Beer Flag - PLAATO Pro Customer Story
PLAATO Pro Customer Story: Eugenia from Beer Flag
My name is Eugenia, I am one of the brewers at beer flag, a small brewery born in downtown Oslo in 2020. During this past year, we’ve had to deal with the difficulties of starting a brewery in the middle of a pandemic, which comes on top of the challenge any brewer will recognize; how to create amazing products, with limited resources and only basic technology.
To support our brewing efforts, we’ve been excited to test the PLAATO PRO, which has been installed in 4 of our fermenter vessels. This technology has had a big impact on how we work day-to-day, and also saving us a lot of time in doing manual readings with hydrometers to do gravity sampling. We’ve found the readings to be very accurate, and having our production data always available through an app has proved to be quite fun.
"I can now check on my fermentations from the app on my phone when I wake up in the morning!"
Using a new technology such as the PLAATO, we’ve of course been very interested to understand and validate the accuracy of the readings. Every time we have double checked the results with a hydrometer we have found the results to be accurate. With this confidence, we’ve really found this PLAATO PRO to support the way we work in a good way.
“Having a device that checks sugar content in the beer, yeast activity, and the temperature at the same time has been very useful to us”
What kind of challenges did you face as a small brewery during these past 18 months?
Besides the obvious, with bars and restaurants closed for a very long time, we’ve also seen that it has been difficult to get the necessary raw materials. In addition to COVID-19, Brexit also caused some challenges with this.
And while not related to COVID, starting a new brewery we’ve had to learn to use all of the equipment, learn and iterate. It is always a steep learning curve, but we’ve gotten to the place where we can now consistently produce high quality products. And in this process, the PLAATO PRO has helped us quite a lot with understanding the results we’ve had from other tools.
How do you use the data that you get with the PLAATO PRO?
With the traditional use of manual samples and hydrometer readings, it will typically take several days to understand the end of the fermentation. With the PLAATO PRO installed, we can now see this a lot sooner, and save time on each batch. This can be really valuable for a small brewery.
“I can now see straight away when the fermentation is finished, so I can improve the turnover of the beers in the fermentors.”
The less time the beer spends in the fermentor, the more beers we can make, the more beer we can sell. And this is of course a big advantage for us.
What does it take to succeed as a microbrewery?
You have to have control over the quality. Your beer can be as good as you want, but if you don't have good quality control, the product will not have a long shelf life. Especially when you start a small craft brewery you do not have access to all the technology and lab equipment of the large breweries, so you have to be very careful with what you're doing.
So quality is a prerequisite, but in order to stay competitive we have to constantly learn. There are always new techniques and technologies that can improve the quality of our products, so a big part of our job is to study and master new skills.
Why did you choose to become a brewer?
I am from Italy. There I studied biology specialising in Science of Human Nutrition and Food Quality Check. While I was doing my masters I fell in love with crafted beers and I found out that my university also had a master in brewing technology. Since then I never left brewing! Have been travelling and brewing in Sydney. I found a job in Florø in Norway. After a while I moved to Oslo where I met my partner in business Matt.