If you’re interested in home brewing, but just couldn’t get into traditional methods because you didn’t have the time or patience, two new automated home brewing systems called Brewbot and PicoBrew Zymatic may interest you.
As the New York Times reports, both companies launched their systems using Kickstarters, which were both successfully funded well beyond the money required in October 2013.
Here are the Kickstarter campaign videos explaining both systems:
Both companies were founded by homebrewing enthusiasts who also had tech industry experience. In Brewbot’s case, founder Chris McLelland had history in both product design and smartphone app design. Brewbot is a sleek wood and stainless steel unit that communicates with your smartphone to let you know when to take your next step in the brewing process. It’s easy to see how McLelland’s previous experiences translated to this new venture.
With PicoBrew Zymatic, founder Bill Mitchell is a former Microsoft Windows division VP who loved to do home brewing in his down time. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that he recruited his brother Jim, who’s a food scientist, into his home-brewing operation to discuss ways to improve it using technology.
With both units, users can use existing recipes from a database of user-created recipes, or rely on their own. One advantage both companies tout is the ability to easily replicate results. If you really like the way a particular recipe turns out, you should be able to exactly reproduce it in a future batch by automatically controlling variables in ways that would be more difficult using traditional methods.
Brewbot currently only works with iPhones, though an Android interface is planned in the future. No exact date is listed in Brewbot’s FAQ.
PicoBrew Zymatic uses browser-based software and requires a USB connection to a PC for firmware updates. You can also connect it to the PicoBrew.com service via WiFi or Ethernet connections.
In both situations, company founders took their previous professional knowledge and experience, then paired it with their passion for home brewing. Both projects piqued plenty of Kickstart interest. Now the proving process begins: will they be able to sustain that interest, attract new customers, and please their initial backers? We’ll definitely be interested to see what happens.
In the meantime, here’s a quick comparison of what we know about the two units:
- Brewbot output: 5 gallons
- PicoBrew Zymatic output: 2.5 gallons
- Brewbot cost (if shipped to the U.S.): $3,380
- PicoBrew Zymatic cost (if shipped within the U.S., where the company is also based): $1,799
- Brewbot size: 4′ x 4′ x 2′
- PicoBrew Zymatic size: 20.5″ x 14.5″ x 17″