Benefits of Real-time Fermentation Monitoring
A couple of months ago, MillerCoors and Emerson teamed up to see if they could uncover any insights by looking at pressure readings from differential pressure level sensors that are used to measure liquid level. What they found was that a simple instrumentation improvement brought about major production improvements, while preserving everything about the original product.
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When looking at a fermentation cycle, it follows a curve, from low to high and then back down, like a bell curve. But the shape of the curve depends on the recipe and can change from batch to batch because yeast activity is not always predictable. Yeast can be more active in some batches more than others and can degrade over time if using multiple generations of the same yeast.
At MillerCoors, fermentation was declared finished by the calendar. Each recipe called for a specific number of hours in the fermenter, no more, no less. After analyzing the readings from the differential pressure sensors, optimization engineers at MillerCoors could declare when fermentation started and completed. After analyzing multiple batches across multiple installations, the data suggested that fermentation activity ceased and density stopped declining long before the original schedule said it was done, often as many as 40 to 50 hours early.
Lab tests of samples taken showed that the beer was indeed ready to move to the aging tanks without waiting the extra time. With less time in the fermenter, more batches could be produced using the same equipment. The author of the study noted that “even taking a conservative view and projecting a time-per-batch saving of 10% adds additional production capacity of 400,000 BBL per year” for the single production facility that was analyzed. This represents free additional capacity with no new tanks or other processing equipment.
We are here to be your optimization engineers. Our sonic density sensors (patent pending) coupled with our TZEROBrew software give craft brewers the same capability to incorporate real-time fermentation and density monitoring into their brewing process at a fraction of the cost and without the price of an optimization engineering team.
At TZERO, art becomes science. We use this complex data to provide you a digital version of your fermenters so that within seconds, you can understand the state of your entire fermentation process visually. How much time are you spending every day taking measurements or keeping track of what’s in production? How much product are you wasting taking samples and unnecessarily exposing your batch to contaminants? Our mission is to take care of those aspects of the brewing process, so you can get back to what you do best and concentrate on your craft. Maintain your quality and increase your efficiency and reliability with real-time fermentation and density monitoring.
It’s easy to get started. Go to our online store and order your starter kit today!