The Minibrew

On the surface the Minibrew seems to be the complete package for the automated homebrewing system albeit in a small form factor. That form factor (5 liters), just as in the Picobrew, might be a positive because it makes less beer but give you more opportunity to brew beer and to explore different recipes and styles. Its a truly all in one machine without any secondary kegs, bottles, lines or transferring to do which cuts down on the room for infection/error. Every time I brew, transferring is always the most stressful part because there are so many ways a perfectly good batch of beer could be infected. Dirty lines, dirty fermenter, dirty bottles, dirty kegs there’s just so much post fermentation that could make a 5 hour brew day go straight down the sink and I’m glad to see a system address that issue. The fermenter also acts as the keg when its time to carbonate the beer and comes with a tap handle and Co2 cartridge is in every recipe package.

Can I also take a moment to admire the design of the MiniBrew? Moment of silence please! … Barry white plays in the background, looks so sexy I feel like I need a cigarette and a ham sandwich!

Much like the PicoBrew and the Brewie, you order your ingredients from the Minibrew store and they ship them to you. Its all controlled via an app on your phone with some really great monitoring that you don’t see in the other systems.

Ok with that praise out of the way there are some major set backs to this and here are my concerns:

  • Really $2,250 (now $1199 retail) without shipping? Are you kidding me! Do you know how much beer I can buy with that money?
  • A subscription model to make custom beer? Really? You’re selling the user a homebrew system for $2.2k (now $1199 retail) touting customized beer and you’re going to charge $10 a month to do that. Yes sir may I have another!
  • The app isn’t available for Android yet and doesn’t seem to have a desktop version.
  • The system requires a wifi connection. So what happens if my wifi gets knocked out mid brew or if I have slow shotty wifi?
  • There’s not one video of someone brewing beer and no water filling up the mashtun is not sufficient.
  • Its still in Beta so while I’d like to throw a month’s mortgage payment at this and regret it later I’ll hold off and continue to use my sub $50 set-up.