I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Pål Ingebrigtsen CEO and CO-Founder of Plaato Inc. (2015) located in Oslo, Norway and here in the States in Philadelphia. He's got some wild ideas on fermentation that's taking brewing to another level.
Pål is making some bold claims. He believes he can change both the commercial and home brew world, and he’s out to make a believer of you too, starting with the PLAATO airlock.
A typical airlock allows a sealed fermentation environment to relieve internal pressure. Plaato is a reinvented non-invasive airlock that sends information about your beer brewing fermentation straight to your phone via the Plaato smartphone-app. The information includes: specific gravity, fermentation activity, alcohol percentage and ambient temperature. For every single batch, a unique fermentation analysis report is generated that lets you analytically understand what's going on.
Plaato continuously measures 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.
Plaato even works with wine, cider, mead and moonshine.
How did you come up with this concept?
We started with the development of a temperature controller system, but found out early that the components were too expensive so we had to stop development. During that process we identified that many microbreweries wanted a solution to monitor their ongoing fermentation, which eventually led to the development of the Plaato Airlock.
How do you think this will benefit the home brewer?
Plaato was originally developed for microbreweries that wanted to monitor fermentation for both efficiency and quality - and we believe that the home brewer will benefit in the same way. Basically the Plaato Airlock will let them understand more of the process - and allow them to continue to increase the possibilities within beer brewing.
What’s your ultimate goal with this product?
The ultimate goal is that Plaato will continue to expand and offer a big range of affordable products for both home and professional brewers. Regarding the Plaato Airlock our time will now be spent finishing the production and getting them out to beer brewers all around the world.
Background on Pål
Pål started home brewing back in 2003 at the age of 16. His favorite beer style is a full bodied black IPA. His favorite brewery is the Oslo Brewing Company where his brother serves as the head brewer. Pål has a Master’s degree in Engineering from the Norwegian School of Economics, Norway's Environmental and Life Sciences program.
The Airlock campaign went live on Kickstarter on the 28th of June, and it got funded in 7 hours.
Plaato just recently hit over 600% funding, roughly $193,534. Plaato Airlock has a retail price of $149. For more information visit www.plaato.io/
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