- +How does Plaato work?
Plaato measures continously the flow of CO2 of the fermenter, and knows at any time the total amount of CO2 that has been generated by the fermentation. Since the fermentation process generates equal amount of CO2 and ethanol, Plaato can use this data to calculate the Specific Gravity (SG), alcohol percentage and quantify the fermentation activity.
- +What is the specifications of Plaato?
Operational batch size: 4-10 US gallons / 10-50 l
Accuracy, gravity: ± 1,5 °Oe
Accuracy, ambient temperature: ± 2.5° F / 1,5° C
- Non-invasive infrared sensors
- Tritan® BPA-free high grade plastics
- Integrated WiFi
- 3 indicator LEDs
- Digital temperature sensor
- +Opening my fermenter during fermentation (e.g Dry Hop)
You can open your fermenter and dry hop as normal.
The small amount of CO2 that escapes when the lid is taken off, only affects the measurements marginally.
In addition since dry hopping normally is done during secondary fermentation, the remaining CO2 that the wort will produce is low.
- +Can Plaato be disinfected?
Yes, Plaato is 100% compatible to StarSan, bleach and other products available.
- +Does Plaato work in a refrigerator?
Yes. Plaato works until your beer freezes.
- +How does the WiFi-connection work?
Plaato is connected to your local WiFi-network, and sends data through internet to the cloud. In the Plaato-app your fermentation can then be accessed from wherever in the world you are.
- +Can Plaato be used to make wine?
Yes. Wine, cider, mead moonshine - Plaato works on every fermentation you would like to try.
- +What happens if some krausen goes in?
Plaato airlock is designed to withstand overflow.
Some overflows might be more violent than others so depending on each and every situations, the data might be affected: if you see a significant change in the graph, it is probably a indication that your beer is overflowing.
In that case, clean the airlock, sanitize and put it back on.
- +API / open server
All the data that Plaato measures will be accessible through an API. A demo of this API is already available in the prototypes out.
Regarding the possibility to redirect the URL to another server, this will be emplemented in February 2018.
- +What if my fermenter is not 100% airtight?
We know that not all the fermenters available on the market are always perfectly airtight. During the development of Plaato, we have been through 20+ different types of fermenters, and the average leak affects marginally.
Plaato will still measure the fermentation activity, gather and analyze data of your fermentation. In case of a major leak, the specific values will of course be a bit off - although in this case it might be better to invest in a new fermenter to avoid contamination.
- +Head space / aerobic fermentation
Yes, the first bubbles will be mostly air. In a 5 gallons fermenter, many hundreds of thousands bubbles will go through the airlock and the ‘headspace-bubbles’ will have little significance to the overall calculations. This small error will vary depending on how much headspace you have in your container, and we decided not to add this as a user input, as it will complicate the product more than you'll gain in accuracy.
"There is an initial lag phase lasting some 12-24H in which there is little observable increase in yeast biomass or decrease in wort specific gravity. In this period oxygen is rapidly taken up by the yeast and anaerobic conditions pertain for the remainder of the fermentation."
- +Cold crash
Cold crashing should not be done until fermentation has finished. When the specific gravity is steady for three days in a row, fermentation can be considered complete (if gravity is decreasing from one day to another, fermentation is still happening).
As your fermentation is over when you start your cold crash, leaving Plaato on your fermenter won't bring you any valuable data at this step.
- +Change of temperature
When the temperature is suddenly changing to a lower temperature, your fermenter might aspirate the liquid in your airlock or blow-off container. In this case refill it as soon as you notice.
- +How the different levels of headspace affects the measurements?
Headspace doesn´t affect the PLAATO.
The headspace - or the «empty space» above the wort is not empty - but filled with air, PLAATO will read air just as it was CO2, and that way be just as accurate with more or less headspace.
- +How does external factors like pressure and temperature variations affect the preciseness of Plaato?
We have developed Plaato in a way that these factors affects the readings as little as possible.
*Fermentation is difficult, and there are hundreds of factors that have to be taken into account when calculating and measuring biological processes when using refractometers, hydrometers or other equipment. We have made a more advanced technical description of how we measure CO2 here.