BrewMonitor® offers your brewing team access to insight that has never been available before: high-resolution data from inside your fermentation tank, allowing you to track the progress of your fermentation, analyze results, benchmark future batches, and much more. The resulting graphs for each completed fermentation – dissolved oxygen, pH, gravity, pressure, temperature and conductivity – provide extremely clear views into the events that transpired and techniques that were employed.

This series of articles shows examples of data curves from specific parameters, as they were recorded from the fermentation of various styles in different scenarios. These graphs are from actual fermentations, and offered as a look into how these conditions express themselves as measured data trends. In this installment, we step through some examples of typical conductivity curves.

See our earlier post on typical gravity curves »
See our earlier post on typical pH curves »

Figure 1: IPA Example. The IPA has a starting and finishing conductivity in between the other two beers, indicating that some salts have been added to the mash water but not as much as the stout. IPAs will typically have a greater concentration of the sulfate anion than the chloride anion, as this balance will highlight the hop flavors by making the final product taste drier and more crisp.

Figure 2: Lager Example.The starting conductivity of the lager is the lowest by far, 500 𝜇S/cm below the next beer. This is because water profiles for lagers are typically much “softer” than other styles, meaning it has a lower concentration of ionic compounds dissolved in the mash water. These ionic compounds such as calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate dissociate into their individual ions when dissolved and allow the water to carry electrical current.  This softer water profile lends itself to a more crisp mouthfeel, the hallmark of a well made pilsner-style lager.

Figure 3: Stout example. The stout starts with a conductivity level just below 2600 𝜇S/cm. Of the three examples, this is the highest conductivity due to the increased levels of calcium carbonate and calcium chloride required to offset the acidity of roasted barley and give a soft mouthfeel to the final product.

Figure 4: Conductivity Comparison. All three beers start with a period of stable conductivity before fermentation begins. This baseline is a strong indicator of the amount of salts dissolved in the wort, typically added before the mashing process. The readings then enter a period of instability, indicating production of CO2 which interferes with the conductivity readings. In the three examples, the conductivity levels end just below the starting points due to the uptake of metallic ions by the yeast during the course of the fermentation.

Thoughts about these data curve examples? Post your comments below.

Sign up for a BrewMonitor demo »
Get started with BrewMonitor, risk-free »

Leave a Comment