Home Brew

Super-simple and super-sophisticated home brewing

Home beer-brewing is sort of like writing a novel – although you might like the idea of having done it, the thought of all the work involved in doing it can be off-putting. Enter the WilliamsWarn brewing machine…

If the PR materials are to be believed, the WilliamsWarn brewing machine could make the process a lot easier … and quicker. Unlike the four weeks required by most home brewing systems, it can reportedly produce beer in just seven days.

The WilliamsWarn was created by New Zealand “beer-thinkers” Ian Williams and Anders Warn (pictured), and was released there this April. The duo claim that it addresses 12 of the key challenges thwarting many home brewers, including the carbonation process, temperature control and clarification.

The machine reportedly incorporates all the hardware needed for brewing. This includes a stainless steel pressure vessel with carbonation level control, and systems to control factors such as clarification, sediment removal, temperature, and gas dispensation. Last, but certainly not least, it also features a draft dispense mechanism, for pouring out a glass of the chilled “commercial quality” finished product.

The machine saves time by combining home brewing’s longest steps — fermentation, which usually takes a week, and carbonation, which can take at least two. The fermentation tank is also a pressure vessel, which traps carbon dioxide released by yeast, force-carbonating the beer. The system also does away with two common foes of freshness: the sealed vessel keeps out oxygen, a culprit behind flat-tasting pints; and a valve at the bottom of the tank isolates the yeast from the beer as soon as fermenting is done, which prevents meaty, off flavours.

Users spend about 90 minutes cleaning and sterilizing the system, and adding supplied ingredients at the beginning of the process. After that, minimal input is required until a week later, at which point 50 pints of beer should be ready for drinking. Part of the reason that it’s able to make beer so quickly is the fact that the carbonation and fermentation processes take place simultaneously. The clarification process is also said to take no more than one day.

For now, WilliamsWarn brewers are limited to light ales, but eventually, says inventor and master brewer Ian Williams, they’ll be able to make, store, and pour 50-pint batches of beers, from lagers to stouts.

The WilliamsWarn brewing machine is currently only available in New Zealand, although its makers hope to expand to the Australian and American markets soon. You can, however, buy a lot of the good stuff from your local bottle shop for the equivalent hefty price tag: it sells for NZ$5,660 (US$4,577), plus NZ$39.50 (US$32) for the ingredients for each batch of beer.

Source: Popular Science