting with their base recipes and adding your own taste to it with their interactive easy to use tool.

Countertop Portability

The dimensions of the product are 14 inch length x 12 inch width x 16 inch height and weighs 24 pounds. PicoBrew Pro is easy to move around and store right under your countertop at 16 inches.

Capacity

It sits on your countertop just like any other kitchen appliance and produces 5 liters of the brew at a time. You can transfer the beer to reusable beer bottles or a keg as you wish. The manufacturing process takes about 2 hours after hitting the button while the maturing of the brew – fermentation, and carbonation – is complete in a little over a week.

Use Distilled Water

In making craft beer your water should be free from any minerals. Why? They can alter the taste and the texture of your beverage. They can also build up your PicoBrew with minerals and affect its function over time, so it is advised to only use distilled water.

However, certain minerals in measured quantities may enhance the overall taste of your beer. These minerals have to be part of your recipe. That’s why each PicoPak shows water amendments being used for the brew. This ensures the recipe of your brew matches the way PicoPak recipe is intended.

Cleaning

All of the cleaning instructions are step by step with pictures in the user manual. All in all each cleaning process can take about 10 minutes of elbow grease for you to rinse or deep clean your PicoBrew.

Before starting your brew you’ll need a quick first rinse with distilled water. Then the PicoBrew should run a rinse cycle between every brew. PicoBrew manual suggests doing a deep cleaning every 3 brews but for longer lasting results some suggest to deep clean it after every brew, which takes about a half hour total.

Cleaning up the cornelius keg should be done every time and involves taking apart the pieces and getting the inside cleaned as per the instructions in the manual.

Smartphone and WiFi Control

PicoBrew Pro craft beer brewing system integrates well with smartphones using its app BrewPulse and WiFi. The app on Play Store in its tagline says: Brew like a pro in just one go. You can track the brewing process as per the recipe through BrewPulse app on your smartphone.

Some users have experienced issues with satellite internet not connecting well to their PicoBrew.

Regulation of ABV and IBU

A manual brewing system can be difficult to deal with when it comes to maintaining the ABV (content or level of alcohol) and IBU (level of bitterness) in the beer. The automation of the PicoBrew Pro electric brewing system facilitates you with the option of regulating these two things which are quite important as different people have different tastes.

PicoBrew Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance for Homebrewing,Stainless Steel,49"x35"x8"
  • Brews 5 liters of beer at a time - the equivalent of 13 12-ounce bottles
  • Fine-tune the ABV (alcohol content) and ibu (bitterness level) of any PicoPak to your liking, or create a custom PicoPak with your own recipe of grains, hops, and yeast.
  • Designed for home brewing elites, the Pico Pro comes with two 6. 6 liter (1. 75 gallon) ball-lock kegs, easy to connect to your kegerator or the included CO2-powered party tap

PicoBrew Pro Benefits

The most significant benefit that PicoBrew Pro brings to your beer is the precision of the taste. This is possible due to precision mashing that extracts sugar and also the flavors from the grains.

Pros

  • Brews 5 liters of beer at a time
  • Equipped with 1500 watt motor
  • Automated homebrewing  
  • Made of stainless steel
  • Compact countertop placement
  • 2-hour production time
  • 7 days for fermentation and carbonization
  • Reasonably priced
  • 1 year warranty for all components
  • Easy cleanup

Cons

  • Complaints of leaking from the machine
  • Lack of variety because of ready raw materials
  • Mineral buildup if non-distilled water used
  • Future business operations in question
  • Doesn’t work with satellite internet (needs regular WiFi)

FAQ

What is the grain to glass serving time with this appliance?

It generally takes 2 hours to brew your beer and then 7-8 days for the fragmentation and carbonation.

How does PicoBrew ensure the amount of carbonation is right?

PicoBrew is equipped with a CO2 cartridge precision regulator to complete the carbonation process with accuracy.  

What are the differences between PicoBrew Pro and PicoBrew C?

PicoBrew C is slightly more affordable and allows you to gravity feed into a keg using a 16g CO2 cartridge, which will stay carbonated for about 4-5 days after tapping the keg. Considering it holds about a little over a dozen beers you should be able to finish the keg in time. You can tap right from the keg with PicoBrew Pro using 74g CO2 cartridges, which are more expensive. But the beer stays carbonated for as long as you have the CO2 on the keg. The Pro has a larger display while the PicoBrew C has a smaller display. PicoBrew C is a more than capable choice to brew beer, while the Pro comes with more features and accessories to do more with your brew.

PicoBrew Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance for Homebrewing,Stainless Steel,49"x35"x8"
  • Brews 5 liters of beer at a time - the equivalent of 13 12-ounce bottles
  • Fine-tune the ABV (alcohol content) and ibu (bitterness level) of any PicoPak to your liking, or create a custom PicoPak with your own recipe of grains, hops, and yeast.
  • Designed for home brewing elites, the Pico Pro comes with two 6. 6 liter (1. 75 gallon) ball-lock kegs, easy to connect to your kegerator or the included CO2-powered party tap

Do you bottle or keg the brew?

You can do either. You can store the ready brew in sanitized beer bottles and use a bottle capper to keep them fresh longer. You can also keep the brew in the air-tight serving 1.75 gallon kegs that are provided.

Can you make your own recipes?

Yes, you can start with their base recipes and customize with ingredients using their interactive online tool to make your own FreeStyle PikoPak.

What does it come with?

PicoBrew Pro comes with a sous-vide along with an adapter, two 1.75 gallon kegs, CO2 party tap, and all the pieces and parts needed to run the automated brewing system.

Can you repurpose the PicoPaks?

No, because the PicoPaks are biodegradable, they are only good for one brew.

What role does WiFi play in your business?

It is crucial as you need WiFi to fully operate the brewing system. It uses WiFi to recognize the type of alcohol and then retrieve the necessary production directions.

What happens if you use water from the tap in your PicoBrew Pro?

To minimize mineral buildup, the steam generator should use distilled water. You may use faucet water to make the genuine brew but you could get mineral buildup over time so distilled or reverse osmosis water should be used.

PicoBrew Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance for Homebrewing,Stainless Steel,49"x35"x8"
  • Brews 5 liters of beer at a time - the equivalent of 13 12-ounce bottles
  • Fine-tune the ABV (alcohol content) and ibu (bitterness level) of any PicoPak to your liking, or create a custom PicoPak with your own recipe of grains, hops, and yeast.
  • Designed for home brewing elites, the Pico Pro comes with two 6. 6 liter (1. 75 gallon) ball-lock kegs, easy to connect to your kegerator or the included CO2-powered party tap

Conclusion

PicoBrew Pro is a great choice as one of the best all in one electric brewing systems.

It offers a consistency of taste and quality in all its brews. It’s fully automated so it scores high on ease of use. It should be considered for anyone who wants to make home brews easily or even customize them slightly without the hassle of all the other brewing steps that take time, experience, labor and patience to learn.

Update: While PicoBrew still stands behind their product and ability to buy PikoPaks and more for your PicoBrew, they are however looking for more funding and have liquidated so their future is questionable while they keep the business operational (the servers will remain running for the PikoBrews to connect to). Read more details here. Their automated homebrewing system is still excellent and you should have no issues using for years to come.

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