BeerBug: A Nanny for Homebrew

Innovation by | May 2014 | Issue #88

Let’s say you just brewed a batch of beer with a new recipe you designed. And you now have to go out of town for a few days. How are you going to keep tabs on your latest creation while you’re away?

That’s where the BeerBug comes in. Through a device and cloud-based platform known as Electric Imp, BeerBug wirelessly transmits the status of your beer, cider or wine’s fermentation progress to a cloud, which you can then tap into and track on your smartphone or through the BeerBug’s website.

Think of it as a digital, WiFi hydrometer. Powered by a battery that lasts more than 25 days, the BeerBug is essentially two parts: the main unit, or sensor head, and a device called the “sensor torpedo.” The sensor head of the BeerBug connects with any common fermentation airlock, where it records the data. The torpedo dangles completely submerged in your fermenting brew by a sanitizable, easily replaceable monofilament fishing line, and acts as a traditional hydrometer. The combo collects specific gravity, temperature and alcohol data from the fermenting brew several times an hour. It then sends that data to a cloud through a wireless radio where you can access and read your brew data via your web browser, and iOS or Android apps. You can also share and store your brew’s fermentation progress on the BeerBug’s website and keep an eye on other brewers’ projects. The BeerBug costs $250 and is available on