If I advised you I brewed 5 liters of completely drinkable craft beer, and it took underneath an hour of my time together with cleanup, you most likely wouldn’t imagine me. Nonetheless, PicoBrew’s latest equipment, the Pico Mannequin C, helped me just do that, turning the home-brewing course of right into a virtually set-it-and-forget-it affair.

Daniel Masaoka

Certain, the beer nonetheless required greater than two weeks for fermentation and carbonation—you simply can’t velocity up these phases of at-home brewing. However because of an evolution of PicoBrew’s gear, beer making has by no means been really easy. Or fast.

The way it works

The Mannequin C simplifies beer making in a number of methods—from heating water, to mashing, to boiling, to fermenting. It additionally takes all of the ache out of transferring your brew from a boiling pot to a fermenting keg, and as soon as once more to a ending keg. PicoBrew’s first beer-making equipment, the Zymatic, required you to place unfastened grain and hops in particular compartments for the boil, however the Mannequin C makes use of proprietary PicoPaks, that are sealed containers with grain and hops inside. You may consider them as big Keurig pods (aside from brewing beer), and the PicoPaks are even based mostly on recipes from business craft breweries.

Pico Model C PicoPak Daniel Masaoka

Every PicoPak comes with a giant bin for grains and a small bin for hops.

The brewing course of takes just some hours, and moreover pushing a number of buttons, operation is totally automated, saving you all the difficulty (and time) spent on mashing and boiling. Not like conventional residence brewing, you don’t want to watch temperatures, add hops at particular instances, or siphon and pump sticky liquid from mash tun to pot to fermenter. 

The Mannequin C is an evolution of the Pico Professional, and the brand new design is much more consumer-friendly. The keg hoses are simpler to attach, and nearly the whole lot that must be sanitized may be cleaned within the hot-water cycle of your dishwasher. In contrast, earlier PicoBrew machines—the Zymatic and Mannequin S—depend on frequent kegging gear that’s extra strong and simpler to seek out, but additionally extra of a ache to make use of.

The ups and downs of residence brewing

Earlier than I dive into my time with the Mannequin C, let me share my brewing background. I’m certainly not a grasp brewer, however I’ve been making beer for 4 years, and brew about as soon as each two months. I began by utilizing malt extract with steeping luggage and a really fundamental equipment, however now make 5-gallon, all-grain batches. I’m additionally on the extra DIY facet of the home-brewer spectrum. For instance, my mash tun is a transformed cooler.

Pico Model C Personal Kit Daniel Masaoka

My very own home-brewing gear takes up a number of area.

We’ve already lined the fundamental brewing course of in our review of the PicoBrew Zymatic, and for an much more detailed look, I like to recommend the quintessential information at howtobrew.com. Suffice it to say, residence brewing takes a very good quantity of substances, time, and care. All of your important gear must be cleaned and sanitized between brews. And there’s some precision concerned—like including your hops on the proper boiling temperature, and checking alcohol content material with a hydrometer.

Like all hobbies, residence brewing requires ardour, and if the earlier paragraph sounds extra like faults than options, then that’s what the Pico Mannequin C is making an attempt to resolve. So let’s dive into the expertise.

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