Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s included in the Pico machine purchase?
Pre-orders will receive:
- The Pico brewing machine
- User manual
- A PicoPak, includes all hops, malt, yeast needed
- A Brewing Keg
- A Serving Keg
- Two (2) Keg Wands
- Keg Cozy
- Keg Seal and Stopper
- Metal Keg Lid
- Serving Keg plug
- Keg brush for cleaning Brewing and Serving Kegs
- Dip tube brush for dip tube cleaning
- Racking Tube for transferring wort from Brewing Keg to Serving Keg
- CO₂ regulator attachment for Serving Keg and a CO₂ Cartridge
- Carbonation Adapter
- Fast Fermentation Adapter
- Fermentation Temperature Decal
- Carbonation Sugar Packet for keg conditioning (natural carbonation)
- Cleaning tablets for deep cleaning
- The Pico brewing machine in Stainless Steel or LTD Black (depending on Rewards tier chosen)
- PicoPak, includes all hops, malt, yeast needed (1-3 depending on Reward tier chosen)
- A Buffalo Sweat Stout PicoPak by Tallgrass Brewing
- Choice of Limited Edition FacePlate Design
- Sous-Vide Adapter
How big is the Pico?
Pico’s dimensions are 16”x12”x13.81” (HxWxD), and it weighs 31.5 lbs, which makes it much smaller than most microwaves on the market. So yes, it should fit nicely right between your toaster and coffee machine!
Is the Pico backed by a warranty?
With the right care and feeding, Pico is designed for years of great service in the home. We are offering a one year limited warranty for all Pico units.
I’m moving and need to update my address?
Navigate to the “Settings” tab in your www.picobrew.com profile (upper right-hand corner of screen, click on your username and then Settings). Any information saved here will be automatically updated in our database.
Can I buy a Brewvana?
Brewvana was a limited-edition Kickstarter-only reward. However, the good news is that we will be selling the stainless steel shelf separately which allows you to fit up to four 1.75 gallon kegs in a kegerator at a time. We do sell the Brew Master Complete bundle which includes a KegSmarts kegerator controller, KegSmarts display unit, 2 KegPlates , 1 KegWarmer cozy, and a KegCo 2-tap kegerator with upgraded Perlick stainless steel faucets, TapRite dual-pressure CO₂ regulator, and a 5lb CO₂ tank. Pico unit is sold separately from the Brew Master Complete bundle.
What voltage does the Pico use?
Voltage: US and Canada units are 110V only. International units will be available in a choice of 110V or 220V. Because of the heating element, voltage selection is fixed at the factory and cannot be modified. 110V units will ship with Type B plugs (standard for US and Canada) 220V units will ship with a choice of several plug types common in most of the rest of the world. (F, G, and I). If you live somewhere with a different plug, you are probably already accustomed to needing an adapter for imported goods.
Brewing on the Pico Questions
How long does it take to brew?
Pico’s brew cycle takes a little over 2 hours to complete, depending on the specific PicoPak recipe. After the brew cycle is finished the beer will need to ferment for up to a week before consumption. From PicoPak to pint the whole process will take approximately up to a week.
What’s the highest ABV I can reach with Pico?
We've produced PicoPaks that produce up to 10% ABV beers.
Are there any beer styles you can not make on the Pico?
No, it is possible for breweries to create PicoPaks for all of the major beer styles. Our brewery partners are indeed making Paks for different styles of beer.
After Brewing Questions
How do I know when my beer is done fermenting?
The fermentation process and its completion are functions of several variables, including: beer wort, time, temperature, aeration, and yeast primarily. We provide you with a Fermentation Temperature Decal that will detail and give guidance on the ideal temperature range for fermentation depending on the beer style you brewed and if you chose to use Fast Fermentation or Standard Fermentation. For Fast Fermentation: To check if fermentation is complete pull up on the Fast Fermentation Adapter pressure release valve once to release pressure inside Brewing Keg. Within an hour, pull up on release valve again. If you hear no rush of escaping CO₂ then your fermentation is completed. If you do hear escaping CO₂ then allow fermentation to continue for another day and attempt again the next day. For Standard Fermentation: To check if fermentation is complete look to see if there is any bubbling activity inside the airlock on top of the Brewing Keg. If no activity, and it's been about 10 days, your fermentation is complete. If there is activity let the beer continue to ferment for a couple more days and check airlock activity again.
How do I transfer/rack my beer from a Brewing Keg to a Serving Keg?
There are two options for transferring or racking your beer:
- Transfer with Pico: This is the best option for someone who doesn’t have prior experience brewing or doesn’t have a spare CO₂ tank and regulator. Simply connect the Pico unit's GRAY Ball Lock Connector hose to the “IN” Brewing Keg post, and the Racking Tube's BLACK Ball Lock Connector to the “OUT” post of the Brewing Keg. Turn on your Pico, scroll to Utilities and press the Control Know, then select “Rack Beer”. Pico will pump air into the Brewing Keg which will force the beer in the Brewing Keg over into the Serving Keg. This process will take roughly 10 minutes to complete. Do not leave the Pico or Brewing Keg unattended while racking beer.
- Transfer with CO₂: If you have a CO₂ tank and regulator with ball lock connection abilities to connect to your Brewing Keg, you can use this to generate the pressure to rack your beer instead and ensure that your finished beer is never exposed to oxygen.
How do I carbonate my beer once it’s fermented?
There are two ways in which you can carbonate your beer:
- Forced Carbonation: Attach the included mini (5g) CO₂ cartridge to your CO₂ regulator, and insert into the carbonation bung in your serving keg. Adjust to 24 psi and let sit in refrigerator for 36 hours.
- Keg Conditioning (Natural Carbonation): Pour provided sugar packet into Serving Keg before racking beer from Brewing Keg. Then, rack beer on top of sugar. Let serving keg sit undisturbed for 7 days, or until fully carbonated. Chill in refrigerator before serving.
How long will my beer stay carbonated after I begin dispensing?
It depends on how you are dispensing. If you are dispensing with a vent plug at the top of the keg, where you have to open the vent plug to let air in, then the beer will stale faster similar in speed to a growler that you open and re-cap. If you are dispensing with a CO₂ system, either a commercial mini kegerator, or party star tap, or our included CO₂ regulator, and there aren’t any leaks in the system, the shelf life could be anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the style.
What accessories will I need in order to pipeline my production of beers and have multiple beers available at the same time?
This will depend on how many beers you want to be brewing, fermenting, and serving all at the same time. You use the Brewing Keg during the brewing session as well as for fermentation process and you can also use the Brewing Keg to serve on draft if you have a kegerator. If you aren't using a kegerator your beer will be served using the included Serving Keg. For example: If you wanted to have 2 beers on tap on your kegerator at any given time, and also be able to ferment a beer and be able to brew on the Pico all at the same time you would need 4 separate Brewing Kegs (2 for on draft beers to connect to kegerator's CO₂ system, 1 for fermenting, and 1 for actual brewing session.)
What accessories will I need in order to dispense my beer using a kegerator?
You will need a kegerator equipped with ball-lock connectors, both on the gas/CO₂ line and the beer line. Most off-the-shelf kegerators come with Sankey connectors but ball-lock connectors may be purchased from homebrew supply stores to convert your kegerator to use ball-locks. You will also need 1 or more ball-lock kegs to use as serving kegs for your kegerator. You can use an additional 1.75 gallon Pico Brewing Keg as a serving keg or you can use off-the-shelf 2.5gallon, 3gallon, or 5gallon ball-lock (Cornelius) kegs for your kegerators.
How much do PicoPaks cost?
Most PicoPaks will be in the $18-30 price range, and the cost is dependent on the ingredients used.
Can I add my own ingredients to Pico?
While you cannot add your own ingredients to Pico, you can create custom PicoPaks using our Freestyle PicoPak generator, which will allow you to select which hops, grains and yeast you’d like, and the amounts of each. We’ll send you your custom PicoPak already pre-packaged and ready to brew.
Can I create and brew my own recipes?
PicoBrew is attempting to strike an ideal balance between beer customization and ease-of-use. Right now there are 3 ways to customize your beer:
- Purchase a PicoPak and customize the bitterness and/or ABV percentage to your preference right before brewing.
- Purchase a Freestyle PicoPak. Our online Freestyle PicoPak crafter allows you select the hops, grains, yeast, and amounts of each. We will then ship your Freestyle Pak to you fully packaged and ready to brew.
- Create your own totally custom PicoPaks by joining the PicoBrew Developers Program. You can develop these PicoPaks using loose ingredients on a Zymatic and then publish them as PicoPaks on BrewMarketplace. PicoBrew takes care of sales, packaging and fulfillment and you earn a commission on each sale of your original PicoPak recipe.
Do you guys make Gluten-Free PicoPaks?
We intend to offer White Labs Clarity Ferm as a choice at checkout with most PicoPaks. Depending on your sensitivity to gluten, this reduction may or may not meet your dietary needs.
What’s the shelf-life of the PicoPaks?
This will depend on the recipe. We are targeting a six-month shelf life. If you are using a recipe with liquid yeast you'll need to take that out of the kit and refrigerate it upon arrival. If you are not going to brew immediately after receiving your PicoPak you should also store the hops in your refrigerator.
How much can I adjust the ABV/IBU of each PicoPak?
It depends on the recipe, but typically within +/- 5% of the original recipe target.
How do I dry-hop my beer?
Each PicoPak that requires dry hopping will come with a Dry Hop Sachet which you’ll drop into your Brewing Keg a few days after you pitched the yeast and fermentation has begun.
Will PicoPaks contain dry yeast or liquid yeast?
Each PicoPak will have a "default" yeast that was chosen by the brewery. Default yeasts can be dry or liquid and in some cases customers will have several yeast options to choose from.
I want my local brewery to make PicoPaks! How can I connect them to you?
That’s awesome! Go ahead and direct them to our Brewery Signup and make sure that they know to select the “I represent a commercial brewery” div. A PicoBrew team member will be in contact with them shortly!
I own a Zymatic. Can I author PicoPaks?
Yes, to get started join our PicoBrew Developers Network (PBN) by visiting PicoBrew.com and clicking on Brewery Signup on the top navigation bar. With the PBN you can develop your own PicoPaks, list them on BrewMarketplace, and start earning royalites! For now the process is: Formulate your recipe on your Zymatic, then "publish" your Pak online. We will then send you a sample PicoPak which you can test brew on the Pico. Once you approve your PicoPak your creation will be listed on BrewMarketplace. We will have a "Pico Simulator" and adapter shortly that will allow you to brew PicoPaks on your Zymatic without a Pico unit as well.
International User Questions
Do you ship Picos internationally?
We do ship Picos internationally. Anyone can pre-order a Pico (and limited accessories) now via our website: https://www.picobrew.com/store/products/PicoDetails.cshtml
I’m an international user, how do I buy PicoPaks and how much does it cost to ship PicoPaks to me?
Currently PicoPak production facilities are based in the US only, so Paks must be shipped to order locations worldwide. We're working on reducing shipping costs. At the same time, we're also working on setting up Pak production facilities in worldwide locations, which should also reduce the net cost of Paks to you.
Will a Pico work outside of the U.S.A?
Yes, a Pico will work outside the U.S! You will need to specify either 110volt or 220volt when ordering your Pico. Voltage: US and Canada units are 110V only. International units will be available in a choice of 110V or 220V. Because of the heating element, voltage selection is fixed at the factory and cannot be modified. 110V units will ship with Type B plugs (standard for US and Canada.) 220V units will ship with a choice of several plug types common in most of the rest of the world. (F, G, and I). If you live somewhere with a different plug, you are probably already accustomed to needing an adapter for imported goods.