EDIT: As of 21.50 UTC it has come to my attention that this kickstarter is a hoax, designed to promote a water charity. This is entirely our mistake, and I apologize unreservedly. I will be leaving the article unedited, but please be aware that it is not true.
Behold! Water turned into wine on your very own kitchen counter. But unlike the stone water jars filled to the brim during the wedding at Cana in Galilee, the sleek-looking Miracle Machine does require a little more than just water and takes at least a couple days.
The machine uses Bluetooth to sync to a smartphone app, where you plug in what wine you want to make. You add a pre-packaged kit of ingredients -- grape concentrate, yeast, and special powder for that oak barrel-aged flavor -- to 600 milliliters of water. Then the fermentation chamber gets to work. The accelerated device reduces the process into three days.
The developers, wine industry veterans Ken Boyer and Phillip Vine, aren’t saying much about the actual science behind their fermentation process, just that it involves “an array of electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps” to create a controlled environment for the first and second fermentation stages.
A digital refractometer measures the sugar content and a ceramic air-diffuser pumps filtered air to aerate the wine and soften the tannins (plant acids). An ultrasonic transducer underneath the fermentation chamber speeds up flavor development. The whole process is connected through an Arduino microcontroller, and you can use the app to track the process.
They’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign, and if funded, for an estimated $499, you can turn water into six different wines -- from Napa and Sonoma to Burgundy and Italy -- using just $2 worth of ingredients. But this isn’t just your average Two Buck Chuck (ain’t nothing wrong that); they reportedly taste like a $20 bottle. (Someone let me know if that's true.)
Image: Miracle Machine