Make sure that you have the connectors all the way down. I thought I had done it properly, but I found out later (once the brewing started) I wasn’t being quite aggressive enough with it. I was getting an error, so Kev walked over and pushed them down properly, and the errors stopped. So in other words, don’t be too gentle with this part — it’s not a delicate operation!
Now you’re ready to press the control knob on the front of the Pico to start the first rinse — it takes about 5 minutes for this to complete.
The included manual is fantastic because it basically holds your hand through every step of every process. I do wish the manual was laminated or made with water-resistant paper, though. There’s a lot of info in there, and you’ll need it every step of the way; it will also likely get wet at some point. 😛
After you’ve done that first rinse, you’ll find a couple of inches of water in the brewing keg and in the step filter, but there will still be a lot of water in the reservoir on top. To get that out, you’ll disconnect the ball connectors on the brewing keg and then you’ll attach one of the two black keg wands to the black ball lock connector. You’ll use that wand to suck the rest of the water out of the reservoir (it goes into the step filter).
Once the reservoir has been emptied, you’ll unscrew the inline filter to remove the blue inline wire mesh filter; you’ll rinse it thoroughly with tap water.
Now you are ready for your first brew!
This is about the time that I realized Kev was on the phone with his friend Charlie, and they were busily discussing the PicoBrew setup in our kitchen. Evidently, they were both very interested in (and slightly excited about) what was going on! After getting off the phone, Kev came in and became my much-appreciated brewing assistant. 😉
To get started, you’ll open the box containing the PicoPak. It contains the Hops Pak and the larger Grains Pak as well as the sugar, yeast, and (if your recipe calls for it) the extra hops for dry-hopping later.