Fermentation Profiles

Get unique sets of data from each batch. Compare yeast, pitch and recipes.

Yeast cropping

Accurately determine if the yeast generation is suitable for recovery.

End of Fermentation

Precise determination for increased throughput and consistency 

Fermentation Profiles

A fermentation profile is displaying SG over time during the fermentation process, and is used to understand how well the yeast is performing. 

The curves to the right are from fermentations measured in real-time by the PLAATO Pro.

What to learn from a fermentation curve
Fermentation processes are by nature unique, and the fermentation curve is its very own finger print. Having access to this data allows a deep understanding of the inner workings of the process, and is an important tool to make great beer every time.

Measuring the Lag-phase
The lag-phase is the period in-between yeast is pitched and the fermentation begins. By looking closely at the curves above, one can clearly see the horizontal initial phase where the SG is constant, and the length of these lag-phases are depended on pitching temperature, yeast (strain, cell count, vitality, health ++), level of complex sugars, Original Gravity and a range of other parameter.

Rate of Fermentation

CO2 is produced in the fermentation process, and the rate of fermentation is directly proportional to the rate of CO2-production, a principle utilized by the PLAATO Airlock.

Pitching Temperature

Is one of the most crucial parameters affecting cell growth, initial rate of fermentation and the duration of the lag-phase. Learning about different strains of yeast and their ideal pitching temperature can significantly increase throughput and keeping the quality high at the same time.

Batch Comparison

The gravity of a beer decreases during the fermentation process, due to dissolved sugars transforming to CO2 and alcohol by the yeast. Measuring the specific gravity of the beer throughout the fermentation process will give the brewer a deep insight into when the different stages of fermentation are reached, including the end of fermentation. 

Yeast Cropping

Harvesting yeast can be a significant cost saver for breweries

How PLAATO Pro can be used to optimize yeast harvesting
Compare the fermentation profiles between batches, and pay especially attention to the duration of the lag-phase and the rate of fermentation. These parameters is a direct and quantifiable measure on how well the yeast is performing.  For each generation of yeast that is harvested the quality is reduced. Today, most brewers are reusing yeast a set number of times, eg. 5 times, before replacing it with a new culture. Significant resources and expenses can be saved by optimizing harvesting. 

Top cropping
Top cropping is the method of harvesting yeast from the surface of the fermenter, typical with ale strains. Compared to bottom cropping, this technique extracts yeast with superior vitality and viability, but the process is more challenging because of the closed nature of most conical fermenters today. Top cropping should happen when the rate of fermentation is at its peak.

Timing of Bottom Cropping is crucial

Yeast collection must start as soon as possible after the End of Fermentation, because the yeast cell will start to break down and deteriorate at this point. Large conical fermenters is especially challenging for the cells to handle, due to the tight packing of yeast in the cone. The typical point of harvest is 24-48 hours after cold crash, and further delays will significantly reduce the yeast viability. 

Determining End of Fermentation

The "End of fermentation" is the final stage of the fermentation process when sugars are no longer converted into ethanol, CO2 and other trace compounds. 

Methods of determining
Even though no bubbling or activity is visually present, numerous processes and reactions are taking place in the liquid - some of which can be of high importance for the final outcome. Accurate determination of end of fermentation is therefore crucial for high repeatability and quality. 

The 2-week method
A common method of making sure that a fermentation process is ended is by allowing the beer to sit in the fermenter for a given amount of time, typically 2 weeks. Most beers will complete the fermentation process by this time.This approach is totally viable for home brewers, but obviously not ideal for commercial brewers that need to maintain a high level of fermenter utilization. This approach is also far from ideal in regards to repeatability, efficiency, various quality aspects and yeast harvesting. 

The CO2 production method

CO2 is produced in the fermentation process, and the rate of fermentation is directly proportional to the rate of CO2-production, a principle utilized by the PLAATO Airlock.Commercial fermenters usually have an industrial grade airlock that provides a non-quantifiable insight into the fermentation activity by observing the CO2 bubbling through the water.Once no bubbles are present, no sugars are being converted into alcohol, and this part of the process is certainly over. Enzymatic and other chemical reactions will occur in the beer also after the cease of CO2 being released, and must be considered before transferring the beer to its next destination. Knowing the exact moment of which the CO2-flow stopped is therefore an important step in this method. 

The SG method
The gravity of a beer decreases during the fermentation process, due to dissolved sugars transforming to CO2 and alcohol by the yeast. Measuring the specific gravity of the beer throughout the fermentation process will give the brewer a deep insight into when the different stages of fermentation are reached, including the end of fermentation. 

The future of innovative brewing
is starting now

Learn more about how to use the PLAATO Pro in your brewery. 

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