Food Engineering Magazine has published an in-depth article about BrewMonitor, Getting Consistent Results from Fermentation. The story is a Q&A with Precision Fermentation’s Dave Frizzell (Senior Product Development Specialist) and Andy Morrison (Sales Engineer), and is a far-reaching discussion about how comprehensive, real-time data helps successful fermentation performance management, operational efficiency, and product consistency, plus provides some great background on our product and company. Many thanks to Food Engineering and Senior Techical Editor, Wayne Labs! Here’s an excerpt:
Food Engineering: In the process controls world, certainly the six parameters [dissolved oxygen, gravity, pH, temperature, pressure, and conductivity] could have been monitored with equipment and sensors some 30 or 40 years ago—although probably not all of them would have been monitored. How has our understanding of the beer brewing process changed over the years, and how has technology aided in better processes today?
Frizzell and Morrison: This is an interesting question because it really gets to the heart of what we’re excited to be doing within the industry. Fermentation is an integral part of human society and industry, and it has remained fundamentally the same process for literally thousands of years. This means there are elements of the process that are managed certain ways simply because they’ve worked all this time, but there’s still scientific work to be done to fully discover why. While pH meters existed around 40 years ago, they were large and required calibration every 4 hours. Now we have the technology to put six different sensors in a Sensor Hub no bigger than a shoebox, and they will work for months without the need for recalibration. There’s never been the capability to collect such rich information on such a massive scale. Combining this with the ability to clearly see how a change in a single variable impacts the others in real-time is unprecedented. So, where we’ve previously spent all this time and effort looking through a keyhole to try to figure out what’s been happening inside these big fermentation tanks, technology like this allows us to have a full, panoramic view.