New! Digital CO2 Flow Monitors for Beer Carbonation
Hastings Brew Works introduces a new line of high precision CO2 flow monitors specifically designed to improve the carbonation process.
Now brewers will easily know if, and exactly when, their beer is accurately carbonated.
- Improves production efficiency, quality, and profitability for Pro Brewers
- Simple operation, easily integrates into your overall process
- Monitor your carbonation status from anywhere – full wireless network support
A sophisticated system, made simple.
Henry’s Law tells us when the CO2 flow stops the beer is fully and accurately carbonated; knowing for certain when that happens improves your process.
For professional brewers, eliminating beer sitting in brite tanks longer than necessary improves cash flow and production efficiency. HBW CO2 flow monitors also eliminate post-process carbonation testing, and tester clean-up. You have enough cleaning to do.
All brewers want fully, accurately, and consistently carbonated beer.
Our CO2 flow monitors also let you know when you have a CO2 leak so you can fix it quickly saving CO2, time, and money – and avoid quality control issues.
The CO2 flow monitors from Hastings Brew Works are very easy to use. They install on your CO2 line anywhere between your regulator and brite tank with standard ¼” MFL connectors.
Power up and CO2 flow, long-term flow trend, and differential pressure are displayed, all without any user input or configuration necessary.
If you choose to connect the unit to your network, you can check carbonation status from anywhere via the internal web-based monitor. This internal web page displays additional data and is updated every few seconds. There is no need for you to physically see the units to monitor carbonation status.
You can also configure your inside network router to make the internal web display available anywhere over the internet. The web page is served on a non-standard port for enhanced security. Data logging of the output is possible as well via serial or web connection (user created).
Rugged and designed for the harsh wet brewery environment, the units are intentionally miniaturized and housed in a fully encapsulated high impact urethane resin enclosure system.
Two models are currently available with measurement ranges to suit flow requirements. Model CF1 is suitable for breweries and homebrewers carbonating in vessels up to 5 BBL, model CF2 has a higher flow capability and is appropriate for brite tanks over 5 BBL.
Custom configurations are available, including higher flow range for larger brite tanks. Please contact us to discuss.
Care and Use Discussion
The flow monitors are an intentionally miniaturized 2″ x 1.25″ x 1″ form factor and simply install between the CO2 regulator and the tank being carbonated. Their small size lets you hang them just about anywhere, and out of your way. The enclosures are high impact urethane resin which fully encapsulates all the components making them impervious to water spray, and highly shock resistant. The on-board display is a very easy to read high resolution 1″ OLED. The units also feature an internal web server which includes additional data not found on the display. Power is provided over a 6′ USB cable from a standard 5VDC power supply; this cable also doubles as a serial connection between the unit and a computer if desired (for data logging). The two 1/4″ MFL connectors are on very high quality Saint Gobain 3603 Tygon tubing, chosen specifically for its performance with oxygen and CO2. On power-up the units will wait a short time for WiFi configuration and then go on to independent operation if not completed.
Based on Henry’s Law, we know at a given temperature and PSI beer will be carbonated to a specific volume when it reaches equilibrium; it’s the laws of physics.
The hard part is knowing when it does reach equilibrium, and most guesses of that timing are not correct…
By monitoring CO2 flow with a high precision digital monitor capable of measuring in fractional L/min flow at the low end, now we can tell exactly when flow stops and equilibrium is reached – and thus the beer is fully and accurately carbonated.
In a typical carbonation process CO2 flow begins at a fairly high level and will decrease steadily over the course of the batch until it reaches zero when finished. The trend line is not quite linear, but it’s close. This is the pattern you should expect to see when carbonating brite tanks through a carb stone, or similar.
For homebrewers who use unique methods to carbonate kegs very different patterns may emerge. For example, when carbonating through the diptube (out port), an oscillation pattern develops as you approach equilibrium. The hydrostatic pressure in the keg begins to fight against the pressure from the CO2 regulator and an in/out exchange takes place – it’s not a clean simple flow of CO2 in this situation as it is with a brite tank or carbonating via head pressure.
The display includes a long term trend indicator which is based on very heavy exponential smoothing of flow values. In a typical carbonation process such as a carb stone in a brite tank, this long term trend value will be a trailing number relative to the current CO2 flow. As equilibrium approaches, the gap between current and long term trend values will narrow. In atypical carbonation scenarios this long term trend value will provide a much more stable indicator of the flow and status of the carbonation. This is useful particularly in an environment where flows are not constant or consistent. When this value reaches zero, equilibrium has been achieved. The long term trend value is initiated after approximately 1 minute of operation which allows for the initial inrush of CO2 to pass and stable flow to be reached; the value floats near zero until this condition is met.
The internal web display also includes a short term trend value which is based on less aggressive exponential smoothing routines. This is best considered a 5 minute flow trend and can be used with the more erratic carbonation methods as an additional data point for depicting actual CO2 flow.
Differential Pressure and Under/Over Carbonation
By measuring the difference between the pressure on the regulator side and that on the tank/keg side, we arrive at a differential reading which is an indication of equilibrium state as well. If the regulator side is higher (a positive reading) then we know the beer is undercarbonated; if the tank/keg side is higher in pressure than the regulator set point (a negative reading) we know the beer is overcarbonated. The differential pressure reading is a non-standard value and is not expressed in PSI.
When you employ a process such as carbonating brite tanks via a carb stone, you’ll quickly notice a predictable pattern of CO2 flow in every batch. This pattern will show a consistent decrease of CO2 flow over the carbonation process. When you start a carbonation batch and this decrease doesn’t occur, you’ll know very quickly you have a CO2 leak in your system and can identify and fix it. This saves time and CO2, and ensures quality, which equates directly to profit.
CO2 Line Connections
Standard 1/4″ male flare (MFL) connectors are used for the CO2 line. A sufficient length of Tygon tubing is available on each unit so these connectors can be removed and replaced with a fitting of your choice to better integrate into your process if necessary.
O2 Pick-up Elimination
The tubing used on the monitors is Saint Gobain Tygon 3603 which was specifically chosen for its excellent CO2 and O2 permeability characteristics – it keeps the CO2 in and the O2 out. In addition, the resin enclosure system was designed to fully encapsulate the flow sensing components to further eliminate any potential for CO2 leaks or O2 pick-up.
Full 802.11 b/g/n/e/i WiFi connectivity is included to allow you to monitor your carbonation process from anywhere. At initial power-up the units present you with a setup message and go into AP mode. Using your phone (or other wifi capable device) you associate to this AP and open a web browser to the IP address provided. This opens a configuration page where you enter the SSID and password for your internal WiFi network. The unit will then reboot and connect to the network. Settings are saved so it will automatically reconnect to the network if it is available on subsequent restarts. If the network is no longer available it will move back into AP configuration mode so you can set up a new SSID and password.
If you do not go through the configuration process the units will exit setup mode in approximately 2 minutes and enter independent operation as a stand-alone (non-networked) device.
The internal web display of the units can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection if you configure your inside router to forward internet traffic to it. This is an easy step for a person experienced with networking. The web display is served on a non-standard port to assist in setting up this router configuration and to also enhance security.
It is possible to log all data contained in the web and serial based monitoring. This requires either a serial monitor application such as Cool Term, and the units to be connected to a computer; a script can also be written to extract the data updates from the internal web server. In both scenarios it is up to the user to create this and is not supported by HBW.
Internal Web Display
A streamlined web page with additional data optimized for viewing on mobile devices with minimal overhead is provided. As noted this is served on a non-standard port to assist in internal port forwarding with your inside router, and for added security.
In addition to a short term flow indicator, the internal display also features a timer which is helpful in keeping track of your carbonation process. Information about the unit such as firmware version, MAC address for networking, and wireless signal strength are also provided.
As new features and improvements are generated, firmware is easily user-updatable over a built-in web interface. It’s as simple as choosing a file on your computer and clicking the update button.
- High performance SoC architecture
- Fully encapsulated high impact urethane resin enclosure system
- Extremely sensitive flow monitoring to 4 decimal places of precision
- 802.11 b/g/n/e/i wireless networking (FCC/CE Certified)
- High resolution OLED display
- Serial port connectivity for data logging via USB
- Low voltage (5VDC) operation via included USB power adapter and 6’ cord
- Small 2” x 1.25” x 1” form factor
- Standard ¼” male flare connectors on high performance Tygon 3603 tubing
- CO2 Flow range:
Model CF1 = 0.00 to 0.15 L/Min (5 BBL tanks or under )
Model CF2 = 0.00 to 2.50 L/Min (over 5 BBL tanks)
(Higher capacity and custom systems are available, please contact us)
- Full 90 day warranty
Model CF1 $499.99
Model CF2 $699.99
Both units are available now!
Model CF1 CO2 Flow Monitor for homebrewers and brite tanks up to 5BBl.
(Shipping via USPS Priority Mail included)
Please contact us with questions or ordering information for Model CF2.