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BrewBit Is Launching Soon

06-17-2013

We’d like to share with you what we’ve been up to since our last update, at the beginning of the year. A great deal has happened in the last six months and we’re really excited to tell everyone about it.

The Last 6 Months

In January, we hit a wall.  Our very early prototypes of the Specific Gravity sensor showed some promise, but as we worked to scale the sensor down from the size of a box of cracker jacks, to something that would fit inside of a carboy, the achievable performance became unacceptable.  The performance could be improved, but it would require some serious engineering rework and would likely end up costing considerably more than we were initially targeting.  With that said, the SG sensor project is not dead.  We are currently exploring other sensing techniques and designs to reduce cost and complexity.

Faced with this, we decided to take a step back and evaluate our options.  After some brainstorming and going back to our original market research, we realized that the number one reaction that we were getting from people when describing the SG sensor was: “That’s cool! But does it integrate with a temperature controller?”.

Originally, that idea seemed interesting, and we had been planning it as an add-on to the SG sensor.  However, the more we looked at it, the more we realized that a temperature controller is exactly what we should be building.

Having spent time fiddling with ones available out there, we were convinced that a high-quality temperature controller that can record all the data and automatically adjust based on specified presets is exactly what everyone needed to brew better beer.  In fact, if you could only do one thing, aside from sanitizing properly, to make better beer, it would be to control your fermentation temperatures.

Introducing BrewBit Model-Timage


Why A Temperature Controller?

Temperature control is one of the most important and critical elements in taking your home brewed beer to the next level.  Temperature control is often overlooked by many homebrewers but is actually one of the easiest things you can do to make “professional” quality beer.  Whether you brew extract beers, partial mash, or all-grain, there is always some element of the process that can be improved upon using a temperature control device.  

The Model-T will help you keep your fermentation and mash temperatures within one degree of where you want them to be.  Allowing you to end up with a beer that you can be proud of!

Our Vision

Our goal is to build a family of devices that all work together to give you a unified picture of what’s happening to your beer through all the stages, from mashing to fermenting.  We want to give everyone affordable tools to brew better beer and the Model-T is the first step towards that.  How you ask?  Initially, we’ll be offering the following features:

Model-T Features:

  • Open Source hardware and software.  You’ll get all the schematics, drawings and software. Hack away and share your work with the BrewBit community!

  • Wireless connectivity over your WiFi network

  • Execute temperature profiles loaded via WiFi connection from your account on BrewBit.com.

  • Control from anywhere with Internet connection

  • SexyUI (tm) ;)

  • Dual independent outputs

  • Dual independent temperature probes

  • Control one, both, or none (logging only) of the outputs

  • Associate your data with a defined brewing session.

Wirelessly upgrade your unit when we roll out new software.

Website Features:

  • Free API for your data and device. Develop your own killer features!

  • Modify all of your Model-T’s settings and have them applied over WiFi

  • Check on the units status and readings

  • Log the Model-T’s data

  • Display temperature graphs that are updated in real time

  • Associate temperature readings with a certain brewing/fermentation session.

  • Get email or SMS alerts when something happens or the unit is having issues

  • Temperature profiles:

  • Create and save unique temperature profiles

  • Load a profile and send it to your device over WiFi.

  • Set the Model-T to ferment/mash your beer for any duration at a set temperature.

  • Step the temperature up or down automatically

  • Add as many temperature/time steps to the profile as you need.

Plus more to come… (feel free to pass on your ideas and suggestions!)

Where are we now?

image

We have produced several working prototypes of the final product using 3D printed plastics and PCBs from a manufacturer in the USA.  We manually hand placed all the PCB surface mount components and soldered the through hole ones ourselves.  We have gotten the units fully working and operational and are even using one of our prototypes to control our keezer and fermentation cabinet.

At the same time, we are working on our website, where you will have full control and status of the unit.

What’s next?

We’re putting finishing touches on our Kickstarter campaign.  Once our video is finalized, we’re ready to go.

We have all of our manufacturing partners lined up and ready to go.  Once our Kickstarter campaign is funded, we will immediately start the manufacturing and assembly process.

How Can You Help?

Please spread the word about us.  Our main line of communication and support has been this email list.  We’ve gotten lots of great feedback and support from you, please keep it coming.

We would really appreciate you sharing us with your friends.  Check us out on:

We’ll send out an update within the next 3 weeks when we’re launching.

Thank you to everyone for hanging in there and all the support!

 

- The BrewBit Team - Brian, Misha, and Nick

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