Monday, May 5, 2014

Episode 20: A spoonful of yeast

A future of homebrewing, but probably not the future of homebrewing
Normally, I'm an all for innovation, gadgets, and bring on the robot masters kind of guy, but I'm conflicted about PicoBrew, an automatic beer brewing machine. Billed as a home brewing appliance, PicoBrew does all the work, requires less cleaning and zero supervision. You dump all the ingredients into the machine and come back a week later for your beer. But unlike every other time saving appliance, it just feels wrong. Maybe it's too romantic a view, but home brewing doesn't seem like a chore people are looking to get out of. Instead, it's something people like to do. They enjoy spending the better part of a day making beer for their friends and themselves, working to make sure they've eliminated as many problems as they can, and dealing with the results. 

In this week's episode, Doug and I discuss the pros and cons of the PicoBrew at length. My argument boils down to "I'm not sure, it seems inauthentic." Whereas his is reasoned out, taking into account people in apartments, and people who want to make their own beer but just don't have the time. At $1,600, no one believes people are going to start chucking their home brew kits because they're inconvenient, and there have been rave reviews about the beer's authenticity, so there's that.
We also discussed the Esquire article about the efficacy of yeast to diffuse alcohol in your system, how the damp may affect your hop rhizomes, if you've got any, and the Big Brew, for which they'll be plenty more posted this week.

If you're interested in being the next call-in guest on the show or you'd like to come in and share a beer with us, email me here, or message me on +State of the Beer. The show's Facebook page is Beer with Strangers and we're "@beerwstrangers" on Twitter.
Finally, and please, consider subscribing on iTunes'cause that way Apple will remind you to listen (your iTunes window will open, don't be afraid).
If you are or know anyone who is interested in taking a brewing basics class (the class is free and lots of fun) have them reserve a space here. Taking a class is the best way to figure out whether homebrewing is for you. Many people take several before trying on their own at home.