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PicoBrew Zymatic review: Making great craft beer in a cloud-connected appliance

Jon Phillips | June 23, 2015
It doesn't make beer on demand, but the Zymatic does remove friction from home brewing by grabbing recipes online, and automating complex steps.

PicoBrew Zymatic: The bottom line

I counted 159 recipes authored by PicroBew in its online library, and some 100 other recipes submitted by community members. Most have multiple hop-infusion stages, and some have different mashing stages, where mash temperatures increase at specific times in the 90-minute mashing cycle. For these more complex recipes, the Zymatic would seem to provide extra-special benefit, automating the processes that require the most attention.

PicoBrew likes to evangelize that the Zymatic can be used by professional craft brewers as a platform for quickly developing new recipes. The machine's data logs identify wort temperature across every single minute of the brewing process, making it easy to graph temperature increases against time, and tweak recipes accordingly.

But do regular-old consumers like me really need this level of reporting? Most definitely not. Nonetheless, the machine promises to deliver consistent results, and eliminate much of the pain and suffering for beginning brewmasters (in turn letting them focus on exploring new recipes). The Zymatic definitely isn't a back-to-basic, romantic beer-making tool, but convenience alone might be worth the $2,000 buy-in for some.

And once PicoBrew overhauls its documentation--an easy fix--it will push the Zymatic one step closer to that set-it-and-forget-it beer-brewing promise.


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