Gadget invented that turns water into wineBy Lucy Shaw
Philip James, the entrepreneur who founded struggling wine start-up Lot18, has invented a “Miracle Machine” that claims to turn water into wine in three days.
As reported by Business Insider, James, who left the New York-based Lot18 last year amid a series of layoffs, is due to launch the Kickstarter page for The Miracle Machine next week.
The idea came about while James was recovering from a motorbike accident that happened during a 17,000-mile, around the world charity trip.
Having dinner with his friend and former Lot18 vice president Kevin Boyer one night, the pair were discussing how difficult it would be to perform Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine.
The next morning, they decided that they had adequate technology at their fingertips to be able to build a devise to work the miracle and spent the next year fine-tuning the design.
Seeking advice from friends in Silicon Valley, James and Boyer explored the possibility of accelerating the winemaking process by using a low amount of heat and a computer-controlled environment.
In addition, they examined the precise chemical composition of some of the world’s most sought after fine wines and found that it is possible to replicate the aromas found in certain wines in the same way the perfume industry is able to simulate certain aromas.
The Miracle Machine essentially works like a Soda Stream by turning water, grape concentrate and yeast into wine via a mobile phone app supported by iOS and Android.
The device has a fermentation chamber that “uses an array of electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps to provide a controlled environment for fermentation.”
A digital refractometer measures the sugar content of the wine during the fermentation process, while a ceramic air-diffuser pumps filtered air under a regulated micro-oxygenated environment in order to soften the tannins.
At the same time, an ultrasonic transducer directly underneath the chamber resonates and speeds up the flavour development of the wine.
Customers can choose the type of wine they want to make, from “Napa” Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to “Oregon” Pinot Noir and a “Tuscan” red blend.
The grape concentrate, yeast and “final sachet of ingredients” will soon be available to buy on the Miracle Machine website and eventually Amazon.
James says the cost of making a bottle of wine using the machine equates to US$2, though the quality of the resulting wine is “that of a US$20 bottle.”
Once made, the wine will only keep for up to two weeks, but, according to James, it will be made to taste “pre-aged.”