Smart Brew!

Peculiar English Old Ale – “caramel, toffee, malty goodness.”

Let me start by saying I like beer. I have friends that drive hundreds of miles to be at a limited release of Hill Farmstead or The Alchemist, they love beer. I on the other hand would drive 20 miles out of my way for a Founders KBS limited once a year release.

I also like technology so when I got an email that PicoBrew was having a special on their entry PicoBrew C it was time for me to join my friends that homebrew.

Technology meets Cheers!

Think of the PicoBrew as the bread machine of beer making.   You buy pre-made PicoPaks that brew 5L of beer, that’s about fourteen 12oz bottles.  There is no instant gratification – after brewing you have to allow your beer to ferment, cold crash, Keg or bottle, and carbonate.  The process can be completed in as little as 7 days if you have a summer 5% ale and CO2 Carbonate or 25 days for a 8% Scottish Wee Heavy that you allow to carbonate with sugar.  The best part of having a PicoBrew is that you run a rinse cycle to steam clean your machine and brew cage, load your PicoPak, fill with water, hit start and sit back and wait 2 ½ hours.  Based on your recipe the PicoBrew will complete the entire brewing process while you monitor online.

Once this completes you disconnect the hoses from the brew keg, remove the biodegradable PicoPak grains to your compost pile, and perform a cleaning rinse of your PicoBrew.  Your brew keg will need to sit until it cools down usually 8-12 hours then you pitch your yeast and set aside to ferment.  After the PicoFerm (accessory that monitors the gases etc. during fermentation) counts down to zero you move your brew keg to the fridge for 24-48 hours to cold crash your brew allowing the yeast to settle in a cake a the bottom of the keg.

Take the brew keg out of the fridge and hook back up to the PicoBrew and your empty serving keg.  The PicoBrew will pump the beer out of the brew keg and into the serving key, don’t worry there is a filter to keep any grains or yeast outof you beer.  At this point you can hook up a CO2 regulator with a 16g cartridge and set to 24 lbs and place back in the fridge for a minimum of 30 hours.  You’re ready to share your fresh brew with friends and family!

I have received positive feedback on all of my brews to this point, my friends that love beer tell me I need a little morecarbonation or a particular characteristic that may not be as pronounced as a larger brewery but they have all enjoyed my brews as have I and it doesn’t get any better than that.

I have had my PicoBrew since Memorial Day and have brewed 5 kegs, finished 4 with friends and have my most recent batch cold crashing before I keg my 5th in a couple of days. You can also follow others who are brewing with PicoBrew products across the world.  If you decide to join the Party look for me on the Brewing Now page!