Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > BCS and BrewTroller/FermTroller question.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-24-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
emjay
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
emjay's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 12,694
Liked 1713 Times on 1601 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default BCS and BrewTroller/FermTroller question.

I'm about ready to finish off my brew room (the room itself), so this info will be handy before everything is closed off.

Basically, I will have my PC in that room, as well as my eBrewery and ferm chamber. I'd like to know how the latter two will communicate with my PC. Will there be a panel next to the BCS brewery which I can connect with an ethernet to a switch (which my PC will also be connected to)? Same question for the BrewTroller/FermTroller... and if I can't simply hardwire either of them to my nextwork, are there similar systems that CAN function like that?

I want to be able to run a couple ethernet cables to the appropriate spot so that I can just install a jack on the wall in order to keep things neat and tidy. But the walls will be closed very soon, so I'm hoping to figure this out right now without having to rush to research and plan the entire control systems (potentially making mistakes) while the walls are still open.

__________________
emjay is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-25-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
ChuckO
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChuckO's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Keyrock, WV
Posts: 891
Liked 78 Times on 70 Posts
Likes Given: 12

Default

I ran two CAT6 cables from my brewing area to a router in my workshop area. One is for the BCS-460 and the other is for a PC. I prefer wired connections when operations might be time critical, a dropped wireless connection can cause major problems during the boil for instance. I would recommend putting in an ethernet cable into more than one spot in the brewery. At the least, run some cable and tape it to the side of a stud. You can always cut a hole and fish the wire to a faceplate in the future. Take photos of each wall before closing them up, invaluable for finding pipes and wiring in the future.

Where practical, I run two cables to each location that I have an internet device even though I only have 1 outlet in the wall plate, never know when I might change something or add a new device. We have multiple buildings at our home and have buried plastic pipe runs between them all for pulling any type of cable that I want. I thought that as long as I have a trench dug for electric service to a building I might as well bury a couple of 1" plastic water pipes for either water or signal cables. The cost of pipe was minimal compared to the total cost of digging and filling in a trench.

__________________
ChuckO is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-25-2013, 08:11 PM   #3
emjay
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
emjay's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 12,694
Liked 1713 Times on 1601 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Yeah, I prefer wired connections too. Looks like I'll have about 8 cat6 jacks in that room... one for brewery, one for ferm chamber, two for PC (teamed connection, for 2gbit) and 4 for home theater equipment. I may take your suggestion and add another by the brewery.

I guess I'm going with a BCS system though. Kind of nervous about having to build something so complex, but hopefully I'll manage.

Do you know if the BCS can control ferm temps too? I'm planning on one where I can keep 4-8 fermentors each at separate temps.

__________________
emjay is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-25-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
PLOVE
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
PLOVE's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Colton, OR
Posts: 367
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by emjay View Post
Do you know if the BCS can control ferm temps too? I'm planning on one where I can keep 4-8 fermentors each at separate temps.
Absolutely! I use a 460 to control two separate chambers (when I'm not brewing). Top chamber is heat only (red lamp) that uses hysteresis around center temp based on thermometer placed in the fermenting beer temp. I have a second thermometer that simply measures air temp, and programmed a failsafe to shut off heating if the chamber gets above 85 during heat cycling. Bottom chamber is for lagers, and features a bypassed A/C unit and heat lamp. Again I control heat/cool based on beer temp, but also include an air temp reading to keep temps above 35 (to avoid A/C coil freezeup) and below 85. Programming is pretty simple once you've played around with it, and it works really well. Data logger feature is also handy to see how things are progressing. I basically only have to change a few programming variables to switch from fermentation temps, to diacetyl rest and step lagering.

Go for it!
__________________

Goat Mountain Brewery (GMB)
A 10 Gal all-eletric nanobrewery nestled in the foothills of the cascades. My own slice of paradise.

PLOVE is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-25-2013, 09:09 PM   #5
emjay
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
emjay's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 12,694
Liked 1713 Times on 1601 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PLOVE View Post

Absolutely! I use a 460 to control two separate chambers (when I'm not brewing). Top chamber is heat only (red lamp) that uses hysteresis around center temp based on thermometer placed in the fermenting beer temp. I have a second thermometer that simply measures air temp, and programmed a failsafe to shut off heating if the chamber gets above 85 during heat cycling. Bottom chamber is for lagers, and features a bypassed A/C unit and heat lamp. Again I control heat/cool based on beer temp, but also include an air temp reading to keep temps above 35 (to avoid A/C coil freezeup) and below 85. Programming is pretty simple once you've played around with it, and it works really well. Data logger feature is also handy to see how things are progressing. I basically only have to change a few programming variables to switch from fermentation temps, to diacetyl rest and step lagering.

Go for it!
Cool, thanks for the info. I guess my only other question is whether a single BCS unit is able to control both the brewery (ie HLT and mash temps, and boil) AND the ferm chamber (ie multiple ferm temps) *simultaneously*, or if I'll need a second unit in order to do both.
__________________
emjay is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2013, 01:57 AM   #6
PLOVE
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
PLOVE's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Colton, OR
Posts: 367
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Also a yes to that, but you would need enough analog temperature inputs to pull off both. The 462 has 8 I believe.

Basically what you do is setup separate processes for brewing and fermentation. For example, I have a primary brewing process with 7 steps, and separate fermentation processes for each of my two fermentation chambers. You can turn them on/off separately and run them simultaneously. Very neat.
P

__________________

Goat Mountain Brewery (GMB)
A 10 Gal all-eletric nanobrewery nestled in the foothills of the cascades. My own slice of paradise.

PLOVE is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2013, 07:34 AM   #7
emjay
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
emjay's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 12,694
Liked 1713 Times on 1601 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PLOVE View Post
Also a yes to that, but you would need enough analog temperature inputs to pull off both. The 462 has 8 I believe.

Basically what you do is setup separate processes for brewing and fermentation. For example, I have a primary brewing process with 7 steps, and separate fermentation processes for each of my two fermentation chambers. You can turn them on/off separately and run them simultaneously. Very neat.
P
Excellent. Leads me to another question though...

If I have my panel by the brewery (plugged into both a power outlet and ethernet jack right beside it), it's obviously simple to run the necessary temp probes from the brewery to the panel.

But if my ferm chamber is in an opposite corner of the room, wouldn't I need to run the temp probes to the panel somehow? How can I do this neatly, given the length I'm already going to to run lines for everything in the walls? My initial thought is to have an ethernet cable run from the ferm chamber location directly to the panel location, and using the 4 wire pairs (8 total) within the cable to basically carry the signal for 4 temp probes. Is this even possible with the types of temp probes that work with the BCS? Is there a better way of doing this?
__________________
emjay is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2013, 11:53 AM   #8
ChuckO
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChuckO's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Keyrock, WV
Posts: 891
Liked 78 Times on 70 Posts
Likes Given: 12

Default

I mounted my BCS on a wall near my fermentation chamber in a box with SSR's for heating/cooling the chamber. I run two CAT5 cables out to my brewery control panel when brewing. These two cables contain all of the signals from the BCS so the brewery operates as if the BCS were in the contol panel. An advantage of this is that if I have a problem with the brewery and shut it down I don't loose the BCS status and still know where I am in the brewing process. I like having the BCS powered from a separate source rather than from the 50 Amp brewery source.

__________________
ChuckO is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2013, 09:51 PM   #9
emjay
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
emjay's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 12,694
Liked 1713 Times on 1601 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckO View Post
I mounted my BCS on a wall near my fermentation chamber in a box with SSR's for heating/cooling the chamber. I run two CAT5 cables out to my brewery control panel when brewing. These two cables contain all of the signals from the BCS so the brewery operates as if the BCS were in the contol panel. An advantage of this is that if I have a problem with the brewery and shut it down I don't loose the BCS status and still know where I am in the brewing process. I like having the BCS powered from a separate source rather than from the 50 Amp brewery source.
Why do you need two cat5 cables to run between the panels? Is one not enough? I already have one by the ferm chamber (and a coax f-type) but running a second one to that particular spot may be a challenge.
__________________
emjay is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-26-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
ChuckO
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChuckO's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Keyrock, WV
Posts: 891
Liked 78 Times on 70 Posts
Likes Given: 12

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by emjay View Post
Why do you need two cat5 cables to run between the panels? Is one not enough? I already have one by the ferm chamber (and a coax f-type) but running a second one to that particular spot may be a challenge.
In this case I'm not using the CAT5 cables for ethernet, each pin-out from the BCS-460 goes to a wire in a CAT5 cable. The BCS is mounted about 15 feet away from the brewery controller, so the CAT5 cables are just used as connecting wire. I haven't found any cross talk or signal loss problems so far. I did use color coded cables and jacks just to make connecting things easier. If I had a BCS-462 with more inputs and outputs I probably would have used an old RS-232 25pin cable for simplicity.
__________________
ChuckO is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brewtroller cabling question Kristan Electric Brewing 1 04-02-2012 11:48 PM
For Sale - WTB: Brewtroller for Fermtroller hatrickwah For Sale 0 05-09-2011 01:51 AM
question for BCS-460 or brewtroller users Brewing Clamper Equipment/Sanitation 25 01-19-2011 07:11 PM
BrewTroller/FermTroller Controlled Kegerator jcdillin DIY Projects 3 12-20-2010 07:12 PM
FermTroller MilwaukeeBrewGuy DIY Projects 5 12-22-2009 02:05 PM