LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing
Water + capsule + 2 weeks = 5 litres of beer
Fan of those trendy coffee machines shilled by George Clooney? Wish there was one that did beer? Of course you don't, but LG has gone and done it anyway.
Due to be unveiled at CES 2019, LG's beer-making machine is targeted squarely at those DIY beer enthusiasts seeking something sleek to pop on the kitchen worktop rather than go to the effort of working out how to make a decent brew (with all the pipework such a thing entails).
It's a capsule-based system, with the thirsty user popping a single-use pot of ingredients containing malt, yeast, hop oil and something LG distressingly refers to as "flavouring" into the machine, hitting the go button and waiting.
Sadly, the needs of the I-want-it-now generation are not met – the device will take around two weeks to dribble out a mere five litres of beer. By which time the wannabe beer drinker will likely have given up and popped down to a local brewery to sup from the source.
Still, two weeks is quicker than our (frequently disastrous) homebrew experiences and LG's machine has an "optimised fermentation algorithm" for what the company claims is "guaranteed brewing success". Heck, there is even an app (for Android and iOS) to monitor how things are coming along.
Once done, the machine will also take care of cleaning itself with some automated sanitisation, ready for the next fortnight of fermentation.
LG plans five capsule types – an American IPA and Pale Ale, an English Stout, some Belgian Witbier and a dry Czech Pilsner.
Song Dae-hyun, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company, hopes that folk will give the shiny brewer a go. "Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace but there are still many beer lovers who haven't taken the jump because of the barrier to entry," he said.
While this hack's attempts at brewing his own have ranged from the repulsive to the downright disgusting, including an ill-advised attempt to add carbonisation via a SodaStream (LG's device will ensure fizz is added without requiring a day cleaning the kitchen), others have seen more success.
Mark Wheeler, an engineer on the LESTER project, has enjoyed better luck. He told us: "Part of the fun is creating your own recipe, for others it's the fact you get a load of cheap beer."
Wheeler has also had a crack at making cider, something that LG's wonder-machine cannot yet do, but warned us that "the early ciders I did were fairly vicious due to uncontrolled strength".
He also told us of a recipe for "breakfast ale", which required a key ingredient in the form of muesli. The makers of Alpen would be so happy.
Homebrew fans seeking the easy life could be forgiven for a sense of déjà vu, with the likes of BrewArt already pushing something rather more keg-shaped to stick on the kitchen surface. The Australian take on a Clooney-esque brewing experience is priced at AU$799, with each run producing 10 litres of beer.
Or you could just pop down to your local brewery.
We contacted LG to find out how much the beer brewer would cost but have yet to hear back. We also checked in with British beer botherers CAMRA, and will update with any response. ®