Wasting food is a terrible feeling. But thanks to Alchema, you can turn your leftover fruit into tasty, alcoholic beverages.
The countertop smart device allows you to choose from a variety of different recipes from its smartphone app to make mead, cider and even wine. Simply add the ingredients, wait for it all to ferment, pop it in the fridge to settle and enjoy.
The app allows you to monitor your cider’s progress through its temperature or pressure and also lets you tailor the drink’s alcohol content or sweetness to your liking. The Alchema is connected via Wi-Fi, so you can check on your batch of adult juice when you’re out of the house. And if something goes wrong (e.g. spoilage due to the temperature getting too high), the app will alert you so you can make the proper changes.
While the appliance will take up some serious counter space in your kitchen, it will also hold 2.4 liters, which comes out to about 3 bottles of wine. With a hefty price tag of $499 — and the additional cost of yeast packets, the Alchema won’t be saving you money on booze anytime soon. However, it’s a fun way to turn something into booze that you may have otherwise thrown in the trash.
I was able to meet up with the Alchema team and taste four of their homemade ciders, which were all quite tasty. They ranged from a low 3.2 percent alcohol content to 10.8 percent, and each had its own distinct and fruity flavor ranging from very dry to sweet but not overwhelming. The team also made a batch right in front of me in under five minutes. The process is almost impossible to mess up thanks to a scale built into the device that can help you measure out ingredients.
Alchema first launched on Kickstarter in the summer of 2016, where it raised over $359,000 with a target of $80,000. However, the company is seeking additional funding. The unit is expected to ship in the fall of 2017, just in time for apple season.
While you can make cider at home with a YouTube education, Alchema is supposed to makes the entire process easier for someone who may be uncomfortable with a bucket of fermenting fruit in their closet. The process doesn’t happen overnight, with cider taking up to two weeks and a batch of wine up to 16 weeks to complete.