PicoBrew Z - Any thoughts for a new brewer?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by NewBrewer1, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. NewBrewer1

    NewBrewer1 New Member

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    Hey All!

    I'm brand new here and very new to brewing in general. I have a lot of interest, but not a ton of time. I was looking at the different machines from PicoBrew and the newly announced PicoBrew Z caught my attention. Can anyone share their thoughts on this machine in general and if they think it could be good for someone like me who is interested in brewing, the brewing process, and eventually fine tuning recipes of my own? I like how the machine is modular and can range from 2.5 gallons to 10 gallons depending on the model selected (but from what I understand you can upgrade later on as well). I would probably go with the 2.5 gallon model to start if I was to move forward on this piece of equipment. Here's a link to the PicoBrew Z's page for reference - https://www.picobrew.com/Store/Products/Z

    Thanks in advance for any information you can supply!
     
  2. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I think it was just released a week or two ago and if not mistaken they are still in pre-order phase? Some will say it's not really brewing but you'd never get that from me. If I had enough $$ I'd be all over the 5 gallon set up! I'd love to have something like that. I think it would be a blast.
     
  3. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    It would be fun to have around (to much $$ for me) but I do like the clunky part of brewing, mashing in, setting recirculating,taking ph samples, etc.
    And what about water? Does it have a reservoir you put treated water in?
     
  4. Burning Falls

    Burning Falls New Member

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    I have the zymatic and it gives you all of the control and flexibility of grains, water profiles salts/acids/ph, mashing times/temps, boiling times/temps, hops boiling times & whirlpooling and ferments in the keg you brew in, with whatever yeasts and temps you want. Offers all of the same control, just helps manage time and temps. It's a pretty sweet compact set up. If you think about it, it's very similar to how breweries control mashing, temps, boil, move wort and whirlpool, etc. As for cost, you can get a used zymatic sub 1k right now since they announced the new Z. If you consider all of the equipment costs of boil/mash pots, burners and gas, pumps, accessories etc associated to a normal home brew set up vs the time savings, clean up and consistency of your brew days, it was a very good option for me. I can brew a 4 gal custom recipe in 4+/- hours with minimal cleanup and produce the same beer over and over pretty effortlessly.
     
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  5. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Smells like fish
     
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  6. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I spent less than 200 bones on my rig to do 5 gallon batches. Spending a grand on that seems insane to me.
     
  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    2nd this head first tis a little aquatic spamidge or tunaidgeo_O.
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Another first time poster able to post a link in his first post, yet to come back to the forum to see the feedback he asked for. Fits the very definition of spam.
     
  9. uk_brewer

    uk_brewer Well-Known Member

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    Same person has posted a few times over on the aha forum. It’s either legit or shameless plug from the company.
     
  10. Burning Falls

    Burning Falls New Member

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    Dude, I most definitely do not work for them. I'm new to brewing and just seriously like the machine! Was a really great entry into brewing for me. Agree, don't agree I don't care. Just chiming in on the OP. Take it for what it's worth to ya, I don't care.
     
  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Odd that you would take offense. My reply, as I’m sure the others as well, was directed to the OP, yet to return to the forum since posting.
     
  12. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I still think the Z is a badass machine. I love the whole brewing process and all, but man I'd really dig on playing with a brew set up like that. Way to rich for my blood though unfortunately, but cool nonetheless! :D
     
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  13. Burning Falls

    Burning Falls New Member

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    Jeffpn, since the "fishy" references only came in right after my post, think it was pretty clear they were directed towards me. And I get notified when people post, so yes, I returned to read the replies. Have anything productive to actually contribute to this thread or are you just hanging out?

    As for price, I got into a small beer club with 6 others, def helped w/ the price tag! ;) If anyone is interested in seeing my brew process w/ the Zymatic, you can check me out on insta, /burningfallsbrewery
     
  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Nope. My comment was directed to the OP.

    My LHBS sells the picobrew. I looked at it, touched it. I even asked to see the manual and read it. I asked questions about it. I’d say you could file me as “intrigued.” If I wanted to be a Press Button Brew Beer brewer, I’d buy it. I think it’s a fine setup for those who want to brew as simply as possible.

    Productive enough for you?
     
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  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    There's someone trying to sell one online around here and has for a long time now. As interesting as the thing looks it's way to rich for my blood.
     
  16. uk_brewer

    uk_brewer Well-Known Member

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    Def for OP.
     
  17. uk_brewer

    uk_brewer Well-Known Member

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    Nice insta feed. I’ve def looked at the old zymatic before, time constraints make it appealing and being the only person that drinks beer in the house makes the batch size agreeable.

    How do you handle larger og beers? Can you run an iterated mash in the zymatic? I’ve also heard that hop utilization is lower.

    But I have too many toys already, three vessel electric system using a bcs-460 controller and a speidel braumeister I got last year. I’d definitely need to unload something before purchasing anything new. I think the street price after the discounted period is way too high with all the options available these days. I see ss brewtech has an electric system coming out too.
     
  18. Burning Falls

    Burning Falls New Member

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    Thanks man! Well I just tapped a 10% RIS that turned out awesome. That’s the highest I’ve done so far. And that SS will def be interesting! Curious to see the price point. If you’re looking at a fully automated system, for the price, I kinda like the latest robobrew.

    Back to the zymatic though, for higher OG beers, your grains are capped at 9lbs. So depending on your preferred recipe/yields, you can add dme or sugars at the end of the boil to boost abv if you need. Since they encourage you to ferment in the corny keg that you use to mash and boil with, the largest I’ve done so far is 4 gals. Which has been a solid amount for our little beer club. Although we’re already enlarging the group, so that may change soon. Another option I’ve read about that people have done successfully, is brew a more concentrated wort and added RO water at the end to increase a yield. But to answer your question specifically, yes, you can do an iterated mash too. The steps and timing of your recipe is fully customizable. So if you wanted, you could program your recipe to pause the machine after the 1st mash, then move to a 2nd mash and so on.

    As for poor hop utilization, I haven’t found that to be the case. Although I generally tend to add more hops than a recipe typically calls for anyway, just out of preference. I have a bit of a hop addiction. :/ Likewise, I’ve been brewing more NEIPA’s lately, so I’ve been adding a ton late, whirlpooling and dry. Overall though, no, it’s been pretty good. It comes with 4 hop cages that you designate the timing and amounts on. I’ve added over an ounce to individual cages at various times. And although the software comes with an ibu count for your additions, this is a hard one to quantify since it’s really based on taste unless you’re sending it off to a lab.
     
  19. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    So not long ago someone was selling a Pico C on facebook and was willing to ship - 80 bucks! I was like "Heck, why not! Sounds like a sweet little setup to have on the side for fun." - In doing my research though - I found this:

    https://www.pbfundingllc.com/news

    I stopped dead in my tracks and back out of the sale realizing I wouldn't even be able to use it since I couldn't find the "kits" or even the DYI kit....

    So, as for the Z - I assume that stands for "Zymatic" ... Looks cool if you want to streamline things a bit and keep it consolidated! - ie small footprint. - and it looks set-up for more control and "not necessaril premade kits but rather your own ingredients... BUT - how much support is left for that sort of pricy system if the company is "liquidating" and "halting/terminating" all production? Heck, the website states "On Hold" if you try to purchase one - I wonder how long its said that?

    I believe you BTW since it seems the company has gone under. (Unless I'm wrong about the whole Zymatic thing! Lol)
    - I think I'll check out your instagram page though :) Curious to see this thing in action. :)
     
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  20. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah that's not a good sign. It was a neat tech but it was expensive and proprietary.
     

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