Pico C - Craft Beer Brewing Appliance Reviews

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Pico C - Craft Beer Brewing Appliance Reviews

Average Customer Rating:
(5)
(based on 36 reviews) 
easy to use and a great marketplace
by:jeremy480 (12-09-2017)
san francisco, ca
Comments:I was an early backer of the PICO Model C on Kickstarter and I can definitely say the wait was worth it.

So far I have brewed two batches of beer and am working on my third. While the instructions are straightforward, brewing for the first time can be a little overwhelming because you want to make sure you do everything properly considering the time that needs to be invested in waiting for the beer to ferment and carbonate. But if you follow the directions everything should work out great.

I like that right before the brewing process you can make minor tweaks to the beer such as increasing or decreasing alcohol content and the ability to monitor the status via the web is a nice touch. The first batch I brewed was the Helles Lager that came with the kit and the beer tasted great. My only complaint is the serving keg lost its carbonation within two days of opening it even though I was sure I sealed everything properly. I decided to invest in a stainless steel keg with CO2 dispensing tap that can be sealed better which solved that problem.

One of my favorite things about this system is the BrewMarketplace where you can customize your own beer. Buying something off the shelf is great, but being able to tailor a beer exactly the way you want is one of the purposes of brewing at home, in my opinion, and it\'s done very well.

On a side note, make sure you have good ventilation during the brewing process of your house is going to smell like a brewery!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great addition to a home brewery!
by:Chris the C (12-07-2017)
Northern, VA
Comments:I received my Pico Brew C a few weeks ago and have already brewed a few batches of fantastic beer. I have been brewing beer for almost a decade and have used a variety of home brew setups from 1 to 5 gallons. With that in mind, I knew the video made it seem a lot easier than it probably was but I was willing to give it a shot. I am very glad that I did. Overall I am very happy with the build quality and operation of the device. The instructions were clear and I think anyone without experience would likely brew great tasting beer with little hassle. I highly recommend this to anyone who is serious about brewing a variety of small batches on a regular basis.

The Great.
The beer is excellent with just a little extra effort and that is the most important part.
The cleaning routines do a great job cleaning the machine and hoses.
Racking is easy and I now dread bottling when I brew beer any other way.
The instructions on the machine are clear and you will only need to read the instructions once or twice.
The Pico C is reasonably sized and looks good on the counter.


The Other.
It definitely isn’t as quick and easy as it is in the video. You need to really focus on cleaning the components that are removable.
You will likely need two different storage locations. One for fermentation and another cooler one for storage during carbonation.
I really don’t like the cooling instructions. I modified my wort chiller to cool water in a 10 gallon pot where I just drop the keg in but that could certainly be improved. Leaving your keg out for 24 hours seems a bit risky and the keg is extremely hot with the wort in it.
I am not a huge fan of the brew keg and would have preferred the ball lock style of the other pico brews but I understand why they chose this route and it seems to work well.
Cleaning the serving keg is kind of a pain if you don’t clean it out immediately so always do that.
If you choose to carb with the provided sugar in the pico packs, I would recommend boiling it with some filtered water.
You will need a lot of filtered water. Having a reverse osmosis set up would be very beneficial.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
It is so easy to make your own beer!
by:Frugal George (12-01-2017)
Jacksonville, Florida
Comments:Have you ever wanted to brew your own beer but didn't want the hassle or commitment to all the stuff to be a home brewer?
The PicoBrew is you answer!
Instead of having to go outside with an open flame and try to make 5 gallons of something you may not like, PicoBrew has made brewing beer almost as easy as making a pot of coffee.
The PicoBrew is self contained and easily fits on your counter.
It automatically detects the beer type from the Pico Pak and you can adjust the subtle flavor of the beer.
From brewing that takes around 3 hours, to fermenting (1 to 2 weeks) and then adding CO2 (like the ones for paint guns), you will have your own brewed beer.
There is a large variety of flavors of beers through the pico brew.com site. You can even create your own recipe.
I have been brewing for many years and there are times in which you want to do something easy & quick. That is the perfect time for Pico Brew C.
I have been using my Pico brew since it was launched via the Kickstarter. I love the ease and the quick clean up.
You make your beer cheaper than the craft 4 pack in the stores at 10 or 12 bucks.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great Way to Brew
by:ML (11-30-2017)
Hartford, CT
Comments:I've been brewing beer for nearly 7 years. My experience includes extract and all-grain recipes from 1 to 5 gallon batches. My goal in purchasing the Pico C was to frequently brew a variety of beer in small batches with consistent results while reducing my equipment footprint. The Pico C exceeds that goal. Setup and registration was a breeze. Installing the gasket for the first rinse was a little challenging but made sense once it was installed right. The entire brewing process was simple. I read the manual to prepare then followed the on-screen instructions. Total time required before and after brew cycle was under 30 minutes. Fermentation was the most foreign part of the process since I'm used to an airlock to help monitor progress. Not having instructions for recommended temperature and duration for a lager was less than ideal. The only problem I've seen with the Pico C is the lack of documentation. There's plenty of room for improvement in the manual and videos. Fortunately PicoBrew has excellent customer service. Don't hesitate to contact them.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Hands-on with my new PicoC
by:Kozmokatz (11-29-2017)
Orlando, FL
Comments:I’ve made a lot of homebrew in the past. Some brews were really good and some were really bad. It’s very difficult to precisely control the temperatures that need to be quickly reached and maintained using a propane burner on the back porch. Plus it filled up my only day off.

Enter PicoC. Got mine almost a month ago and have brewed 3 batches so far. It’s a completely automated countertop brewer that makes 5 liter batches. Perfect size for me and fits into the fridge. Brewing instructions are complete and simple to follow. Load in the PicoPak, connect up the supplied brewkeg and hit start. The brewer is connected to WiFi and completely automatic so I can follow the entire process on phone or iPad. Takes a couple of hours start to finish. Clean up is as easy and automatic as brewing. Load in some water, select rinse, hit start. Pico, if you’re listening, adding an alert function would be a welcome feature to have.

The Pico folks have a large selection of ingredient PicoPaks available in all beer styles. It’s also possible to create your own recipe by selecting grains and hops you like in amounts of your choice. Make it as sweet or as hoppy as you want, also controlling %alcohol. The Pak comes with everything needed to complete a batch, a couple of containers that get placed into the brewer tub. The hardest part of the whole process is keeping your hands off your fermenting and conditioning beer until it’s finished!

So how’s the beer? So far very good, easily as good as the best I’ve been able to do on my back porch. Favorite so far, Hotzenplotz amber lager. If I’m picky, the serving keg seems to be lightweight with plastic stopper and spigot that may not be up to what I’m going to task them with doing. But then looks like some upgrade bits are available from the Pico shop.

Bottom line I’m a happy home brewer and there’s a keg in the fridge!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great for Experienced Homebrewers Too!
by:Steve (11-29-2017)
Ohio, USA
Comments:I have had my PicoBrew Model C for a few months now and I love it. I have been homebrewing for over 20 years and cleaning up after a long brew day is my least favorite part of the process and the Pico C automates all of that!

I have done 4 batches so far. Each batch makes about a gallon of beer or a little over a twelve pack. That is enough to keep the beer flowing but I do wish the batch size was a little bigger.

My results have been outstanding though! I lagered a fabulous Helles and have an Imperial Stout on tap now that is rich and wonderful.

There are about 100 different beers available to brew or you can design your own recipe with the FreeStyle online PicoPak creator. There you can start with some base recipes and tweak them as you like or start completely from scratch and invent your own creation.

Homebrewing the traditional way is time consuming and hard to fit into a busy life with kids. The Pico C took me from a couple of brew days a year to a regular brewer once again.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great for Experienced Homebrewers Too
by:TopRowSeat (11-29-2017)
Twinsburg, OH
Comments:As a homebrewer since 1993 I had been aware of PicoBrew for a while but never pulled the trigger. I finally got in on their latest Kickstarter for the PICO Model C and have been brewing with it. Traditional homebrewing is an all-day affair and with work and kids and all that I found that I rarely had time to brew anymore. The PICO Model C has fixed that. I can start a brew,go play with the kids and come back later for the next step. It lets me brew without consuming an entire Saturday.

If you are a homebrewer you know that cleanup is the most annoying part. This thing cleans itself easily in just a few minutes. It's genuinely amazing! So many hours I spent scrubbing brew pots and carboys. Now I start a cleaning cycle, put the fermenting keg in the dishwasher and go watch TV. My least favorite part of brewing is done.

They have over 100 beers to choose from or you can make your own recipe on their website and make just about anything you want to try. I made a pretty stellar Helles and tried making Kombucha for the first time. It's foolproof. Whether you've been brewing for 24 years or this is your first tentative step, you can do this.

Now, rather than brewing once or twice a year when I can find time I always have a keg of homebrew ready to go.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great Way to Brew
by:ML (11-29-2017)
Hartford, CT
Comments:I've been brewing beer for nearly 7 years. My experience includes extract and all-grain recipes from 1 to 5 gallon batches. My goal in purchasing the Pico C was to frequently brew a variety of beer in small batches with consistent results while reducing my equipment footprint. The Pico C exceeds that goal. Setup and registration was a breeze. Installing the gasket for the first rinse was a little challenging but made sense once it was installed right. The entire brewing process was simple. I read the manual to prepare then followed the on-screen instructions. Total time required before and after brew cycle was under 30 minutes. Fermentation was the most foreign part of the process since I'm used to an airlock to help monitor progress. Not having instructions for recommended temperature and duration for a lager was less than ideal. The only problem I've seen with the Pico C is the lack of documentation. There's plenty of room for improvement in the manual and videos. Fortunately PicoBrew has excellent customer service. Don't hesitate to contact them.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
How to get your Husband brewing again
by:gatsby88 (11-27-2017)
Memphis, TN
Comments:My husband has been home brewing his own beer since were students at Auburn. Home-brewing beer was actually still illegal in Alabama and Mississippi. He has brewed beer for himself, our wedding and friends weddings ever sense. He has used many different equipment set-ups and brewed for competitions and loves the entire process. I noticed in the past year he had been brewing less and that he was trying to find ways to make his brewing process as easy as possible to fit into our busy life-style. When I saw the PICO C I ordered it immediately. WE LOVE IT. He has brewed Stouts, Porters, IPAs and even a free Kombucha pack that came with the machine. He loves how easy it is to use and how easy it is to clean everything! (The most important and worst part of any brew-day is cleaning.) The brewing process is bullet-proof because the system is fully automated. Insert your PICO pack in the machine and the PICO uses wi-fi and RFID tech to identify which pack you have inserted. Then It downloads the brewing steps using the wifi! All you have to do is make sure everything is clean, full of water and connected. Press start and go enjoy time with your family or watch tv! He has brewed 6 packs already and has greatly enjoyed being able to pick Packs from breweries he has never heard of or tried. We both have loved the ability to use the PICO C for sous vide cooking too (Best steaks and eggs Benedict ever!). He only has two complaints. First, yes, compared to normal home-brewing, beers brewed with the PICO are simply more expensive. However, he thinks that the convenience and accuracy of the machine helps make up for that. Homebrewing a batch of beer yourself is cheaper...unless you mess up and have to throw that batch down the drain. With the PICO, it doesn't look like that will ever be a problem. Second, he wants to have more options to create his own recipes. PICO does have a Pack builder called the "free-style" and it does let you choose all the ingredients that go into the pack, but the selection is very limited. Over-all we are extremely happy with the purchase and the beer it makes. He has especially liked the Max Nix Porter!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Excellent for long time homebrewers too!
by:TopRowSeat (11-24-2017)
Twinsburg, OH
Comments:As a homebrewer since 1993 I had been aware of PicoBrew for a while but never pulled the trigger. I finally got in on their latest Kickstarter for the PICO Model C and have been brewing with it. Traditional homebrewing is an all-day affair and with work and kids and all that I found that I rarely had time to brew anymore. The PICO Model C has fixed that. I can start a brew,go play with the kids and come back later for the next step. It lets me brew without consuming an entire Saturday.

If you are a homebrewer you know that cleanup is the most annoying part. This thing cleans itself easily in just a few minutes. It's genuinely amazing! So many hours I spent scrubbing brew pots and carboys. Now I start a cleaning cycle, put the fermenting keg in the dishwasher and go watch TV. My least favorite part of brewing is done.

They have over 100 beers to choose from or you can make your own recipe on their website and make just about anything you want to try. I made a pretty stellar Helles and tried making Kombucha for the first time. It's foolproof. Whether you've been brewing for 24 years or this is your first tentative step, you can do this.

Now, rather than brewing once or twice a year when I can find time I always have a keg of homebrew ready to go.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Quality homebrew made easy
by:Tony (11-23-2017)
Salt Lake City, UT
Comments:I'm a newcomer to the world of homebrewing, but love being able to create my own beer at home. I'd been using a basic starter kit from Mr. Beer, but was never really satisfied with the quality of the beer it produced. Therefore, when I saw a news article about the PicoBrew C Kickstarter I was very interested. The combination of fresh ingredients being packaged up into Pico Packs which then allow you to brew authentic craft brewery recipes at home is really powerful, combining that with an appliance that makes this process incredibly simple made my decision to jump into the Kickstarter campaign a no-brainer.

I'm just finishing up my first beer brewed with the Pico C and any I'm happy to report that the results are living up to my hopes and expectations. The Helles Lager from Lucky Envelope Brewing came out crisp and smooth, much better than my best efforts using the other system. I'm sure that as I learn more about home brewing, the beer from my Pico will only continue to get better.

The Pico C walks you through the process of brewing, making it absolutely simple. The brewing takes a couple of hours to complete, and you can track the progress of your brewing online. The only minor gripe I have is that the unit is pretty noisy while brewing, closer to a vacuum cleaner than a microwave. It's not a major problem at all, but be prepared when you fire up a brew cycle.

I'm really excited for my second set of beer, which is currently carbonating, and then sampling a bunch of the other available recipes from PicoBrew's Brew Marketplace. There's plenty of recipes to satisfy any desire, and I plan to try out many different breweries and styles. Eventually, I may even try out creating my own recipe but for now am totally comfortable leaving things in the hands of the experts that PicoBrew has made available to me.

If you're someone who wants to jump into home brewing without a lot of mess or fuss, Pico C is a fantastic solution, providing great craft brew made fresh. Highly recommended.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Perfect "Low Effort" Brewing
by:Alec (11-23-2017)
Orlando, Fl
Comments:To start with, I want to address one of the most frequent criticisms I see with this machine: it takes all of the craft out of brewing, and doesn't teach you anything about the process. I'm going to wholeheartedly disagree with this. I compare the Picos to my slow cooker. The difference between the recipes I put in the slow cooker and when I cook stovetop are miniscule, just sometimes I really do not have the smallest desire to monitor what I'm making as it cooks, and frankly that's my least favorite part of cooking. I like playing with ingredients and proportions, and honestly I love cleaning less junk. The Pico is perfect for all of that.

The short of it is that the machine delivers exactly as promised: you insert the pack and water, you press go, out comes your wort. Cool however you prefer, pitch your yeast, and ferment. The provided decal to monitor fermentation temperature has worked well for me to keep my beer in range during the process and seems reasonably accurate to my thermometer readings as well. Racking is, again, absolute cake, and cask conditioning is no problem.

The quality of beer I've produced so far has been exactly what I expected. It tastes good and fresh, I've had no off flavors, and the batch size is absolutely perfect for our consumption at home. To boot, if you buy two packs at once, shipping is free, so the pricing does not work out badly at all! I've read some horror stories on the homebrew forums on off flavors that crop up during fermentation, but from my experience alone I can't say I've had this happen. Of course, in the few steps you do need to be involved in (sanitizing, temperature monitoring for pitching and fermentation, even crashing) there is a lot of room for user error if you don't pay attention. But being that I wanted my first solo home brews to be perfect, I was probably overzealous in these stages, and mine turned out without a hitch.

My second beer was a custom pack that I designed on my own, which is my absolute dream. No painstaking measurements, no traveling to multiple stores to find the ingredients I want, just write it up and it shows up at your door. Here's the kicker though. If you want it to taste how you want, you still have to learn how styles work, how fermentation temperature can affect the other flavors you may want (I, for example, had to fine tune my temperature for some ester production that I actually needed to occur), and you better be careful with those hands on steps I mentioned above. Still as easy as advertised in regards to the process of brewing itself, but now I got to put my flair into it. Best part? Still mostly hands off, right down to the clean-up.

The machine definitely could use some add-ons, which is where my one star knock down comes from. If you don't want to rack into the mini keg, the machine won't help you out. I would love to see an update to the current program and a bottle-filler add-on to the fermentation keg that allows me to bottle as well. I know that this is about fresh brew, but sometimes storing and transporting a bottle is just plain easier. I would also love to see an option for a "re-usable" pico pack, or a filter insert that allows you to put your own grain and hops into the machine. Pico's selection of ingredients is very satisfying for now, and since I first joined their website they have already added more options, so I am not so much worried about variety, but proportions for custom packs are somewhat limiting. The smallest proportion of barley allowed by their production right now is still mountains more than I need to attempt to clone one of my favorite beers from afar, Four Peak's Kilt Lifter. Plus, as people get more and more into brewing with these machines, I think a lot of folks like myself may really want to get into the nitty gritty of measuring themselves, and I am hopeful that this will eventually be added on by the time I'm adventurous enough to want this.

In summary, she performs as advertised. It's easy to use, easy to clean, and makes good quality beer if you put in your part of the work. Maybe some new things could be added down the line to make it even better, but for now I'm absolutely thrilled to have gotten in on the product
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Your Home Wants One
by:Chris (11-23-2017)
San Diego, CA
Comments:I'll start this review by saying I'm new to home brewing, but I have many friends who are experienced home and commercial brewers. I also live in San Diego, so there is no shortage of excellent local breweries (and beer snobs). Finally, I'll state the main reason why I haven't been brewing yet is that I'm incredibly lazy. I backed this project on Kickstarter with the intention of eliminating my excuses and objections, and to stop leeching homebrew from my friends.

THE GIST: The Pico has fulfilled it's promise to deliver a simple, easy-to-use appliance that makes great tasting beer.

THE GOOD: If you can pour water and follow simple instructions, you CAN do this. The machine walks you through all of the steps with clear instructions, and really does do all the work for you. So while my home brewing friends have to set aside an entire day as a "brew day", I can pop in a PicoPak, turn on a movie, and have completed wort ready to cool by the time the credits are rolling. There's no fussing over temperatures, messing with grains or extracts, scalding yourself with boiling hot wort, or cleaning and sanitizing giant stainless vessels.

Speaking of cleaning, the machine cleans itself. For real. Add water, hit a button, and walk away. The brew keg gets put in the dishwasher. It really is that simple.

And the beer? Well, so far I've only completed one pak, the Helles Lager from Lucky Envelope Brewing, but my friends argued with me that I couldn't have made this on "that machine" with "that yeast" at "that temperature". And they were surprised at the quality of the beer that had not been "properly lagered" for months. Needless to say, they were impressed... even the bearded beer snob hipsters.

THE BAD: This machine isn't going to kickstart your career in the brewing industry, or allow you to open your own brewery. It's not really going to save you money, and you'll probably put on some extra pounds from drinking all that beer. Joking aside, this machine makes small batches. The 5 Liter mini-keg goes quickly when you have a group of eager beer-swilling friends over. But the intention here isn't quantity. It's quality and variety. A lazy guy like myself can choose from a hundred different styles of beer, and make them almost as easy as popping a Blu-ray into the player.

You're going to need to learn patience. It takes two to three weeks (sometimes more) from brewing to drinking. So while it's very easy, it still takes some planning if you want to have a batch ready for an event. There really isn't a magic bullet here... fermentation is still a natural process that takes time, and no matter how much you salivate over the beer locked inside that keg, you'll still have to wait until it's done to drink it. My second batch is carbonating now, so I'm trying not to drool on the keyboard as I type.

There's a great selection of PicoPaks (100 and counting!), and more being added all the time. You can even design your own, and try those recipes your friends keep saying will make them famous. But then again, there are only so many ingredients to choose from. The Freestyle PicoPak designer on the website is very cool and easy to use, but ultimately your're restricted to the grains, hops and yeasts that PicoBrew makes available. You can't just go to your local homebrew shop, buy some exotic ingredients and experiment with complete freedom. Maybe there will be a reuseable, fillable PicoPak in the future, but there isn't one today. And so far that I have seen, you can't add adjuncts or flavorings like coffee, spices or fruit in the designer. That being said, I remember buying a Keurig coffee maker when they first came out, and only had a dozen or so coffee flavors, so I'm confident that it will only grow and improve as the ecosystem matures.

My last and only real gripe with the machine is that it is quite loud. It reminds me of that first Keurig brewer I had... it's a constant purring and humming throughout the brewing process, almost like a lawnmower idling outside. I solved this by putting the Pico in my dining room, so I could hear that movie playing...

THE FINALE: I had to really think hard to come up with issues for the Pico C. Realistically, the bad is minimal compared to how great it is to make something even your twirly-mustachioed friends will raise an eyebrow in approval for.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great for experienced Homebrewers too
by:TopRowSeat (11-23-2017)
Ohio
Comments:As a homebrewer since 1993 I had been aware of PicoBrew for a while but never pulled the trigger. I finally got in on their latest Kickstarter for the PICO Model C and have been brewing with it. Traditional homebrewing is an all-day affair and with work and kids and all that I found that I rarely had time to brew anymore. The PICO Model C has fixed that. I can start a brew,go play with the kids and come back later for the next step. It lets me brew without consuming an entire Saturday.

If you are a homebrewer you know that cleanup is the most annoying part. This thing cleans itself easily in just a few minutes. It's genuinely amazing! So many hours I spent scrubbing brew pots and carboys. Now I start a cleaning cycle, put the fermenting keg in the dishwasher and go watch TV. My least favorite part of brewing is done.

They have over 100 beers to choose from or you can make your own recipe on their website and make just about anything you want to try. I made a pretty stellar Helles and tried making Kombucha for the first time. It's foolproof. Whether you've been brewing for 24 years or this is your first tentative step, you can do this.

Now, rather than brewing once or twice a year when I can find time I always have a keg of homebrew ready to go.
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
Great for the first-time brewer!
by:DarylS (11-22-2017)
Kansas
Comments:
Just tapped my first brew from my PicoBrew Model C that I got thru their Kickstarter program. It's Helles Lager that came with the promo. It's better than I expected. I can't wait for my second brew to finish fermenting.
I'm a longtime craft beer drinker, but first time brewer. The PicoBrew C was easy to set up and start brewing. It takes a fair amount of distilled or reverse osmosis water, which fortunately I had on hand.
The brewing is so simple and the directions are easy to follow. I did receive an error code, but the customer service guy got me up and going again quickly. I like that it monitors what's happening and lets you know when something isn't right. There's also the ability to monitor the process on the PicoBrew website.
Cleanup is easy as most parts are dishwasher safe. And PicoPaks are compostable.
I've been watching PicoBrew for a couple of years and was thrilled they came out with the affordable model C. I really like to sample microbrews, but until now I've been left with a rather limited local market. With my PicoBrew C I can make over 100 of the best beers out there and enjoy them at home.
Plan on 2-3 weeks from brew to beer. It's worth the wait!
Bottom Line:I would recommend this product.
 
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.