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The BeerBug™ connects you with the inner workings of your fermenting beer: S.G., Temp, Alcohol%, Real-time updates, Share, & Explore Read more

Norfolk, VA Hardware
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on November 21, 2012.

The BeerBug™ connects you with the inner workings of your fermenting beer: S.G., Temp, Alcohol%, Real-time updates, Share, & Explore

Norfolk, VA Hardware
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About this project

Latest Updates

UPDATE #5:  TWO HOURS LEFT - Updates!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/parasitx/the-beerbugtm-digital-hydrometer/posts/353725

Update #4:  Stretch Goal Reached - More Updates!
Update #3:  60s Video Brewing Genius Video
Update #2:  Stretch Goal - Snouts!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/parasitx/the-beerbugtm-digital-hydrometer/posts

Interested in the overall dimensions of the BeerBug??  Check our UPDATED:  Hardware Specifics section.

Please stay tuned & please share

Blow-off Support!

Check below for a blow-off setup support update!

WiFi Update

We have received a significant response from many BeerBug™ supporters requesting a WiFi connectivity option - and we are therefore very pleased to announce a WiFi product option as part of the Kickstarter launch! The WiFi ship date will lag the Bluetooth connectivity release by a few months – so you can select a Bluetooth model now to get your BeerBug™ soon, select WiFi and wait a little longer for delivery, OR select both!

BeerBug™ uses an innovative sensor system to accurately measure, record, and report the specific gravity, alcohol content, and temperature of your fermenting beer. 

Once the the BeerBug™ is (easily) affixed atop your fermenting vessel, all you need to do is press a button and let it get to work! BeerBug™ starts by establishing a baseline, your OG (Original Gravity). From here BeerBug™ continues to take measurements at factory preset - or custom - time intervals. As long as you are connected, you can watch the BeerBug™ report and plot specific gravity and temperature data in real time. Alternatively, you can allow the BeerBug™ to autonomously collect and locally store data…and then transmit all of the stored, time-stamped fermentation data wirelessly whenever you want.

Enter an FG (Final Gravity) or allow the BeerBug™ to determine one. Either way, BeerBug™ lets you know when your fermentation is complete. In a hurry to drink your delicious home brewed beer? The old tried-and-true method of leaving your beer for ~2 weeks may not be necessary. BeerBug™ takes measurements all the time so there’s no guesswork -- you may reach your FG faster than you think!

BeerBug's Specific Gravity Range is 0.0 - 1.500

 

How Does BeerBug Connect?

BeerBug™ connects to your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi. The BeerBug™ design, development, and testing process has started with Bluetooth communications and we are therefore able to offer this product version sooner than WiFi. As a backer of the WiFi BeerBug™, you will receive a device with identical sensor capabilities to the Bluetooth version; the only hardware difference is the onboard wireless radio.

UPDATE:  Blow-Off Adapter

Blow-off Adapter
Blow-off Adapter

The blow-off snout adapter will be provided to all of those who ask.  Upon success & conclusion of the BeerBug KickStarter (Reaching our goal in the top right) you will be able to voice your need!

**This is an early version.  Expect a larger diameter and more updates soon!

Bluetooth (Early Adopter)

The beauty of the "Early Adopter" BeerBug™ is that the only extra equipment you'll need is an Android device (2.0 and up) or PC with Bluetooth (XP and higher). The "Early Adopter" BeerBug™ is a full-featured device that has all the required FCC wireless certifications for Bluetooth communications.

WiFi (Standard BeerBug™)

The WiFi BeerBug™ will work with Android/PC as well as with iOS and Mac/OS, so if you love BeerBug™ but can't use the Early Adopter version, please sign up for the Standard BeerBug™ option. It will be worth the wait! All other device features (sensor system, housing, attachment, user experience) will be the same between the WiFi and Bluetooth product options.

Where We Are

We've been developing BeerBug™ for over a year and a half. After switching designs from our original purely floating device, we now have a tried and true sensor system incorporating our “Sensor Torpedo.” Below you will see the evolution of our BeerBug™ design. 

Early in the Summer of 2012, BeerBug™ changed shape to what you see immediately below. After a Summer of successful preliminary testing, late Summer and early Fall we continued to improve the form and function. 

BeerBug 2.0 - Summer 2012
BeerBug 2.0 - Summer 2012
BeerBug 2.1 - Fall 2012
BeerBug 2.1 - Fall 2012

What's Next

All the nuts and bolts are there for form/fit/function and test capabilities. Next up is the production model. Our production model will be much like you see above. However, you'll also see some cosmetic changes:

BeerBug 3.0 Production Model - Winter 2012 - Spring 2013
BeerBug 3.0 Production Model - Winter 2012 - Spring 2013
  • An LED BeerBug Logo will occupy the majority of the cover.
  • The blue abdomen of the Bug will function as its "Power Mode" button. BeerBug™ by default collects and sends data intermittently - but if you'd like data right away, tap the blue abdomen and transmit your data in real time.
  • The thumb screws you see above (BeerBug 2.1) will be reduced from 5 to 2 for even easier disassembly (for battery change or sanitation).
The final production version may of course deviate slightly from the above design as we perform the board spin and finalize the production tooling.

Hardware Specifics

The “Sensor Torpedo” is submerged in your fermentation vessel and connects to BeerBug™’s main housing by a detachable, sanitizable line. The “Snout” portion bypasses the CO2 to the airlock and is removable for sterilization. In the Bluetooth BeerBug™, the wireless radio is activated by a touch button at the center of the blue dot on the beer bug logo, and LEDs are visible to report the present status of the device. The WiFi BeerBug™ automatically sends data intermittently or when awoken via the same touch method. In this way, a single AA battery can power the BeerBug™ for many weeks. The battery can be changed at any time with no loss of data.

Materials: 

  • Torpedo (5" length, 1.125" diameter) - food grade High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Torpedo connector line (8" length)- Stainless Steel  **Need a custom length line?  You'll be able to tell us upon succesful completion of our KickStarter - No Charge
  • Snout - HDPE
  • Grommet for airlock (7/16" inner diameter) - Buna-N rubber 
  • The base plate of BeerBug (3" x 3") - Anodized Aluminum
  • Cover (3" x 3" x 3/4") - PVC
  • Seal - Kapton

At its highest point, the BeerBug sits 2 & 3/4" above your grommet, bung, or stopper.

Brew Temperature

BeerBug™ has on-board temperature sensors that measure fermentation fluid temperature accurately to approximately +/- 2.5 deg F. 

 We are also offering point-of-contact temperature sensor options for those of you who require (or demand!) an ultra-precise reading accurate to +/- 0.5 deg F.  

With the BeerBug™ Temperature Probe you are able to not only increase the accuracy and precision of your fermentation temperature measurement, you can now monitor and record temperatures as you actually brew - steeping, adding malt, bringing to boil, hop additions, etc! One end of the instrument plugs into a connection port on BeerBug™, and the other end is a precision contact temperature probe. 

The BeerBug™ Temperature Patch measures to the same precision as the probe, and acts by digitizing the traditional liquid crystal thermometer. Plug one end of the device into your BeerBug™’s connection port, adhere the patch to your brewing (or fermentation) vessel, then watch as your precision temperature measurements are obtained! 

Why We Need You

We have the technology and the sensor system designed, developed, and tested. We need your support to acquire the production tooling that will allow us to deliver your BeerBug™ at the attractive Kickstarter prices. Your purchase via KickStarter enables us to allocate resources and complete our production build quantities, at the same time allowing us to provide the best possible value for you!

Hacker/Developer Special

The idea and parameters of our Hacker Special have evolved over the past few months. We previously saw this option consisting of purely hardware hacks, but from the community feedback received we are happy to announce that the “Developer Special” now provides the hackers out there with open access to our communication API. 

With access to the software/communications API, you will be able to create your own app…or integrate the BeerBug™ data stream into your pre-existing software. The Developer Special ships with our Bluetooth version BeerBug™, and allows send/receive access the data stream as a standard COM port on your Bluetooth-enabled PC or Android device. 

Join the BeerBug™ Developer Community and either use our API to incorporate BeerBug™ into your existing setup, or create and share your work with the world. Create awesome software and we will work with you to spread your work! In addition, our Developer Community will get first access to all future versions of our standard BeerBug™ app upgrades. Let's create something amazing together!  

Early Adopter T-Shirt

KS Exclusive T-Shirt
KS Exclusive T-Shirt

**You will be asked your size upon the BeerBug reaching its goal!

REWARDS

$1 - Pledge your support - Get an online "thank you" plus exclusive updates, BeerBug™ availability, and more.

$5 - Along with the above, you receive our brew data, graphs, and findings as we attempt to gather data on every single brew in the world!

$25 - Premium Supporter - Show that you helped create BeerBug™ with our KickStarter exclusive t-shirt, BeerBug™ Team data, graphs, and findings, plus a "thank you", exclusive updates, and BeerBug™ availability

$119 - Early Bird! - You and the other Early Birds receive your BeerBug™s (w/ Bluetooth) extra early! Communication relies on Bluetooth - All the hardware and functionality is there, it just may not be as pretty as the Standard model.

$139 - Early Adopter - You get all of the above! BeerBug™ with Bluetooth, BeerBug™ Early Adopter T-Shirt, BeerBug™ data, graphs, and findings along with an online thank you!

$149 - Developer Special!! - Get it early and get out ahead - As a backer of the Developer Special you get your BeerBug™ (w/ Bluetooth), our API, and open support. Although BeerBug™ comes with out-of-the-box app support, we couldn't imagine stifling your creative genius. Create awesome software & we will spread your work for you!

$169 - Developer Special Plus! - As a backer of the Developer Special Plus you receive your BeerBug™ (w/ Bluetooth), and our API PLUS our KS only T-Shirt, BeerBug™ data, graphs, and findings and our special "thanks"

$199 - Standard BeerBug™ (WiFi) - Everything you know and love with WiFi connectivity. With WiFi your BeerBug is always connected. Enjoy continuous data access in a visually stunning package!

$220 - Premium BeerBug™ Package (WiFi) - BeerBug™ with WiFi, BeerBug™ Early Adopter T-Shirt, BeerBug™ data, graphs, and findings along with an online thank you!

Thank You!

We give a great many thanks to our friends and brew community members that have helped us reach this point! We hope that you continue with us as we create and improve social hardware for the world of brewing!

Our special thanks go to the Norfolk/Virginia Beach B.A.R.F Club (Beer and Ale Research Foundation) and our local HomeBrewUSA (and their staff)! 

Thank you to Spenser Fleming and his amazing film/photographic support!

Risks and challenges

With an experienced All-Star team we know we have all the tools needed. The concern we share with any emerging technology is market validation and exceeding the customer's standards for a user experience. That's why we're here. KickStarter allows us to get closer to the community and tap into the needs and desires of our users.

-The hardware and mechanics are there, we need to reach further into the community. We need everyone's help spreading the word on our KickStarter to reach critical mass and our funding goal! Having market validation and buyers upfront allows us to right size orders and initial production volume.

-Our focus has been to ensure consistent, accurate data. But what we do with, and how we present that data is just as important! BeerBug™ is not just a measurement tool, but an extension of the creativity, passion, and the brewer's pursuit for excellence. Help us ensure BeerBug™ provides an unforgettable experience. Send us a message, a tweet, a facebook/G+ post, anything to bring us closer to the community's pulse.

-BeerBug™ has been designed to fit into standard carboy/pail bung openings (i.e., where your airlock presently is affixed to the vessel). If you have pressurized vessels or fermentation equipment that lacks a standard bung opening, BeerBug™ may not currently be compatible with your setup. Please contact us if you have any questions about BeerBug™ compatibility.

Lastly, we've set manageable but ambitious goals. Although we've planned our timeline as accurately as possible there may be bumps in the road. We've set up multiple means of communication and transparency so that our community always knows what we know.

If you haven't already please connect with us
Twitter - https://twitter.com/theBeerBug
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/105762985083251632384
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ParasitX
Website - http://thebeerbug.com/
or email taylor@parasitX.com

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    17 backers

    Pledge your support - Get an online "thank you" plus exclusive updates, BeerBug™ availability, and more.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    13 backers

    All of the above
    PLUS receive our fermentation data, graphs, and findings from our in-house BeerBug™ batches as we attempt to gather data on every brew in the world!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    19 backers Limited (31 left of 50)

    Premium Supporter! You receive all of the above plus our Awesome KS only T-Shirt. Your support is crucial to BeerBug™'s success. Show the world that you helped create the BeerBug™!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $119 or more

    47 backers Limited (3 left of 50)

    Early Bird! You and the other Early Birds receive your BeerBug™s (Bluetooth version) extra early! These devices have full hardware features, sensor system functionality, and Bluetooth communications support. It just may not be as pretty as the Standard BeerBug™ model.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $139 or more

    49 backers Limited (1 left of 50)

    Early Adopter - You get all of the above!
    BeerBug™ with Bluetooth,
    BeerBug™ Early Adopter T-Shirt,
    BeerBug™ data, graphs, and findings along with
    an online thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $149 or more

    32 backers Limited (18 left of 50)

    Developer Special!! Not only do you get your BeerBug™ early - As a backer of the Developer Special you get your BeerBug™ (Bluetooth), our API, and open support. Although BeerBug™ comes with out-of-the-box app support, we couldn't imagine stifling your creative genius. Create awesome software & we will spread your work for you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $169 or more

    27 backers Limited (23 left of 50)

    Developer Special Plus!! As a backer of the Developer Special Plus you receive your BeerBug™ (Bluetooth version), open API access, PLUS our KS only T-Shirt, BeerBug™ data, graphs, and findings and our special "thanks"

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $199 or more

    63 backers

    Standard BeerBug™ (WiFi version). Everything you know and love about BeerBug™..but with WiFi connectivity. Your BeerBug™ is always connected with WiFi - enjoy continuous data access in a visually stunning package!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $220 or more

    33 backers Limited (17 left of 50)

    Premium BeerBug™ Package (WiFi)
    BeerBug™ with WiFi,
    BeerBug™ Early Adopter T-Shirt,
    BeerBug™ data, graphs, and findings along with
    an online thank you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    13 backers

    WiFi Developer Special!! Not only do you get your WiFi BeerBug™ - As a backer of the WiFi Developer Special you get your BeerBug™ (WiFi), our API, and open support. Although BeerBug™ comes with out-of-the-box app support, we couldn't imagine stifling your creative genius. Create awesome software & we will spread your work for you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $270 or more

    6 backers Limited (44 left of 50)

    Premium WiFi Developer Special!! As a backer of the Premium Developer Special you receive your BeerBug™ (WiFi), open API access, PLUS our KS only T-Shirt, BeerBug™ data, graphs, and findings and our special "thanks"

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    26 backers

    The Super Duper BeerBug KickStarter Package! 1 Bluetooth (w/ API), 1 WiFi (w/ API), & 1 T-Shirt - Available only during our 30 day campaign, become a backer of this level and receive - One Bluetooth BeerBug with API and our KS only T-Shirt (Dec. delivery) PLUS One WiFi BeerBug (April delivery) with API

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)