AccuBrew: The Actionable Fermentation Monitoring System (Now with SG!)

What is AccuBrew? AccuBrew is an analytical tool to provide brewers with the data required to stay competitive, react quickly to anomalies, and operate efficiently. Alerts for specific gravity and temperature plus the quick comparison of batches provide peace of mind. We designed AccuBrew with breweries and brewers in mind, from the robust sensor package to the intuitive user interface.

AccuBrew is an ever-evolving technology that is making huge strides in the brewing industry. With the help of world-class engineers and homebrewing enthusiasts, AccuBrew has recently added specific gravity to its list of powerhouse data points that help keep your brews on track and consistent. (Just ask our spokesperson!)

With its new specific gravity feature, AccuBrew is now more powerful than ever. Thanks to world-class engineers and homebrewing enthusiasts, AccuBrew is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the brewing industry. And with Will Rye the Fermentation Guy helping to answer your questions, AccuBrew is not only a highly functional tool but a fun and friendly addition to your brewing team.

So, how does AccuBrew help brewers?

The data collected by the visible light sensor is securely stored in your cloud account. The data can be shared with collaborators and team members via our mobile apps—the apps look great and are easy to navigate—or our online customer portal, giving everyone 24/7 access to every batch, no matter where they are. Users can also set gravity and temperature alerts, enter batch notes, compare batches, and schedule reminders.

With AccuBrew, you can rest assured that every batch is on track and, you can make timely adjustments to achieve the perfect result every time. And the best part? AccuBrew is designed with brewers in mind. The website and mobile apps work great together to store data, export data, and integrate with most of the standard workflow systems that brewers use.

Check out our resource page to see how AccuBrew can help you save money and time.

AccuBrew’s ability to compare batches allows you to confirm the current batch is progressing similarly to the reference batch, and to take remedial action when problems arise. This comparison also helps brewers evaluate the effects produced by incremental changes to the process, such as pitch rate or temperature, to continuously improve their products and stay competitive.

Continuous improvement requires consistent results; consistent results require good communication, documentation, and data. AccuBrew delivers and protects that information and helps teams communicate effectively to continuously improve.

How It Works

AccuBrew uses visible light to measure the wavelengths reflected—or absorbed—within the liquid. By tracking the absence or return of specific colors, AccuBrew builds a picture of what is and isn’t in the tank. By taking constant measurements, AccuBrew monitors changes over time as the fermentation process advances and flocculation occurs. AccuBrew’s low-intensity visible-light sensor does not emit UV light and will not trigger photo-oxidation.

The CIP-ready, stainless steel AccuBrew sensor is virtually zero-maintenance; it never needs calibrating. To operate under a variety of conditions, the sensor performs an initial warmup, cleaning, and auto-ranging sequence before every set of measurements. After starting a run, measurements are automatically taken every 15 minutes until the run is stopped by the brewer. This gives brewers a continuous record of the fermentation process.

What Does AccuBrew Detect?

AccuBrew displays four graphs (batch profiles) to interpret and compare: Specific Gravity (SG), Fermentation, Clarity, and Temperature.

The Specific Gravity profile is a visible record of the SG values recorded during the fermentation process. As fermentation progresses, the SG profile trends downward over time. Brewers can use this profile along with the Fermentation and Clarity profiles to see if fermentation is progressing as expected—or if it’s in danger of stalling—and to determine when to initiate rests or make additions.

The Fermentation Activity profile is a record of the total sugars in solution, both fermentable and non-fermentable. Sugars absorb blue light. As fermentation proceeds, the amount of blue light returning to the sensor increases as the amount of all sugars in the tank decreases, because less blue light is absorbed. The Fermentation Activity profile trends downward over time as fermentation progresses.

The Clarity profile is unique to AccuBrew. This profile is a record of the number of particles in front of the sensor. Peaks indicate higher concentrations of particulates in front of the detector window. Valleys indicate lower concentrations as yeast, hop particles, and other solids (such as cocoa nibs or other flavor adjuncts) drop out of suspension and clarity improves. Striations in the wort may also create peaks and valleys as they pass in front of the sensor. The Clarity profile trends down over time as particles drop out of suspension.

The Temperature profile is an absolute record of the temperature recorded by the sensor. After the temperature stabilizes, the temperature graph will take on a sawtooth pattern—it’s recording the normal temperature fluctuations in the tank as the glycol system cycles on and off. Users can set custom temperature alerts to protect every tank on the same glycol system in the event of a failure.

In addition to the four graphs, AccuBrew displays at-a-glance percent-of-change values for all four graphs. The at-a-glance values are the percent of change between the most recent measurements and measurements taken four hours earlier. The percent of change values are the quickest way for a brewer to confirm fermentation is progressing as expected.

It is important to consider why we test gravity—because, for hundreds of years, it was the only tool available. With AccuBrew’s Fermentation Activity and Clarity profiles, brewers will see for the first time how much is really going on inside their tanks, even after reach the calculated final gravity. While the SG graph will appear smooth, the Clarity graph will appear much more dynamic, illustrating the turbulence, stratification, and movement of the yeast and other particles in the tank.

An important note: The final gravity target value and fermentation time are calculated estimates. Target gravity and time are not hard stops if fermentation remains active. This can lead to under-attenuated products. To produce a finished product, it is important to allow fermentation to complete in its own time. The brewer’s job is to create and maintain a healthy environment in which yeast cells work efficiently.

When a batch misses its final gravity target, takes longer than expected, or ends prematurely, the brewer can use AccuBrew data to compare succeeding batches to the problem batch. Using the AccuBrew Fermentation and Clarity profiles, along with SG data, brewers monitor and evaluate recipe and process changes to produce properly attenuated beers of the desired gravity in a reasonable time.

This is why we say, step into the modern era of brewing with AccuBrew. We really do put eyes in your tanks.

The Benefits of AccuBrew

Peace of Mind. First and foremost, AccuBrew provides peace of mind. AccuBrew monitors specific gravity, total sugars, clarity, and temperature, 24/7. When suddenly gripped by the thought something is wrong, just check your phone, anytime, anywhere.

React Quickly. Often, brewers only test specific gravity once every 24 hours. Now, instead of waiting 24 hours for another manual gravity test and hoping the test was accurate, AccuBrew gives brewers reliable SG test results every 15 minutes. That means 96 opportunities every day to recognize and react sooner to out-of-range conditions, and to turn tanks faster.

Consistent Tests, Consistent Results. AccuBrew delivers consistent results that brewers can rely on 24/7 to protect their schedules and investment, compare batches, and improve their process and products.

Reduce Manual Testing by 80 Percent. AccuBrew automates all specific gravity tests between the post-boil original gravity test and the final gravity test, reducing manual SG testing by 80 percent. Just three AccuBrew sensors can save 64 hours per year at a typical brewery. Spend your time on other tasks, or take a breather!

Time is Money. Every minute saved means time and money for other projects. Every manual gravity test takes approximately seven minutes, including prep, sample collection, testing, recording, and cleanup. We have done hundreds of them at AccuBrew. The labor associated with each test is roughly $3 per test. At an average brewery, three AccuBrew sensors can save $1,000 annually, after the monthly subscription.

Communication and Documentation. AccuBrew is a new way of testing, recording, alerting, and sharing data to manage your time and communicate with staff to produce consistent results every time. AccuBrew data can also be shared with collaborating breweries, or with your customers if you are a contract brewer.

Historical Data Add Value. When expanding your brewery, a strong historical record of every batch gives potential investors the confidence to lend. Good documentation is the hallmark of every professionally-run business. AccuBrew provides an in-depth, secure historical record of every monitored batch, including contemporaneous brewer’s notes.

Fast ROI. Three AccuBrew sensors produce a positive ROI in just one year at most breweries, including subscriptions. The best part is the subscription cost for each additional sensor is only $9.95 per month—so, as your brewery grows, the ROI for every new AccuBrew sensor is over 25 percent! The more sensors installed, the greater the savings, the better the ROI.

The savings and ROI realized by employing the AccuBrew Fermentation Monitoring System are independent of brewhouse capacity or fermentation vessel volume. Whether a fermentation vessel is one barrel or 60 barrels, the cycle time and number of SG tests per cycle, as well as the labor cost per test, remain similar. This means that even nanobreweries will save time and money with AccuBrew. In fact, as a percentage of net income, the smaller the brewery, the more important the savings are to your bottom line.

In Closing…

AccuBrew is not about making you a better brewer. It’s about making the brewing process easier, repeatable, and more precise. With AccuBrew, you can eliminate the need for constant manual testing, saving time and money. Instead of one manual test daily, AccuBrew gives brewers 96 daily opportunities to improve their process.

AccuBrew has already been making waves in the brewing industry, helping breweries to achieve better control over the fermentation process and consistently produce high-quality beers. AccuBrew has been praised by homebrewers, brewpubs, and craft breweries alike for its ease of use, accuracy, and real-time updates.

If you are looking to improve your products and brew your best every time, AccuBrew is the sensor you need. With its consistent, easily accessible record of critical parameters along with real-time updates and notifications, AccuBrew saves you time, and it helps you achieve the same high-quality results with every batch. No matter the size of your brewery, AccuBrew is the ultimate brewing companion you never knew you needed, until now.

For the full breakdown and 411 on the AccuBrew system, be sure and download our Strategy Guide today!

Oh! And don’t forget to order your Accubrew system today, and swing by to see us at the CBC BrewExpo America in Nashville!

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