Patterico's Pontifications

12/3/2013

Your Very Own Beer Machine

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:15 pm

This seems like it would be a neat Christmas gift. Saw it mentioned in Popehat’s Twitter stream.

I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I know people who would go crazy over an appliance like this. (I know other people who would turn their nose up at it as somehow inauthentic.)

UPDATE: More info on the company at their Kickstarter page, here.

22 Comments

  1. BEER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and

    Ding!

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/3/2013 @ 8:21 pm

  2. I’d just be happy with a Sodastream machine.

    Comment by qdpsteve (daa67c) — 12/3/2013 @ 8:42 pm

  3. Or, you could go to 7-11.

    Comment by Ag80 (eb6ffa) — 12/3/2013 @ 8:55 pm

  4. I always wanted a beer utility.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/3/2013 @ 11:43 pm

  5. The best beer is still horsepiss, as far as I’m concerned.

    As far as homebrewing goes, an amateur product is still an amateur product. Unless your daddy and grandaddy were brewers and they taught you their craft when you were little (the way my mother learned to make wine from her father). But if it keeps you out of smoky barrooms ….

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/4/2013 @ 6:12 am

  6. Having brewed quite a bit back when I had time for such things, this would have been nice to have.

    BUT, reading down the fine kickstarter page, they haven’t taken out as much of the mess and tedium as you might think. The messiest part of brewing is the transfer of the fermented product to bottles or keg, and that’s still there. The second messiest is getting rid of the “trub,” the layers of yeast scum and hops at the top of almost-finished product, and that’s still there. The most tedious part of brewing is the week required for fermentation after you’ve completed the “brew.” That’s still there. The second most tedious part is the sterilization required to make sure your beer is uncontaminated by bacteria or wild yeast. I suspect you’ll have to buy plenty of bleach with this set-up, same as always.

    The video makes it appear as though you fill a tub with barley malt, and two hours later: BEER!!! That won’t happen.

    Still, a nifty machine, and I wish I’d had one when I homebrewed.

    Comment by Patrick (a73406) — 12/4/2013 @ 6:19 am

  7. @nk, if you don’t like beer at all, how can you judge the homebrewed product as compared to the professional?

    I know homebrewers who can turn out beer every bit as good as what you’d get from a brewery. Better, depending on which brewery you have in mind.

    Comment by Patrick (a73406) — 12/4/2013 @ 6:22 am

  8. 5. The best beer is still horsepiss, as far as I’m concerned.

    As far as homebrewing goes, an amateur product is still an amateur product. Unless your daddy and grandaddy were brewers and they taught you their craft when you were little (the way my mother learned to make wine from her father). But if it keeps you out of smoky barrooms ….

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/4/2013 @ 6:12 am

    Suit yourself about beer, nk. But as someone told you, if you turn your nose down on beer in general you’re in no position to opine about all amateur products being inferior unless you come from a multi-generational brewing family.

    I learned quite a bit about brewing from Alaskans, where in some places out in the bush the only beer you were going to get is the stuff you made yourself. And it used to be the only yeast you could get was baker’s yeast. For two reasons. Until Carter changed the law home brewing was illegal. And a lot of villages were and are dry (another reason why even if you can afford the freight charges you’re still going to make your own). So daddy and grandpa brewed “it’ll do” beer with whatever they could get their hands on. But now with the internet these guys can get proper ingredients and they’re making stuff their grandparents and parents could only dream of.

    And so are the first timers. So it just didn’t matter.

    Beer isn’t the only thing you can brew. When I lived in Japan I discovered some people home-brew their own Sake. I learned this when a Japanese admiral gave some to my CO as a present. And it was GOOD. A lot better than anything I found in a store or pub. At least anything I could afford. I was told those guys get ranked. It’s like entering a BBQ contest at the county fair, except there’s a national committee. Apparently they operate on a system like belts in martial arts. That admiral made black belt sake, but I’m not sure what dan.

    Going back to the Alaskans, obviously some of those guys were making beer before it was strictly legal. I’m not recommending that anyone break the law, not that I begrudge them as I agree it’s a natural right of any human being to have a brew like people have been making for 8,000 years whether they can get to a store or not. But another thing I learned from them is the ancient art of jacking. Which remains illegal, just like distilling. Jacking produces hard alcohol of up to about 80 proof by freezing the water content to concentrate the alcohol. You just remove the chunks of ice. That’s how George Washington and other colonials used to make Applejack. Whooie!

    I mention it by way of warning. Because jacking unlike distilling is going to happen anyway if you live where it’s cold enough. Leave a bottle of whiskey on the porch or in a shed overnight in January and what used to be 80 proof is now a lot more. There’s still some water content in there to freeze. Do not drink it.

    Comment by Steve57 (4f25e8) — 12/4/2013 @ 7:45 am

  9. I believe you, Patrick. An amateur can be an artist.

    My “caution” was about DIYers, generally. I indulged in my share of foolishness when I was young and I remember pretty much the same admonition from Turner Kirkland of Dixie Gun works, roughly, “Not many people can take a $125.00 stock blank and turn it into a $125.00 stock”. Oh, so true. But you can get ten $125.00 stock blanks and turn them into one $125.00 stock. ;)

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/4/2013 @ 8:07 am

  10. There’s an art to jacking, too, I think, Steve. I’ve tried it with wine in the freezer, and I discovered that I did not have grappa, I had a winesicle. I never tried it with hard cider, though.

    In any event, I don’t drink at all, now. No wan’ fall down go boom no more.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/4/2013 @ 8:14 am

  11. As I recall, nk, grappa has always been distilled and not jacked. But then so is Applejack these days. One of the problems with jacking is that when you take the ice out you concentrate the alcohol. But you also concentrate impurities like fusul alcohols that are really, really bad for you. When you use heat to distill the alcohol spirits vaporize first, leaving behind the impurities and water.

    So jacking concentrates the bad stuff, distilling reduces it.

    I meant to say about whiskey and really cold weather is that someone might be tempted to drink it because some of it is still pourable. But if the cold did that to the whiskey, or whatever, imagine what that thing is going to do to your mouth and throat.

    That has happened, I’m told. Some people don’t think.

    Comment by Steve57 (4f25e8) — 12/4/2013 @ 8:42 am

  12. Meh. I used to make appletinis for the PTA moms from vodka kept in the freezer. If it gave them a bit of a sore throat after, they didn’t tell me. They are a date-rape drink, though, because there is no alcohol burn, it feels like a frozen sherbet, and you might drink too much too fast. But I was always a gentleman, anyway. And none of their husbands complained, either. ;)

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/4/2013 @ 9:15 am

  13. Your freezer probably doesn’t go to -30, nk.

    Comment by Steve57 (4f25e8) — 12/4/2013 @ 9:24 am

  14. Is a beer machine covered under the ObamaCare mandate ?
    After all, many people consider it a necessity for maintaining good health. Or something.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 12/4/2013 @ 10:05 am

  15. There are some microbreweries now that will assist you in making a brew of your liking in their professional facilities. I have no idea how expensive, fun, or widespread it is.
    FWIW.

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 12/4/2013 @ 11:05 am

  16. Wouldn’t it be easier to get the beer direct from the original source, a very well-watered horse…?

    Jus’ Sayin’… (:^D

    Comment by Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (225d0d) — 12/4/2013 @ 11:14 am

  17. If you like your beer machine, you can keep it.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 12/4/2013 @ 11:17 am

  18. They make a root beer machine, I’m on it!

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (37b681) — 12/4/2013 @ 11:21 am

  19. 14. That was true in the United States only in thd 1920s, during Prohibition.

    There were all kinds of alcoholic formulas found in books for pharmacists.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (ccb2ac) — 12/4/2013 @ 2:58 pm

  20. This is an amazing invention. As soon as all my kids are done with college I am going to buy one for myself.

    Comment by WarEagle82 (b18ccf) — 12/4/2013 @ 5:49 pm

  21. ditto for me, nk.
    Hard to open the door when your prone on the floor.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/4/2013 @ 7:35 pm

  22. I have been brewing beer for 2 years and finally got tired of the hassle and mess. NOw I go to Total Wine and they have more than 1,000 beers (maybe) – more than I can test in a lifetime and some bars like Jack’s Mac and Swill on Preston Road in Dallas always has 10-12 local brews on tap! NOW – no more work!!

    Comment by Lear35pilot (5ca71d) — 12/4/2013 @ 9:26 pm

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