Home brewing is a hobby that can take up a lot of time and space. There have been quite a few attempts to wrap the multi-step process up in a neat little package, and the MiniBrew is no exception.
The machine is the result of a Dutch company’s attempt to simplify, streamline, and speed up at-home beer making. The process is semi-automated, according to the company. It takes about three-and-a-half hours, but the combination of an ingredient package and the iOS (with Android to come later) app should give step-by-step instructions.
You need to select the recipe, add the ingredients, start the “mashing” process, and let the machine do its thing. The machine boils, cools, does yeast pitching, and handles primary and secondary fermentation. It’s pretty automated, but after the brewing process, you may have to add yeast and extra hops before fermentation. All of that will take some time, with the machine’s sensors and software guiding the majority of these actions. You could be drinking your lager in as little as a week, according to MiniBrew, though other types of beer will take longer.
Comparatively speaking, the aluminum brewing machine is decently sized, not much bigger than some espresso makers we’ve tested out. You’ll get about 1.3 gallons worth of beer with each brewing. That’s a little less than three growlers.
While the company’s goal is to let anyone (with superfluous cash) brew beer, there is some ability to customize what you’re making. There are already 50 beers in the company’s repertoire, and you’ll get ones suited to your liking when you dial your taste preferences into the app. Like a bitter beer with high alcohol content? You’ll likely get a different set of results than someone who wants a light, sweet beer.
It’s going to take a lot of batches of beer before the MiniBrew pays for itself, though. It’s available on Indiegogo right now, and even the early-bird prices are steep. There are still a couple of $1,950 packages left. If all goes well, the team hopes to have it shipping by April 2016.
Updated 10/22/2015: Updated to clarify some parts of the brewing process.