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Old 10-31-2012, 09:08 PM   #11
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Hmm... Little blowoff tube..
Reading the text it notes that was an early model and the blowoff tube will be bigger.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:15 PM   #12
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Interesting idea, but I don't see it as being of any true value for home brewers. Even commercial/professional brewers would be a hard sell on this. Knowing your yeast (via experience most of the time) means you're more apt to know how long to give a recipe in fermenter before you go with next steps. IMO, the actual market for this device is extremely small. A miniscule percentage of home brewers (a small enough market as it is) would find this of value.

Personally, I don't bother taking readings while a beer is in fermenter. I take one off of a sample pulled when moving the finished beer to keg, to get the FG. There's plenty of other ways (that cost far less) to judge where a batch is in the process.

I also see it as a solution looking for a problem.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:44 PM   #13
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So I backed this project and I am very excited to see them double the initial goal. I bought the bluetooth model so I could get it in Dec, as the wifi one doesn't look like it will ship till apr.

I do not intend to argue with Goldiggie on this, but my thoughts are completely opposite, this may be the fact that it combines two of my favourite hobbies, brewing and computers.

With this I could monitor my brew from the comfort of my computer chair. I could see how it is progressing. I'm betting on that I can record this brew, and compare it to my brew down the road. Lets say I like a specific recipe and brew it 2x in 2012. and 1x in 2013. If the one in 2013 is better than I remember the others, this would give me yet another tool to help me determine why. Oh look It fermented an average of 3 degrees hotter in 2013.

With this (and if I had two) I could make a double batch and ferment them side by side with different yeasts, comparing the result. Which one was faster/more efficient. This might be really fun for the home brewing clubs. I could compare my fermentation results with others. Then we could all laugh when mine did not taste as tasty as others but still had similar stats.

What about those wine/mead brewers? Beer is such a fast cycle, a couple of weeks and its done. With the meads ive made stuck fermentations are possible. I think this would be invaluable as a tool to help those who ferment different things diagnose potential issues and correct them before they become larger issues.

Able to measure sg w/o losing product. Less chance of contamination. the list goes on.

Disclaimer: I do not work with them, or anything like that. I am just an excited backer.

My concerns:

1) How accurate is it?
Hopefully it is more accurate/consistent than my analog measurements.
2) What does the software look/work like?
I am concerned that not all of my data logging dreams will come true. So I purchased the developer version with api Access ect so I can roll my own so to speak, if the default software doesn't meet my dreams/needs.
3) Cost.
If I wanted to compare batches simultaneously I would have to purchase more units. Will it be worth it? Only time will tell.

As far as I know this is the closest to production, inexpensive (compared to other options) option for grass roots brew monitoring. I watched these guys for over a year, hoping for updates, honestly I thought about making my own. If this isn't a complete success, it just paves the way for others to create competitors with better ideas or follow-through.

Just my two cents.

-Datsun

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:03 PM   #14
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For $119 per unit (for the early adopter) it had better do more than just give me gravity readings.

Another concern would be battery use/life and bluetooth signal range. Also, if you have more than one fermenting vessel, and have more than one batch in process at a time, you'll need more of these. How will that work?? Can more than one be tied to a system at a time?

BTW, I can get a kick ass refractometer for less money that can be used without batteries. I actually have one (ok, two but that's a different story). Also, the floating probe is just another thing to clean, and sanitize, for each batch. While it could be good for someone that's completely AR (or with OCD) I can see it quickly becoming an issue. I also don't feel the need to monitor my batches like a newborn. I'll check on them at about 12 hours in, to see if they need a blowoff tube assembly, and then maybe look at them once a day while active fermentation is going. I use a thermometer to tell me when they're done. I also use BeerSmith to both formulate my batches, and record how they came out (with notes and such).

While I'm sure they'll sell at least some of these, I don't see a large enough market.

BTW, I am in the IT field, so I understand the computer/tech obsession. I just see my cooking, and brewing, as something that's rather low tech for the majority. Slapping a BT item onto a fermenter, under the airlock, just seems to be far too much to me. Ultimately, time will tell if this takes off or flops. I would imagine, though, with the amount invested, they have a higher need to make it work.

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:16 PM   #15
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I decided to buy one to see if it ends up being useful for some things that I have found a bit troublesome, that actually do require a bit closer monitoring of fermentation progress.

When making saisons, for example, I'd like to be able to bump up the temperature when I'm about 2/3 way through my ferment. However, I am not a big fan of opening up my fermenter frequently, so I've basically just waited a set amount of time before boosting the temperature. The same goes for certain other techniques like krausening, closed-vessel fermentation, and pitching brett and/or lacto cultures at certain stages of fermentation. And for meads using staggered nutrient additions, this is sort of a godsend. These techniques are all relatively straightforward if you have a conical, but I don't have the space or temperature control capability for a conical. This beer bug seems like something I can use to accomplish these objectives using my system.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:41 PM   #16
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I am with Datsun and Weirdboy, and while I havent particapted in the kickstarter I do plan on purchasing at least one of these most likely multiple ones to help monitor higher gravity brews where going to low on FG could result in lots of money and labor possibly wasted.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:19 PM   #17
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Cool idea, but that amount of money buys a lot of hydrometers and test jars and wine thieves.

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:57 PM   #18
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Actually, this one appeals more to me: http://www.brewbit.com/

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:15 PM   #19
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Actually, this one appeals more to me: http://www.brewbit.com/
How are you going to keep that out of the trub? I guess maybe you could suspend it in a hops bag or something, but then you are doing the same as the BeerBug.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #20
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How are you going to keep that out of the trub? I guess maybe you could suspend it in a hops bag or something, but then you are doing the same as the BeerBug.
There aren't enough details on the page to really know. But I like the idea of being able to use a regular stopper or carboy cap better. The one I use holds a thermowell for my temperature controller and a 1/2 ID blowoff tube. I'm not sure how I will do that with the BrewBug.
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