PicoBrew, maker of the world’s first line of automated craft beer brewing appliances, launched the PicoBrew Z Series, their first professional-grade, all-grain brewing appliance line.
The Z Series is targeted at restaurants, bars, brewpubs and craft breweries interested in producing small batches of custom craft beers and kombucha, but is also perfect for avid homebrewers seeking greater precision and repeatability and larger batch sizes. The Z Series brewing appliances are available for pre-order at special discount pricing and will begin shipping in July 2018.
The new Z Series builds on the pioneering technology created in 2013 for the award-winning PicoBrew Zymatic, the world’s first all-grain brewing appliance, and extends it with a blend of unique, data-center-industry inspired functionality to produce a family of modular, scalable brewing appliances. The upgraded fluid distribution and heating components work together with the new modular, rackable and stackable chassis components to create truly scalable brewing solutions. The new Z Series features stainless-steel, heavy-duty components and was designed with simplified maintenance in mind. The Wi-Fi-connected appliances can be used to create recipes that run brewing cycles with precise control over temperature, fluid flow and timing, or brewers can download and run existing recipes from PicoBrew’s extensive recipe library.
The Z Series gives brewers the capability to produce between 1 to 10 gallons of beer at a time, with each model increasing the output by 2.5 gallons. Special pre-order pricing will be offered until March 15th:
Z1 produces up to 2.5 gallons per brew cycle (MSRP $2,500, Pre-Order for $1,499)
Z2 produces up to 5 gallons per brew cycle (MSRP $4,000, Pre-Order for $1,999)
Z3 produces up to 7.5 gallons per brew cycle (MSRP $6,000, Pre-Order for $2,999)
Z4 produces up to 10 gallons per brew cycle (MSRP $8,500, Pre-Order for $3,999)
The pro-grade Z Series features upgraded components suitable for professional use in high-duty-cycle environments where up-time matters. Its modular design allows brewers to scale batch sizes to meet their needs, from small experimental batches to more cost-effective production quantities.
“I’m super excited about the Z Series. It has the flexibility to let me brew pilot batches up to 10 gallons with the potential to sell them in my tasting room,” said Barry Chan, co-founder and brewmaster at Seattle’s Lucky Envelope Brewing.
“We have heard the demand for larger brewing-volume solutions from our customers loud and clear,” said Dr. Bill Mitchell, CEO of PicoBrew. “After almost 2 years of experimentation and prototyping, we arrived at the Z Series: a modular solution that can meet the needs of advanced homebrewers, bar and restaurant owners and pro-brewers alike.”
Ron Zimmerman, proprietor of The Herbfarm restaurant and early adopter of the Zymatic, looks forward to the increased capacity of the Z Series and to sharing his recipes with beer fans worldwide: “Over time, the Zymatic has led me all over the beer world, through styles, ingredients, and eras. I’ve particularly enjoyed exploring the near-forgotten flavors of lost beers, the first of which was my Franklin’s Old Ale. For all-out versatility, nothing beats the infinite grain bills, hop additions, and mash schedules of the Zymatic,” Zimmerman said.
In addition to brewing with loose grains and hops, the Z Series appliances can also brew PicoPaks, biodegradable recipe packs that come filled with the water amendments, grains and hops needed to brew craft beers from more than 200 breweries around the world (To see the current selection of PicoPaks, visit the PicoBrew BrewMarketplace).
PicoBrew Network for Homebrewers
PicoBrew also announced today the launch of the PicoBrew Network (PBN) for Homebrewers. “The PBN program together with PicoBrew’s BrewMarketplace enable essentially an ‘AppStore for Beer’,” said Mitchell. Brewers develop recipes on Z Series devices using their own loose ingredients, then follow the PBN portal process to create and publish PicoPaks which other Pico and Z-Series customers can brew. All PBN published brewers earn royalties on their BrewMarketplace sales and receive unique data insights on their customers. The new “Homebrew Beers” store on BrewMarketplace is set to explode as more than 800 homebrewers have already joined the PBN with the intent to publish.
“While we have all probably dreamed of quitting our day jobs and opening a brewery, startup costs and a competitive landscape make this option unworkable for most homebrewers,” said Mitchell. “The PicoBrew Network (PBN) gives homebrewers the opportunity to distribute the beers they create and earn royalties, while PicoBrew does all the work of marketing, manufacturing and fulfilling the Paks.”
“Our record-setting Kickstarter launch of the Pico C last Spring has resulted in thousands of thirsty craft beer lovers constantly foraging for their next great beer on BrewMarketplace,” said Mitchell. “We can’t wait to see how customers of the new Z Series are going to use these innovative all-in-one beer creation and distribution machines to expand their businesses by publishing into this marketplace, and we look forward to meeting the pico-beer millionaire.”
Brew Beyond Beer
PicoBrew has also announced the newest capability of their pro-grade Z Series—the ability to cold brew coffee—cementing the line of automated, rackable appliances as the ideal solution for anyone to conveniently and cost-effectively provide a wide variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages for their customers.
The Z Series’ fluid distribution makes cold brewing coffee, a process that ordinarily takes more than 24 hours, possible in just two hours thanks to active extraction by way of continuous water recirculation. The result is up to two gallons of cold brewed coffee or concentrate, with batch sizes and strength determined by coffee-to-water ratio. Cold brew produced by the Z Series meets the Golden Cup Standard, a set of principles developed by the Specialty Coffee Association of America to outline the ideal efficiency of extraction for a balanced cup of coffee.
“In 2013, when we launched the Zymatic, we maintained our energy by consuming kegs of very low-acid, mellow coffee that brewed on that device. Eight years later, we’ve perfected all types of coffee for the Z Series, especially cold brew, which is enormously popular in our lab. The same processes we use to pull off that great extraction of flavors and aromas from hops and grain, it turns out, produce excellent extraction from coffee beans,” said Jim Mitchell, Co-founder and Chief Science Officer, PicoBrew. “Our Z Series machines are universal liquid processors because of their flexibility to control fluid flow over different ingredient compartments, exquisite temperature control, timing controlled by computer, and more. The Z is really a small batch beverage production facility in a single unit,” he said.