Craft breweries often encounter costly and time consuming analysis processes when it comes to managing their yeast. To simplify the brewing fermentation process, Oculyze (GmbH) has developed a system — now available in the United States — that allows brewers to take control of their yeast analysis and improve the taste and quality of beer: Better Brewing.
Oculyze GmbH has developed a mobile microscope with a magnification of ~400x and an automated image recognition software. It enables the user to take a microscopic image and get results within seconds, from anywhere — without specialized expertise needed.
At drinktec in Munich from September 11-15, Oculyze will debut a big-time update for the Better Brewing yeast management platform that will let users access the Oculyze encrypted cloud platform and review yeast images and results anywhere, anytime. The app allows the user to generate customized reports, view historical data, track their yeast over time and increase statistical accuracy by creating averages of different measurements. With the direct access to their yeast data, craft brewers can now view and analyze their yeast from any connected device.
“Brewers don’t need expensive lab equipment or skilled scientists to perform their yeast analysis. We have written an algorithm that will do the job for you. Our image recognition software performs automatic cell concentration and viability analysis for you in one measurement, in less than one minute,” Uli Tillich, CTO at Oculyze explained. “After speaking with many experts in the field, we saw the need for including budding cell count in addition to concentration and viability of yeast, all in one step.”
Saving time and money
The path to the right fermentation process also lies in repitching the yeast, said the Oculyze team. It has several advantages when done right. Taste not only often improves after the first use, but more importantly, it allows brewers to reduce the cost of dry yeast.
An example: Checking the yeast for concentration and viability before repitching can save the user between $9 and $15 per hectoliter. A smaller brewery that brews around 1,000 hectoliters per year can save nearly $9,500 on dry yeast costs alone.
Kilian Moser, CEO at Oculyze GmbH, looks forward to an exciting end of the year. “We have officially expanded our customer base worldwide, now including the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain and China. With the new markets, our company is steadily growing, and we have increased our team by 50 percent over the last five months — including experienced image recognition and software development experts — and we have hired both a head of sales and a sales representative.”