Thanks to a recent wave of spirited startups, “having drinks at home” has become a lot more creative; solutions like Brewie make home brewing easier, gadgets like Fizzics make all your suds taste like they’re coming out of a tap, and subscription box solutions like Saloonbox allow you to dabble with different cocktail recipes without stepping out of your house. With a new device set for early-bird delivery in Summer of 2017, you’ll be able to brew your own craft hard cider at home by using standard off the shelf ingredients.
Alchema is a device that enables virtually anyone to create craft hard cider with minimal effort—in fact, only about 5 small steps “minimal effort,” and from start to sip, the whole process only takes two weeks. It’s also possible to make wine with the device by using your own wine grapes and waiting a little longer for the aging process.
As with any home smart device, there’s a companion mobile app for Alchema. One function of the app is to enable monitoring of all aspects of the fermentation process without having to open the lid and manually check the batch. The app also helps kick off the process by offering recipe alternatives. To begin, users simply choose a recipe from the recipe collection. They then add the ingredients (fresh fruit, sugar, water) and choose the right yeast (provided as part of the product package) based on what the recipe specifies. In addition to the curated recipe list users can create their own recipes and customize the alcohol content and sweetness to their preferences.
There’s also a social media component to the device. Users have the option of sharing their recipes with other Alchema users or their existing connections through the other major social networks. The posts outline essential metrics such as brewing time, average temperature, alcohol content, sweetness, astringency, bitterness, and acidity. The app even shows a chart of the alcohol content over time.
One of the biggest reasons homebrew beginners fail to succeed with their early brewing efforts is contamination which often leaves a bad taste. This is why Alchema is equipped with a medical grade UV-C LED light which sanitizes the container before beginning the fermentation process.
Alchema weighs 4kg, holds approximately 3 wine bottles (2.4L), and is 15.7”x9.8”x8.3”. The device runs off a standard 5V/1A micro USB cable, and can hold containers as heavy as 10kg.
The device is now available for pre-order via their Kickstarter campaign. The company has already raised over $115,000 on an $80,000 goal and there is still more than 30 days left in the campaign. Semi early bird pricing is $359 for the smart homebrewer and three yeast packets (unfortunately the $299 units have all be gulped), and the final product has an estimated retail price of $399.
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