Just what we've been waiting for - an automated home fermentation device that can turn fruit or honey into wine, mead, or cider.
Never mind the fact that people have been fermenting wine, cider, and other alcoholic beverages at home for ages, without an app and a plugged-in WiFi-connected device, because the Alchema urn aims to simplify the process for a new generation of DIYers. Originally launched on Kickstarter last year, to the tune of some $344,000 in crowdfunding, the folks at Alchema are now looking to get these home fermenters into the hands of those who might like to tipple their own craft ciders and homemade wine.
The Alchema device, which is currently available for pre-order for delivery this fall (just in time for harvest season, dontchya know), is intended to make home beverage fermenting more foolproof, more precise, and less messy, while also offering users the ability to dial in their creations to meet their own tastes. It has a built-in weight sensor to make for more accurate proportions, an air pressure sensor and release valve to help avoid those accidental homebrew explosions, a simple way to check the alcohol content of your beverage, a temperature sensor, a UV-C sanitizing light to guard against contamination from
rogue wild yeasts and other micro-organisms, and of course, an accompanying app.
The app, which is claimed to have hundreds of different recipes that users can follow, also acts as the monitoring and control center, complete with alerts and notifications, including probably the most important one - knowing when it's time to taste your creation!
"ALCHEMA enables you to homebrew your own unique flavor of hard craft cider. With the simplicity of making a pot of coffee, you can turn your favorite fruit into craft cider with limitless flavor options."
According to the Alchema website, the countertop device measures 15.7 in (40 cm) high by 9.8 in (25 cm) wide, and weighs 4 lb (8.8 kg), and has a capacity of 2.4 liters (about 3 bottles of wine). It plugs in to a wall outlet and connects to your home WiFi network, which means that you'll now need both electricity and an internet connection to ferment beverages with the device, as opposed to traditional fermenting, which can be done in a low-tech way. A batch of hard cider takes a week or two to brew, while mead is said to take less than a week, and for wine, you'll have to wait "at least 16 weeks."
The pre-order price on the Alchema is $429 (MSRP $499), and more information about this home fermenter is available on the website.