Skip to main content

A computerized beer machine takes the legwork out of home-brewing

The $1,300 <a href='http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1708005089/picobrew-zymatic-the-automatic-beer-brewing-applia' target='_blank'>PicoBrew Zymatic</a> claims to produce home-brewed craft beer, using just a downloaded recipe and a handful of ingredients. But this Arduino-powered microbrewery isn't the only alcohol-inspired robot that could soon be making, mixing and serving your tipple of choice... The $1,300 PicoBrew Zymatic claims to produce home-brewed craft beer, using just a downloaded recipe and a handful of ingredients. But this Arduino-powered microbrewery isn't the only alcohol-inspired robot that could soon be making, mixing and serving your tipple of choice...
HIDE CAPTION
Invasion of the boozy robots
Invasion of the boozy robots
Invasion of the boozy robots
Invasion of the boozy robots
Invasion of the boozy robots
Invasion of the boozy robots
Invasion of the boozy robots
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Kickstarter campaign seeks to automate the small-scale beer creation process
  • The PicoBrew Zymatic automates some steps of beermaking, but it's not cheap
  • The machine can import recipes and scale them to the PicoBrew's setup

(Ars Technica) -- Home-brewers who may have dreamt about harnessing the power of Arduino to automate their process may find something to envy in the PicoBrew Zymatic, a project posted to Kickstarter Monday. The machine's makers purport to automate the process of home-brewing from beginning to end; owners simply add their ingredients and come back in a while to processed beer and an easy clean-up solution.

Brothers Jim and Bill Mitchell, the latter a former Microsoft executive, constructed the first prototype in 2010 using, among other things, an Arduino controller and a custom heating loop. The two teamed up with Microsoft software architect Avi Geiger in the fall of 2011.

More recent versions of the PicoBrew machine moved to custom AMTEGA controller boards and a number of custom parts, some rendered by Geiger himself. With the level of specificity provided by the PicoBrew, the founders state that users should be able to turn out recipes "precisely on spec." The machine can also import BeerXML-formatted recipes and translate and scale them to the PicoBrew's setup.

Will robots take over our kitchens?

The machine is sort of an odd meeting ground between the act of homesteading and using science and commercial techniques on a consumer level. The founders cite the amount of work and hands-on time home-brewing requires, although that's part of the charm for some enthusiasts. At $1,300, it's not really for the casual home-brewer.

The PicoBrew has more potential clients in commercial craft breweries. One source in the Kickstarter video, Matt Linecum of Fremont brewery, notes that the machine could be used for quickly testing the quality of ingredients before committing to their use in a full batch.

COPYRIGHT 2011 ARSTECHNICA.COM

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
Forget wearable tech, embeddable implants are here. Learn more about the pioneers who are implanting devices into their bodies.
March 31, 2014 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
iRobot, creators of vacuuming robot Roomba reveal how they learned from secret experiments -- in space travel, minefields, and toys.
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 1623 GMT (0023 HKT)
A light-bulb glowing in middle of a room with no wires attached. "It's the future," says Dr Katie Hall.
March 3, 2014 -- Updated 1626 GMT (0026 HKT)
Knee replacements that encourage cells to regrow could soon be manufactured -- by spiders. Find out how.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1403 GMT (2203 HKT)
Meet Chuck Hull: the humble American engineer who changed the world of manufacturing.
February 6, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
The key to self-knowledge? Or just the return of the phony "mood ring"? Check out our top mood-sensing technology in development.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 2201 GMT (0601 HKT)
One of the Games' most impressive spectacles has nothing to do with sports. It's visitors' own faces, rendered on a giant morphing wall.
February 4, 2014 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
Inside the incredible cardboard Boeing 777 that's taken one man 10,000 hours to build.
January 30, 2014 -- Updated 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)
We climb inside the Aouda.X: an "intelligent" spacesuit designed for the most treacherous environment yet to be encountered by a human.
January 24, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
The world's fastest supercar might soon be electric. The Rimac Concept_One is the Tesla-beating electric car, capable 300 kph.
January 8, 2014 -- Updated 2045 GMT (0445 HKT)
Is that Tupac and Sinatra performing live? How did that happen?! Meet Eyeliner: the optical system that can bring the dead back to life.
January 15, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
From wearable technology to space tourism: we take a look through some of the most ground-breaking developments of the year ahead.
December 19, 2013 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
In the past 12 months, several ventures have managed to raise over $1 million. Check out the projects that joined the Kickstarter millionaires' club.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 1002 GMT (1802 HKT)
Watch digital artist Kyle Lambert's stunning photo-realistic iPad paintings emerge from a blank screen.
ADVERTISEMENT