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PicoBrew Zymatic
PZ001
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60 day no hassle return policy. Details
Description

The PicoBrew is a fully automated, all-grain, homebrewing appliance that allows the user to brew top quality craft beer across all styles at the push of a button. Comes included with the specialized 5 gallon keg you need and is shipped free by MoreBeer! in the lower 48 states from MoreBeer! The PicoBrew Zymatic® allows for efficient and accurate home-brewing, without all of the clean-up. There are numerous reasons why we at MoreBeer! really like this new all grain brewery, but we recognize it may not be for everyone. We've found that the Zymatic really shines if:

  • You're wanting extreme repeatability.  The Zymatic can remember individual batches, and if you want to replicate one, its as easy as loading up the same ingredients and selecting that brew.  Not only great for repeating amazing homebrew, this is sure to become an essential pilot system for breweries across the world.
  • You want to brew all grain, but are restricted on space.  This unit is extremely compact, making space almost a non-factor when compared to traditional all grain setups.  Our first trial brew on these units took place on one of our desks during a work day!
  • Time is an issue.  Set up and clean up are much quicker and easier, and since the Zymatic is completely automated, you don't need to be there to monitor temperatures, open valves, turn on burners, etc.
  • Easy - It really is the easiest way to brew all-grain beer at home. 

The PicoBrew Zymatic® can brew up to 2.5 gallons of wort across a wide range of brewing styles.  Depending on the grain load, style and mill, and the mash schedule, you get 70- 90% brewing efficiencies with the Zymatic®.  Our recipes work great on the PicoBrew, however since they're sized for 5.5 gallons, you'll be able to brew twice! 

Features

  • Internet connected via Wi-Fi or Ethernet
  • Powerful, predictive, custom recipe creation software
  • Easy to clean with dishwasher safe components
  • All-grain and extract brewing
  • Average of four hours from start to finish
  • Brews up to 1.090 gravity beers without adjuncts
  • Supports 4 different timed hops additions
  • 1500W heating element
  • Power required: 120 v
  • 2.5 gal wort output

Brewing Process

  1. Choose a recipe: Create (or borrow) a recipe, then select the recipe to brew by using the selector knob on the front panel of your PicoBrew Zymatic®.
  2. Fill your keg: Fill a 5 gal Cornelius keg with water and attach the hoses on the side of your Zymatic to the keg posts.
  3. Add your grain and hops: Add your grain to the main compartment of the step filter and add hops (per the recipe) into the appropriate hop cages that insert into the step filter.  Slide the step filter into the machine and you’re all ready to brew!
  4. Brew: As your Zymatic® begins mashing you can watch the progress of your brew via your Pico Brew account from your PC, tablet, or phone.  In about 3 and ½ hours your keg will contain beer wort (unfermented beer).
  5. Add yeast and ferment: Detach the keg from the machine by removing the hoses from the keg posts, and chill the keg to the necessary pitching temperature.  Pitch yeast and then seal the keg with an air-lock keg lid.  Your beer will ferment in the keg you brewed it in within 5 days to 2 weeks.
  6. Transfer: Depending on your desired serving method, take your finished beer and bottle it or place it in a kegerator to keep it chilled.
  7. Enjoy: Drink up!

PicoBrew Software

With a web-based recipe crafter and Wi-Fi/Ethernet connectivity, creating a recipe and beginning the brewing process is a cinch. The highly customizable recipe crafter with its predictive calculations allows for ease of recipe creation for specific IBU and OG benchmarks.

Includes: 120 v PicoBrew Zymatic® machine, step filter with hop cages and filter beds, ball lock connection hoses, 5 gal new Ball Lock Cornelius keg w/ shortened dip tube.  Unit Dimensions: 20.5 x 14.5 x 17 inches.  50 lb unit weight. 

Drop Ship: This product will ship directly from the supplier. Blichmann products are delivered in under a week, while other vendors can take 1-3 weeks for delivery.
 
Item # PZ001
Weight 100LBS
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Reviews

4.5 / 5.0
8 Reviews
5 Stars
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Get ready for the worst brewing day of your life
Biggest mistake in my home brewing career. I have had nothing but issues since day 1. Out of 8 brews I've only had one with no issues...including a broken fluid arm after the first brew, fatal system errors, a defective pump and leaks like you wouldn't believe. 7 brews have been completely ruined that never even made it to the keg. Not only was this an expensive piece of equipment but all the ingredients wasted is money down the drain. Yes. The customer service is great but it doesn't make up for the issues and the inconsistencies. The time dealing with issues does not make up for "automated" brewing
June 22, 2018
excellent product very well made
This machine does everything that it’s advertised to do. It saves a lot of time. I would highly recommend this machine.
February 10, 2018
Purchased
6 months ago
Wonderful Brewing System -- AND it can brew more than the advertised 2.5 gallons!
I have been brewing with a Picobrew Zymatic for 15 months. It is a great machine that produces very finely tuned wort. In fact, I love mine so much that I got a second one!

One thing that is never or seldom mentioned is that you can brew more than the stated 2.5 gallons. The only limiting factor for a brew is the 5 gallon keg and a maximum of 9 pounds of malts in the main compartment. If you are brewing beers in the 3.5% to 5.5% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) range, you can easily scale up a recipe to approach the 9 pound max and thus brew a 3.5 to 4.25 gallon batch.

As you can monitor your brewing from your phone, you are not a slave to hanging around turning on burners, opening valves, or timing hop additions. I quite often leave to run errands, shop, sleep, or just enjoy myself during the main part of the brew. Step mashes are a cinch and you can do all sorts of things with wheat and the like that are difficult with typical home-brew set ups.

Couldn't be happier!
August 28, 2016
Anybody can brew a great beer with the Zymatic
I am producing the best beer I've ever made with the Zymatic. The quality of the beer is as good or better than a lot of commercial craft beer I've tried recently, and it's an absolute blast to create your own recipes and track the brewing progress.

The community surrounding the Zymatic is top-notch, starting with the outstanding support from Picobrew, plus the positive engagement from the users in the forums.

If you love great beer, and enjoy experimenting with new flavors or trying different styles, then I highly recommend you get a Zymatic and fully embrace all grain brewing with the ease of automation and simplified clean up.
April 22, 2015
Picobrew
I have been homebrewing for 5 years. I was lucky to be able to brew once a month. I was making 5 or 10 gallon batches. At first I was put off by the idea of brewing such small quantities. I find now that I brewing twice a week. The cleanup is so much easier. It's amazing how much less work, the smaller volume makes. Being able to change every parameter to optimize my brew and the able to exactly repeat it is amazing. It allows for exciting experiments.
I had some problems with my machine at first. The support I got from Picobrew was outstanding. They went away beyond what was necessary. I can whole heartedly support them.

Picobrew Zymatic gives you the opportunity to work on your recipes and process in a professional like manner.

Orlando Fl.
April 21, 2015
Having more fun making beer than I have in decades.
I have been brewing beer for close to 22 years. Most of it on my 20G HERMS system that I built with a lot of components (and even more assistance) from MoreBeer. I bought the PicoBrew because brewing had become a rare occurrence for me and I wanted to find an easy and fun way to get back into brewing regularly. With the arrival of the PicoBrew I can proudly say that I've done that. I'm 10 batches in as of this review and I could not be happier.

As for the 2.5G batch size, I'm liking that as well. I have simply replaced volume in my brewing for variety. It's a lot less work and planning to produce 4 batches on this machine than it is to do a single 10 or 20G batch on my old system.

Is it a "breadmaker" for beer-making? Not really. Other than the fact that it does a great job dialing in temps during the mash and you no longer have to add the hops during the boil, it's basically the same brewing process you've always done. You still need to get the other 85% of brewing correct to make good beer.

The number one question anyone should ask when considering a system like this is: Does it make good beer? And the answer is a resounding yes. The beer is every bit as good as the beer I made on my 20G system. Except that there's a lot more of it since it's so easy to crank out a batch on a week night.

Is this machine necessary to make good beer (or even -necessary- at all? Of course not. But it sure is a heck of a lot of fun!
April 6, 2015
1st time homebrewer, now I'm hooked
I was a new homebrewer before getting a zymatic. I had always wanted to brew my own but thought it would be too time consuming and labor intensive. I have a 5 year old who loves her time with me, and spending a whole day brewing is just not a luxury I have these days.

When I heard about the zymatic I was extremely skeptical. Mostly due to the cost of it, and it being new. In the end I looked at the $10-15 6 packs I was buying and decided it wasnt THAT expensive in the long run and bought it. I am SO glad I did.

I have been using the zymatic for almost 6 months now and have brewed > 25 batches. I've brewed everything from IPA's (my favorite) to stouts, Saison's, pale ale's.. even an apple spiced one. So far every one has been incredible. I've had friends over and no one has believed I make it in this little box in my basement. This little steel box makes as good of homebrew as anything I can buy in a store.

I've talked to others who have bought one who homebrewed before, and they were all happy because it simplified their brew day. To me it's been great because it allowed me, as a newbie to the hobby, to so something that I have always wanted to do, and to share with my friends and proudly say "I made that". I haven't found a style that it cant handle with ease.

Making a batch is as easy as measuring out the water, adding the hops in their cages, the grain in it's bin, dialing in the recipe you choose on picobrew's website and pushing a button. You can monitor its progress on your cellphone even. That's cool because I measure everything out the night before, have it ready to go and just push start before I take my kiddo to school. By lunch it's done and ready to cool.

Another great thing has been the community surrounding it. On picobrew's website, the forums are VERY active with other owners, and as someone who's new, I have tons of questions. I've never had a time where someone wasn't there to answer them. That's been awesome because I've read other home-brew forums were newbies were not as welcome. That makes a huge difference in my book.

If you are looking at a 2 grand beer brewing machine, the biggest thing would have to be does it work. I can say with a resounding voice, yes. It works. It works better than I could have ever hoped for. I bet in a year it will have paid for itself, and I have a new found hobby and community that I am proud to be a part of.

Andrew E
keeponrunning
April 6, 2015
Makes excellent, consistent and tasty beer - Makes me much more creative and productive
About me:
I was an early kickstarter supporter of this machine. I only have glowing things to say about it.

I have been homebrewing since the winter of 2000/2001, and have brewed on a number of set-ups. And have dozens if not hundreds of brews under my belt. I share my machine with a brew partner, and I share my traditional set-up with a homebrew collective of friends.

I know my stuff.

Description:
The Zymatic is a countertop appliance that brews all-grain wort to make 2.5 gallon batches of beer. It has a slide-in compartment in which you put your grains, as well as compartments for your hops and other additions. The machine is attached to the in and out posts of a keg which you fill with a specified amount of water (obviously varies by recipe). The keg is sealed with a special rubber seal and a "foam trap" which allows unwanted compounds to dissipate while still sealing the system from unwanted bugs and contaminants.

On the front of the machine there is a manual dial selector with which you can select the recipe you uploaded earlier to the machine (more about that later). Then you press start, and the recipe will cycle through your programmed mash schedule and hops additions, etc. Internally there is a moving faucet which pours water into each compartment according to a schedule you specify. The water is pumped from the keg into the Zymatic and returned to the keg until heated to the proper temperatures depending on your recipe step. Once the mash is done, it "boils" the wort in the keg (not quite boil temperature, but that makes no difference), and cycles the wort through the hops compartments according to your recipe's timings.

On one of the hoses going to the keg there is a sample port with which you can take gravity readings.

Once your boil is complete, you can chill your wort in the keg in a number of ways (attach a wort chiller, a plate chiller, or immerse the keg in ice water while the Zymatic pump-cycles the wort to temperature). Once chilled, you pitch your yeast into the keg, place an included airlock in the keg seal, and ferment in the keg until complete. You can then rack to a serving keg, or serve directly from your fermentation keg, sealing with the proper lid of course. You can also transfer from the keg to bottles.

The other half of the Zymatic process is creating your recipe online using the Picobrew site and uploading it to the Zymatic (which connects to your account automatically over wifi or ethernet). There is a recipe library in which Picobrew and others (including Annie Johnson, AHA Homebrewer of the Year) have posted recipes. Users also regularly share recipes there. There is an internal review system for user's submitted recipes so you know what others thought of the recipe when they brewed it before you choose to do the same. There are a few hundred public recipes at least at the time of this review (March 2015). There are also currently 753 registered public users at this time.

When creating your own recipe in the recipe crafter, you select what BJCP style you want to brew, then manually add your ingredients. The crafter calculates OG, FG, SRM, ABV, etc from your inputs and also compares it to the BJCP style guide so you know if you're within style guidelines or creatively outside them. You can tell the machine exactly what you want it to do: complex mash schedules and temperatures? No problem. Multiple hops additions? No problem. Add a pause for some reason? Easily done. Etc. etc. etc. It's pretty genius this way.

Key Advantages (from my experience):
This makes brewing a matter of exacting precision: your mash temperatures are exact (and can include very complex mash schedules) your timing is exact, your hops additions are exact, your cooling to temp readings are exact, etc.

This brew system, with the exception of when you pitch your yeast, is an entirely closed system from the time you press start on the Zymatic until the time you pour your beer. If you have cleaned and sanitized your keg properly, and cleaned your Zymatic properly, the chance of contamination is greatly greatly reduced compared to most homebrew set-ups.

It's also a simplified process compared to most. The traditional boil kettle, fermentor and keg of a traditional set up are all replaced by one brew keg. Once you start the brew, you can walk away and work on other things, no monitoring needed. If you do want to monitor it, you can do so in person or online (it tracks temperature and steps to a real-time graph for your review). It also automatically adds your hops, etc, requiring no more alarms, etc.

In addition, all components of the mash and hops compartments are dishwasher safe (they really are), and the actually do fit my dishwasher. You can run a boil water sanitation pre and post-brew, and every fourth brew you can run PBW or cleaning tabs through the whole machine for a couple hours.

Finally, it brews 2.5 gallon batch sizes, which I'll go into below.

Review:
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, and you're brewing a good recipe, 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 initially thought the 2.5 gallon 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 this 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.

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 (connected to one of the hoses). A soak in PBW goes a long way in this regard.

Overall construction is sturdy, and nothing (with one exception) has broken to date despite my moving it to and from storage or back and forth in a hatchback with my brew partner.

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 mentioned to them I was connecting via ethernet cord due to wifi problems, there was a wifi bridge at my door the next day, (without my asking for it!) followed by a phone call to help me set it up. I also had an early Kickstarter edition, with an old version of the foam trap which cracked. Again, new one at my door across the border by the next morning - for free. That kind of cross-border speed and service is unprecedented in my experience. Their brewmaster Annie Johnson created a Fat Tug IPA clone for me and loaded it on to the recipe index within a couple hours of my asking for advice in the forum. Then she did the same for two more of my requests. And she regularly responds to questions we all have. I really can't say enough about them all. So they (and their machine) get a big fat 5 star rating from me.

Cheers,

Mark M
March 30, 2015