At GadgetGuy we have a saying, “If it plugs in and there is an app for that” we will review it. Never once did we expect to review the app-driven, automated BeerDroid.
BeerDroid is from BrewArt (website here), a member of the Coopers Beer empire. So, it was with fear and trepidation – not – that we responded, “Sure send it over with a good pale ale kit”.
BeerDroid Part 2 will be in a few weeks when the first batch (now in kegging stage) has matured.
What is BeerDroid?
At its most basic it is a $799, 10-litre, automated and temperature-controlled brewer with smarts to allow it to work with an app that monitors brewing and sends push notifications to your smartphone. It performs about half of the work.
You buy a BrewPrint (between $28 and $44) that has all the ingredients (minus water). We chose American Pale Ale at $34.
Unpack the keg, download the app, select home Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz and you are ready. We had a little trouble as the router was on a floor above through a concrete floor. So we took it to a couple of metres from router and used the WPS function. From there, back to the kitchen and all was well.
There are a comprehensive set of videos at BrewArt 101. Never having made beer before I must have watched each ten times as there are no printed instructions save a brief setup manual.
The first rule is bacteria is the enemy of beer. I repeat bacteria is the enemy of beer. BrewArt supplies $1.50 BeerDroid 30g cleaning tablets that are 33% Sodium Percarbonate. You get the initial one with each BrewKit so buy some spares.
Next, you need a container to sanitise everything in. As some of the items are about 30cm long and there is a flexible delivery pipe about 45cm long you need to get a large, flattish, open-top container holding at least 5 litres of hot (not boiling) water. Woollies had a Sistema Klip Rectangle 7l plastic storage container that was perfect because it was wide enough and low enough – a bucket would not be as suitable.
Oh, and you need acres of paper towels.
A note: You need to do this next to a sink. The unit is light enough to lift (so it can be moved back to a brewing location). That tap must have either a telescopic head or a hose attached to fill it as 10 litres of water weighs 22kg plus the machine. Plus, you need to drain said 10 litres and flush any residue avoiding at all costs touching the interior of the sanitised keg.
Brewing – yea!
After moving the BeerDroid to a suitable location, you fill it with 10 litres of room temperature water. The kit has dry ingredients (that you add to the water) and wet ingredients that you add to the kegging process. You don’t stir – just put in the yeast first followed by whatever it was (Malt and Enhancer) and close the lid.
I would love to have shown you a screenshot of the timeline, but it disappeared after kegging – as there was Nothing Brewin’. I suspect that it took about eight-ten days in total to go from start to kegging and I suspect I stuffed the push notifications up for the kegging part – my bad.
Which is where we are now.
Kegging is BeerDroid’s way of fermenting sugar to add Co2 to the brew, and that takes time.