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PicoBrew Pico – Craft Beer at Home

Editor's Rating
4.7?
Discovered on 2015-11-10

Pico is a fully automatic craft beer brewing appliance that allows anyone to brew 5L mini-kegs of professional quality craft beer. Pico leverages patented technology from PicoBrew’s award-winning Zymatic product in a more compact and affordable form. Pico uses convenient, ready-to-brew PicoPak ingredient kits produced by over 50 of the world’s most interesting craft breweries (with more announced every day). PicoPaks may be purchased from the BrewMarketplace and customized to taste.

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Kickstarter Comments (50)

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Paul Doronila
Review from Kickstarter
Does anyone know which Pico this is equivalent too (Pico S, Pico Pro) ?
Patrick C
Review from Kickstarter
Has any Canadian backer here, ordered pico packs? On shipment with just packs... has UPS charged you anything? There should be no duty, so except perhaps applicable taxes on value, I would expect nothing else. Any brokerage or admin fees?
Jason Bray
Review from Kickstarter
Let it ferment for 10 days, then add dry hops for 3-5 more days, then rack and carbonate. Trust me this produces best results.
ChrisT
Review from Kickstarter
I didn't receive my Sous Vide adapter so contacted support yesterday and they got back to me within 5 minutes saying that they'd ship one out to me. I hope there's no £180 import tax to pay this time though! Meanwhile I'm mid way through my first brew (Half-Squeezed IPA), doing Fast Fermentation as ambient temperatures in my apartment appear to be fractionally above those for standard fermentation. I will be dry hopping mid week and then racking/carbonating next weekend.
zerod10
Review from Kickstarter
Any update? not yet received and no response at messages.....
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Brewed my first beer on Saturday. Easiest brew session ever. $268.87 in tax to bring it in though. Very happy about the Pico itself. Bit noisy for an open kitchen/living room area, but not more than expected:-)
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Yes. They will:-( They called me a couple of days ago about the freestyle packs. Wanted to know what it was in order to use the correct tax code. If I order them one by one-->no tax. Order two at the time--->tax tax tax.
Maarten
Review from Kickstarter
My Pico arrived on Wednesday. Didn't have to pay any customs yet. I think UPS will send me a bill later.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Pico on its way to Norway. Will probably blast your 105 pounds customs fees out of the water.
Barry Petrie
Review from Kickstarter
Pico arrived today in the UK! £105 customs charges, was expecting a wee but more but always sticks in the throat. Looking forward to trying it out but won't get a chance for a couple of weeks. Backer 1,245.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
I am backer #1279 by the way, but I chose black faceplate.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
@maarten I was hoping for that :-) Hopefully mine will ship soon also:-)
Maarten
Review from Kickstarter
@Christian: actually, I did! I guess they give us normal shipping for the price of slow boat shipping, because we waited so long.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Cool @Maarten. I assume you did not go slow boat?
Maarten
Review from Kickstarter
My Pico is shipping! (Backer #1315 from the Netherlands). It should arrive by Wednesday.
Lzpresso
Review from Kickstarter
Any update on shipments of units to China?I'm backer No.835
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Got a Pico pack yesterday (Dead Guy Ale), but still no Pico. What was the shelf life for the Pico packs. 1 year?
Rich DiBuo
Review from Kickstarter
So had my first brew! Very happy! Second brew going now! Great Kickstarter!! Thanks!!
Christopher Chapman
Review from Kickstarter
I'm a homebrewer, and can tell you that Pico doesn't change the "laws of physics" when it comes to making great craft beer at home. There are a LOT of variables involved, from the consistency of the kits themselves (which I found to be highly variant) to fermentation temperatures, to how long you're keeping it in the fermenter, and how you're choosing to condition/carbonate. First: Invest in a refractometer and learn how to calibrate and use it. It will illuminate how close to target the kit actually is with respect to extracting sugars in the wort. YMMV, but I've only had one land in the target, and that's the B-52 Blonde (an EXCELLENT Belgian-style blonde, IMHO). Second: The fast-ferment option sounds wonderful, but it really is rushing the brew. Keep it in the keg for 10 days and you will have an amazing result, I assure you. Third: Try to keep the keg in a cool place to ferment. 70F or so. Use a "swamp cooler" to keep it cool if necessary. Fourth: After the main brew cycle is done, drop in a half tablet of whirlfloc, Stir with a whisk to dissolve. Let sit for 15m, then chill. This will help with clearing the break and helping it "drop" to the bottom of the fermenter - one part of getting clear beer. Fifth: Use gelatin in either the fermenting or dispensing keg to clear the beer and remove chill haze. This is the second part to getting really clear beer. Sixth: Invest in a hydrometer so you can test your beer's final gravity, compare it to your starting gravity and calculate the ABV. It'll let you know how accurate the kit + machine has been. Seventh: Hydrate your yeast in warm water to give it a head start. And while we're at it, you don't need to pitch the whole packet. One packet of US-05 is good for 5 gallons of beer, usually.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
@Christopher. That does not sound good. I have worked with product development myself, and through that work the new products where always HASS and HALT tested as part of the development. All units going out to customers where ESS tested as part of QC. Meaning they where put through temperature and vibration cycles during operation in order to avoid faulty units going out to customers. But this type of development is of course very expensive. And the equipment was for the offshore industry. But they should maybe have put the Picos through a couple of cycles to avoid remote repairs:-)
Would probably affect the price though.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
@maarten Does not seem to be an option in Norway. 2 euros for a liter is the cheapest so far...:-(
Maarten
Review from Kickstarter
@Christian I bought some 5L jugs of "demineralized" water for about 2 euro each, at the local Bauhaus.
Christopher Browne
Review from Kickstarter
@Christian "I appreciate that they are vigilant about QC though, as any quality issues would be very time consuming with regards to shipping back and forth." Well... not to be pessimistic, but mine arrived in Japan last week and had a small leak near the end of my first brew, which turned into a massive cleanup throughout the second (only 1/2 made its way into the keg). My guess it is the pump since water/wort starts leaking out the base when it is engaged. Right now they are having me source a Torx-20 driver to open the thing - so presumably I will be walked through repairs remotely! A couple test brews before shipping to far-off destinations might have avoided the hassle.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Hehe. Nope. There was a shipment expected yesterday, but the truck apparently hit a snow storm a state away. So still delayed. But hopefully they will get the remaining Picos for shipment to us Northern Europeans:-). I appreciate that they are vigilant about QC though, as any quality issues would be very time consuming with regards to shipping back and forth. How do you solve the RO water issue in Netherlands @maarten?
Maarten
Review from Kickstarter
@Christian at least I'm not the only one still waiting then :(
Jason Bray
Review from Kickstarter
A lot of us have received them the last couple weeks. It will just randomly show up soon in regular mail, no shipping notification.
Jeremy Halvorsen
Review from Kickstarter
What is going on with the sous-vide adapters? Still waiting for mine in Connecticut, USA, any update on timelines for these?
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
My Pico, which is going to Norway, has been postponed again. They say it is expected to be received by Picobrew at the end of the month for QC.
robert dransfield
Review from Kickstarter
Any slow boat UK backers received a shipping confirmation email? I'm starting to feel like asking for a refund.
Gilbert D
Review from Kickstarter
Thank you Andy!
Andy Kromkamp
Review from Kickstarter
There has been an evolving conversation on Facebook and homebrew forums on best practices for Pico brewing. I thought I'd summarize them here for anyone who doesn't read those venues: 1) The packet of yeast that ships with a picopak is *far too much yeast*. If you pitch all of it the yeast will get lazy and not condition properly. Pitch 1/4 to 1/2 of the package of yeast only! (1 sanitized teaspoon is the strongest recommendation) 2) It is crucial to strongly aerate the wort before and after pitching the yeast. Before pitching use a spoon or a whisk for 30-60 seconds - If you're making some foam you are doing it right. After pitching (if using the FF adapter), shake the keg *vigourously* for another minute or so. 3) Do not trust the fermentation times in the manual! If you are fermenting at room temperature (FF adapter or not), best recommendation is to let it go for 10 days. Not 4-6! 4) Do not pitch the dry hops after 3 days! Its far too soon in the process. Best recommendation is to wait after the full 10 days, then pitch the hops, and let them sit for 3-5 days.
brad seiderer
Review from Kickstarter
My buddy just ordered a Picobrew and it came with the sous vide adapter. Are we as kickstarter backers going to be receiving one or do we have to purchase it? Thanks
Patrick C
Review from Kickstarter
@Christopher LOL same here, both Canadian and US customs have asked me in person (I crossed the border by car with the machine). I laughed, and said, I can't see how I can make money with 1.3 US Gal of beer....so no.
Christopher Browne
Review from Kickstarter
For anyone else in Japan, UPS called me today (scheduled to arrive on the 24th) and wanted a description of what exactly was being imported. I told them "food appliance" 調理器 and sent a link to the pico homepage so they could see for themselves. Asked twice if this was for personal or business use... perhaps a tax issue, but owing to the "issues" surrounding home brewing (thanks Asahi, Sapporo, Kirin, Suntory) hope it passes muster.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
What about a Fish IPA Craig? Hehe;-)
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Aquatic stores also sell RO equipment for around $120. They can produce 50 gallons per day. I checked wit Picobrew and RO water is needed in the reservoir in the Pico. And if the tap water is really clean, like in Norway, it can be used in the keg. But no way around RO water in the Pico.
Peter Wallstrum
Review from Kickstarter
FWIW (and I know it's more $ in the end), years ago I installed a reverse osmosis water filter in my kitchen for ~$150USD: https://www.premierh2o.com/collections/reverse-osmosis/products/watts-premier-531417-ro-pure-plus-reverse-osmosis-system. I don't know if something like this is available overseas, but if RO water is that expensive, it might be worth looking into in the long run Wally
David Manu
Review from Kickstarter
How are the international (Singapore) orders coming along and how do we track them? I haven't seen any change since the December update.
Craig Brown
Review from Kickstarter
I don't know if it helps those in Japan or Norway but after a lot of calls and investigation I've found that aquatic stores here in U.K. sell RO water pretty cheap. I just hoped it's not recycled!
Christopher Browne
Review from Kickstarter
Luckily Japanese Amazon sells 20L of RO for ~2000yen, so not horribly expensive (1200yen on Rakuten, but the shipping kills it). RO water usage seems industrial, so it might pay to look off the beaten path for a cheaper source. I am most concerned about getting a steady temp for fermentation since Japanese houses are not conducive to a stable climate!
Jason Bray
Review from Kickstarter
I would check with the Picobrew team then. Maybe your water is clean enough at that low of a range.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Yes, it is not cheap at all, at least not I Norway. One of the reasons is that our tap water is extremely clean and contains very limited amounts of minerals. We have about 15 mg/l of calcium in the water in the inner city. Other than that the rest of the minerals are in the microgram range. https://www.oslo.kommune.no/getfile.php/Innhold/Vann%20og%20avløp/Drikkevannskvalitet/Drikkevannskvalitet%20Oslo%202015-%20sammendrag.pdf But will have to find a way to source the RO or distilled water then. Will make the beer very expensive:-(
Jason Bray
Review from Kickstarter
The Pico uses steam generator to produce heat. You do not want minerals in the steam generation system or you will foul it up quick. You must use RO or distilled water. Here in the US you can purchase both very cheap, surprised that is not the case overseas.
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
You can also use water which is intended for car batteries. It is reverse osmosis water. In Norway 5 liters cost 50 NOK which is around £4. I assume it is cheaper in UK.
You can also make distilled water yourself. But it takes time.
I assume the reason they have specified distilled water/RO water is because the hardness of the water around the world is very different.
Maybe fire off an email to Picobrew and ask the reason for having to use distilled water? I assume it might be to prevent build up "sediments" in the piping due to highly mineralized water.
Craig Brown
Review from Kickstarter
Has anyone in UK recieved and realised that it needs distilled water? My chemist sells it at £5 a litre but that's it. Fearing my Pico is unusable before I've even turned it on. :(
Jason Bray
Review from Kickstarter
Sorry to hear that MPS, my experience has been the exact opposite. I have ordered many extra supplies and Pico packs, they all come within a week or 2 tops. Every email I have sent them has been replied to very promptly, even over the weekend once. I'm not sure how your communicating with them, or why your trying over kickstarter, it's pretty obvious they have abandoned this campaign as it is well over. I would start a new email to info@picobrew.com. They truly have been very responsive for me.
MPS
Review from Kickstarter
I hate to be negative in public forums, but since the Pico team has decided that customer service is not important, I thought I would go ahead and share my issue with everyone here. I understand that there are some people that have yet to receive their Picos and I hope they get them soon. My issue has to do with attempting to purchase pico paks during the 12 Paks of Christmas promotion that Pico had. I placed orders on two separate days, had a confirmation box pop up on my screen each time, and there was a pre-authorization placed on my credit card. A few days later, the pre-authorization disappeared and no additional charge showed up. I contacted Pico through their website and exchanged emails over 2 days (19-20 Dec) with an individual in customer service trying to figure out what happened. Then, the communication just stopped. After hearing nothing for 3 days I sent a message through Kickstarter explaining the issue again and asking for a response even if the response was that they could not help me. This was on 23 December and I have yet to hear back from them. Maybe my last email and message I sent through Kickstarter slipped through the cracks. Maybe the same person that was initially handling my issue received the message sent through Kickstarter and decided not to respond. I understand there were major holidays during this time frame but we are fairly well past those at this point. Maybe customer service is not important to them as we are a captive audience. We have their device and have to purchase the product to use the device from them. I hope I never have an issue with the actual machine as the service I have received trying to purchase additional items from them has been basically nonexistent. I can't imagine what it would be like if I had to get the machine fixed. If you are not willing to help resolve the issue I had trying to purchase additional paks, just say so - it's far better than not responding at all. I hope everyone that has not received their machine yet gets it very soon. I also hope no one else has to experience the lack of service I have. Sorry for the long post. Have a great day everyone.
Douglas
Review from Kickstarter
I have no idea where I can change the delivery address for international order as they do not reply my message whenever I ask. I'll move out of current place soon!
Christian Mørck
Review from Kickstarter
Got feedback now that all international units should be shipped by mid month. If all quality checks go as planned. Maybe I can brew before Easter:-)
Craig Brown
Review from Kickstarter
Hi Julian, I think it's to do with faceplates so worth dropping Pico an email. I'm in the 400s and haven't recieved notification yet either.