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Future Tech: 

Pico: home beer brewing made easy

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With Pico, beer brewing is as easy as using a coffee machine

Home brewing is a great way to make delicious beer, and it’s much cheaper than buying it. But where do you start? Do you need a basement for fermenting? And won’t it take quite a few goes before you make something even vaguely drinkable? Not with Pico.

It’s a home brew machine that takes its cues from home coffee machines. The beer ingredients come prepackaged from craft breweries, so all you do is empty them into the machine and follow the instructions. So now you can make a tasty brew without needing generations of knowledge about malt and hops, or spending hours getting the measures right.

The prepackaged beer ingredients are known as PicoPaks. Around 50 breweries from around the world already offer their beer in this form, and more are being added day by day. PicoPaks will be available from Brewmarketplace, an online shop – it’s like an app store for beer, with small, independent breweries offering their wares alongside the big boys. Each PicoPak is compostable, so when you’ve finished, just throw them in the food waste bin.

If you think you could improve on one of the brews, you can also personalise them to your taste by tweaking the settings on the machine. You can alter both the bitterness and alcohol levels as you see fit.

The brewing takes two hours, and the fermentation about a week. Then transfer it to a drinking keg and get the party started.

The people behind it launched the PicoBrew Zymatic back in 2013, but this new and improved model is smaller and easier to use. It’s on Kickstarter now, and aims to raise $200,000. If the campaign is successful, it’ll cost $499 and will ship in March.

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