On the show floor of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewEXPO America this year sat a new piece of equipment that can only be described as magic. That is probably not how the folks at PicoBrew would describe the PicoBrew Zymatic — because a lot of actual ingenuity and innovation went into its creation — but even after reading how it works and seeing the results, I still tend to believe the magic theory. Read below and judge for yourself.
So, have you ever wanted to test an ingredient or a new recipe, but do so without wasting a ton of ingredients/time/capacity space? The PicoBrew Zymatic makes this possible for the professional brewery.
PicoBrew Zymatic is the world’s first all-grain beer-brewing appliance. It allows you to brew perfect batches of custom craft beer by employing advanced technology and automation. Brewing with Zymatic can be as simple as selecting from one of more than 100 professionally created great craft beer recipes, easily modifying any one of these recipes to suite your craft beer tastes, or inputting recipes of your creation with the easy-to-use software tools provided.
At first glance, this is the ultimate machine for the hobbyist and homebrewer, but professional craft brewers such as New Helvetia Brewing Co. and Lucky Envelope Brewing have started using PicoBrew for pilot craft beer recipe creation and to QA incoming hops/ingredients. White Labs is also using it extensively in order to easily create the same wort every single time and then pitch their many different yeast strains to get the varying fermented beer results.
The magic (or how it works)
The Zymatic requires only 10 minutes to setup and begin brewing, and once it starts brewing, there is no need to monitor the brewing process or make manual ingredient additions. Read that again. All you need to do is load the hops and grain into the appropriate hops cages and step filter and insert into the Zymatic. Fill the five gallon keg with water and connect it to the Zymatic. Then just select your recipe (from the preloaded recipes of those of your own choosing) and brew.
The Zymatic follows the recipe program for your beer, hitting precise temperatures and fluid-flow paths that allows for the automation of the beer-brewing process. In as little as 3.5 hours, you will have 2.5 gallons of wort ready for fermentation.
Each area of the beer-making process from heating water, through the mash and boil steps is carefully controlled by advanced process automation software and logged, so you can be testing a beer while you’re brewing on your commercial equipment, doing some bookkeeping, serving customers or just relaxing. But if you’d like, you can monitor the progress with any web-connected device and also record all of the brewing and temperature data for any research purposes.
Even the cleanup is simple. First of all, the Zymatic is self-sterilizing. Once you are completed with a brew, the grain, hops bins and screens are easily cleaned in a dishwasher. The final fermentation also occurs in the keg, so you have single vessel end-to-end brewing to further reduce the cleaning required.
“We like to think that Zymatic leaves the craft’ in craft beer brewing and makes the chores of typical homebrewing such as cleanup and sanitation effortless,” the company stated.
If you are more of a visual learner or dismiss the above as mere witchcraft, check out the company’s brewing video below to see this bad boy in action (or check out more info on the company’s website). Seeing is believing: