PicoBrew has been one of the leading companies in the home brewing space, churning out compact countertop appliances that simplify brewing your own beer at home. The PicoBrew Pico U expands that functionality immensely, giving you an appliance that not only brews beer, but makes coffee, tea, dry soda, and a load of other drinks.
Billed as a “universal brewing machine,” the appliance can craft any type of brewed beverage, from beer and kombucha to coffee and tea to everything in between. It’s not really that surprising, considering most brewed beverages are made the same way – you heat water, pour it over the ingredients, and repeat. Done.
The PicoBrew Pico U is a compact countertop appliance that, at its most basic, measures no bigger than a traditional drip coffee machine. With no other accessories attached, it can be used to make 6oz and 12oz servings of either coffee or tea, all while crafting a 48oz serving of coffee, tea, horchata, golden milk, dry soda, and other brewed drinks when used with the included glass pitcher and mini-step filter. Hook it up to the large step filter and the brew keg to make up to 1.3 gallons of cold brew drinks, along with a similar amount of craft beer or kombucha after a bit of fermentation. Do note, using it to make soda will require a separate carbonation machine, as the appliance doesn’t have that function built-in.
As with PicoBrew’s consumer-grade machines, the appliance is designed to work with the outfit’s PikoPaks, a prepackaged set of ingredients for each batch or serving of drinks. According to the outfit, they’ll have hundreds (maybe thousands) of recipes available at launch, complete with a customizable option that lets you order a bespoke combo of ingredients via an online interface.
How does it all work? According to PicoBrew, the Pico U’s biggest asset is precise temperature management and fusion control. Using two temperature sensors and a 1500-watt steam injector heater, the device can take water from the integrated tank and bring it up to any temperature in exact fashion, ensuring the right amount of heat comes in contact with all of your ingredients. Aside from managing the heat, the device makes sure the brewing mixture comes in contact with each layer of ingredient in a precise manner using a multi-flow-manifold that enables second-to-second of what ingredient is infused into the brew. Up to four stages of infusion are available with each recipe, providing the machine the ability to make complex flavors while avoiding overheating of delicate ingredients.
Dimensions are 9 x 13 x 10 inches (width x height x depth) with a weight of 10 pounds, so this is compact to make room on any countertop. Each unit of the brewing appliance comes with a coffee filter basket, a mini-step filter, a 48oz glass bruet, a 1.3-gallon step filter, a 1.3-gallon serving keg, and a 1.9-gallon brewing keg.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the PicoBrew Pico U. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $189.