On an evening in June 2021, brewers from around Denmark met up at Amager Bryghus near Copenhagen to discuss all things brewing over beers and food. Together with co-host FOSS, the brewery ensured that the beers were flowing and together with some good food, a short presentation, and a healthy discussion, brewers and industry came together in a face-to-face COVID-friendly forum to discuss new tech and progress in the craft brewing industry.
At the centre of attention, a handy new beer-testing instrument called the BeerFoss™ FT Go was on show as a potential treasure trove of data for controlling the quality of wort, fermenting beer and beers.
The brewery’s first encounter with the new solution was over a year earlier when it was put on trial as an alternative to existing test methods. These were diverse, labour-intensive and prone to human error. For instance, it was often necessary to take a whole litre of sample from the wort or beer to get a density measurement, and this would involve degassing the sample in just the right way before it can be tested. More advanced solutions were tempting, but represented a significant investment and then still required special training of staff and a special location to install instrumentation. Alternatively, sending out tests to an external laboratory involved waiting time for results and high running costs.
Insight at the touch of a button
Easy and quick to use, the new instrument soon became an established “go-to” piece of equipment for regular quality control while also encouraging brewers to push their boundaries through the availability of reliable multi-parameter test data.
“So many materials and processes are involved in making beer - the possibilities are endless,” says co-founder, Morten Valentin Lundsbak. “This is a playground for creative people.” He explains how the new analyser has become popular with brewers because they don’t have to guess or wait for important information. “It lights a fire,” he says. “It helps us to be better brewers. The data help us to be a better brewery.”
Today, the instrument is in regular use with several tests performed every hour. Typically, samples are taken from cooled wort before it goes into fermentation and then tests are made as fermentation progresses and, finally, on the finished beer before it leaves the brewery. The tests only involve a small amount of sample of no more than 10 ml, so wastage is very low compared to traditional tests.
Test where and when you like
Another craft brewery that has discovered the advantages of the rapid multi-parameter tests is Landgang Brauerei in Germany, where the efficiency of the new solution was immediately apparent.
The popular brewery is seeing significant growth, and there is little time for brewers to spend on anything other than meeting production goals. The speed and convenience of the analyser has transformed analytical operations. Sacha Bruns, co-founder and brewer, comments: “Before we analysed the beer traditionally, degassing, filtering and so on. It was more complex and much slower. We just needed much more time and we used hobby brewing devices, which was annoying and not so accurate.”
BeerFoss definitely helps to improve quality,” says Sacha. “Because I have constant measured values and high measurement accuracy, I find deviations relatively quickly, which previously happened either too late or the results couldn’t be determined before to the right degree of accuracy.”