Category Archives: Tech in Homebrewing

PLAATO Airlock – WiFi Fermentation Analyzer – $84.99, Save $45 with stacking deals

PLAATO Airlock - WiFi Fermentation Analyzer FE670

PLAATO Airlock – WiFi Fermentation Analyzer via MoreBeer

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

PLAATO is a brand-new way of analyzing your ongoing fermentation. This digital airlock sends information about your fermentation straight to your phone – monitoring specific gravity, fermentation activity, alcohol percentage, and ambient temperature – and does so 100% non-invasively. For every single batch, a unique fermentation analysis report is generated that helps you understand what’s going on from start to finish. Know when (and if) your fermentation begins, how the yeast works its way through the wort, and how temperature steps affect the rate of fermentation. With each batch you’ll gain more and more insight into the fermentation process. PLAATO connects to your local WiFi and uploads data every five minutes, which you can view at any time with the free PLAATO App for iOS and Android devices.

How PLAATO Works
In the fermentation process the glucose in the wort is mainly converted into equal amounts of ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. The liquid alcohol remains in the beer, and the gaseous CO2 bubbles up and out of your fermenter. In other words, by knowing the amount of CO2 that has been produced we also know the amount of alcohol produced. This is exactly what PLAATO tracks.

PLAATO measures the flow of CO2, and knows at any time the total amount of gas that has escaped the fermenter. This data is instantly included in their advanced algorithms and valuable data can be calculated. This technique is used by laboratories all over the world, but PLAATO is the first commercial product that utilizes this chemical relation and technology to give valuable information to brewers.

Designed by Brewers
PLAATO was developed from the ground up by a team of passionate homebrewers with practicality and ease-of-use in mind. Simply install the airlock, connect it to WiFi, and enter your starting gravity in PLAATO app. The airlock is made from food safe Tritan and can be broken down and sanitized with Star San or other commonly used chemicals. It’s also splash proof and designed to withstand overflowing fermentations.

  • PLAATO Airlock
  • Micro USB power cable (10 ft.)
  • Free iOS & Android app
  • 2018 Red Dot award winner for Industrial Design

 

  • This is on sale, marked down $99.  That’s a $30 savings
  • Site Wide Sale: For a short time, MoreBeer is taking 15% off nearly everything, site wide as part of their 12 Deals of Christmas Sale!.  There are a few exceptions.  This stacks with the Plaato sale making it just $84.99.  That’s a $45 savings in all.
  • Get Free Shipping: Shipping is also free to most US addresses with a qualifying $59 order.

PLAATO Airlock – WiFi Fermentation Analyzer FE670 – remember coupon code MORESANTA

Related: Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation & Best Sellers in Lab Erlenmeyers – via Amazon | StirStarter Stir Plate | Yeast Starters and Fermentation Resource Page

MoreDeals! at MoreBeer:

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Looking for a MoreBeer Deal? – Today’s Deal of the Day | Sale Items | MoreBeer Deals

PLAATO Airlock – WiFi Fermentation Analyzer – $99, Save $30, Limited Availability

PLAATO Airlock - WiFi Fermentation Analyzer FE670

PLAATO Airlock – WiFi Fermentation Analyzer via MoreBeer

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

PLAATO is a brand-new way of analyzing your ongoing fermentation. This digital airlock sends information about your fermentation straight to your phone – monitoring specific gravity, fermentation activity, alcohol percentage, and ambient temperature – and does so 100% non-invasively. For every single batch, a unique fermentation analysis report is generated that helps you understand what’s going on from start to finish. Know when (and if) your fermentation begins, how the yeast works its way through the wort, and how temperature steps affect the rate of fermentation. With each batch you’ll gain more and more insight into the fermentation process. PLAATO connects to your local WiFi and uploads data every five minutes, which you can view at any time with the free PLAATO App for iOS and Android devices.

How PLAATO Works
In the fermentation process the glucose in the wort is mainly converted into equal amounts of ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. The liquid alcohol remains in the beer, and the gaseous CO2 bubbles up and out of your fermenter. In other words, by knowing the amount of CO2 that has been produced we also know the amount of alcohol produced. This is exactly what PLAATO tracks.

PLAATO measures the flow of CO2, and knows at any time the total amount of gas that has escaped the fermenter. This data is instantly included in their advanced algorithms and valuable data can be calculated. This technique is used by laboratories all over the world, but PLAATO is the first commercial product that utilizes this chemical relation and technology to give valuable information to brewers.

Designed by Brewers
PLAATO was developed from the ground up by a team of passionate homebrewers with practicality and ease-of-use in mind. Simply install the airlock, connect it to WiFi, and enter your starting gravity in PLAATO app. The airlock is made from food safe Tritan and can be broken down and sanitized with Star San or other commonly used chemicals. It’s also splash proof and designed to withstand overflowing fermentations.

  • PLAATO Airlock
  • Micro USB power cable (10 ft.)
  • Free iOS & Android app
  • 2018 Red Dot award winner for Industrial Design

 

Limited Availability Deal of the Day: As of this posting, this is marked down to $99.99 as a MoreBeer Deal of the DayShipping is also free to addresses in the contiguous US with most $59 Orders. Availability: This is available today only, while supplies last. Quantities are limited. Check the MoreBeer’s Deal of the Day to check today’s offering.

Product Description – Here – Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

PLAATO Airlock – WiFi Fermentation Analyzer FE670

Related: Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation & Best Sellers in Lab Erlenmeyers – via Amazon | StirStarter Stir Plate | Yeast Starters and Fermentation Resource Page

MoreDeals! at MoreBeer:

More: Recent MoreBeer Finds

Looking for a MoreBeer Deal? – Today’s Deal of the Day | Sale Items | MoreBeer Deals

PicoBrew Pico C Beer Brewing Appliance

PicoBrew Pico C Beer Brewing Appliance 14" x 12" x 16" Black

PicoBrew Pico C Beer Brewing Appliance 14″ x 12″ x 16″ Black


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Brews 5 liters of your favorite craft beer at a time – the equivalent of (13) 12-ounce bottles – using pico Pak, kits containing all-natural grains and hops ingredients
  • Select pico Pak from award-winning beers from a growing list of over 180 large and small breweries around the world available on the pico brew marketplace.Diameter: 8.5 inches
  • Fine-tune the ABV (alcohol Content) and ibu (bitterness level) of any pico Pak to your liking, or create a custom freestyle pico Pak with your own recipe of grains, hops, and yeast
  • Simple cleanup with built-in steam cleaning and dishwasher-safe components
  • Pico Pak sold separately

PicoBrew Pico C Beer Brewing Appliance 14″ x 12″ x 16″ Black – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


More: Recent Amazon Finds

Announcing: TiltBridge – Bluetooth to WiFi Bridge for TILT Bluetooth Hydrometer!

tiltbridge

What is TiltBridge: “TiltBridge is a standalone piece of hardware which is designed to allow your Tilt Hydrometer to connect directly to WiFi without the need for an old cell phone, tablet, or Raspberry Pi. TiltBridge remains connected 24/7 and allows you to keep logging your specific gravity – even when you aren’t next to your fermenters. It is cheap, easy to use, and open source”

Related:

Notes from HBF: TiltBridge is a build it yourself project run using free open source software.  TiltBridge has kindly made plans and firmware available to anyone that wants to build this!

tiltbridge.com

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Hands on Review: Tilt Bluetooth Fermentation Hydrometer – Now Integrates with Brewfather!

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Tilt Bluetooth Fermentation Hydrometer

I get pretty excited about most homebrew gear. As an engineer, I love trying to find new tools that let me brew more consistently, or give me control over processes that previously were just a spectator sport. The Tilt Bluetooth hydrometer is one of those devices that pulls back the curtain a bit on a part of the brew process that’s a bit more mysterious. It lets you see what’s going on within your fermenting beer in a way that makes you wonder how you managed without it before.


Get the Gear, Review Continues Below

Check product pages and searches for current availability, description and pricing


The device comes in a compact clear polycarbonate tube, sealed on each end to keep the battery and fancy circuitry dry as it floats along in your fermentor. It’s completely no-strings-attached, and you just drop it in your fermentor and the Bluetooth chip on board broadcasts to your smartphone or tablet to report Standard Gravity and temperature. It makes use of a novel concept to track your gravity. It has a digital inclinometer on board, which measures how much it’s “tilt”-ed . The weight of the device makes it want to sink in your beer, and buoyancy of the cylinder counteracts it. The thicker your wort is, the Tilt doesn’t sink as much and as a result has a greater tilt. As your fermentation progresses and the gravity drops, the buoyancy decreases and Tilt sinks lower and becomes more vertical. The circuitry measuring the angle does some calculations and outputs the angle as a gravity measurement.

Continue reading

Kegtron – Smart Keg Monitor System

Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor - Single Tap | Track Your Keg Levels From Your Phone | Upgrade Your Taps

Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor – Dual Tap Expansion Unit | Track Your Keg Levels From Your Phone | Upgrade Your Taps


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • UPGRADE YOUR TAPS – Wirelessly monitor your kegerator or taps at the bar
  • ALL ON YOUR PHONE – Monitor all of your kegs from your phone or tablet
  • STOP THE GUESSWORK – Don’t be surprised by empty kegs. Track volume served, volume remaining, servings remaining and more
  • QUICK AND EASY – Install it yourself quickly and clean-in-place with your beverage lines
  • EXPANDABLE – Add expansion monitors to grow as needed. Works with small kegerators to large bars & restaurants

Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor, monitors the beers you have on tap and let’s you know how much each keg is holding.  Works with a companion smart phone and tablet app.

Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor – Dual Tap Expansion Unit | Track Your Keg Levels From Your Phone | Upgrade Your Taps – note that this is available in multiple versions to accommodate different line counts

Learn More!  Hands on Review: Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor

Also: Kegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | Recent Keg Finds

Our Top Draft Resources

 

More: Recent Amazon Finds

Pico Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance

Pico – Craft Beer Brewing Appliance

Pico Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance for Homebrewing


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Brews 5 liters of beer at a time – the equivalent of 13 12-ounce bottles
  • Fine-tune the ABV (alcohol content) and ibu (bitterness level) of any PicoPak to your liking, or create a custom PicoPak with your own recipe of grains, hops, and yeast.
  • Designed for home brewing elites, the Pico Pro comes with two 6. 6 liter (1. 75 gallon) ball-lock kegs, easy to connect to your kegerator or the included CO2-powered party tap
  • Professional Co2 force-carbonation system so you can enjoy your finished beer faster
  • Built-in steam cleaning and dishwasher-safe components make clean-up simple

Pico Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance for Homebrewing – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


More: Recent Amazon Finds

Kegtron – Smart Keg Monitor System

Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor - Single Tap | Track Your Keg Levels From Your Phone | Upgrade Your Taps

Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor – Dual Tap Expansion Unit | Track Your Keg Levels From Your Phone | Upgrade Your Taps


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • UPGRADE YOUR TAPS – Wirelessly monitor your kegerator or taps at the bar
  • ALL ON YOUR PHONE – Monitor all of your kegs from your phone or tablet
  • STOP THE GUESSWORK – Don’t be surprised by empty kegs. Track volume served, volume remaining, servings remaining and more
  • QUICK AND EASY – Install it yourself quickly and clean-in-place with your beverage lines
  • EXPANDABLE – Add expansion monitors to grow as needed. Works with small kegerators to large bars & restaurants

Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor, monitors the beers you have on tap and let’s you know how much each keg is holding.  Works with a companion smart phone and tablet app.

Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor – Dual Tap Expansion Unit | Track Your Keg Levels From Your Phone | Upgrade Your Taps – note that this is available in multiple versions to accommodate different line counts

Learn More!  Hands on Review: Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor

Also: Kegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | Recent Keg Finds

Our Top Draft Resources

 

More: Recent Amazon Finds

Hands on Review: Brewfather App – Recipe Formulation, Calculators & Brew Day Tools

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Brewfather App

Depending on your brewing personality, you might take notes on paper, do no recipe calculations at all, or use brewing software. I started using BeerSmith when I moved to all-grain brewing, since there were more variables to control when making a recipe and more process steps to keep track of. I’ve been using BeerSmith 2 for the past 5 years, and that’s established my baseline expectations of brewing software. That’s the perspective used when I evaluated the Brewfather software.


Give it a Try!

Brewfather offers a free full feature trial.  After the trial period, you’ll still have access via a limited, non-expiring account

Our 10 Most Recent Reviews | Great Deals – Our Last 50 Finds


What I’ve found with BeerSmith is that it pretty much has everything I need, but some features are a bit more cumbersome to use than I would like. Although there are limitations or some awkward features, it works and I know how to use it. And more importantly, my entire recipe history of all-grain exists within it. So when someone told me about Brewfather and suggested I check it out, I was apprehensive. I felt like I had so much time invested in BeerSmith, and I didn’t want to have to go through re-learning everything again in a new software. But I tried it anyway.

The Basics

Brewfather isn’t a software that you load on your computer, the software exists on Brewfather’s servers. So there’s nothing to install or configure. You access it through a web browser interface, but it’s much fancier than that. You have the exact same interface and full toolset whether you’re running it on a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. Once you’ve created an account, your login credentials work in all of those environments to seamlessly give you access. And since it’s running off a server, all of those devices have access to the same information at the same time. If you change a recipe on your phone, it automatically shows up on your laptop. If you’re running a brew timer on your laptop and then close that down, you open it on your smartphone without missing a beat. And in these settings, it also allows you to work offline and then sync your data when you get back online.

Brew Timer in Action

Because it’s a server-based software, it stays funded by users paying a licensing fee. You can have full access to the calculators for free, but the free membership only lets you store 10 recipes, and doesn’t allow certain features. To go beyond that, you have to pay for the Premium Membership, which is $2/month, or $20/year if you pay for the full year at once.

Recipe generation is straightforward, with a large database of grains, hops, and yeast to pick from to build your recipe up. As you add ingredients, a recipe graphic shows how your recipe measures up against the beer style guidelines that you’ve picked. As you add your grains, you can either add the amount and see the resulting % of mash and OG, or alternatively, you go into your grain list and select the percentage of the malt bill you want each grain to make up and it automatically calculates the weight. Or even better, you select the OG you want, and it will ratio up your grains to meet that OG and keep the percentages the same. Hop additions have similar tools where you can select the IBU and it will ratio your hop weights to hit your target IBU. When you select your yeast, there’s a pop-up calculator where it will calculate the particulars for a yeast starter where you can customize things like pitch rate and yeast age easily. A water calculator is integrated into the recipe builder for easy adjustment of target water profile and auto-calculated mineral additions to hit your target.

Water Adjustment Tool

After you’ve built your recipe, brew day features are built in. With the brew timer directly fed from your recipe, it maps out your brew day with step-by-step instructions. It starts by telling you the strike water volume and temperature and prompting you to get that going. When you click to tell it you’ve reached strike temperature, it spits out the list of brewing salt additions and grains. You confirm that you’ve mashed in, and the timer starts for the mash time you had set up in your recipe. An alarm with pop-up window tells you when the mash step is over, and tells you the next target temperature. When your mash steps are complete, it guides you through sparging and tells you how much wort to collect for the pre-boil volume. Stepping into the boil phase, it prompts you for boil additions at the appropriate time, and even post-boil whirlpool additions. And as I mentioned before, this is all synchronized on whatever device you’re looking at (even if simultaneously open on a laptop in one room and your smartphone in another).

To list all of the features and functions within the software would be exhausting and would just turn into a replicate of the owner’s manual. You can import and export recipes, so if your BeerSmith veteran like me, you can pull over your favorite recipes. You can build equipment profiles and customize them for fill volumes, lost volumes, etc. The equipment profile has a tool to precisely characterize the thermal properties of your brew rig for infusion mash additions with a simple experiment. You can customize water profiles, ingredient profiles, beer styles- pretty much everything.

Hands on Review

First and foremost- bug free. I discovered no glitches, no weird “just click on it twice, even though you shouldn’t have to” bugs, and the transitions from laptop to phone and back were likewise flawless. I loved the ability to start my recipe at home on my laptop before going to work, finishing it up on my work computer, and even tweaking it while at the homebrew shop when I found they didn’t have the particular hop I was planning to use. I didn’t have to take a note somewhere and go back to update the master copy, I had access to the master copy anywhere I went. I was even impressed that during my brew session, when I realized I hadn’t set up the mash profile to what I wanted, I was able to go in, edit it, and jump back out, all without disrupting the brew timer, and instantly incorporating that tweak to the active session.

Brew Session Data Entry and Realtime Statistics

Recipe creation was great. Not that I ever found it that hard in BeerSmith, but Brewfather made it somehow easier, and felt more flexible. But by far, my favorite feature was the “Batch” concept. You build your Recipe, and that becomes your “master copy”. When you’re ready to brew, you click on a button within your Recipe to start a Batch, which copies your recipe as the starting point. But if you want to make a 5 gallon batch this time instead of a 2.5 gallon batch, you change it in the settings for that Batch, and the recipe master remains untouched. If you are brewing your favorite recipe, but in a new piece of brewing equipment, you handle that in the Batch. If the AA% of the hops you’re using are slightly different than your recipe, you change that in the Batch and let the software adjust to maintain your IBU. If you want to experiment with a different yeast this time, you do that in your Batch. All of these brew session variations off your master recipe are stored together as a subset of your recipe. You don’t have multiple copies of a recipe strewn about with minor variations. This is perfect for those of us that try to perfect a certain recipe, or want to keep detailed notes of all the minor set-up variations from batch to batch.

Adding Brewing Notes on Brew Day- Typos OptionalTilt Data Logging Linked to Batch Record – Tilt Hydrometers  – Hands on Review

The other thing that grabbed my attention when I heard about Brewfather was the integration it has with Tilt (or other various brewing devices). Every batch I brew, I track fermentation progress with a Tilt Bluetooth hydrometer. With Brewfather, it gives me an http:// address to type into my Tilt App settings and then it sends all of its gravity & temperature logging data to my Brewfather account. In my Batch tracking, once brew day is done, I can move it into the fermentation stage and then tell it which Tilt is tracking fermentation. Then within that Batch record, you can pull up the exact fermentation profile. Without Brewfather, I map my Tilt to write data to Google Sheets, then print out a hard copy later and tape it into my brewing journal. Having the complete history in one online dataset, seems like a great record-keeping process. And being able to record gravity readings, pH readings, volume readings, and any other notes in one Batch record in the midst of my brew session, pretty much makes my brewing notebook obsolete (in theory).


Related, Review Continues Below:

Hands on Review: Tilt Bluetooth Fermentation Hydrometer!


Tilt Data Plot on Smartphone with Data Smoothing On

Conclusions

Overall, the layout is well thought-out, with all the various calculators and brewing tools integrated in at logical points rather than having to go search for functions. The operation was flawless for me, which of course is super-important since you don’t want a brew day timer to freeze up on you in mid-batch, or risk losing a great recipe that turned out great. The ability to track Batches off of one Recipe is a feature I really loved, as well as having full access with whatever computer/smartphone I wanted to use. And lastly, being a big Tilt user, it’s great to be able to have this functionality integrated with all my brew records rather than a separate set of data/graphs. So even though I hate the concept of having to pay for software on an on-going basis, with all of this functionality stemming from its server-based operation, I’m on board.


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More Photos

Brew Timer on SmartphoneRecipe Builder with Visual Beer Stats vs Style GuidelinesYeast Starter Calculator Pop-up

Special Thanks Brewfather for access to their software for evaluation in this review.

By Brad Probert.  Check out Brad’s website – beersnobby.com

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review:brewfather

meross Waterproof Wireless Wifi Control Outlet – Alexa & Google Assistant, IFTTT

meross Smart WiFi Outdoor and Indoor Plug with 2 Grounded Sockets, Plug-in Heavy Duty Outlet, Remote Control, Timer, Waterproof, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT, FCC and ETL Certified

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • For Outdoor and Indoor: IP44 weatherproof housing. Ideal for Garden, Backyard, Kitchen, Bathroom, Porch, Balcony, Garage, Basement, Patio or Electric grill, Sprinkler, Washing machine, Christmas tree, Landscape lighting, Fountains, Lamps, Pumps and other outdoor or indoor-use electric appliances, etc.
  • Remote and Voice Control: Control the two sockets individually from anywhere anytime. ONLY supports Meross app. Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT, simply use your voice command to control each individual socket. All data is securely transmitted and stored using Amazon AWS servers in US.
  • Schedule and Timmer Setting: You can schedule each socket to turn on and off automatically. Added benefit of saving energy when the plugged-in appliances are not needed or are left on by accident. Support sunrise and sunset setting.

 

Possible homebrew uses – control brewing pump, turn on and off carboy washer [review] turn on and off your draft cleaning pump – See: Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump.  Always be cautious when using your brewing pump with hot liquids and always read and follow manufacturer’s specifications and directions.

meross MSS620 WiFi Smart Outdoor/Indoor Plug 2 Grounded, Plugin Heavy Duty Outlet, Remote Control, Timer, Waterproof, Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT, FCC, ETL Certified


Also Consider: MLCS 9089 Billy Pedal Foot Switch, 2 Step ON/OFF(Continuous Running)

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Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.