Over the past several years, companies like Angry Orchard or 2 Towns Ciderhouse have revolutionized the craft cider industry, but unlike beer, there existed few ways to experiment with homemade recipes of your own. That is, until now. Launching via the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter this week is Alchema, the at-home countertop brewer that makes it incredibly easy to turn your favorite fruit into delicious batches of cider. Want to make mead or wine? Alchema does that, too.
Developed by San Francisco-based entrepreneur Oscar Chang, the Alchema brewing machine turns ordinary pieces of fruit into a delightful pitcher of craft cider in just three steps. First, users browse and select their desired recipe via the machine’s companion smartphone application. After doing this, they simply load the required fruit, sugar, and water into Alchema’s companion pitcher before adding a specific amount of yeast. Once this is complete, owners then close the device’s door and wait roughly one to two weeks for the batch to ferment before enjoying the fruits of their labor.
“Almost 2 million Americans have attempted to homebrew, but it usually turns out disappointing in terms of flavor or complexity to use,” Chang said in a press release. “We want to make homebrewing easy and fun for everyone to create and share over and over.”
Unlike typical at-home cider kits, Alchema requires very little cleaning and alerts users exactly when the fermentation process is complete — one to two weeks for cider, one week for mead, and roughly 16 weeks for wine. Additionally, the system constantly monitors air pressure, automatically releasing air if it starts building too quickly through the course of fermentation. Users even have the option of checking each batch’s alcohol contents directly from their smartphone application and making use of the machine’s built-in weight sensor, which assures the exact amount of ingredients are used every time.
“The reason why passionate homebrew beginners often fail at their first batch is often due to contamination, which causes a bad taste,” Chang’s Kickstarter read. “Alchema is equipped with a medical-grade UV-C LED light that sanitizes the container before starting the fermentation process. Additionally, the Alchema app allows the user to monitor all aspects of the fermentation process, eliminating the need to open the lid and check the batch.”
Early adopters of the Alchema have the option of purchasing the innovative device for $329 — roughly $70 off its typical price of $399. As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign had already raised an astounding $16,000 towards its overall goal of $80,000 with 44 days left.