Frequently Asked Questions
Shipping costs especially for large items like this vary dramatically by location. Its going to be cheaper for you if we handle this separately. We will ship from Seattle, WA and if you live in the continental US, we expect it will be under $100. If you are in Alaska or Hawaii it may be significantly more, but you probably know that. And if you'd like to stop by and pick it up from our office in Seattle, there will be no shipping charge at all.
We’ll also collect sales tax where we are required to by law.
After the campaign ends, you’ll be asked to log into our web site and pay the appropriate shipping charges and taxes.Last updated:
Unfortunately Canadian costs are not as deterministic as domestic shipping costs, but we’ll do our best to minimize it. They may also be additional taxes and duties that we may be required to collect. If you order a Picobrew Zymatic™ shipped to Canada, we ask you to assume responsibility for all of these charges.
After the campaign ends we’ll ask you to log into our web site and pay appropriate shipping charges and taxes.Last updated:
Yes. Absolutely.Last updated:
After every brew cycle, flush clean water through the machine. This takes no more than a few minutes and is the most important thing you can do to keep your machine clean and healthy.
The step filter and all its components can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Its important to use a dishwasher tab instead of standard liquid or powdered soap because they container the enzymatic cleaners that break down leftover beer wort deposits.
Every few cycles, run a cleaning cycle through the machine with a full keg of water and a dishwasher tab placed in the step filter. Follow up with a simple flush cycle to leave only clean water in the machine. We do this every five batches on our machines, but we’d also recommend this if you plan to leave the machine idle for extended periods.
As needed, run an extended cleaning cycle on the machine with the cleaning powder we provide.Last updated:
The Zymatic™ connects directly to the internet so that you can control it from any web browser and not worry about whether an app is available for your platform.
The prototypes you see in our videos connect with wired ethernet. We did this initially because it’s the most reliable connection we can have. We have wireless prototypes in the lab and plan to include this feature on the shipping products, pending additional testing and regulatory approval.Last updated:
We would love to. It would heat water faster and save time on the process. Unfortunately there are a wide range of regulatory and other issues we would have to deal with before shipping world wide. We hope to get there, but its not going to be until after our Kickstarter campaign.Last updated:
Zymatic™ can brew up to 2.5 gallons finished beer across a very wide range of brewing systems. This is usually about 3 gallons of wort into the fermenter but depends on the recipe. The limitations are two-fold: grain capacity of the step filter, and water capacity of the keg/fermenter. For a lighter beer, its certainly possible to do a slightly larger batch. For extremely heavy beers you may get less than 2.5 gallons finished beer.Last updated:
Higher gravity beers can be a challenge as they are for conventional homebrewers. We’ve brewed all-grain beers up to 1.090 O.G. in the Zymatic™, and for extremely high gravity beers you can mix some DME (dry malt extract) directly in with the rest of the grain. We’ve brewed beers up to 1.1 O.G. this way.Last updated:
We’ve brewed some pretty crazy imperial stouts and IPAs on Zymatic™ right out of the box.
There are four adjunct compartments in the step filter which gives you four hopping steps, but you can always pause the machine mid-boil and swap them out for new ones if you really want to step it up.Last updated:
Zymatic™ is designed to run on a standard household 15A circuit (110V). We’ll ship a GFCI-protected power cord with the machine.Last updated:
No. You fill a clean keg with water and attach it to the machine. There are no external plumbing connectionsLast updated:
Absolutely. Just add the shirt ($19 for the logo tee or $29 for the artist tee) or tasting paddle ($39) costs to your pledge and we'll have a place to note on the post-campaign survey to make sure you get the right rewards.Last updated:
We usually run the fluid just below boiling temperature. The near boiling occurs in the heat exchanger, adjunct compartments and keg.Through testing we have found that there is nothing magical about boiling- it’s just traditional since beer was invented a long time before thermometers and process controls. In a conventional homebrew system, boiling is important since the temperature control is not as precise- keeping the entrie kettle at 208° steadily for an hour is impossible for most home brew systems. Also in home brew systems, a vigorous boil ensures mixing of the brew kettle. In the Zymatic™, this mixing is done by circulating the wort. We have run extensive testing for hops extraction, off flavors and clarity, and have found no detraction from running slightly less than boil.Last updated:
Depends on the grain load. Typicaly 50-65% as you might expect for a spargeless system. The important part is that you don’t have to calculate this and adjust your recipes accordingly. We have taken the data from hundreds of batches to make sure that when you build a recipe using our tools, you get the beer you expect coming from the machine.Last updated:
The Zymatic™ has precise temperature controls so that you, the user, can define all the temperatures throughout the brewing cycle. If you want tannins from the grain- you can pass hot water through the grain after mashing. To keep other off flavors from developing you can do multi-rest mashing, with a protein step at whatever temperature and length you desire.
For DMS, the process itself seems to be very low in production. When the liquid is dropped into the step filter for the boil stage, there is plenty of opportunity for the DMS precursors to escape.
The fact is, we have made hundreds of batches, and had many professional beer brewers come through our tasting room. They typically go through our taps trying to find that one beer that has off flavors from the brewing process. To date they walk away impressed.
Many off flavors can develop due to fermentation problems: wrong yeast, wrong temperature, or insufficient sterilization. With the sterilized keg of wort from the Zymatic™, the chances of losing a batch due to poor sanitation is vastly decreased.Last updated:
Zymatic™ firmware is based on an Arduino core and the firmware will be open source. Want another brewing profile or to add some new instrument? Go for it! We'll also define a set of web service APIs to interface with.Last updated:
If you pledge for any of the Zymatic™ machine levels, you’ll receive
• The Zymatic™ machine itself
• Hoses and connectors for standard ball-lock keg connection
• Power, networking, and USB cables
• User manual
• The step filter and four adjunct containers which hold your ingredients
• Replacement inline filter screen
• Our custom modified keg lid for attaching the foam collapse and airlock.
(this fits on a standard Cornelius keg)
• The foam collapser and food grade anti-foam.
• Keg insulating sleeve
• Cleaning tablets and powder
And if you are part of the pilot tiers, it also includes a new five gallon keg and an ingredients kit so that you can open the box and start brewing right away.Last updated:
With the right care and feeding, Zymatic™ is designed for years of great service in the home. We are still working on our warranty and support program, but what we will guarantee is that you receive a working machine and we’ll be taking extra great care of those of you who are supporting us from the beginning.Last updated:
Zymatic™ gives you near-perfect temperature control, sanitization, and a huge range of options for how and when to combine your water and ingredients. We've run hundreds of test batches to give you recipe tools that will accurately predict and help you steer towards your intended gravity, color, and IBU for typical beer styles and a simple mash. That's a pretty good start -- our first goal with Zymatic is to help professional brewers make quickly precise, repeatable, beer in small test batches. Have piles of experimental hops around and want to find out what they will taste like, or want to run a few variations on a new recipe before committing to a 10 or 500 barrel batch? load it up and press go.
But that's only where it starts.
We made the software open source and were sharing the hardware schematics for exactly this. Brewers are a crafty bunch and there's a reason the term "homebrew" is applied to a lot more things than beer. Multi-step mashes to experiment with sugar and enzyme profiles, that's already built in. You can develop intricate and unique mash schedules and run them repeatedly enough to know what makes a real difference. Want to do infinite hop editions? A few software changes will let you replace the adjunct load mid-brew and go as long as you want. You can even load up the mash compartment with a couple pounds of fresh hops. A new brewing vessel with additional compartments, go to town. You want to attach ball valves and multiple vessels for full-on decoction rig, no problem. Chillers, oxygenators, fermenting, all outside this box, though there is no limit to what you can do if you want to link things together with software. There is a ton more than "brewing" required to make amazing beer and nobody should kid themselves about this.
Having a automated brewing system doesn't make anyone a master brewer more than having an a sniper rifle makes them a master marksman. In the hands of an beginner it can still produce some very good beers by starting with someone else's recipe and eliminating some common sources of error as they start to explore brewing, and there's huge value in that.
But in the hands of a highly skilled or professional brewer we hope its an entirely different story. The point is to give you better control on the knobs you already have, and then to open up new ones to turn. What to do with that? Hopefully its making even better beer.Last updated:
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