Controlling oxygen content during the brewing process requires precision, and it certainly helps to have precision instruments. High oxygen content can affect the quality and taste of your beer (that old, musty vibe). For most of the brewing process, oxygen levels should be very limited, until fermentation when it’s necessary to balance oxygen levels in the wort to support active yeast.
A portable dissolved oxygen (DO) meter is a great device to measure DO levels at multiple stages in the brewing and packaging process — not only measuring the DO in fermenting wort but also dissolved oxygen levels in cold conditioning tanks, bright beer tanks or during the packaging process.
But for a portable dissolved oxygen meter to work properly it must be calibrated. Gusmer, a specialist in liquid filtration equipment, beverage processing and fermentation tech, pulled together the video above on calibrating the Hamilton Beverly Dissolved Oxygen Meter, which it distributes. It’s a great overview.
Calibration means accuracy. How often? Monthly or quarterly depending on how often the unit is used (or when the DO cap is replaced). It’s easy and straightforward to check and calibrate these instruments, but make sure you are using air and oxygen free gas (typically ultra-pure nitrogen).
“We have a lot of breweries calibrating for the first time slipup and use pure CO2 or brewing-grade CO2, which is never pure enough,” explained Nate Starbard, Gusmer product manager for Hamilton. “You can technically get pure enough CO2, but it’s much more expensive than nitrogen and the regular stuff they use elsewhere in the brewery is never pure enough so they have to buy a special cylinder anyways. Might as well get the cheaper nitrogen.”
Use a small dedicated cylinder of calibrated air (not compressor air). The single cylinders seen in the video above should last a few years. Just don’t forget your flow regulator that goes between the cylinder and the Beverly. Learn more by watching the video above.
Read more about the affordable Beverly portable DO meter from Hamilton right here. The Beverly has been combined with the very cool Visiferm DO B probe into a robust all-in-one unit. The package is ideal for checking DO in all types of beverage processing, providing a turnkey solution for QA monitoring.
After checking out that, be sure to check out our latest webinar discussing the development and usage of the new Farber Pham Diastaticus Medium to prevent spoilage yeast contamination in the brewery. It’s sponsored by Gusmer. These folks are experts are harnessing the science behind the beer production process. We highly suggest you sign up here.