Craft beers and microbreweries are growing increasingly popular throughout the country. The Automated Home Brewing System created by electrical and computer engineering students Ryan Beert, Brett Stephens, and Paul Larson allows home brewers of any experience level to join the fun and experiment with their own recipes and ideas. Crafting a microbrew is now as simple as making a loaf of bread in a bread maker.
The traditional home brewing process is an intensive and a delicate process, but the Oregon State University team developed an automatic brewing process that enables the brewer to prepare everything beforehand and entrust the machine to do the rest. The brewer simply decides what type of beer to make, puts the ingredients into the brewer, and presses the “start” button.
“Our project automates the process while monitoring and controlling crucial variables,” said Larson. “Just walk away and come back in two weeks, and you’ll have a mature beer that is ready for bottling.”
The current system yields approximately four gallons per batch. The team says a refined version of the prototype might include a pump-cooling system to replace the current gravity-powered system. Also, limiting batch yield to three gallons would enable the system to be plugged into a standard household electrical socket.
Larson hopes to make improvements to the senior design project and perhaps take the product to market. The team reports that their tastiest beer to date is an amber malt extract that is heavy on the hops.
This is great! I am a Oregon State COE Alum and formerly worked at a “Big Beer” brewery in the brewhouse and fermenting department where almost every step of the process was completely automated. I am curious how the steps of the brewery process were controlled. Is this just the fermenting vessel (cold side) or is there a brewing component(warm side) also? What is the footprint of this device?
Thanks for the questions. Our machine is basically broken up into 4 stages. We have an ingredient insertion stage, wort boiling stage, cooling stage and fermentation stage. We control boiling the using a heating element, while the cooling stage is just 26 feet of copper coil surrounded by cold water. If you would like, you can look at our project webpage at http://beaversource.oregonstate.edu/projects/44×201116. It contains more information on every aspect of the project. Hope that helps!