back to article LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

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 …

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  1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Alert

    Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

    Because if its anything like any of my homebrewing disasters efforts you need will need it to clean up the seemingly inevitable tsunami of arse gravy.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

      Hence the famous quote, "If you drink too much real ale, the world will fall out of your bottom."

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

        From my student attempts at Barley Wine, also needs some air freshener.

      2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

        Hence the famous quote, "If you drink too much real ale, the world will fall out of your bottom."

        The incantation I recall is, "When the bottom drops out of your world: Drink Watney's; and watch the world drop out of your bottom".

        That and; what's the difference between making love in a punt and a pint of Watney's?

        Nothing. They're both fucking close to water.

        1. Glenturret Single Malt

          Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

          In a similar vein: I was once in a pub where the gents facility was just to one side of the bar.Which led to the scribbled inscription on the wall saying "the beer in this pub is the next thing to piss".

      3. The Oncoming Scorn
        Alert

        Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

        My local pub in UK got hold of some farm scrumpy & one regular proceeded to spend a whole afternoon & early summer evening drinking the stuff, decided he would leave as the sun was slowly setting around 9ish, drunkenly weaved his way through a empty car park, crossed the main road without incident, got 100 yards up the quiet residential road (Directly facing the pub & in full view of the a lot more sober & highly amused regulars), grabbed onto a lamp post for dear life, when his bowels finally surrendered their content of fluid gut rot.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

          The restaurant in the EEC Jean Monet building In Luxembourg had a barrel of the season's "new" wine. We were advised to only have a small glass because of its purging effect.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

          "My local pub in UK got hold of some farm scrumpy [...]"

          Friends bought a farmhouse and a couple of acres of land after a neighbouring farm expanded by acquiring the fields. The place was totally unmodernised. One of the farmyard buildings contained a circular stone trough and a vertical stone apple crushing wheel that rolled round it - presumably one horse power.

          It transpired that it had actually been a working farm until about a year before - and one day the old lady of the line came to visit. She brought a present of a bottle of the farm's last cider - with which we were honour bound to drink her health. It tasted like vinegar. Fortunately there was only enough for a small glass each.

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

          drunkenly weaved

          "Wove" is (I believe) the past tense of "To Weave". Just like "shone" is the past tense for "to shine" and not "shined".

          What is it with the lack of ability with the past tense[1]? I mean, in my day they didn't particularly teach English grammar at school and I still managed to work it all out!

          Kids today eh?

          [1] Something that, I suspect, the Americans have infected us with - it's something I first saw in US-based self-published authors..

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

            As the kids today would say, it all depends on your level of wokeness or stay woke. I assume it's an actually an acronym for something like 'Willfully Overlooking Knowledge & Education" or something like that.

          2. Glenturret Single Malt

            Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

            The Americans have a lot to answer for with span (spun), dove (dived) and fit (fitted) among those I can immediately think of.

          3. Spike of Bayswater

            Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

            I would respectfully disagree. In the sense used by the author (described movement not joining threads to make cloth), is perfectly correct on either side of the pond.

            Language does change: my mum (an English teacher) was taught as a child that the correct spelling of the word "show" is "shew". Not any more.

            Collins English Dictionary

            The form weaved is used for the past tense and past participle for meaning e.g.

            if you weave your way somewhere, you move between and around things as you go there.

            The cars then weaved in and out of traffic at top speed. [VERB preposition]

            He weaved around the tables to where she sat with Bob. [VERB preposition]

            Here’s what the Yanks say:

            “Weaved, wove, woven

            The verb weave is usually inflected wove in the past tense and woven in the perfect-tense and past-participial forms. But weaved is more common where weave means to move in and out or sway from side to side. This is the case in all the main varieties of English, though British writers are particularly wont to use weaved for all senses of the word—a growing phenomenon.”

            Old codgers today, eh?

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

      It doesn't make enough beer of any type to require vast amounts of bog roll. Back in my student days, I'd brew up a bin-sized (40-60L) amount in a similar time period, and it would be more fun than just inserting a pod and pushing a button.

      The only plus point I can see is that it self-cleans. Sterilising brewing equipment was a bit of a pain in the arse.

      It will flop, as have revious iterations of the same idea.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

        I get the feeling any success will depend on three factors; hipsters, price, and hang on...

        Two weeks, as in 14 days, for 5 litres?!? That isn't even one beer per day! Are they saying we need to buy 2 of these things just to have one single lousy beer each day?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does it despense vast amounts of bog rool??

          "I get the feeling any success will depend on three factors; hipsters, price, and hang on..."

          Given the length of time to brew and a hipster target market then I think there's an opportunity to set up a business that centralizes a large number of these "beer machines" in a given location which can all be started on a staggered basis so that when the aforementioned hipster wishes to imbibe then there will be a machine ready to dispense. Clearly as the machines are now at some distance from the hipster then a web based system would be used to request a "glass of ale" which can be delivered by cyclist/robot/drone direct to the hipster. When I get the initial funding (ok dragons, I want £10million for 5% of the company) I will lauch this new disruptive service as "Brewr"

          Note: that in the future the model can be extended into the "bricks-and-mortar" world by provding locations where such "glasses of ale" can be obtained directly for a "peronalized use of Brewr" or "P.U.B." experience.

          Isn't it amazing all the new possibilities that we have today witrh technology!

  2. AndyS

    Why?

    It seems to me that there are two main reasons to brew your own:

    1. It is vastly cheaper - a pint of homebrew costs about 20p, and the equipment only costs about £50.

    2. You can make the recipe up yourself, tweak things, add stuff in or take it out.

    For most homebrewers, it's a combination of the two.

    Both of which an expensive, all-in-one, web-connected, "smart," auto sanitising, pod-relying machine will negate.

    So what is the point of it, and who is the target audience?

    1. trollied

      Re: Why?

      It's obviously aimed at people that have some space in the cupboard under the stairs, right next to the bread maker & ice cream maker.

      1. Milo Tsukroff
        Pint

        Re: Why?

        Ice cream maker?? I take offense. An ice cream maker will produce real ice cream in minutes, not a fortnight. Back in the 70's I worked in the R&D shop where we tested our very successful ice cream maker.

        Good times! I found out one very interesting thing: If you add too much flavoring, the ice cream will never freeze up. The problem is that that the flavorings sold in American grocery stores are primarily based on alcohol. So, too much flavoring, too much anti-freeze. Cheers!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why?

          "So, too much flavoring, too much anti-freeze."

          IIRC if you added even more of the flavouring it would eventually go past the freezing depression's eutectic point. After that the freezing point would rise. That's why antifreeze has to be used in a critical ratio with the radiator water.

          1. hairydog

            Re: Why?

            The stronger the mixture, the lower the freezing point.

            You can put pure antifreeze into a cars cooling system. The only reason not to is the cost. Piston-engined aircraft use pure antifreeze because it gets cold at high altitude.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Why?

        trollied,

        Bread makers are an excellent invention. Even if you only use them for nice breads for parties.

        My only problem with mine (and most of them I've seen) is that the loaf is a slightly odd shape. Which leaves you with slices that are too big for convenient sandwichery. But the bread's pretty good - and can be achieved with little more than 5 minutes of effort.

        You get to have a bit more fun if you make bread by hand - as if you experiment too much with bread makers you risk the very precise balance/timing going wrong, as the machine is set for each recipe. However kneeding alone takes as much time as measuring the ingredients into the bread maker. Let alone all the faffing with proving, rising, knocking back etc.

        Mine does a very nice wholemeal seeded, that's consistent, way tastier than even the posh supermarket loaves and lasts at least 4 days before it's only fit for toasting. Admittedly that does take 4 hours, but so long as you're there to take it out within ten minutes of the cooking finishing, that's no problem.

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: Why?

          "Bread makers are an excellent invention."

          Agreed. The best thing has to be the timer so you have freshly baked bread straight onto your breakfast plate when you wake up.

          1. BongoJoe Silver badge

            Re: Why?

            I use a bread maker extensively. And the best thing is that I am able to experiment with interesting and strange grains.

            I can now bore (both of) my friends with which mill's grains I prefer* and then experiment on some strange mixes.

            (* Aberfeldy, in case anyone has gone this far)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why?

              Can someone tell me where this guy lives? I didn’t get that far!

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Why?

          "Bread makers are an excellent invention."

          Bread makers are what got me into making bread for real. I was given one and used it regularly for a month, at which point it broke. Missing fresh bread, I realized that bread makers don't actually do that much -- most of making bread consists of waiting, after all -- so I started making bread the old-fashioned way.

          As good as the bread maker was, it never produced a loaf of bread that was as good as what I made "by hand". But I will be eternally grateful to the machine for leading me down the proper path.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Why?

            I got a bread machine for Christmas 15 years ago, and I'm proud to say it still works and I still use it as the whim arises. The instructions provided a nice basic loaf, and I don't mind the hole in the bottom, either; it's not that big anyway. But few things beat a freshly-baked loaf, especially when you don't have to be constantly working at it to get a good result; a set-and-forget appliance that's worth it (I simply tend to its initial mixing to ensure the dough ball collects everything--ensures a perfect loaf and almost no cleanup afterward).

        3. jake Silver badge

          Re: Why?

          Bread machines can indeed make good bread. But don't forget that they are handy for small batches of dough for things other than bread. My foreman's daughter calls hers "the pizza machine" ... Usually available at thrift stores for a couple quid/bucks. Look for one that can make a 2 pound (1 kilo) loaf.

          A word of warning, though ... it was a bread machine that first got me into making bread. The heating element went out, so I started using it only for the initial mix/kneed. I did the punch down/rise/formloaf/rise/ovenbake steps by hand. Eventually, the motor burned out, so I bought a Kitchenaid 600 Pro ... Part of what sold me on Chez jake was the (now) 135 year old wood burning bread oven just off the kitchen. Which lead to the Hobart that can handle a 50lb bag of bread flour ... It's an addictive and tasty hobby. Recommended.

        4. Richard Cranium

          Re: Why?

          "Bread makers are an excellent invention."

          Or another unnecessary piece of junk to further clutter your kitchen? As we're on The Register we'll all be familiar with Nathan Myhrvold, but what about his post Microsoft career? Cookery! A deeply researched and rather expensive book about bread (around 400 USD). One of his findings it that you can make very good bread without tens of minutes of kneading. Ingredients are simple, not much more than flour, water & yeast. Processing is simple give it a stir, leave it somewhere warm for a while, bash it into a baking tin and leave it in the warm a bit longer, shove it in the oven for half an hour. You end up with a bread shaped loaf, without a metal paddle embedded in the base, OK a couple of hours elapsed time but only a few minutes actual effort. And to save your $400, of his many hundreds of recipes he considers the best to be chocolate & cherry sourdough.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            Re: Why?

            Richard Cranium,

            My bread maker cost about £30. So I could afford to buy ten of them, and still save on buying that book...

          2. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: Why?

            Upvote for Nathan Myhrvold, "Modernist Bread". Not bought it (because $400 for a multi-volume set I'll never scratch the surface of), but some of it was covered in places like Physics World, and a few of the ideas got me back into doing bread and sourdough. (Still got to try the pineapple juice thing...)

            There is still some convenience in a bread maker handling the different stages for you, so you don't have to wait at home, or get up in the middle of the night. And there's one other thing, related to another tip from that book, that a bread maker does, but you can reproduce without one: baking in a small enclosed space traps the escaping steam, giving a thinner, softer crust, as a steam oven would do. If you don't have a steam oven you can bake your bread inside a larger container; a pair of metal oven dishes, one inverted on top of the other, or a second bread tin upside down on top of the first will do the trick.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Why?

              Isn't that a baking cloche?

              But I find it just as easy to replicate a steam oven. Simply boil a bit of water in the kettle, and then pour it into a shallow-ish baking tray and put that on the bottom shelf of the oven just before you put the bread in.

              This also works in other ways to replicate a steam oven. My friend roasts lamb with a baking tray full of garlic and water below it - then at the last minute throws veg in their to boil. Makes the whole house smell of garlicky lamb - which is no bad thing. And in fact spreads the bread smell further as well, when I do it.

              My brother has an automatic steam oven, of which I'm rather jealous. This has a setting for warming up leftovers, which avoids the microwave sogginess - but also massively steams the oven so avoiding the oven-induced dryness as well.

              So I highly recommend bowls of water in your oven.

              French fondant potatoes do something similar. You roast them in a tray of mixed butter and water. So only the tops really crisp up, but the evaporating water sort of pulls the butter into them, makes them very fluffy, as well as keeping the roast meat moist. Not the healthiest though...

              1. ibmalone Silver badge

                Re: Why?

                Isn't that a baking cloche?

                Ah, thank you, hadn't heard the term before. Exactly the same idea. Tried the bowl of water thing previously, but never got it working anywhere near as well (maybe fan assist defeats it, last few ovens I've had have been fan assist or nothing).

                It's a long time since I did fondant potatoes, Christmas might be a good opportunity to remedy that :)

      3. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        I guess most bread makers are under-used, but they're actually great. My mum still uses hers, I get by without, but if you do make your own bread they save you waiting around to get things in and out of the oven at the right time and baking in a small container is in some ways better. A warm freshly baked loaf with butter is hard to beat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why?

          "A warm freshly baked loaf with butter is hard to beat."

          I used to make my own bread once in a while. The problem was my housemates would then polish it off in 5 minutes while it was still warm. Too much work for too little return.

          That was the time in the 1970s when people made their own yoghurt - with one pot of a commercial brand to supply the active ingredient. Using one of your own to seed the next batch was not a success.

          1. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: Why?

            I used to make my own bread once in a while. The problem was my housemates would then polish it off in 5 minutes while it was still warm. Too much work for too little return.

            Ah, but you see, everyone avoids gluten now! So you can sit there smothered in the smell of fresh bread or toast munching away while watching them breaking out into a sweat.

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Why?

            "The problem was my housemates would then polish it off in 5 minutes while it was still warm. "

            That's why I always make two loaves at a time. One for now, one for later. Making two at a time is only slightly more effort than making one.

        2. Chris Parsons

          Re: Why?

          We use ours three or four times a week. I love fresh bread, live miles from the shops.

      4. NXM

        Re: Why?

        I agree with others - bread machines are excellent. But I don't like the paddle-shaped hole in the middle, so I put mine on dough mode, take it out and put it in the cooker, then leave it to prove & cook on timer. All I have to do is take it out and nosh it. The machine's paid it's cost off many times over.

        Similarly with the ice cream machine (a frozen bowl thing for the Kenwood) - makes ice cream that involves cream, not hydrolised vegetable protein and a bucket of E numbers. Don't look at the ingredients in most retail "ice cream" if you're going to eat it, because you probably won't want to.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Hipster douche bags obviously.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        Hipsters may be a curious life-form but the ones I've come across wouldn't consider a shiny capsule machine. They want authentic, not tinned. Hence the large steam machines in hipster coffee shops.

        1. jmch Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Why?

          "Hence the large steam machines in hipster coffee shops."

          That's not just for hipsters, it's for anyone who likes their coffee. Small domestic machines heat the water and generate pressure 'ad-hoc' and so can fluctuate. Industrial espresso machines have individual boilers for steam generating the pressure to push the water to the coffee, and for the water itself, so that both are always at the optimal temperature / pressure.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why?

            "Hence the large steam machines in hipster coffee shops."

            ... not just that. If you go to one of the online "coffee forums" have a look to see what happens when someone asks for a recommendation of a good coffee machine to buy ... invariably there's a lengthy discussion on there being no point in attempting to make coffe until you've bought a top rated grinder and found a local supplier who can supply freshly roasted beans on a regular basis as without these then its not really worth trying to make coffe.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Why?

              Bollocks to all that! I like an espresso every now and then - at which point I shall pay someone else to make it. I can't be arsed to maintain the machine - which in my hard water area would die pretty quickly or require the use of softened water.

              What I mostly want is coffee. Americano is NOT coffee. It's watered down espresso. Which is fine, if you like that sort of thing, but I think is fucking horrible. Because it uses the same beans as espresso, which tend to be dark roasted and so lose most of the nice flavours that you get in a medium roast filter coffee. Although I believe coffee fashion is changing in favour of lighter roasts at the moment, even for espresso. So to make proper filter coffee of decent quality, you just need some nice coffee, kept in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge and a caffetiere/french press/plunger. keep it simple. I think it is slightly nicer if freshly ground, but not so much that I can be arsed to do it every time I want a cup. It would be interesting to know if the coffee snobs can tell in a blind taste test - something that has caught out a lot of supposed wine experts who've given totally different ratings in the same tasting to two identical wines in different bottles.

          2. Chz

            Re: Why?

            " Small domestic machines heat the water and generate pressure 'ad-hoc' and so can fluctuate. Industrial espresso machines have individual boilers for steam generating the pressure to push the water to the coffee, and for the water itself, so that both are always at the optimal temperature / pressure."

            While you're not incorrect, it's largely irrelevant if you're only making one or two coffees in a home system. The thermoblock and coil have more than enough thermal mass for that amount of work. You just can't serve up 8 straight at a party is all. Never mind the point of diminishing returns with all artisan gear - once you hit the £200-250 range for a basic DeLonghi Magnifica, everything past that costs quite a lot more for very little in return.

            There's also the downside to having a decent machine - the beans get expensive. A cheap machine makes them all taste like muck, but once you're grinding fresh and using reasonable temps/pressure it's hard not to buy the expensive ones.

    3. CynicalOptimist

      Re: Why?

      I think you've hit the nail on the head @AndyS

      I would add a few more reasons

      As a hobby:

      3) It has a vibrant online community (and offline community if you live somewhere with a homebrew club)

      4) It offers almost limitless possibilities for geeking out / developing your skills - from building your own brewing equipment to modifying the chemistry of your water - but at the same time, has a relatively gentle learning curve for those just starting out.

    4. MaltaMaggot

      Re: Why?

      5L in 2weeks, perhaps better expressed as just over 8 1/2 pints in 14 days.. seems a bit light

      To achieve satisfactory production output to meet current demand I can foresee requiring several of these deployed in a resilient architecture, with staggered start and a rolling production methodology to ensure future capacity

      Add to that a DR site (probably the smalls bedroom), UPS (somewhere the dog wont chew it) and the insurance i'll need to takeout against my brother turning up unannounced and drinking the entire contents of units 1-3 (whether ready or not)....

      Let alone the retraining of various family members as first line support..

      This is either an ill thought out, hipster "ah-how-quaint-i-made-my-own-beer" folly - or a fantastic Services opportunity....

    5. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      1. The article says "We contacted LG to find out how much the beer brewer would cost but have yet to hear back. ", so I wouldn't say it negates the cost factor. I guess it will be considerably cheaper than buying from a pub and cheaper than supermarket, and more expensive than full-blown home-brew, but without an exact price it's difficult to see where it fits in. Either way, all the way along the range from full-blown homebrew to going to the pub, you're trading convenience for cost, and this slots in into a currently unoccupied position on that scale. So it's almost certain that the cost/convenience ratio will work for some people.

      2. I'm quite certain that unless they have some DMCA-type technology to only allow their own capsules to work, that some enterprising bods will find a way to reverse engineer the system and tweak the recipes / substitute their own capsules.

      So, it's not for me but it might be a niche hit

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        "I'm quite certain that unless they have some DMCA-type technology to only allow their own capsules to work, that some enterprising bods will find a way to reverse engineer the system and tweak the recipes / substitute their own capsules."

        Or the machine requires a certain formulation of yeast or other compound...to which LG holds the patent (and no complaining this time as it's a real, physical thing here) so can sue any copycats to extinction.

    6. jake Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      The gear for a 5 gallon batch is about $100 ... or, if you are handy with a welder and have a good scrapyard nearby, you can make a 30 gallon 3-stage system for under 500 bucks.

      However, this thing isn't about brewing beer. This is about "hey, look at me, aren't I cool?". I mean. honestly, what good is a brewing system that cant handle a poker (bridge, Risk, D&D, pick your poison) night?

    7. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      So what is the point of it, and who is the target audience?

      1. To make the manufacturers money and

      2. People with more money than sense (or ability).

      Next!

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