PicoBrew has morphed the Pico C beer brewing appliance into a completely custom beer and coldbrew coffee brewer that’s consistently easy to use and maintain. It also happens to make mass quantities of the best coldbrew coffee I’ve ever tasted.
When I first took a look at the Pico C over a year ago, I was impressed. I told you as much any time it went on sale. Homebrew forums had talked for years about how a “Keurig-style” pod system could be applied to brewing beer, and PicoBrew finally stepped up to engineer one that worked very well. The trouble was that as easy to use and as consistently good the resulting beer was, the all-grain homebrewer inside me wept each time I put a PicoPak into it that I didn’t create.
The lack of customization and creation I sorely missed is now completely gone thanks to a firmware update and new BrewBags for both beer and coffee.
I’ve spent long enough with these reusable bags to brew so many mini kegs (yes, kegs) of coldbrew coffee that I’ve lost count. Using a precise temperature cycle that maxes out at 120 degrees over 90 minutes, the Pico C extracts super smooth, low-acid flavors from your beans. The end result is five liters (!!) of truly remarkable coldbrew coffee.
I’ve even brewed beer with a BrewBag, and while my recipe could use some tweaks, the Pico C did an incredible job of malting the grains and brewing beer. Using a hydrometer, a scale, and some brewmath, I calculated my mash efficiency from the Pico C at an impressive 82%. My second go with BrewBag beer is fermenting right now (and has a lot less coriander and orange zest in it.)
After trying the BrewBags, I couldn’t resist brewing a batch of coldbrew using a cheaper mesh nylon bag that I bought from Amazon. Given that the real power here is in the Pico C itself, the nylon bags worked well enough, but the resulting coffee was a bit bitter, and it left the finest coffee grounds in my machine.
Regardless of what you brew, the biggest win here is that this new-found flexibility comes at no impact to the Pico C’s inherent ease of operation. The brewer still functions with the same simplicity, and performs as well as it does with PicoBrew’s pre-made ingredient packs. Machine cleanup remains as automated and simple as in the past.