Even at a $1,600 investment, it would really only take about 6 weeks of home brewing for me to recoup the cost of a PicoBrew Zymatic in consumed beer. For me, a 6-pack of brewskis that doesn't taste like a donkey's bunghole runs around $8.99. Divide $1,600 for this automatic beer-concocting appliance by what I'm shelling out to the mini-mart each week, and you get about 178 6-packs. Or, again, what I would drink in your average 6-week span.
OK, for my mama's sake, we'll say 12 weeks. 12 weeks until the PicoBrew Zymatic pays for itself.
Brothers Bill and Jim Mitchell are avid home-brewers with professional backgrounds in building things and programming computers to make things work. Also, their grandpa invented Pop Rocks and Tang. Mitchell credibility: check. They sought to develop a method of crafting beer at home that matched the strides in simplicity and automation made by other commercial-to-consumer food and beverage equipment, such as bread and espresso machines. Three years later, they have the design and prototyping of the PicoBrew Zymatic we see here.
With either personal or borrowed recipes (PicoBrew has also developed Recipe Crafter software to ensure user-created recipes turn out on spec with the PicoBrew appliance) expert brewers, hobby brewers, and brewers with no experience or knowledge even of what ingredients besides alcohol are in beer can ferment their own lip-smacking kegs with the automatic Zymatic.
After acquiring the necessary ingredients, fill a 5G cornelius keg (shout out to my friend Cornelius!) with water and attach its hoses to the Zymatic's keg posts. Add grain to the device's main compartment (step filter), and hops to the designated hops cages that slide into the step filter's back side. Load the step filter into the machine, hit "Brew", and about 3-1/2 hours later, you will have pulled a JC and turned water to beer. Well, beer wort. Now all that's needed is a chilling area, the addition of yeast, and a little patience for the fermentation process to take effect. Five days to a week later, you'll be ready for carbonation, kegeration, and world flip cup domination.
Pledge for your PicoBrew Zymatic on Kickstarter through October 30, 2013.
Thanks to Chris D. for the Dude Product Tip.
December 2013 Update: The PicoBrew Zymatic far exceeded its crowdfunding goal and is now available for direct purchase.