Gravimetric Monitoring of Fermentation

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beer krausen during fermentation

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Zymurgy Magazine

By Andy Tipler

Brewers monitor fermentation progress to confirm that the transformation of wort into beer proceeds as expected, to indicate when changes are needed, and (most importantly) to alert the brewer that fermentation has finished. For the commercial brewer, such matters are important to brand quality, consistency, and profitability. Homebrewers have similar needs, but the most important aspect is to not waste time when the beer is ready.

What options do we have to monitor an active fermentation? There are generally two approaches: we can monitor the depletion of sugars or we can monitor the accumulation of ethyl alcohol, or some combination of the two. We can try to determine the concentration of either directly or use some technique that indirectly indicates their concentrations.

Access the full article in the July/August 2021 Zymurgy Magazine.

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