The German company Oculyze GmbH has recently announced that it’s offering free access to anyone interested in testing its Oculyze Better Brewing web app for yeast monitoring. You can therefore, on request, get the login details for a fully functional demo account. From there on, you can upload your own images or use the ones they provide for testing purposes and check out all the features of the Oculyze web app (also available in the mobile app), such as:
- Yeast cell concentration and viability
- Pitch rate calculator
- Fermentation tracking
- History of analyses
You can see the sample analyses already uploaded for illustration purposes, check out the graphs, and see how results such as yeast viability, yeast concentration, or budding index are displayed. And once you’ve done that you can also upload your own images, provided you have some microscopic images of your yeast, to check the results against your own manual counts or manual viability assessments.
Why would you need to analyze your yeast?
As any experienced brewer will tell you, knowing the yeast cell concentration and viability (the number of alive cells in your population of yeast) is paramount for obtaining product quality and consistency. It allows you to pitch the right amount of yeast, to begin with, and it optimizes the process of harvesting and reusing yeast, which can make a huge difference in terms of cost savings. Additionally, it helps you prevent issues such as longer or stuck fermentations, off flavors, or yeast autolysis (in which the yeast cells rupture, leaking undesirable substances into the beer) and it also helps you correct any issues in time to avoid a disastrous outcome.
In addition to individual analyses, the Oculyze BB app — both the mobile and the desktop version — also comes with the Fermentation Tracking feature, which provides an overview of all your trackings for a particular fermentation. You can monitor your yeast from the moment you’ve pitched it up until the fermentation has completed. This allows you to notice any sudden drops in viability or yeast growth but also to compare the fermentations of different batches of the same beer or compare the fermentations of different types of beer.
Last but not least, being in complete control over your fermentations allows you to experiment more, try different strains of yeast, use different quantities of the same ingredients, or introduce new ingredients altogether. They do say that knowledge is power.
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