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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Push a button and brew

Get organized

Time to brew

Buffalo Sweat

Automatically recognized

Customizable recipes

Turn the slider and change the beer

The brewing keg

Snap in hoses

The valves snap in place

The display

Track your progress

Brewing along

Check your data online

Malt

Hops

Disassemble for cleaning

Keep track of the pieces

Helpful utilities

Ready to pour

Cheers

A brew for you

For $800, the PicoBrew Pico will automatically make beer for you. Order ingredients from PicoBrew's website. They come in sealed packs called PicoPaks, and PicoBrew offers a wide variety of beers from many different microbreweries. PicoPak in hand, put it into the machine and hit start.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Though getting started is relatively simple, using Pico involves a lot of pieces other than the main contraption. Keep the instruction manual handy.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Here's the PicoPak for Buffalo Sweat -- an oatmeal stout from Tallgrass Brewing. We put it into the plastic bin, which then slides into the Pico.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The bin clicks into place once you push it all the way into the machine.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

At that point, the Pico will actually recognize the PicoPak.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You even tinker with the brew based on your preferences.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Using a simple sliding scale, you can make your beer more or less bitter, and even adjust its alcohol content.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You'll need to fill the Pico with distilled water, then attach the brewing keg to get started.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The Pico's valves snap into place on the brewing keg.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

When it looks like this, you're ready to brew.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The display on the Pico will keep you updated on your progress.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The display updates as it goes through the different stages of brewing.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

You'll see the different steps as well as the estimated time remaining on the display.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

You can also monitor your beer's progress online.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Andrew Gebhart/CNET

After the brew, we opened up the PicoPaks and found the ingredients we'd hoped for -- this large pack contains malted grains.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The smaller side pack contains hops.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Between brews, you'll need to disassemble your brewing keg by removing the valves.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Make sure to keep the pieces where you can find them while you clean. Don't lose anything.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

After you brew, you'll need to add yeast and wait for it to ferment, then move your beer to a serving keg and carbonate it. Pico helps with this last step -- called racking -- and includes the ingredients for every step.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

After a couple of weeks, your beer will be fermented and carbonated, and it's ready to drink.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The Pico makes 5L of beer, which roughly equals 14 bottles.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

It might not be as fast a Keurig is for coffee, but the PicoBrew Pico replicates a natural brewing process and offers a wide variety of beers you can brew. You might be able to brew beers with Pico that you wouldn't normally find in your state.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET
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