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(Pocket-lint) - You may have seen the ads on TV or Facebook but wondered what Pinter actually is or does.

Or, you're thinking of taking the plunge and ordering one to help kickstart your Christmas celebrations.

Either way, here's our handy guide on Pinter, the changes made for the new Pinter 2 and what it can provide for beer connoisseurs.

What is Pinter?

Pinter is a home beer and cider brewing system that's easier to use than standard kits. The main element is a keg-shaped device with a pouring handle in which you brew your own beer or cider from fresh press beer mixes that are delivered in bottles.

Sometimes you also get a separate hopper containing hops to add at the end of the process, but mostly you just need to add the fresh press, water and wait just over a week to for the brew to finish.

Then, you can pour up to 10 pints of naturally carbonated beer or cider from the Pinter (or Pinter 2, as has recently been launched).

What's the difference between Pinter and other beer pouring devices?

Pocket-lint recently spoke with the CEO of Pinter, Ralph Broadbent, for the Pocket-lint Podcast. He explained that the number one purpose of a Pinter over another pouring device is freshness: "I always feel that most products are good for different people in different ways. The pouring devices have the advantage that your beer is ready to go. So, if you're looking for a beer today, the Pinter is never going to be the right solution - it does require a degree of planning. But the pouring devices don't give you fresh beer. In fact, you'll probably get fresher beer from a can."

Another obvious benefit is the environment: "We're the only beer in the world that can be delivered through a letterbox - which is really helpful because that means there's quite a big reduction in packaging. So 17 cans or bottles of beer are replaced by just one fresh press," he told us.

"We're only transporting about 15 per cent of the original liquids and things like that. So, it's just way better for the environment. We've only been trading for about a year and we've stopped about three million cans or bottles from the waste stream."

How does Pinter work?

As we dabble in home brewing ourselves we can appreciate how simple it is to use the Pinter.

Pinter even supplies a step-by-step guide in its dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android. It basically involves santitising it before starting, using an included bottle of cleaning solution and hot water, rinsing it and adding the fresh presh and select amount of water. Then add the yeast, give it a shake and away you go.

There are a fair few different fresh presh beers and ciders you can purchase, each with a set amount of time for fermentation (up to about seven days) and they self-carbonate in the Pinter itself. Then, when it's time to pour, you release some of the built-up CO2 (on the first generation Pinter) and you should get a decent pint each time.

The Pinter 2 does things a little differently when it comes to pour.

What's the difference between Pinter and Pinter 2?

Pinter has recently updated its device, with the PInter 2 now the default machine you can buy.

It features a few key improvements, as Broadbent explained to us: "When we talk about beer degrading over time, one of the things that suffers the most is the hops. If you talk with brewers [they will tell you] that an IPA that is six months old, versus one that straight out the brewery, will be very different beers. The hops just degrade so much over time. So we invented something called the hopper. It basically has this dosing mechanism and injects hops into your beer.

"We also introduced a new tap system. Essentially, when you ferment the beer you produce  a lot of CO2 and it sits there in the headspace that helps carbonate beer. With generation one of Pinter, when you went to tap, you would open the carbonation door at the back and that would let the CO2 escape. If not and you poured under pressure you would end up getting loads of froth.

"But the disadvantage of that was that, as you started pouring, you started letting air in and air is one of the number one enemies of beer. Basically, you'll start to oxidise and your beer will start to go off so we gave customers seven days to drink that beer. But the new tapping system means that we can pour under pressure so the beer is carbonated for longer."

Also changed is the locking mechanism on the door of the Pinter, which is easier to close and secure - preventing any leaks.

How much is Pinter?

The Pinter 2 is available in the UK priced from £149.99. It's available in multiple colours, including black, white, blue, yellow and red.

The fresh press packs start at £10 and run up to £20 per pack, depending on the tipple. There are some with hoppers that are exclusive to the Pinter 2.

You can find out more at pinter.co.uk.

Also check out the full interview with Ralph Broadbent on the Pocket-lint Podcast episode 130.

Writing by Rik Henderson.