søndag 3. april 2016

First impressions of the Brewometer

I will do this write up in english, since I belive many homebrewers are interested in this brewing hardware. I apologize for any typos and bad english in advance.

The Brewometer

So last week I recived the Brewometer, a device that let's you check specific gravity (SG) and temperature with your phone or tablet, and also log these data to a cloud spreadsheet (like google sheets). They very same day I brewed a dark saison so I could test it. I have gotten many questions about how it works and my impressions of it so far, so I thougth I'd write this review.

How does it work:
To start and use the brewometer, simply drop it into the wort. The Brewometer uses gyroes to measure it's angle when it floats, and calculates the SG from this. The higher the SG, the higher the bouyancy and the angle at which the brewometer floats will increase. Brilliant!

The brewometer uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone or tablet, so that you can read SG and temperature when ever you want to. To log the data, you need a cloud service and a spreadsheet. The guys at Brewometer has made a template for google sheets which works great and is easy to set up. The sheet logs the input from the app, and produces a nice graph which shows the progression of the fermentation.

Graph from the dark saison fermentation
To monitor the fermantation, you need a dedicated tablet or smartphone to run the app at all times during fermantation. I did not have that for this beer, so as you can see, the graph is a bit chopped up. But even then, you can still see the progress. Hopefully I will have a sollution for continious monitoring for the next brew, That way I can check on the brew even when I am not at home, by checking the spreadsheet.

First impressions:
I love being able to easily check temperature and SG without pouring a sample. As far as SG readings go, the brewometer and my hydrometer show the same value. Unfortunalty the temperature seems to be off by two degrees celcius. Luckely this was a saison; a warm fermentation is acctualy preferable. The brewometer has a calibration option, but I don't know if this is just for gravity measures or both. Seing as this is a brand new product, not all of the guides are writen and published yet. But I belive this will become a very popular device for homebrewers and craftbrewers alike, so resources and app development are bound to happen.

Screen shot from the app and control measure with my hydrometer. Spot on!

Logging data to the spreadsheet work fine, but because my phone wasn't continiously running the app and monitoring the fermentation, it didn't upload data as often as it should, and it forgot the adress for the spreadsheet quite often. I assume this will work better with  dedicated device for running the app, but I don't understand why it forgot the adress all the time.

Kind of hard after just one test, but I really like this. It makes monitoring and controlling your fermentation so much easier. Finding out when to raise temperature or add dry hops, requires just a check on your phone. I became a bit obsessed with checking the gravity ALL THE TIME, but I guess that will subside after a while.

The next question will be how easy is the brewometer to clean and sanitize. The surface is smooth with no nooks or crannies, except perhaps the lid for changing batteries. This remains to be seen.

The brewometer comes in eigth different colours, and you can not run two of the same colour at once.

Someone suggested using  Raspberry Pi to monitor the Brewometer, and the Brewometer team confirmed that this could be done, but I have no clue as to how.