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This automated homebrew machine takes the guesswork out of making beer

Brewing beer is one of those things that lives on the border between art and science. You can try to keep it precise and scientific and pay special attention to volumes, temperatures, and cook times, but in the end it’s usually the little imperfections — the occasional spilling, overheating, or mis-measured ingredients — that give your beer its unique flavor.

Sometimes the resulting brew is disgusting, and other times it’s fantastic. When you screw it up, you just pour your concoction down the drain and head back to the drawing board. But when you nail the recipe, it’s a whole different game. Instead of just starting over, now the challenge is recreating the chaos that resulted in your award-winning brew — a feat that is easier said than done.

Hungarian startup Brewie aims to change all that. The company’s eponymous contraption, which just recently surfaced on Indiegogo, is designed to make homebrewing easier and more consistent than ever by automating the entire process.

In a lot of ways, making beer with Brewie is similar to making a pot of coffee. Just drop in your pre-packaged ingredients (hops/malt/yeast), add some water, and press the “start” button. With the help of an RFID card that contains specific recipe info, Brewie takes care of all the tricky parts (mashing, sparging, boiling, fermenting, cooling, conditioning, etc.), and after a couple weeks, gives you up to five gallons of freshly brewed beer.

But it’s also a bit more customizable than that. To stave off scoffs and hate mail from homebrew purists who would argue that full automation removes all artistry and creativity from of the brewing process, Brewie built the machine to be fully adjustable. Using an accompanying mobile app, users are given full control over 23 different brewing parameters, everything from when ingredients are added to what temperature they’re kept at. As you brew, all of your settings are recorded, so if you ever want to make that exact same brew again, Brewie knows the recipe.

To take their creation past the prototype phase and bring it to production, Brewie’s creators are hoping to raise $100K before New Year’s Eve, and they’re already a quarter of the way to reaching that goal. If you back the project now, you can pre-order a Brewie of your own for a pledge of $1,400. That’s definitely a big chunk of change to dish out for a crowdfunding project, but just think of how much you could save on beer with one of these in your kitchen!