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-   -   Brewtroller (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/brewtroller-288068/)

MadViking 12-19-2011 01:05 AM

Say, is there anyone familiar with the Brewtroller that could help guide me in the right direction. I just want to know what I should be purchasing for my control box. I have a pretty good idea, I think :confused:, though a thumbs up or thumbs down from a skilled practioner would be hugely beneficial. :mug:

Cheers to beers!

goingmad 12-19-2011 11:39 PM


from mad to mad we should talk the same language... :D

I'm collecting my BT various items in these weeks and will build a control panel as well. Do you already have a full list of the items included in your BT setup? Did you see the very nice project done from the blackheartbrewery guys? They have detailed also about their CP, I'd take a look over there just to know if this could fit to your needs.



MadViking 12-21-2011 04:33 AM

I haven't gotten all of the items sorted out that I need. I did look at the Blackheart Brewery site and that looks great. That's the sort of control panel I plan on building. I will probably contact those guys with any questions that I might have.

pickles 12-21-2011 04:42 AM

I'd be happy to give you some advice, but the Brewtroller platform can serve very simple to fully automated systems; can you describe what your goals, system configuration and level of automation are? I use most features of the BT with the exception of automated valves.

MadViking 12-22-2011 09:11 AM

Thanks pickles for the offer. I appreciate it.

The core of my system will be a boiler for heating the mash and brew kettle with steam. Along with the boiler, mash tun and brew kettle I will have a HLT to heat the water for the sparge.

I got to thinking about it a little more and I suppose what I really want right now is to have the Brewtroller control the temperatures in my vessels while recording the temperature data, display temperatures at a couple of key locations (such as chiller out), time each part of the brewing session giving an audible alarm or light when it's time to start the next step, control and recored,the fermentation temperature if possible and take all the recorded data and put it on a USB drive for a later download. I like the idea of having the capability of expanding the system for more control in the future if I want to.

Other options I'm looking for are "Hand Off Auto" switches for the pumps & heating elements, and visual indication of what equipment is one.

My system will have two heating elements (boiler & HLT) and two pumps (wort & water). I will need TI's in the boiler, HLT, mash tun, brew kettle, chiller wort out and fermenter. I have a 15 gallon conical fermenter that will have a glycol filled stainless steel coil in it. The glycol temperature will be control by an A/C-ice chest set-up and the temperture of the fermenter will be controlled by a TI that controls a small aquarium pump.

Like I mentioned in the first post, I think I know what I should be getting for this but would like confirmation on that. Also, I don't know if it will control the fermenter and record to a USB drive.

Here is what I think I need to get but please correct me if I'm wrong;
  • Brewtroller 4.0
  • Encoder with cable
  • USB module
  • 1-wire module
  • LCD controller & screen
  • Triple relay board
  • ??Breakout board??
  • Power supply
  • TI's
  • 3-position switches
  • LED's
  • heatsink
  • Alarm
  • Various connectors, wire and fittings
I worked 11 years as an electrician, mainly doing housing and light commercial. Putting together the control box is not a problem, though having never worked with control boards and what not, I get a bit lost putting it all together in my head.

MadViking 12-22-2011 09:52 AM

I'm at work right now and it's 2:30am, so my mind is wandering a bit and my train of thought is derailing.

A couple of other items I forgot about. First, I will have a mash mixer with a motor from an ice cream mixer. I only want to have the mash mixer running when the mash is being heated to help even the temperature. Right now with the way I've initially stated the system, this would be done manually, though I would like to have it done automatically in the future which leads to the second item, in the future I want to have the steam to the mash controlled via a motorized ball valve that is controlled by the mash temperature TI.

pickles 12-22-2011 07:36 PM

Well for starters Brewtroller can do most of those things, however, not fermentation control. That code is written for the Fermtroller and will not work on a Brewtroller board, you need to buy a separate system for that. You'll need SSR's to control the heating elemnts. The triple relay board will work for the pumps. I'm assuming "TI" is a temperature sensor? I built a RGB LED board that emits a different color from a single LED depending on whether a switch is in "Hand" or "Auto". I beleive a forum Brewtroller forum member sells this board now. I'm not sure how you would automate the stir of the mash, but I suppose some custom code could be implemented to make that work.

MadViking 12-23-2011 10:51 AM

I thought it wouldn't work for fermentation control, but I had to ask. As for the Fermtroller, where does a person find one? The Brewtroller website shows only a firmware release and OSCS's doesn't have a Fermtroller board. I have an Arduino Uno board at home that I could use as a fermenter controller.

Yep, I forgot to throw the SSR's on the list.

Yes, TI is the temperature sensor. I'm just used to saying TI here at work.

I'm interested in the RGB LED board that you mention. It would be a nice addition to a control panel.

As for the mash mixer, I had earlier thoughts of using the Arduino Uno to compare two temperature values in the mash, an upper TI and lower TI, and turn on the mash mixer based upon a difference in temperature. If I had the Brewtroller controling the mash temperature via a TI in the middle, then Uno would even out the temperature with the mash mixer when the mash was heated from bottom with steam. Since the Uno probably will be in the control panel for controlling the fermenter, it would be terribly hard to add the mixer control to it...at least I don't think it will be. Famous last words.

I'm assuming that besides forgetting the SSR's, the list of items for a Brewtroller control panel is pretty accurate? I believe I don't need to have the breakout board. I want to get these items ordered so that I can have the control panel complete when I have my brewhaus complete too. I hope to be running beers through my system by Febuary.

goingmad 12-24-2011 12:05 AM

From what I can see fermtroller is a different firmware you can run on the same brewtroller hardware. To be short, you have to install the fermtroller firmware on one of the brewtroller boards.

Take a look at this

As you can see in the BT home page, fermtroller is a firmware you can freely download and then install on a brewtroller board of your choice.

The fact is that you cannot run both the firmwares (BT and FT) at the same time on the BT board, so you should have two different boards available.

My two cents...

pickles 12-24-2011 01:52 AM

Yeah, Brewtroller and Fermtroller are two seperate firmware packages. They can't be run simultaneously on the same board. You definately need two boards. When I upgrade my BT 3.0 board to a 4.0 I'll repurpose it as a Fermtroller. I don't need all the bells and whistles for it so the old board will suffice. You shouldn't need the breakout board, it's meant for easy connection for "auto-off-hand". I bought one for the LED board I built. If you purchase a premade one the header pins will be onboard. If you want to see what the RGB LED's look like click the link in my signature line. If you're building your own temp sensors you'll need thermo wells and the Dallas One Wire sensors, or buy them pre-made from Brewers Hardware. I'd suggest adding float switches to protect the heating elements from a dry fire. I ruined two before implementing it and it was a super easy install.

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