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PicoBrew Z - Any thoughts for a new brewer?

NewBrewer

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Hey All!

I'm brand new here and very new to brewing in general.  I have a lot of interest, but not a ton of time.  I was looking at the different machines from PicoBrew and the newly announced PicoBrew Z caught my attention.  Can anyone share their thoughts on this machine in general and if they think it could be good for someone like me who is interested in brewing, the brewing process, and eventually fine tuning recipes of my own?  I like how the machine is modular and can range from 2.5 gallons to 10 gallons depending on the model selected (but from what I understand you can upgrade later on as well).  I would probably go with the 2.5 gallon model to start if I was to move forward on this piece of equipment.  Here's a link to the PicoBrew Z's page for reference - https://www.picobrew.com/Store/Products/Z

Thanks in advance for any information you can supply!
 

Ck27

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NewBrewer said:
Hey All!

I'm brand new here and very new to brewing in general.  I have a lot of interest, but not a ton of time.  I was looking at the different machines from PicoBrew and the newly announced PicoBrew Z caught my attention.  Can anyone share their thoughts on this machine in general and if they think it could be good for someone like me who is interested in brewing, the brewing process, and eventually fine tuning recipes of my own?  I like how the machine is modular and can range from 2.5 gallons to 10 gallons depending on the model selected (but from what I understand you can upgrade later on as well).  I would probably go with the 2.5 gallon model to start if I was to move forward on this piece of equipment.  Here's a link to the PicoBrew Z's page for reference - https://www.picobrew.com/Store/Products/Z

Thanks in advance for any information you can supply!

It's okay but I would get full all grain much more flexibility
 

NewBrewer

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Hey Ck27,

Thanks for your reply.  When you say "full all grain" are you just referring to the traditional equipment?  From my understanding the PicoBrew Z was a all grain system, is it not?  Do you have user experience with the Zymatic?  I'm assuming the Z will be most similar to the use and feel of that machine.  One of the reasons the Z excites me is that I don't have a ton of free time and I feel it will still let me brew and experiment but cut down the time needed for the process.  I'm also excited that it has a PicoPak adapter as I'd like to create my own PicoPak's at some point in the future.  Thanks again!  Would love to hear others opinions as well.
 

Ck27

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NewBrewer said:
Hey Ck27,

Thanks for your reply.  When you say "full all grain" are you just referring to the traditional equipment?  From my understanding the PicoBrew Z was a all grain system, is it not?  Do you have user experience with the Zymatic?  I'm assuming the Z will be most similar to the use and feel of that machine.  One of the reasons the Z excites me is that I don't have a ton of free time and I feel it will still let me brew and experiment but cut down the time needed for the process.  I'm also excited that it has a PicoPak adapter as I'd like to create my own PicoPak's at some point in the future.  Thanks again!  Would love to hear others opinions as well.

It is but you can't make super high gravity beer, it's expensive and frankly you are limited in hop additions. Honestly you can get better for less money if you wanted my 2 cents. I've seen one in action but I don't own one.

Honestly you could brew faster without the zymatic it's a process. You gotta do a clean cycle and all this extra stuff. And takes more to clean up after.

I think you need to be a physical buisiness to create a pico Pak last I checked .

At least that's what someone told me.
 

Oginme

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Let me start by saying that I do not own an automated brewing system, mostly because I like the process side as well as the recipe side of brewing.

I would recommend that you direct your questions and concerns to Pico Brew as a start.  Get as much information from them, including any customer references they may be willing to give out.  While the Pico Z is an all-grain brewing system, you want to find out just what the limitations are in what it can handle for grain and hop amounts.  You will need to match these up with your goals.

Next, I'd recommend looking at the Pico Z thread on HomeBrewTalk.com (another forum, but much broader based that this one), mostly because the Pico Brew systems have their own recipe system and several users of their other devices that I have talked to don't bother with using other software for brewing.  There you might get another view on the device: the good, the bad, and the ugly -- so to speak.

My own $0.02 on the Pico series, or any other fully automated brewing system is that they do have their limitations but are really useful for people who don't want to invest the time into the actual brewing process and do want to focus on recipe development and/or just making/drinking their own beer.
 

NewBrewer

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Thank you Oginme & Ck27 for both your opinions on the product.  I do have limited time in my schedule unfortunately at this moment in my life which is why the Z sounded good as it semi automates some of the process and from my understanding saved time.  The Pico Zymatic seems to have been the best system for this till possibly the release of their new Z machine.  Others like the Brewie I've read horror story reviews on.  I think they are also about to release a new product and I feel bad for the existing clients as I think many of them still don't have functional machines.
 

Ck27

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NewBrewer said:
Thank you Oginme & Ck27 for both your opinions on the product.  I do have limited time in my schedule unfortunately at this moment in my life which is why the Z sounded good as it semi automates some of the process and from my understanding saved time.  The Pico Zymatic seems to have been the best system for this till possibly the release of their new Z machine.  Others like the Brewie I've read horror story reviews on.  I think they are also about to release a new product and I feel bad for the existing clients as I think many of them still don't have functional machines.

You can buy a robobrew and get just as automated and self contained and frankly be able to do way more brews. You aren't as limited. I would highly recommend looking into robobrew or grainfather systems.
 

NewBrewer

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Thanks for the insight Ck27!  I found this link that may be helpful to others looking at an semi automated system as well - http://www.homebrewing.com/articles/all-in-one-homebrew-comparison-chart/
 

NewBrewer

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Hey All! I'm so excited!

So I just pulled the trigger & bought the new PicoBrew Z! As I went down the rabbit hole doing research I just couldn't stop myself, I know it's a bit of an impulse buy. But it's fully refundable until it ships in July so I figured it was a no brainer to get the discount which expires on March 15th and then do more research.

I got to take advantage of the discount going on and used a coupon code from a forum member (thank you!) to get an extra $50 off. If anyone moves forward I would love for you to use my coupon code KYZ5R ...you'll save $50 and I'll save some money too. I love the community element of saving money on this item!  Also anyone with a Zymatic can exchange their current model for a $600 credit towards any of the Z models

Even though I pulled the trigger and just bought one I would love to still discuss the merits of this machine as I have till July to cancel if I want. Happy Brewing! So excited!

Thanks again for all the input thus far!  :)
 

Ck27

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NewBrewer said:
Hey All! I'm so excited!

So I just pulled the trigger & bought the new PicoBrew Z! As I went down the rabbit hole doing research I just couldn't stop myself, I know it's a bit of an impulse buy. But it's fully refundable until it ships in July so I figured it was a no brainer to get the discount which expires on March 15th and then do more research.

I got to take advantage of the discount going on and used a coupon code from a forum member (thank you!) to get an extra $50 off. If anyone moves forward I would love for you to use my coupon code KYZ5R ...you'll save $50 and I'll save some money too. I love the community element of saving money on this item!  Also anyone with a Zymatic can exchange their current model for a $600 credit towards any of the Z models

Even though I pulled the trigger and just bought one I would love to still discuss the merits of this machine as I have till July to cancel if I want. Happy Brewing! So excited!

Thanks again for all the input thus far!  :)

It's too expensive for what it is but hope you like it.
 

NewBrewer

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Wow... I was down with the flu for over two weeks. That really sucked. Was hoping this feed would have more comments, but it appears to have died :-(  Still interested in picking everyone's brains about their thoughts on the "Z". Either way, I ended up pre-ordering one myself. Anyone else end up doing the same? They keep throwing in all these freebies which is pretty cool. I'm excited to get mine, wish I didn't have to wait till July. They're still 1/2 off for the next 55 hours. Would love to hear more peoples thoughts on the Z or if anyone knows how it's different from the Zymatic.

If you are thinking about picking one up, use this link and save an extra $50
https://www.picobrew.com/Store/Products/Z/?pbref=KYZ5R

Thanks!
 

Ck27

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NewBrewer said:
Wow... I was down with the flu for over two weeks. That really sucked. Was hoping this feed would have more comments, but it appears to have died :-(  Still interested in picking everyone's brains about their thoughts on the "Z". Either way, I ended up pre-ordering one myself. Anyone else end up doing the same? They keep throwing in all these freebies which is pretty cool. I'm excited to get mine, wish I didn't have to wait till July. They're still 1/2 off for the next 55 hours. Would love to hear more peoples thoughts on the Z or if anyone knows how it's different from the Zymatic.

If you are thinking about picking one up, use this link and save an extra $50
https://www.picobrew.com/Store/Products/Z/?pbref=KYZ5R

Thanks!

I got a robobrew Gen 3 now but other than that nothing special. My gen 2 died.

 

Oginme

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Congrats on your purchase!  The Picos I've seen are pretty cool machines and I was impressed by the programming for the recipe options.  I am too much of a 'process person' in addition to my recipe development side to really appreciate these devices, but I will be interested in hearing more about your experiences with it.

 

Kevin58

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I really think that they are not a value for the money. If you have bought one already I am sorry but I think you could have spent less and found a better system that is still compact and saves time with more flexibility in recipe design.
 

NewBrewer

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What systems are you thinking of?  The Pre-Order is fully refundable until they ship in July.  I'm curious to hear your thoughts.  Thanks!
 

raymillsus

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I am a brand new brewer as well. I have brewed 2 batches and doing number 3 today. So here is my thoughts. I looked at all of them and bought the Brew-boss. I felt that brew-boss gave me the most flexibility. I brewed one beer that a friend down the street is a master brewer for a brewery. He said that one beer he tried last night (Kolsch) he wants to bottle and submit it for judging. He really believes that this beer could win awards. I am not sure if he is just messing with me or not but it was nice to hear. And the beer is amazing. I can tell you I did watch a movie while brewing with the tablet in my lap. So what set this apart for me.

1. Fully automated (I have diminishing goals syndrome)
2. Flexibility. I can download any recipe from Beersmith and it will automate it for me in about 25 seconds tops.
3. Easy to clean.
4. I like Nerdy things.
5. Every thing I read the only real knock on it was price. And I found one used so it was a bonus for me. (Even if I could not have found it, I will be honest I would buy new knowing what I do now. but glad I found this at real deal.
6. The beer that it makes is amazing. 
7. Small footprint

What ever you decide
 

sctn4elk

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I've owned a Zymatic since June of 2016, pre-ordered the Z2 (5 gallons) since I've outgrown the smaller 2.5 gallon batches and I want the ability to expand. Great units for what they are, a bit expensive, but right in line with all of the other automated systems. As long as the support team doesn't screw you over, its a great investment.
 
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