View Full Version : For almost $2K this machine will brew your lazy ass a beer.

10-23-2015, 03:03 PM
A little sarcasm in the title... ;-)

There really is a machine coming out that sits on your counter and brews whatever beer your app tells it to. And it's almost 2,000 bucks. (Homebrewing your first batch of beer, however, would only cost you about 100 bucks, after the equipment and raw materials were purchased... it would just mean a lot more rolling up of the sleeves.)

Here's the website: http://minibrew.io/

Just curious what the mead (and beer, and wine, and everything else boozy...) brewing community here thinks about this.

Give me your "IMHO's!" :-D

10-23-2015, 03:38 PM
Two grand buys a lot of real brewing equipment...or beer if you are really lazy. 1.3 gallon batches?! Why bother?

Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:

10-23-2015, 03:39 PM
I make small batches of beer (one and two gallons) and I would love a "set-up" that was far more compact and simple than the one I use but I don't know that I would think about spending $2K on a fermenter. The device reminds me of a bread machine: Not sure that many bread makers view a bread machine as capable of making a loaf 1/10 as good as they can make even their worst days (I make my own bread too) . Part of the pleasure of brewing - and wine and mead making - is being hands on. It is not - I would argue - making exactly the same beer time after time after time. That's for the corporations, not craft brewers.
Certainly, where space is really limited and where time is limited, compact and efficient equipment are no-brainers, but if I want to brew my own, I want to be up to my neck in the process not sitting off to the side watching - that's why I think many brewers of even small batches prefer to brew whole grain rather than extract.This is like Betty Crocker brewing - it uses whole grain but takes out all the fun. Cannot see it being gobbled up by home brewers; bankers and software geeks, who have money to burn, perhaps, but not brewers. My three cents.

10-24-2015, 07:59 AM
They made $40k of a $150k goal in under 2 days. PicoBrew made $661, of a $150k goal. FlowHives make $12 million of a $70k goal. It's been gobbled up by people who want to be home brewers.

Thing is, there are a LOT of people out there who don't have time, inclination, skills, or whatever to be a scratch brewer. Many (possibly most) don't *enjoy* the crafting process. I have a PicoBrew. I love having home brews that I can dial in a recipe and make a new batch of sgain dubh (my current favorite) that tastes like the last batch of sgain dubh. I also love playing with grain and hops ratios to see what new variation or flavor I can make.

I hate spending hours in the kitchen coddling a boil (and cleaning up a boilover) so much that I won't do it. I don't have that kind of time in my life; I need to be doing about 10 other things than brewing a batch of beer that I could run to the store and find an adequate (not necessarily great) substitution for. Brewing beer from scratch with pots and strainers and whole grains and sticky mess is not "fun." Drinking home brews is great fun.

I love having homebaked breads. I know how to make bread from scratch; I did it for years. But I love that my bread machine takes the raw ingredients and turns out a dough that I can then shape and bake. My bread machine gives me back time, so I can be busy and still make home baked breads with my ingredients.

I love good honey, but I also happen to love the hands-on craft of beekeeping. I can lose hours in the apiary working my bees. I don't mind the sweaty bee suit, the stings, fighting propolis, wondering how the hives are doing in the middle of January, I love watching the bees work in the hive and out. It's fun for me.

Most people just enjoy having good, raw honey. They want to be able to turn the tap and have honey flow in to a jar. They don't want to get stung, they don't have inclination to spend hours with their bees. They're Flow Hive people. (Let's set aside whether the Flow Hives deliver on this for the moment -- that's yet to be seen, IMO.) I completely understand that. More power to them. We should have more raw honey available cheaper. We should encourage people to be craft brewers. And bakers.

As far as a product goes, the MiniBrew looks pricey, but it also looks attractive sitting on the counter. For the price, the 1.3 gallon size puts me off -- my ideal batches are about 3 gallons (mead or beer). There is precedence that the technology to make a contained small batch works (PicoBrew). The real question is can these particular innovators be able to mass-produce a machine that has a $2k value? Are they business-savvy as well as brew-savvy? My experience with crowdfunding is that the higher the technical complexity, the greater the chance that you'll end up a disappointed investor.

Chevette Girl
10-24-2015, 05:53 PM
That's the thing, time vs money... how much is your time worth?

I bought a breadmaker once upon a time. Then I learned how to make it myself without the machine. When the machine eventually crapped out, we replaced it with a gently-used almost new one (a friend upgraded to the type with the paddles that drop out during baking), and I still use it. I rarely let it bake the bread itself, but I do quite often let it knead dough for me because I either can't find time or counterspace to do it myself or I've wrecked my shoulder again and it hurts to do it.

I haven't tried beekeeping yet. I may love it or I may be a Flowhive person. Or someone who keeps bees and does the best they can because it's another of the million hobbies I don't have time for but I want the products from it.

I've made extract beers and I find it relatively quick and easy, I don't like hops bitterness so I can be lazy about boil time and temp since I steep the hops after I turn off the heat rather than actually boiling them. So my cheap but lazy ass says something like, how much better will the $2k machine's beer be than my relatively simple recipes that have given me good results?

10-25-2015, 04:49 AM
It's no meet bread maker, it's a thermomix.

I concur with bread making. It kneads a half decent loaf, and the extra kneading takes but minutes.

As for a $2k Brewer. It's the thermomix of the brewing world.
I'm sure it's good, I'm positive it will have fanboys, thing is though, the thermomix even bakes bread.

A bread maker is a useful tool. A thermomix is an extravagant lifestyle choice for anybody but the inner city tiny apartment dwellers.

I feel this Brewer will suit those same folk. IMHO...

10-25-2015, 07:12 AM
"It's no mere bread maker"

10-25-2015, 07:38 AM
There are quite a few brewing devices with different degrees of automation.
I would feel more inclined to get something like the Grainfather (http://www.grainfather.com/). It allows you to brew a reasonably sized batch, you still have the control over the process, but it's more compact than the usual systems. My system is similar, but with a grain bag and without the wort recirculation at the moment. So, it would probably improve things a bit, but I could also improve them in a cheaper way.
Time is the main factor here, I guess. I have more and more difficulty finding the time for an all-grain brew day, so I imagine one of the other devices, like Picobrew (https://www.picobrew.com/) or Brewie (http://brewie.org/), eventually becoming more appealing to me.

10-28-2015, 10:31 AM
For anyone interested in the smaller countertop brewing idea, PicoBrew has a $500 model on Kickstarter. Basically a beer Keurig: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1708005089/pico-craft-beer-at-home

Now that's lazy-ass brewing. ;D

10-28-2015, 03:53 PM
For anyone interested in the smaller countertop brewing idea, PicoBrew has a $500 model on Kickstarter. Basically a beer Keurig: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1708005089/pico-craft-beer-at-home

Now that's lazy-ass brewing. ;D

I am truly attracted to the easiness of beer that brews itself on my counter. I'm human, after all, and who would turn down something like that?

But the reason I choose to brew the old fashioned way (and maybe it's just because I've only been doing this a year, so I have a LOT to learn, and I LIKE learning!...) is because nothing quite compares to that tired, proud feeling of accomplishment when you just bottled a batch you put the time and sweat into, and know that you have a completely hand-crafted product that you can enjoy and share with loved ones. Feels awesome. :-)

10-30-2015, 07:03 PM
Yes but if you're in your 20th year, it sure sounds nice. But as I've said before, Im not brewing any more beer because so many talented and passionate people have decided to go pro and i don't think i could ever live long enough to get tired of trying new craft beers!!

Plus 2000 bones is a lot of beer. 500 is 1/4 of a lot of beer.

200 is a lot of beer too. And it allows me 1800 bucks to spend on mead making equipment.

Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

11-11-2015, 07:02 PM
Ok. I apologize ahead of time for being a dick. I know they put a lot of time, money and effort into bringing the product to market. So, Im sorry.

I just went to the website. I want to slam a shovel into their smug, skinny jean wearing hipster faces.

Ok. Sorry. Really. I'm sure they are super nice guys and I am being completely unfair. ::picks up shovel::

Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.