By now you have probably heard about PicoBrewing’s latest kickstarter campaign and their newest product the Pico which I wrote about in a previous post! The Pico is a new amazing and affordable appliance that brings the power of a craft brewer to you the home brewer. Did you back the campaign yet? I did! Do you have questions or want to know more about the Pico. Well here is everything that PicoBrewing has posted about the Pico.
How can I order a Pico?
The only way to get a Pico right now is by pledging through our Kickstarter page, here!
How do I know that Pico brews great beer?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with PicoBrew, we suggest checking out one of our previous KickStarter campaigns, featuring the PicoBrew Zymatic .With the Zymatic, we have proven that great craft beer can be produced in a convenient, repeatable manner by an appliance. Not only does the Zymatic allow for repeatable, consistent brewing, but AHA home brewer of the year Annie Johnson has worked tirelessly to provide Zymatic users with spectacular (award-winning) recipes representing almost every BJCP style. Already, 50+ breweries/master brewers (in addition to Annie) are providing Pico users with PicoPak clones of their best beers and we are adding new PicoPaks constantly. Craft breweries from all over the world will be represented including both established brands that you know and trust and also many “local” breweries that you’ve never even heard of or had the chance to try. That’s the beauty of Pico: the ability to brew the highest quality beer from all over the world.
How long does the whole process take?
Pico’s brew cycle takes about 2 hours to complete. After the brew cycle is finished, the beer will need to ferment for about a week before consumption. So, from PicoPak to pint, the whole process will take around a week.
Where do I get PicoPaks?
PicoPaks will only be available for purchase at the BrewMarketplace on our website.
How much beer do I get per brew/PicoPak?
Each brew produces 5 liters of delicious beer. This equals a little over 14 12oz. beers.
How much do PicoPaks cost?
Each PicoPak will cost between $18-30, depending on ingredients. And each PicoPak brewed will produce about fourteen 12oz beers. This means that each 12oz beer you consume costs you between $1.30-2.15.
In comparison, a 5liter mini keg of Newcastle Brown Ale costs around $26.99*
*BevMo Ballard Prices as of 9/1/2015
How much is international shipping?
Depends where it is going. When you checkout, Kickstarter will provide you with the International shipping cost.
What are the Pico’s specs? Can it fit on my countertop?
Pico’s dimensions are 16”x12”x13.81” (HxWxD), and it weighs 31.5 lbs, which makes it much smaller than most microwaves on the market. So yes, it should fit nicely right between your toaster and coffee machine!
How/when does the Pico need to connect to the internet?
Pico connects directly to the internet via WiFi, so you don’t have to worry about pesky Ethernet cables or apps that aren’t compatible with your platform.
What types of beer can I brew with Pico?
Pico can brew any style of beer listed in the 2015 BJCP style guidelines. Beverages with fruit or liquid adjuncts (e.g. honey) present a packaging challenge that we are looking at now.
I’m a hop head. Can Pico make hoppy beers?
Of course! Pico can brew beers with as high as 100 IBUs. Hop heads rejoice!
What’s the booziest beer Pico can make?
Pico can brew beers of up to 10% ABV. These tend to be the types of beers you might be glad that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
What’s included with the Pico machine purchase?
o The Pico brewing machine
o User manual
o PicoPak (1 or 3, depending on reward choice)
o A brewing keg
o A dispensing keg
o Keg seal
o Metal keg lid
o Drinking keg plug
o Dip tube brush for dip tube cleaning
o Transfer tube for transferring wort from brewing keg to dispensing keg
o CO2 regulator attachment for dispensing kegs
o Cleaning tablets for deep cleaning
What’s in these PicoPak ingredient kits?
Each PicoPak ingredients kit contains:
o Hops Pak
o Grains Pak
o Dry hop Pak (if dry hopping is required)
o Temperature sticker (for fermenting)
o Yeast packet (for fermenting)
o Carbonation stick or CO2 cartridge (for carbonating your beer)
o Beer keg sticker (to label your dispensing keg)
Each ingredients Pak may also hold other adjuncts unique to that beer, such as spices and water amendments.
Do I have to use recipe kits only? What if I want to do my own thing?
The BrewMarketplace is home to hundreds of licensed PicoPaks, ranging from ambers to saisons. If you would like to add your own flair to a recipe, you can use the brew customization feature to adjust a recipe’s IBU and ABV content. If you own a Zymatic, you can also join the PicoBrew Developer’s Program and design your own PicoPaks to sell on BrewMarketplace!
Can I order extra PicoPaks with my Kickstarter pledge?
Currently, you can only order up to three PicoPaks from Kickstarter. Soon, we will have a large selection of PicoPaks available in the BrewMarketplace for purchase. We’ll also have PikoPak subscriptions like “Beer for a Year” to simplify keeping your beer pipeline fully stocked.
Where is Pico made?
The first Pico machines will be assembled in the United States.
Can I pick up my Pico from your office in Seattle?
Of course! Keep in mind that you still have to pay any applicable Washington sales tax before taking your Pico home.
How do I dispose of the PicoPaks once I’m finished with them?
PicoPaks are fully compostable in municipal composters, and therefore we strongly recommend throwing your used Paks in the food waste bin when finished. You will have the happiest compost bin in the neighborhood 🙂
Are PicoPak ingredients organic?
Some PicoPaks will be created with organic ingredients. This will be indicated on the PicoPak box, as well as on the website.
What is Pico’s retail price after the Kickstarter campaign?
We expect Pico’s retail price after Kickstarter will be around US$999, although this is subject to change. Kickstarter backers enjoy the lowest prices and coolest rewards, along with great craft beer!
Can I pledge for multiples of a specific Kickstarter level?
Yes. Just multiply the cost of that pledge level by the quantity of rewards you would like. For example, if you wanted to pledge for two (2) PICO EARLY BIRDS ($499), you would adjust your cost at check-out to be $998. We will sort out the logistics on our end to send two (2) ordered rewards.
Is Pico Backed by a warranty?
With the right care and feeding, Pico is designed for years of great service in your home. We offer a one year limited warranty to our Kickstarter backers purchasing Pico.
Are there any gluten-free PicoPaks?
For any PicoPak containing White Labs yeast, you will also have the option to add Clarity Ferm, which produces “gluten-reduced beers”. You can learn more about Clarity Ferm on White Labs’ web page:
Can you still bottle condition beer brewed with the Pico?
Yes, absolutely. if you’d like to “bottle” condition in the 5L keg you’ll be able to use a specially designed carbonation “stick” that exactly measured to the batch. or you can rack the finished beer into bottles and do traditional bottle conditioning in traditional bottles with sugar.
What is the shelf-life of the PicoPaks?
Not sure yet, and depends on the recipe. We are targeting a six-month shelf life. if you are using a recipe with liquid yeast you’ll need to take that out of the kit and refrigerate it upon arrival. Also if you are not going to brew right away you should put the hops in the fridge as well.
Where can I buy more dispensing (5L) and fermenting kegs?
The 5L kegs we are sourcing are specially reinforced to hold pressure for forced carbonation and we’d highly recommend using those. They will be available for purchase on our website for $15. The fermenting kegs are standard ball-lock kegs and can be bought at many home brew suppliers or on our website for $50.
How do I control fermentation temperature?
We’re glad you asked! In an attempt to make your brewing experience totally trouble-free, we include with each PicoPak a thermometer sticker, which also indicates “Too Cold”, “Too Warm” and “Just Right” fermentation temperatures. You add your yeast when your keg has reached “Just Right”, and then monitor your keg to make that the location in which it has been places stays in the “Just Right” zone.
If you really want to get serious about fermentation science, you could also purchase our KegSmarts product and add it to your kegerator, for total temperature control nirvana!
How do I carbonate my beer?
There are two options for carbonating your beer:
Carbonation stick- A stick of carbonation sugar will come with your PicoPak. Once you have fermented and racked your beer to a drinking keg, you simply drop the carbonation stick into your drinking keg, and let the keg sit in your refrigerator for about a week while the beer carbonates. After a week, your beer will be fully carbonated.
CO2 cartridge- All recipe kits ordered through Kickstart will also include a small recyclable CO2 cylinder (barring air shipping restrictions). Attach the CO2 cartridge to your regulator, attach the regulator to the dispensing keg, set the regulator to 20psi, and let your keg sit in your refrigerator overnight. In about 12 hours, after your beer chills, it should be fully carbonated. After carbonation you can release the pressure from the regulator and replace with a simple vent cap.
How long will the beer in my 5L mini keg stay fresh after tapping?
It depends on how you are dispensing.
If you are dispensing with a vent plug at the top of the keg, where you have to open the vent plug to let air in, then the beer will stale faster like a growler that you open and re-cap.
If you are dispensing with a CO2 system, either a commercial mini kegerator, or party star tap, or our included CO2 regulator, and there aren’t any leaks in the system, the shelf life could be anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the style.