Hack, slash, boom.
One of our philosophies here at Indemic is just to have a go, see what happens. You'll either get the result you expected, or you won't - either way we come away enriched from the experience, and of course, armed with the knowledge to proceed. Learning First Product Development - apparently, if you're one for acronyms...
Our Malt Mechanics fermenters are in a constant state of flux, having originated from a project owned by someone else, we took the existing tool, did a few quick mods to get it to minimum viable product, and then went to the brewers and got them brewing. The feedback we got out of this was invaluable, some things worked, and some didn't. We proceeded, with a few constraints dictated by the existing tool design. Now, nearly a year in and with a swag of runs on the board we are at but another juncture. Those tooling constraints are the difference between a good product, and the best product. We've validated the market and have an ever-growing customer base, again had a bunch more feedback (mostly positive!) - and have been using the product ourselves, of course.
That elephant in the room that was our tooling problem, no longer seems such a big spend to be rid of. Customers, cashflow and solid validation means that treading with caution is wiser than not treading at all. And with that, we give you a taste of some back yard R&D, Indemic style - a bit of pressure testing using an off-the shelf keg lid. Cheers.