The Alexander Graham Bell of sterile brew sampling - Keofitt

The Alexander Graham Bell of sterile brew sampling - Keofitt

Kai Ottung

The Alexander Graham Bell

of sterile brew sampling

The Revolution Starts

”He put his heart into the

brewing process”

Eva Ottung, Kai Ottung’s widow

Profession: Inventor and revolutionary

Passion: Making brewing better

Born: 1916 in Birkerød near Copenhagen

Parents: Tile Works Manager and housewife

Education: Engineer and brewer

Before Kai Ottung developed his unique valve at home in his garage,

brewers could never be certain whether their samples were sterile.

This problem was one that Kai was familiar with after many years spent

founding breweries all over the world and working as a brewer. Kai’s

inspiration and knowledge came from Nairobi, Cairo, Scotland, Sweden

and many other places, and he was brewing an idea in his head that

would revolutionise brewery quality control.

”He worked on his inventions at home on the kitchen table. He had a

workshop and some spare parts in his small garage along with his car.

He kept his stock in his living room under the sideboard – I don’t know

whether he’d asked his wife or whether he just did it.”

John Søby (Søby CNC),

co-developer and Keofitt partner

The Revolution Succeeds

”He could ring at all hours of the day or night with an idea he

wanted to discuss; he never looked at his watch. He once

rang me at 7:30 on New Year’s Morning to tell me about an idea

that had come to him during the night. When he was awake

he expected the rest of the world to be awake too: he wanted

to take his ideas to the next stage”.

John Søby (Søby CNC),

co-developer and Keofitt collaborator

The Revolution Continues

Kai put all his knowledge, invention, determination and energy into

solving the problem, and his solutions were so personal that he never

gave his drawings numbers, they were all named. Alone but unbowed

he worked enthusiastically in his own little world, and in 1980 his efforts

finally bore fruit and his extraordinary invention could be revealed

to the world. Kai’s sampling tap became the first ever to receive FDA


The name of Kai’s invention was constructed in the same way that the

tap itself was: at home by him and his wife: Kai + Eva + Ottung + Fitting

= Keofitt

”Developing things that could make brewing better was a passion

for Kai: he was always saying: ”I’ve got an idea.””

Birthe Skands, Bryggeriet Skands

Keofitt’s functionality and quality quickly sent the valve and the revolution that went with it around the world.

Today Keofitt is a market leader with over 100.000 valves in use worldwide and Kai Ottung’s vision is still thriving.

“In the beginning we put the valves together

at home on the kitchen table.”

In close cooperation with breweries, brewers and

engineers, Kai worked on his invention for several

years. He wanted to avoid residue and bacteria in

the sampling tap, so that a clean sample could be


Eva Ottung, Kai Ottung’s widow

Industrivænget 6-8

DK-5700 Svendborg

Tel. +45 63 16 70 80

Fax +45 63 16 70 81

w w w . k e o f i t t . d k

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