Poll

Could this device be of interest to you? See description for more info

Yes
1 (5.9%)
No
11 (64.7%)
Maybe. Depending on variables like price, features etc.
5 (29.4%)

Total Members Voted: 17

Author Topic: A smart-device for brewing  (Read 780 times)

Offline pettefas

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A smart-device for brewing
« on: May 05, 2015, 12:20:56 AM »
We are four students from UCSD (Computer Science) having a project in entrepreneurship, and we would love some feedback on our idea.

In short, our idea is a tiny smart-device that would measure and log the temperature throughout the whole brewing process (mashing – bottling). Everything is fully automated so you just need to put it in there.

The device would run on battery (wireless) and be connected to the internet through Wi-Fi. During the brewing process, the device would log the temperature and make the reading available for you in real time through an app/web interface. This way you could always be updated by checking your mobile app.

We are not sure about the price due to material cost, assembly etc., but we were thinking in $79-99 range per device including app and web access.

Any feedback and advice will be appreciated!

Offline duboman

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 12:25:43 AM »
Would the device also be able to alter the temperatures as well wirelessly, if not, I personally don't see the benefit.

For people that brew on fully electric systems they already have  a control panel to monitor and program temps from mash on through and already have temp controled fermentation as well so simply knowing the temp is really no benefit for adds cost of a device. At least that's my take:)
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Offline pettefas

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2015, 01:36:45 AM »
Would the device also be able to alter the temperatures as well wirelessly, if not, I personally don't see the benefit.

For people that brew on fully electric systems they already have  a control panel to monitor and program temps from mash on through and already have temp controled fermentation as well so simply knowing the temp is really no benefit for adds cost of a device. At least that's my take:)

In the first place, we were thinking of measuring and logging for people that don't have fully electric systems. And eventually add features like alter temperatures as next step for the product!

Offline 69franx

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 02:08:09 AM »
As duboman stated, your device sounds limited in its functionality. If I can't make changes to my temps wirelessly,  I don't want to stress the rest of the day of knowing that my fermentation went 2 degrees high. There are already devices that allow remote adjustments,  granted they are much pricier than you hope to market at, but the real beauty is the ability to react to temperature fluctuations without physically babysitting the vessel.   I like the idea of making brewing less stressful, and maybe this device would allow more newbies  to RDWHAHB, but it's not for me at the moment, and I do not have an electric set up
Frank L.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2015, 01:03:17 PM »
I do not see the advantage of just knowing the temperature continuously. I already know and record the temperature of my wort/beer at every important juncture, knowing any more than that is just more data that I wouldn't have use for.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2015, 01:15:50 PM »
I do not see the advantage of just knowing the temperature continuously. I already know and record the temperature of my wort/beer at every important juncture, knowing any more than that is just more data that I wouldn't have use for.



+1
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Offline erockrph

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2015, 01:54:14 PM »
I do not see the advantage of just knowing the temperature continuously. I already know and record the temperature of my wort/beer at every important juncture, knowing any more than that is just more data that I wouldn't have use for.
+1
Agreed. Those brewers who are high-tech enough to have a need for continuous temperature information, either in the mash or during fermentation, already have a mechanism to control said temps in response to any fluctuations.

And at that price point, you're competing with Raspberry Pi-based controllers which are a lot more robust. It's not that this isn't a useful product, but I don't see a niche in the marketplace for this at this price point.
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Offline jtoots

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2015, 02:20:21 PM »
I'm a non-automated brewer that would be curious enough to pay that price point.  It would be good to dial in wort temps vs. chamber setpoints for primary fermentation and lagering.

Offline euge

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2015, 12:40:52 AM »
If the device (system?) measures throughout the entire process there will be probes inserted. Repeatedly. This is scary for homebrewers.

The above will have to be explained further if you want to proceed.

I'm interested in the wifi data logging but want temp control also. Price point is acceptable, but what you're offering is quite limited. PID temp controllers offer more.
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Offline duboman

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2015, 10:43:17 AM »
If the device (system?) measures throughout the entire process there will be probes inserted. Repeatedly. This is scary for homebrewers.

The above will have to be explained further if you want to proceed.

I'm interested in the wifi data logging but want temp control also. Price point is acceptable, but what you're offering is quite limited. PID temp controllers offer more.
I agree, if you're going to monitor the temp then make it able to adjust the temp remotely as well, otherwise I really don't see the need.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2015, 03:47:00 PM »
I could see how the info would be useful over multiple batches to determine where you could tweak processes and equipment to ensure better temperature stability through the process. It would be even better if the device could adjust the temperatures but I think that catapults the device into a much more expensive market.

The problem is that I don't see how this product is an improvement on the status quo. For those of us without electric brewing systems there are far cheaper ways to monitor mash temperatures with thermometers and temperature probes. I guess it would be nice to have that data logged but I can't see how knowing how fast the temperature is lowering during the mash is much more useful than knowing the final mash temp. Similarly for fermentation I can set a digital temperature controller and control the temperature without needing the data of how much the temperature is fluctuating. I know the controller lets the beer fluctuate X degrees before correcting it. There are also other products on the market that can monitor and record temperatures in the fermentation chamber. I'm not sure why I need to know the bottling temperature or why I need a separate device over the temperature controller on my fermentation chamber. I suppose for those who do not have temperature-controlled fermentation this gives them some useful data but for $100 I'd suggest people first buy some temperature controlling equipment.

There is another product that just came on the market recently that monitors a number of fermentation factors at once and logs the data. I believe it is at your price point. I'm not sure why somebody would pay a similar price just for the temperature data.
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Offline denny

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2015, 04:17:01 PM »
Can't see any need for it in my brewery.
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Offline BrewHalla

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Re: A smart-device for brewing
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2015, 05:43:21 PM »
hate to tell you this but from what you describe this device is pretty  much on amazon for 79.99 right now. just look up lacross alerts.