Pico C - Craft Beer Brewing Appliance Reviews

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Pico C - Craft Beer Brewing Appliance Reviews

Average Customer Rating:
(5)
(based on 21 reviews) 
If you want to brew at home get this !
by:jprtech (11-22-2017)
Chicago, IL
Comments:I've had the Pico Model C for about 2 months now and have brewed 3 times on it. All three beers came out very well balanced and with no off flavors at all.
Use: As a homebrewer of almost 10 years this makes for a great winter brewing setup for me. My main setup is a half bbl rig and produces copious amounts of beer for me but the Pico makes it easy for me to do some experimenting with side by side yeast strains. I'll buy two of the same pico paks brew them both pitch different yeasts and compare the results (My most recent experiment was with the Stoup’s Robust Porter using included yeast and Mangrove Jack MI5 Empire Ale) Side note I did make some adapters to be able to use this unit with my ball lock and pin lock kegs
Alternate Use: Sous Vide - This thing is great for sous vide and because of that it avoids the title of unitasker, I have made Sirloin Filets and Pork loin with this and can tell you it’s some of the best tasting meat I have ever consumed.
Cost: The initial cost of the system is in line with most starter systems that includes pots and burners, obviously the capacity difference is a concern for some but as a secondary system it sure makes for an easy quick brew day to add variety to the kegerator. I won’t dance around it the PicoPaks are expensive and lack some programmability in the Freestyle sense, but this is my secondary/experimental system so it’s not my main supply of homebrew. If PicoBrew were to release the software and allow end user customization as well as the ability to buy an empty PicoShell (see what I did there) to use your own grains then these units would be a grand slam instead of just a home run. (Hint Hint PicoBrew)
Conclusion: If you want to learn the craft and HOW to homebrew this machine is not for you, but if you want to brew beer at home and maybe experiment some this IS absolutely the machine for you.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Kickstarter Backer
by:UTLONGHORN (11-22-2017)
San Antonio, Texas
Comments:I received the Pico C at the start of October and have already brewed 3 beers and cooked with the Sous Vide functionality. First and foremost, this unit is easy to use. Brewing is simple and does not take a lot of your hands-on time. The biggest misconception I have seen with others about my machine is the fact that the beer still takes time to ferment and carbonate. The 2 or so hours to brew is just the first component. Expect another week or two before the beer is ready for you to share with friends. Depending on the beer you can have a timetable going where one beer is fermenting in the brew keg while the previous beer is finishing carbonation and being served. Make sure you have replacement serving keg plugs, however as these are one-time use.

Cleaning between brews, whether it is the quick or deep clean, is simple and straightforward. The machine walks you through almost all steps on the display for whatever operation you are performing. While this is nice I still find myself looking at the manual, which is only available online, for some of the charts and timing information.

Cooking with the Sous vide functionality is an added benefit. While other products utilize something attached to the size of a container to Sous Vide there are multiple discussions about having to add balls to the water or lids with custom holes to reduce the evaporation. The Pico C takes care of this by utilizing the step filter container to perform the cook. The only possible issue with this is that the size of the step filter cannot increase for larger cooks. I was able to cook 4 125ml jars with eggs in them without issue but adding more might pose issues.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Simple, space saving solution for home
by:SeattleSUP (11-22-2017)
Seattle, WA
Comments:I'd previously done a few attempts at home brewing using a traditional stove top kit my wife got me. I loved the taste of the beer but the whole process was also pretty tedious, somewhat error prone, required constant attention and lots of clean up. It also required large pots and strainers which took up a lot of space. In many ways it's like making bread from scratch.

The Pico C is like using a bread making machine - the end product is still fresh and fantastic but the whole process is quicker, simpler and a lot less messy. Brewing is ridiculously easy - put the grain packs in the clear plastic hopper, hook the hoses up to the brew keg and then add water. After that you follow the instructions on the screen. The manual is also clearly written and the videos online are also super helpful. The manual says your first brew will require 10 minutes of hands on time. I actually timed myself and on the first go it was more like 15 but I was being cautious. On the next 2 batches I was also exactly at 10 minutes. The machine itself is also so well designed that you almost can't get it wrong. The two hoses use different sized connectors so you really can't hook them up incorrectly. The grain packs will also only fit in one way. They did a great job of making this pretty idiot proof! The brewing process takes a couple of hours but once it starts you can basically walk away from it. No more standing over the stove making sure your mash stays in a relatively narrow temperature range and stirring every few minutes!! The odor wasn't nearly as bad as doing it the old fashioned way but was still strong enough that after my first batch the wife exiled the machine to our downstairs laundry room. Personally, I like the brewing smell but to each their own. It is a good looking device and would look great on a counter. In terms of size it's smaller than a compact microwave but bigger than a stand mixer. Once the brewing is done you simply toss the used grain packs into the compost bin and clean the unit which takes another 10 minutes.

The fermentation keg includes a thermometer sticker to help you estimate fermentation time and Pico is working on an electronic fermentation sensor to replace the brew keg cap which will allow even greater accuracy. Fermentation time can range from 4-14 days depending on the ABV of the beer and the temperature. The thermometer sticker is handy for finding a place in your home that will facilitate a faster brewing time. Really not much Pico can do to make this go faster short of altering the laws of physics and chemistry.

Once fermentation is complete your back to the Pico C for racking. It's at this step that you'll be using sanitizer and Pico include a generous sized bottle and even a nicely marked bucket for mixing and soaking. Again, letting the machine handle the racking is a lot easier the siphoning the beer. The manual says this step should take 15 minutes but it's taken me more like 20-30 but that might be because I'm pretty paranoid about sanitizing thoroughly.

After you rack the beer into the serving keg you'll need to carbonate it. There are two options here: natural or forced. With the stock Pico C you'll need to do natural carbonation which involves dumping a sugar packet and then letting it sit for double the fermentation time. That's another 8-28 days. Forced carbonation requires the optional CO2 regulator and cartridges. This accessory costs extra but it also reduces carbonation time to just 36 hours. Time is money so I opted to go this route as cuts brew to drink time by 2/3.

The whole process is ridiculously easy and mess free. If you do have questions (and I did) the customer support is fantastic and have always responded in less than 24 hours. Some critics might claim this isn't really true home brewing and I can see where they're coming from much in the way that using a bread making machine isn't true baking or using pre-sawed lumber isn't real wood working. I get it and it really comes down to how much you value the process versus the end product.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Homebrewing Simplified
by:OKCjw (11-22-2017)
Oklahoma City, OK
Comments:YUM! This has to be a game changer in the reach of home brewing. I have always toyed with home brewing but it generally takes more time than I have to give. With the Pico C Brewer I can start the brew process and walk away. The machine walks you through each step of the process like its your first time every time so If you forget something don't worry it has you covered. This has been compared to a Keurig for beer and while it does greatly simplify the process you won't be drinking a cold beer 45 seconds after you hit start so be realistic in your expectations. Just know the results will be delicious.

Note: Wifi is required. The Pico C connects with Pico Brew to load the brewing specs for the specific picopak you are using. It also provides all of the analytics for the brew process that you can watch in almost real-time from your account on their website.

My experience should be a good gauge of what to expect.

Tip 1-If you don't have reverse osmosis water go buy 5-10 gallons of distilled water for rinsing and brewing before your brewer arrives.

Unpacking:
If you are like me when this arrives you are like a kid on Christmas morning ripping into the boxes to see what magical treasures await. Do your self a favor and take it slow and gentle. You will want to keep the box with the brewer in it. I'm told this box is required for warranty purposes. Plan to spend the next 30-45 minutes cleaning.

Brewing: (after the initial cleaning mentioned above) Brewing is so simple. Turn on the Pico C, select brew and follow the instructions. When everything is set and the brew is set in motion the machine will make a lot of noises. Its pumping, pushing, and heating liquid to steam so don't do this if you just put the baby down for a nap. After 2-3 hours the beer is brewed but its time to let the science begin.

After Brew Cleaning: At this point you have disconnected the brew keg so it can cool to room temperature. Its time to clean everything else. Rinse the system. As a guy who hates cleaning this really is a pretty simple process. The Pico C will walk you through most of it.

The next day after the wort has cooled to room temp you add the yeast to the brew keg. This begins the fermentation process that will take a week or more depending on the beer and temperature. The manual gives you time frames based on temperature ranges. I've ordered a PicoFerm that will aide in this process. Once fermentation is complete you "Crash the Yeast" by cooling the brew keg in your refrigerator. This takes a day or so. Then depending on what type of beer you are brewing you may add dry hop packs that come with the picopak. Otherwise its time to move the beer from the brew keg to the serving keg or bottles if you are bottling. You hook the brew keg back up to the Pic C and "rack" the beer. From here you add sugar from the provided packet to carbonate the beer. Carbonation takes close to double the time it took to ferment the beer so don't get in a rush. After about 3 weeks you are ready to cool and then consumer a tasty beverage.

I thought for sure when I opened up that first keg it would be bad because I had to have messed something up on my first try. Nope. Somehow this marvel of modern technology took my ineptitude out of the equation. It was delicious. So fresh. I really felt like I was drinking at the brewery. I will be ordering more brew kegs so I can have more beers going at the same time.

Tip 2: This is a no brainer but if you are using the serving keg the beer is best when first opened. Unless you are force carbonating, it will degrade in quality fairly quickly as the days pass.

If you are looking into a way to start homebrewing but don't have the time to really mess with the science/process this is the perfect option for you. I love it and will be an avid Pico C Brewer for the foreseeable future!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Excellent Product!
by:WIlly4003 (11-22-2017)
Duluth, MN
Comments:I have always had an interest in brewing my own beer, but had no experience or time to do so. I began seeing information on the Pico Model C and immediately took an interest. I purchased mine in October, and the day I received it I began brewing. The unit is compact and sleek in design. Within minutes, mine was setup, connected to my home wifi network, cleaned and brewing my first batch. The online PDF instruction manual was very easy to follow, especially in conjunction with the on-screen prompts you receive from the unit itself. If you are a bit impatient, you can purchase the CO2 regulator and CO2 cartridges, but I elected to stay the course in the traditional process. My first batch was the Stubble Kolsch, as I wanted to try something more conservative and forgiving of any mistakes I could potentially have made. After 2.5 hours in the brewing process, 1 day of cooling to room temperature, 4 days of fermentation, 2 days of cold-crashing the yeast, 7 days of carbonation and 2 more days to chill I was rewarded with an excellent home-brewed Kolsch. Light, crisp with floral aromas, just as the description stated. I have since brewed a Free Style Pak of my own creation of an Amber Ale, a DoppelBock and an Irish Stout. All are at various stages of the brewing process, and I cannot wait to taste them! Cleaning of the components has been simple, as several of them are dishwasher-safe. You will need to eventually purchase the cleaning tablets, fragrance free dish detergent, some hydrogen peroxide and lots of distilled water. I also picked up some $15 keg belts to keep the kegs at a constant temperature, optimal for fast fermentation and carbonation. A much more cost-effective alternative than keeping my 48 sq ft, basement, brew pub at a toasty 75F, utilizing my electric heating source. Finally, I also picked up a 2nd brew keg and 3 additional serving kegs in order to allow me to keep my stock rotating, as well as the new Pico Ferm device which allows you to monitor the fermentation process. What a rewarding and non-cost-prohibitive hobby! Each Pico Pak costs $20-$30 and yields the equivalent of approximately 13 12oz portions of the freshest beer you can get your hands on, and you made it!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
The easy way to brew your own craft beer
by:Matt C (11-22-2017)
Roswell, GA
Comments:The Picobrew Model C is an amazing product that allows anyone to brew their own beer quickly and easily with a lot less mess than a typical home brew sessions. The pico pacs cover a wide variety of styles and flavors that are easily inserted into the machine and can even be put on the compost pile when finished. Each facet of the brewing process is explained on the machine in detail with each step needing to be completed before moving on. The cleanup is easy and the beer is amazing, every time I brew one batch I'm immediately thinking of what my next will be. So far the best pico pacs I've had are the Helles Lager and Buffalo Sweat porter though I can't wait to try the fall spiced beer. I would recommend this product to anyone who loves beer. Worth the price and a great product for any home bar.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Home brew taste without the mess
by:Cyclocrosser (11-21-2017)
Seattle, WA
Comments:I'd previously done a few attempts at home brewing using a kit my wife got me. I loved the taste of the beer but the whole process was also pretty tedious, somewhat error prone, required constant attention and lots of clean up. It also required large pots and strainers which took up a lot of space. In many ways it's like making bread from scratch.

The Pico C is like using a bread making machine - the end product is still fresh and fantastic but the whole process is quicker, simpler and a lot less messy. I've brewed 2 batches so far and a third is currently fermenting. Brewing is ridiculously easy - put the grain packs in the clear plastic hopper, hook the hoses up to the brew keg and then add water. After that you follow the instructions on the screen. The manual is also clearly written and the videos online are also super helpful. The manual says your first brew will require 10 minutes of hands on time. I actually timed myself and on the first go it was more like 15 but I was being cautious. On the next 2 batches I was also exactly at 10 minutes. The machine itself is also so well designed that you almost can't get it wrong. The two hoses use different sized connectors so you really can't hook them up incorrectly. The grain packs will also only fit in one way. They did a great job of making this pretty idiot proof! The brewing process takes a couple of hours but once it starts you can basically walk away from it. No more standing over the stove making sure your mash stays in a relatively narrow temperature range and stirring every few minutes!! The odor wasn't nearly as bad as doing it the old fashioned way but was still strong enough that after my first batch the wife exiled the machine to our downstairs laundry room. Personally, I like the brewing smell but to each their own. It is a good looking device and would look great on a counter. In terms of size it's smaller than a compact microwave but bigger than a stand mixer. Once the brewing is done you simply toss the used grain packs into the compost bin and clean the unit which takes another 10 minutes.

The fermentation keg includes a thermometer sticker to help you estimate fermentation time and Pico is working on an electronic fermentation sensor to replace the brew keg cap which will allow even greater accuracy. Fermentation time can range from 4-14 days depending on the ABV of the beer and the temperature. The thermometer sticker is handy for finding a place in your home that will facilitate a faster brewing time. Really not much Pico can do to make this go faster short of altering the laws of physics and chemistry.

Once fermentation is complete your back to the Pico C for racking. It's at this step that you'll be using sanitizer and Pico include a generous sized bottle and even a nicely marked bucket for mixing and soaking. Again, letting the machine handle the racking is a lot easier the siphoning the beer. The manual says this step should take 15 minutes but it's taken me more like 20-30 but that might be because I'm pretty paranoid about sanitizing thoroughly.

After you rack the beer into the serving keg you'll need to carbonate it. There are two options here: natural or forced. With the stock Pico C you'll need to do natural carbonation which involves dumping a sugar packet and then letting it sit for double the fermentation time. That's another 8-28 days. Forced carbonation requires the optional CO2 regulator and cartridges. This accessory costs $59 but it also reduces carbonation time to just 36 hours. Time is money so opted to go this route as cuts brew to drink time by 2/3.

The whole is ridiculously easy and mess free. If you do have questions (and I did) the customer support is fantastic and have always responded in less than 24 hours. Some critics might claim this isn't really true home brewing and I can see where they're coming from much in the way that using a bread making machine isn't true baking or using pre-sawed lumber isn't real wood working. I get it but if your end goal is to simply have really good, fresh beer and experiment with different beer recipes and you don't want to deal with the mess and tediousness of "real" home brewing than the Pico C is hard to beat and worth every penny. It's also a great way to sample beer from breweries which might not be available through any other channels or to experiment with your own recipes since you can order custom made Pico Packs (my next batch will be one!)
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Clear directions, happy results!
by:bgib2610 (11-21-2017)
San Diego, CA
Comments:I love my PICO Brew! I've already brewed two batches and both turned out really well. They have clear directions from the manual if you like to read or for me watching a YouTube video was more up my alley. As first I was wondering what I got myself into, but about half way through the first batch I was like I can do this! The machine will coach you along the way as well. Having patience is the hardest part of brewing as you want a cold beer once this is done, but it has to ferment and then carbonate. I like how they have thought through the design of this model. The kegs are much easier to use and clean than the ball lock ones. It's still work, but work much easier to do than brewing out of buckets like I've seen friends do in the fast. One happy customer here!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Pico C - Brewing Made Easy
by:John (11-21-2017)
Sacramento
Comments:I joined the Pico C Kickstarter campaign as a “Super Early Bird.” I'd been interested in a PicoBrew for quite a while, but with the announcement of the more affordable Pico C I knew that the time was right. I'd know of the solid reputation of PicoBrew products and I had confidence that the Kickstarter would reach their goals. The goals where reached quickly (I pounced on the Pico C as an early bird, which allowed for me to be one of the first Pico C recipients), and I received my unit in late September.

The Pico C arrived with nearly everything required to complete a start-to-finished product. In advance, I made sure I had a few gallons of distilled water (reverse-osmosis works, too) and plenty of StarSan to keep things clean. I also bought a PicoPak of Half Squeezed IPA because I wanted my first batch to be an ale (the unit shipped with a PicoPak of Helles Lager). After the initial rinse I loaded the vessels with distilled water, attached the Pico C to my wireless network, loaded up the PicoPak, and watched everything happen. It takes about two hours and it makes whatever room in which you're brewing smell great (or terrible if you're like my kids and don't know any better). I let the wort cool for 24 hours, then added the yeast, and waited about a week for the brew to ferment. I tossed in the provided hop packets for the dry hopping about 3 days before chilling the brew in the refrigerator overnight to crash the yeast. After a full day in the refrigerator I racked the beer from the fermenting keg into the serving keg.

The Pico C ships with what is required to do natural carbonation (adding sugar to the serving keg to allow for natural carbonation), but I was anxious to try it so I invested in a CO2 kit and food-grade CO2 cannisters so that I could be ready to try it in 36 hours instead of the extended time required for natural carbonation. I followed the directions (from the Pico Pro manual) to carbonate with CO2 and everything worked perfectly. Great, fresh beer carbonated just right.

I've heard the comparisons between brewing with the Pico C and making coffee with a K-Cups. There are some comparisons for sure, but there is enough interaction (in other words, lots of stuff to wash and keep clean) in the Pico brewing that I would classify as real brewing. You experience all of the stages of the brew process and all of the great aromas along the way. I would love for there to be a way to mix up my own ingredients at home and create my own kits, but for now this can only be done by Pico as a service they provide for those of us who want to create their own recipes. So Pico-packed PicoPaks are the only way to go. They're great, but it would be great to get more creative with my own.

Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with the Pico C. I've only made beer so far. I will make some Kambucha tea at some point. The device also supports Sous Vide cooking, but I haven't tried that yet. I look forward to buying more kegs (when they are available) so that I'm not limited to one batch at a time. I've pre-ordered the PicoStill add-on, too. I guess one could say that I'm in it for the long haul. I hope this baby holds up because it will be really put to the test at my house...
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great product for Making Small Batches
by:bklockhart (11-21-2017)
Davis CA
Comments:Have had the Pico C for about 5 weeks now after supporting the Kickstarter drive and am ready to add my two cents to the recent reviews here especially now that I've tapped my first keg of Helles lager by Lucky Envelope, a pack that came with the machine to get started. The first brew session went smoothly and the instructions supplied online, with a few videos, really helped walk me through the relatively straightforward steps. The machine itself has a clear display that also gives step-by-step instructions, but the downloadable pdf file goes into sufficient detail for a newbie to brewing like myself. The brewing session, as mentioned in other fine reviews, can be easily tracked online as it's happening at the 'BrewHouse'. Pico has already stated they've submitted an app to Apple so tracking sessions on your iPhone shouldn't be far off. An android app is certainly soon to follow. In addition, a PicoFerm gadget should ship this month to make understanding the fermentation stage a breeze. Using the provided temperature decal you stick on the brew keg is fine for the time being but looking forward to using the PicoFerm. The final result of the Helles was fine although lacked carbonation due to my own error. Have ordered a CO2 regulator and 5-pack cartridge for future brew sessions.
All that said, problems arose during my second brew session. Got error messages telling me to stop the session, empty the wort, and contact help on the site. Sadly, the pack wasn't salvageable but customer service already has sent a new one. Customer service did give clear instructions to reset the shuttle pump. Tested it brewing a kombucha which came off without a hitch but the process for that and making beer is quite different. When trying a second brew session, I got a similar error message, had to toss the wort, but was able to reset the pump and finish the second batch, an Old English Ale, which is fermenting now. Finally, tried the sous vide function and got more error messages which prompted customer service to send me a replacement shuttle pump which I'll have to try to fix myself, seemingly easy enough per the instructions emailed ahead of time.
The pump arrived a few days ago and I successfully repaired it. As a result, the machine is back up and running smoothly! Made a wonderful oatmeal stout last night and have it fermenting. Even saved the spent grain and found a recipe to make energy bars, which turned out great!
I have to agree with other recent reviews here that this is a great deal if you're only interested in small batch brewing from the over 100 choices online with options, as stated, to invent your own styles with freestyle packs. Looking forward to brewing a lot more great beer.
Cheers!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Homebrew made easy
by:8string (11-21-2017)
Flower Mound, TX
Comments:I just finished my second brew on the Pico C, an imperial oatmeal stout, and could not be happier. This is a great way to make 1.25 gallons of quality craft beer at home.
The Pico C uses "PicoPaks", which are pre-filled, compostable, containers of pre-milled grains that are specific to the beer being brewed. There is a separate pack of up to 4 different hops. These packs go into a plastic drawer which slides into the Pico C appliance. From there, you just turn on the Pico C and follow the instructions on the display (it knows which beer you are brewing from an NFC tag on the PicoPak). Using the brewing/fermenting keg, it warms the water (distilled is preferred) to the proper temperatures for mashing the grains, circulates the water through the PicoPak, adds hops at the appropriate times, boils the mixture (wort) and delivers the finished wort to the brewing/fermenting keg. After the wort cools to room temp, you open the lid, add the yeast packet, close the lid and wait 6-10 days for the magic to happen while the wort ferments into beer. At this point, you transfer (rack) the beer into a serving keg and carbonate by adding sugar and waiting another 7-10 days, or force carbonate using a CO2 cartridge and regulator (available separately).
There are over 100 different PicoPaks, many of which are designed by commercial craft breweries.
I set up my Pico C in our guest bathroom so I would have easy access to a sink.
The Pico C connects to the PicoBrew servers via Wifi to download updates and information it needs to brew the PicoPak. On the PicoBrew website, you can follow the progress of the brewing process.
As a former homebrewer, I understand that the Pico C does not provide the flexibility to create whatever beer your heart desires, but with that flexibility comes complexity and a lot more equipment (and space). If you can be satisfied with the ever-expanding selection of PicoPaks that are available, you will be happy with the Pico C.
PicoBrew has a new add-on, called PicoFerm, that attaches to the brewing/fermenting key to give you information about the fermentation progress. This should solve my one issue with the system, which is that it is difficult to determine when fermentation is complete. There is no bubbling air lock to give you visual feedback about fermentation. Rather, the brewing/fermentation keg has small pressure valves that maintain 5-7 pounds of pressure in the key for "fast fermentation".
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Homebrew made easy
by:8tring (11-21-2017)
Flower Mound, TX
Comments:I just finished my second brew on the Pico C, an imperial oatmeal stout, and could not be happier. This is a great way to make 1.25 gallons of quality craft beer at home.
The Pico C uses "PicoPaks", which are pre-filled, compostable, containers of pre-milled grains that are specific to the beer being brewed. There is a separate pack of up to 4 different hops. These packs go into a plastic drawer which slides into the Pico C appliance. From there, you just turn on the Pico C and follow the instructions on the display (it knows which beer you are brewing from an NFC tag on the PicoPak). Using the brewing/fermenting keg, it warms the water (distilled is preferred) to the proper temperatures for mashing the grains, circulates the water through the PicoPak, adds hops at the appropriate times, boils the mixture (wort) and delivers the finished wort to the brewing/fermenting keg. After the wort cools to room temp, you open the lid, add the yeast packet, close the lid and wait 6-10 days for the magic to happen while the wort ferments into beer. At this point, you transfer (rack) the beer into a serving keg and carbonate by adding sugar and waiting another 7-10 days, or force carbonate using a CO2 cartridge and regulator (available separately).
There are over 100 different PicoPaks, many of which are designed by commercial craft breweries.
I set up my Pico C in our guest bathroom so I would have easy access to a sink.
The Pico C connects to the PicoBrew servers via Wifi to download updates and information it needs to brew the PicoPak. On the PicoBrew website, you can follow the progress of the brewing process.
As a former homebrewer, I understand that the Pico C does not provide the flexibility to create whatever beer your heart desires, but with that flexibility comes complexity and a lot more equipment (and space). If you can be satisfied with the ever-expanding selection of PicoPaks that are available, you will be happy with the Pico C.
PicoBrew has a new add-on, called PicoFerm, that attaches to the brewing/fermenting key to give you information about the fermentation progress. This should solve my one issue with the system, which is that it is difficult to determine when fermentation is complete. There is no bubbling air lock to give you visual feedback about fermentation. Rather, the brewing/fermentation keg has small pressure valves that maintain 5-7 pounds of pressure in the key for "fast fermentation".
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
The Pico C is awesome!
by:Josh (11-21-2017)
Cleveland, OH
Comments:The Pico C is a perfect fit for those who want to get into brewing, but don’t have the time or commitment to carry through. I love my Pico C for two reasons: I love beer and I love the technological edge it provides. After loading a PicoPak into the machine, adding water and connecting the hoses to your brewing keg you’re ready to brew! During worting process you can check online and see the progress of your brew. After that it’s just a matter of adding the yeast, waiting a couple days for fermentation and then racking. The racking process is a breeze – the Pico C will actually help you pump the beer from the brewing keg into the serving keg where you carbonate the beer before drinking.

PicoBrew’s customer service is phenomenal. They are quick to reply and exceptionally helpful. I recently had a problem placing an order with a discount code and they honored the discount the next day after the code expired.

Keep up the good work PicoBrew, you guys are awesome!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Amazing technology for the homebrewer
by:JCD24 (11-21-2017)
Arizona
Comments:I am an avid traditional homebrewer and when I came across the Pico I was amazed at the pure, streamlined automation of this machine. I was an original early bird Kickstarter for the model C and have been blown away by its performance, ease of use as well as ease of cleanup. The brewing keg and step filter are completely dishwasher safe and that saves a ton of cleanup time. Also, I really enjoy the connections of the C. I do not have to mess around with ball locks and deal with the issues that come with them. I have brewed three packs so far since the unit arrived in October and the only slight negative for me is the batch size. I would like more beer haha! Anyhow, I am excited for the future of this product especially with the pending release of the PicoFirm fermentation computer. This unit will be able to streamline the fermentation process for our Pico. I am very excited to continue to use my Pico C and I am also looking forward to more experimenting with bottling and secondary fermentation techniques.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Brewing made easy
by:Jeff (11-21-2017)
Fontana, CA
Comments:The Pico C is amazing. It's compact, easy to set up, and easy to clean. I've brewed the Helles Lager shortly after receiving the device and the beer was great tasting, light and crisp. I've since brewed Flying Monkeys Netherworld and can't wait to try it. It's currently naturally carbonating. The online video tutorials on the Pico website are easy to follow and being a former homebrewer this still gives me a very similar experience and offers many craft beers for purchase. I'm happy I made the purchase.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Fantastic Beer Making Appliance
by:Andrew (11-21-2017)
Columbus, OH
Comments:I am thrilled so far with my Pico C. Thus far, I’ve made a lager and am fermenting a mosaic IPA that looks to be very promising. The lager (Helles Lager) was quite impressive and even my wife, who is a non-beer person, went back for many refills. The brewing process had an easy to follow guide and even included a few videos published on Picobrew’s website to help prepare for what seems to be a daunting task.

My Experience:

The brewing process was very easy to follow. I expected a mess to cleanup but really it was self-contained and not as bad as I had imagined. Fermentation was quick, but carbonation took twice the time for fermentation (took 10 - 12 days to naturally carbonate with sugar). There are options for expediting that but requires additional BrewGear to do so. Everything was simple, from pairing to wifi, selecting the pack, filling with required amounts of reverse osmosis water, and even sanitizing using star-san….nothing was that complicated other than understanding how to do something the first time. Sanitizing was another understanding entirely to get the ratio correct, how much would be needed, and how long to let it dry but after some quick research it was more than I made it out to be. At the end of the process, I shared some with friends and family and everyone enjoyed it. I have been browsing around the BrewMarketplace and am anticipating even more variety beyond the 100 that are in there.

Other thoughts:

The smell of cooking beer wort is a little powerful, but it is easily controllable by moving the machine near a kitchen exhaust fan. To be able to cook this inside is more of a plus to other homebrewers.
If you ever want to pressurize and serve directly from the fermenting keg (like in a kegerator), then opt for a different model.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
The Keurig of Brewing
by:Davie (11-21-2017)
Clovis, CA
Comments:I had been mulling over buying the Pico S model for close to a year. Well, just by luck, patience paid off and I was one of the first that had made a pledge to their PICO C Kickstarter campaign. When people ask me what a Picobrew is, I explain to them that it's like a Keurig for beer, but with a longer wait time. I am by no means a home brewer. I love beer & would love to be a home brewer. I just don't have the time to do the research and educate myself the process for brewing beer from scratch. This is why the Pico C is great for someone like myself. It's completely fool proof and extremely easy to use. I have brewed an IPA, Double IPA and a Lager. Each beer has turned out great. I would highly recommend the Pico C for anyone that loves beer!!! Not to mention the impeccable service I have received from Picobrew! Cheers!!!!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Awesome Brewing Machine!
by:CRA (11-21-2017)
New York, NY
Comments:I have brewed beer in the past, but as any home brewer knows, it is a very laborious process that requires tons of equipment. I recently moved to Manhattan and had to "downsize" my brewing equipment because of my limited space.

The Pico C intrigued me due to its compactness and ease of brewing, so a month ago, I purchased the Pico C.

Since I received the Pico C, I have brewed the Helle’s Lager and the Elysian Dragon’s Tooth Stout. The brew time took approximately 2 hours and the Pico C was extremely easy to set-up, use, and clean. Both beers turned out awesome! I had a few friends stop by for a “taste-test” and they could not believe the taste and quality of the beers.

I know PicoBrew spent a lot of time with the research and development of the Pico C, and it shows! The Pico C is truly the best brewing system for home brewers who don’t want to spent hours in the kitchen monitoring temperatures and adding ingredients.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Not perfect but still pretty awesome
by:Dave (11-21-2017)
Tucson, AZ
Comments:I've had my Pico model C for a few weeks and just started my 3rd batch of beer. Overall it's exceeded my expectations. When my unit arrived the serving keg was dented, but Pico immediately sent a new one when I told them (and the old one's still usable, just a bit harder to clean). Setup and initial cleaning was easy. Pico's online documentation is good; they have some videos as well that were helpful but not 100% needed. It uses a LOT of distilled water. Each batch takes several jugs. The brewing process is automated for the most part; it was noisier than I expected, though. The first batch of beer I brewed was far better than I expected. When one of my friends started homebrewing I remember his first batch tasting like skunkwater. I brewed the Helles Lager that they included and I really enjoyed it. I've ordered the Rouge Dead Guy Ale PicoPack to be able to do a taste-off between a 6-pack and a PicoPack. After I finished the batch and went to clean the keg, though, came the one real annoyance...there's a small plug that you have to shake out of the keg after removing the dispensing bung. It took at least 10 minutes of frustrated shaking before I could get the darn thing out. I'm expecting that they'll keep refining the product but I'm still extremely satisfied with my Pico.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great Home Brewing System!
by:Falls Bob (11-21-2017)
Milwaukee
Comments:I've now brewed two batches of beer with my Pico C and the process was as straight forward and as easy as Pico claims. I've never home brewed before and Pico makes it not only easy, but fun. The instructional videos on the Pico web site are great (they need to finish the rest of them). My Pico C connected to my home internet network and the system display explains each step in the process. The beer was brewed in under 3 hours, you add the yeast the next morning after the brewing keg cools, after 5 or 6 days for fermenting you carbonate it with the provided sugar (everything you need comes in a PicoPak box), and when the carbonation is done the beer is yours to enjoy! I was pleasantly surprised at how good the beer tasted!
I've since ordered four more PicoPaks and have one carbonating now. Great selection of beer to buy. I'd recommended Pico C as a great way to brew your beer at home.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Easy, Efficient, Time Saver
by:ChrisT (11-17-2017)
Seattle, WA
Comments:I received the Pico Pro for Father's Day (my idea), because I was allured by the concept of a self-contained and automated mashing and brewing system that wouldn't take up my entire kitchen and leave a huge mess for cleanup afterwards. I also don't have as much time these days, so the ability to multi-task during the process and not screw something up is a huge plus. I was not disappointed. This means the Pico Pro is great for beginners who want to ease into the process and learn about the basics in a controlled environment (Pico connects to wifi, so the website provides real-time data on where your brew is in the process, very cool), as well as, experienced brewers who, like me, have limited time and/or space (Pico and accessories are kept in cabinets in my kitchen).

There are already several reviews that detail what's included and how it works, so I'll focus on some additional positives - and some of the hopefully future positives. First, the Brew Marketplace is great with tons of established brewery beer recipes in ready to brew PicoPaks. Every time I log in I see a new PicoPaks and Breweries, so I anticipate the selection to keep getting better. The Pico brews in 1.25 GAL batches, so relatively small quantity (about 12-13 beers) but I see this as a positive as it allows you to try new beers frequently - and not waste a bunch of beer if you don't like what you brewed.

If you like to experiment like me, Pico does allow you create your own Freestyle PicoPak, by selecting your grains, hops, and yeast and they'll package it up in the standard PicoPak cartridges ready-to-brew, which is a great concept. The only minor downside is ingredients are somewhat limited (compared to a brew store) and you can't use Pico Pro to brew on your own outside of having a custom Pico Pak made (Pico scans a tag on the PicoPak to determine what's being brewed). As popularity and sales of Pico grows, I would expect them to gain some economies of scale and offer a larger variety of ingredients, so not too concerned about that, particularly as there are numerous styles that can be created today. As for not being allowed to source your own ingredients outside of a PicoPak, it would be great if Pico could find a way to offer lower-cost experimentation (empty "blank canvass" cartridges, etc.), but to be fair, there is real value and quality with the pre-packaged Paks - and they already have a product that does this ("Zymatic").

All-in-all, Pico has kept their promise and I've had a lot of fun and brewed some pretty darn good beer. Oh, and they have a great, responsive support team.

Only time will tell what Pico will to add to their product portfolio and Pico Pro capabilities (via software updates), which is part of the excitement, as I have no doubt it will be great things from a company with innovation at their core and a great set of established products.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.