The PLAATO airlock

Here’s how Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine describes the purpose of a fermentation airlock:

The sole purpose of any airlock is to allow an otherwise sealed fermentation environment to relieve internal pressure. That’s it. Airlocks aren’t designed to tell you anything, and they aren’t indicators of fermentation. 

Sorry to break it to you Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, but the folks behind PLAATO have different ideas.

That’s right, the Norwegian startup is looking to take what is typically a dumb $3 piece of plastic used to release excess CO2 during the fermentation process and add IoT smarts to create a tool for beer brewers to monitor beer gravity, temperature and estimate the alcohol content of the beer using algorithms.

Sure, the PLAATO isn’t a beer brewing appliance, but as it turns out, when it comes to modernizing the beer brewing process not everyone wants a turnkey system like PicoBrew and BrewArt. Some home brewers want to brew their beer the traditional way, but aren’t against the idea of applying modern technology to refine the process and elevate their craft. PLAATO helps do that by monitoring the amount of CO2 generated by fermentation, send that data via Wi-Fi to the cloud, which then allows the brewer to monitor the brew process in a mobile app.

The PLAATO app

The PLAATO airlock, which can also be used for fermentation of cider, wine and mead, has reached its target via the company’s Kickstarter campaign. The campaign, which as of this writing has six days left, has raised a total of $165 thousand.

The team behind the PLAATO started working on the concept a year and a half ago. After finishing their first prototype in May of 2016, the company finished hardware design in February of this year and started the process of moving into production. The company plans to ship the PLAATO to backers by October of this year.

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