Brewing With The BeerBug


Written by Chris Graham

Last week Olin and I decided to brew one of our favorite recipes, "Malty Brown" and test it out with WLP200 (Best of Both Worlds).   We also decided to use The BeerBug to monitor the fermentation.
The BeerBug and Setup
I suggest doing this a day or two before brewday and I would do an initial tare to see data populate.  We did most of my setup (except blinkup) with my laptop not my phone, but looks like you could do it on the phone too.  We will continue to work with the manufacturer to make this as simple as possible.
All went really well,  and we hit our gravity exactly where we wanted at 1.053OG.  We used a 10 gallon flat system and our temp controlled conical.  We ended up double pitching our yeast as we didn't' have time to make a starter, so 4 vials of WLP200 in about 11 gallons of wort.  We added The BeerBug before we added the yeast and oxygen, so if you look at the full log details, you will see some odd readings right up front.  This was a good learning experience, as it's really best to add the bug after you're all set up and going.  We used a refractometer and hydrometer as well, just to be sure, and used that to set up the batch on thebeerbug.com.  
Full Fermentation - Details
Holly cow that ferment was fast!  
1st: the temperature is from the "on board" temperature sensor, not the external optional probe, and it is the room's temperature, not the wort/beer temp.  We were also using the temp controller on the fermenter, but the temperatures you read on the log are from The BeerBug itself.  Also, we used a blowoff on the conical, not The BeerBug, so we just put a plug in the co2 escape of the bug.  This prevented it from reading the temperature of the escaping CO2 from fermentation, which could have influenced temperature readings.
2nd: I did check the conical repeatedly the first 36 hours, and once it reached 69°F, it rarely drifted more than 1 degree, even in the peak of fermentation. 
3rd: I did take a hydrometer reading to verify the reading I was getting on The BeerBug app and its pretty much spot on.  Still have a little foam on top so hard to say that hydrometer reading is perfect but I'll double check in a few days after dry hopping.
Love having this kind of instant feedback through the fermentation process.  I look forward to doing some higher gravity fermentations as well as lagers as I think that will be hugely helpful in any decisions that need to be made along the way.  Well off to dry hop and add some oak, it looks like fermentation has finished!
The BeerBug Read 1.017 - Extremely Close To The Hydrometer

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