CNET First Look
PicoBrew Pico Model C makes automatic beer brewing almost easyThe Model C is a simplified and affordable brewing robot, but it's still not a great fit for casual beer drinkers.
[MUSIC] I love the idea of an automatic beer brewing robot and right now, the $400 PicoBrew Pico Model C is the closest approximation we have to that drink. Like most drinks, Harsh realities get in the way of perfection, so I'm not going to recommend the Model C to most beer-lovers or home-brewers. But let's start with the good stuff. So this is Stargazer IPA from Rooftop Brewing in Seattle, and it's delicious. It's an example of PicoBrew at its best because I wouldn't normally have access to that beer around me in Kentucky. But through Peek A Brew's website I order these things called peekapaks. They're twenty five, thirty bucks. They brew up five liter of beer and Peek A Brew offers them from breweries all over the country and all over the world. For home brewers, one thing to keep in mind is that you're not actually brewing. You hit a button. So, this machine won't even teach you to home brew Brew. After the beer cooks for a couple of hours you let it sit overnight to cool then add yeast, then you need to let it sit for a few days while your beer ferments, then again while it carbonates. Lot's of things can go wrong during that time. So this is the Cezanne we made in the PicoBrew. [BLANK_AUDIO] And it's flat. The Cezanne under the carbonation issue is fine, but. PicoBrew for the most part leaves you on your own for fermentation and carbonation. What went wrong here is this is the second time we've used the serving keg and the seal didn't hold properly. And so when you wait a couple weeks for a beer and it isn't very good, that's pretty disappointing. Especially because PicoPaks cost $25. That's like 14 bottles of beer. So you're not actually saving that much money from batch to batch. So the Model C is the best fit for avid beer lovers who want to try beers from small local outfits from all over the world. I do recommend it if that sounds appealing. But one last reality to keep in mind. You still have to do a lot of careful cleaning and sanitizing to get the beer right. Finally, this is a Mexican dark lager. [MUSIC] That it's bad, straight up bad. Something went wrong in the brewing process. And the thing is it might have been my fault. I might not have properly sanitized something that caused the beer to get infected. But that just shows that PicoBrew, while it's better Now and while it's easier to use, it's still not fully foolproof. So I don't generally recommend the model C for home brewers or casual beer drinkers or folks looking for something as simple as a Keurig for beer. On the plus side, it's a more genuine process than doing something like And brewing from concentrate. But on the downside, it requires more know how and attention to detail to get things right. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]