The science behind the PLAATO Airlock
PLAATO is the first brewing product that uses the relation between CO2 and fermentation to non-invasively estimate Gravity, Fermentation activity and Alcohol content.
Understanding the delicate and yet versatile processes behind brewing is key to unlock its amazing potential, and produce great products with high repeatability, quality and integrity.
"Combine art and science, and you have beer brewing" - Someone famous
A complete brewing process consists of several complex biochemical processes, whereas in Plaato, we focus on the fermentation stage.
Simplified, the mashing stage converts the barley's starch into sugars, which in turn the fermentation stage breaks into equal amounts of ethanol and CO2. This is the core of PLAATO technology.
The ethanol dissolves in liquid, and the CO2 bubbles off as gas, as seen by the tiny bubbles below.
The release of CO2 is directly proportional to the chemical reaction rate - ie. how fast the yeast works. In other words, by the stoichiometric balance in the equation above, we know that:
- By knowing the rate of CO2-release, we also know how fast alcohol is produced.
- If we know the total volume of CO2 released, we also know the total amount of ethanol produced and gravity.
PLAATO Airlock measures both the rate and the total amount of CO2 generated, and is therefore, able to measure and estimate:
- Fermentation activity
- Specific Gravity