Quantcast

The Beer Bug

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Seedly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
86
Reaction score
13
Location
Broomfield
Has anyone heard of this thing before? I just found out about it yesterday when my brother in law told me he signed me up for the kickstarter as a christmas gift:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/parasitx/the-beerbugtm-digital-hydrometer

I am so psyched! Its supposed to arrive in January. I just cant imagine having that level of detail on my fermentation. It will be really interesting to see how some of my repeat brews ferment.
 

tally350z

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,288
Reaction score
103
Location
Tallahassee
Interesting. Hope it works well. I will stick to the old fashion way of taking a sample so I can also taste it along the way..
 
OP
Seedly

Seedly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
86
Reaction score
13
Location
Broomfield
How much $$$
Well, it was a gift so I dont know for sure, but I think it was about $120. Kinda steep for a hydrometer, but will definitely be a cool toy!

And I will still be using a regular hydrometer during the brewing process to measure pre and post boil gravity. This just simplifies the process during fermentation.
 

whitehause

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
153
Location
Fleetwood
Very cool.
As soon as Japan gets a hold of it, it'll be the size of a stirbar with a smartphone app that updates you every 5 mins. Soon after that an offshoot game(Angry Beers) where you try and launch different infections into enemy carboys and infect their beer. ( 50 points for lacto. 100 points for Brett....you get the idea) Bonus points for causing bottle bombs!
 

TTB

Active Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
44
Reaction score
6
Looks awesome. Hope it works well...i want one!
 
OP
Seedly

Seedly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
86
Reaction score
13
Location
Broomfield
Thanks for the link. Sounds like some sort of calibration issue on the pressure sensor. The last email update I got (yesterday), they said that they were finally in full production, but that they were having to discard quite a few bad units due to failing QA. Thus why I still dont have one yet.

It may be that since you got one of the first ones, that they didnt know what to look for yet. If you havent already, I would try emailing them again with that link. They may have a fix or swap you out.
 

Royski

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
48
Reaction score
3
Location
Washington
Yeah, I have been in touch with Taylor - he's said he will swap it out if we can't get it sorted.
 

mtnagel

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
2,476
Reaction score
395
Location
Cincinnati
I'm interested in one, but the price is a bit steep for what it does. I am really curious what my fermentation temps are when using a temp controlled water bath. But I'm not $120 curious. Hopefully the bugs get worked out, the price comes down and I'll get it for an xmas gift at some point.
 

Frazeart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
101
Location
Windsor
Yeah, I have been in touch with Taylor - he's said he will swap it out if we can't get it sorted.
Hi. I have read your reviews on the beer bug at your website but noticed that it has been some time since you updated.

Is it functioning as expected for you? Is it accurate? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
 

SirVilhelm

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Just found out about the beerbug today and was looking for recent reviews. Anyone use the newest model?
 

Jerz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
79
Reaction score
11
Location
Suwanee
I just got two beerbugs in today.... how in the eff to you change the fishing string... the very virst time I tried putting the weight part into the test water the string broke and for the life of me figure out how to thread this needle.... Any tips?
 

slarkin712

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
786
Reaction score
62
Location
St. Louis
I had the same problem the first time I used mine. You have to feed fishing through the hole that is closer to the center of the bug. So, I used 4 lb test, which is pretty thin. I fed it in from the top and then was just able to bend the line enough to feed through the bottom of the blade. I put a knot in the end and then trimmed it so the knot would not interfere with the blade. This was a huge pain in the ass. I've used it twice since then, with neither batch producing reliable data from the beerbug. I'm not giving up yet, but I have my doubts about how reliable it is. The gravity readings fluctuate far more than I had hoped, as much as .012. It also appears to be sensitive to temperature. Hoping my next try is a good one.
 

Jerz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
79
Reaction score
11
Location
Suwanee
Thanks for the tip... I wasn't thinking about just tying a knot at the end of the string... so I've got that one in water and I'll test it all day to see how it fairs on a known gravity. I put the other in my scottish ale last night and I just don't have the warm and fuzzy with it yet to trust the readings... we'll see...
 

Jerz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
79
Reaction score
11
Location
Suwanee
damn... I was walking the dog and trying to edit the 'name' on the brewbugs screen and when I saved it... my data got nuked...wtf?

Edit: I'm pretty sure I was in 'test' mode at first since I used 'tare' independently and then put it in my brew and then realized I should have gone through the create new brew thing to zero it.... maybe that's why the data got nuked? This thing will take some getting used to...

Anyone know if there is a beerbug users forum anywhere?
 

hartlesj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
67
Reaction score
9
I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to say that I love my Beerbug. I don't have to open my fermentation fridge until I'm ready to keg. I always know what my latest brew is doing and how it's perfroming, and it just saved a beer for me. I had a Lager in the fridge sitting nicely. The door popped open a bit on the hinge side that wasn't readily apparent. I saw the temp rise a bit but then level out about a degree higher than what it was. Then after a few days it started climbing. I checked the fridge and found that it had completely iced over the cooling coil. I defrosted the fridge and replaced everything. Beer is now lagering again nicely and will be ready to keg in a week. I cant wait.

I can check my beer from my office, from vacation, from anywhere. Great product.

Great customer service as well. The initial bug from the LHBS had a bad battery. They replaced the bug without any fuss, and I was up and running easily. They also have forum's on their website.
 

hezagenius

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
2,205
Reaction score
1,960
Location
Iowa
Has anyone benchmarked the readings against a hydrometer and/or a separate temp probe? This thing is intriguing but for $200, it better work.

Does it run on a proprietary battery or something like a 9volt? How long does the battery last?

Can it get clogged up if you have an aggressive fermentation? And will that impact the readings?
 

hartlesj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
67
Reaction score
9
I would say mine is within .004 of my refractometer. A bit higher or lower depending on the temp. I still take hydrometer readings just out of habit really when I think the beer is done. The best thing is not having to take hydrometer readings multiple times. You watch the reading level off. Then 2-3 days later I rack to a keg and grab a sample to taste. I check the reading on that sample then drink it.

The battery on my first one was shot so they replaced the unit for me. It's integral to the unit so without some electronics skills if the battery fails the unit needs to be replaced. They have pretty good customer service though so im not to worried. The last beer I made was a lager and the battery lasted 5 weeks. I think they claim 25 days on the site. I don't remember how long it takes to charge but I usually put it on charge while I brew and grab it off when I'm ready to calibrate it.

The bottom of the bug is open to the fermenter but there is a connection to the side via a 90 dog fitting. Krousen can get in there but it's fairly easy to clean. If it dries it can effect the reading by the way it's designed. But that should be apparent with the numbers you get.

The neat thing for me is that I am able to track the progress wherever I am. I just log in and it shows me what the beer is doing. This saved the last lager I did. I had a fridge malfunction and the temps started rising. I saw it at work and fixed it at lunch. Where my fermentatuon fridge sits it might have been a week before I noticed it.

As I said earlier it takes the guess work out of when to sample. You don't have to take multiple samples tomdetermine if fermentation is done. You just watch the specific gravity drop until it's leveled off give it a day or three to make sure it's done. Then pull it out and take a final sample of you want.

Oh the other reason I take a final sample is so I can compare readings from the same instrument. Every instrument is slightly different so I like to keep it consistent in my records. I'll post a pic of my latest brew so you can see what it looks like if you would like.

To me this is not a necessary piece of bre gear, but it does make the process a bit more fun and a bit easier. I wouldn't prioritized the over fermentation temp control but I definitely recommend this product.
 

TrickyDick

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
3,258
Reaction score
311
Location
near Orlando
Sorry for the necro post.

I got one a while back, but took a hiatus from brewing for about a year or so, and just finally got around to opening it and trying it out. I cannot get it to register with my WiFi!
The official support for it appears to be AWFUL!
The instructions it comes with are equally awful, and does not even show how to use it!


How about a tutorial?
 
Top