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Old 11-30-2012, 12:05 AM   #1
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Default My Electric Build - Introducing What Became Brewmaster Controls

My project started off innocently enough over a year ago, I wanted to go all electric, and I wanted a graphical user interface controlled brewing system with some automation. Things got a bit out of hand and after some interest from local brewers and microbreweries I decided to make a commercial offering which evolved into Brewmaster Controls.

Introducing Brewmaster Controls!

It became my goal to produce a easy to implement HERMS and RIMS control system that anyone regardless of their electrical, mechanical, or computer knowledge can implement with ease. The system is build on a modular basis allowing the brewer to implement controls for both hotside and cold side processes as desired. I decided that all equipment should be sold pre-assembled and tested, simply plug in and brew!

The overall system is built to control up to two 5500W heating elements and three cooling processes. The system is expandable but the basic ready to run out of the box functionality will control a HERMS or RIMS system and three cooling processes. I designed this for the homebrewer but have used all commercial standards and parts in the assembly process.

If you have any input for features you would like to see implemented or design changes you think would make the system better please feel free to email. We love and respect input from other brewers!

The Brewmaster Controls System Packs The Following Features:

Overall System Features

  • Easy to use graphical user interface that even the computer illiterate find usable
  • All equipment assembled out of the box, simply plug in and brew!
  • Complete system On/Off/PID control based upon temperatures and times
  • PID control driving pulse width modulated (PWM) heating elements
  • Control for up to 3 cooling processes (generally serving, ale fermentation, & lager fermentation coolers)
  • Front panel kill switch for all hot side operations power sources
  • Control for HERMS or RIMS mash tun and hot liquor tank temperature
  • Control for boiling kettle temperature and element power setting
  • Manual system On/Off for safe start and kill switch
  • On/Off control for pump (with automated control logic when required for HERMS or RIMS)
  • Live visual charting for mash, HLT, and boil process temperature and time
  • Live visual charting for all three cooling process temperatures and time
  • Ability to export chart data to image or excel data
  • Email updates for all parameters sent on selected interval, or anytime via snapshot button to selected addresses
  • Major system parameters logged to Microsoft Excel file at selected interval
  • Recipe viewer built into user interface
  • Easy to expand for more inputs and or outputs



Detailed Mashing and HLT Related Features
See GUI Screenshot Above or Detailed User Guide
  • PID control for mash and HLT temperature control
  • PWM output to drive heating elements
  • HERMS or RIMS system control
  • Manual or automatic mash temperature control
  • Manual or automatic HLT temperature control
  • Pump on/off control
  • Visual indication of mash and hot liquor vessel temperatures
  • Visual indication of mash and hot liquor heating on/off and PWM power setting
  • Automated mash rest time and temperature control up to four steps
  • Manual mash rest time and temperature control
  • Strike temperature alarm (heats to mash temperature and lets you know when to mash in)
  • Mash temperature and time control for 1, 2, 3, or 4 step mashing profile
  • Clear indication of active mash temperature rest progress
  • Elapsed time of active mash rest constantly displayed
  • Easy calibration for any sensor installation or wiring length
  • Over temperature warning for mash, visual and audible
  • Over temperature warning for hot liquor tank, visual and audible
  • Mash and HLT data logged to Microsoft Excel file
  • Mash real time charting with selectable sample intervals
  • HLT real time charting with selectable sample intervals

Detailed Boiling Related Features
See GUI Screenshot Above or Detailed User Guide
  • Automated PID control for boiling heating element based on temperature or power level selected by brewer
  • Manually selectable duty cycle for boil heating element, i.e. turn it up or down like a stove top
  • Visual indication of heating element duty cycle for both automated and manual control
  • Visual indication of boiling kettle temperature
  • Pre-boil alarm, visual and audible alarm to warn boil will begin soon (never miss boil start, first hops addition, or have boil over)
  • Option to hold temperature just below boiling automatically (sparge wait)
  • Boil timer with selectable set point, start, pause, and reset
  • Hop addition alarm for up to 5 hop additions
  • Boil data logged to Microsoft Excel file
  • Boil real time charting with selectable sample intervals
  • Charting exportable to graphic or Excel



Fermentation Temperature Control Related Features
See GUI Screenshot Above or Detailed User Guide
  • Control for up to three cooling processes (generally serving, ale fermenter, and lager fermenter)
  • Temperature control with selectable hysteresis for each process
  • Manual or one to four step cooling schedule selectable for fermentation processes
  • Clear indication of fermentation schedule progress and active step
  • CO2 pressure calculator allows brewer to select carbonation volume desired, system calculated required pressure
  • Cycle time control to avoid rapid cycling of compressors or pumps
  • Cooling process data logged to Microsoft Excel file
  • All processes real time charting with selectable sample intervals
  • Charting exportable to graphic or Excel

A Quick Look At The Hardware:

Control Panel Running Beside Monitor



Control Panel Opened



So please have a look at our overall site www.brewmastercontrols.com, specifically we are looking for any input on what features should be added to the software and what additional hardware should be developed. We are here to support the homebrewing community and respect your input! Currently we are working on the software development and hardware build and testing for a tank liquid level sensing module and a motorized valve control module. The combination of these two will allow much more automation and control over the brewing process.

Happy Brewing!
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:35 AM   #2
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Is that an Aurduino based? My son was trying to figure out the programming for his to help me with automation.

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Old 12-02-2012, 04:02 AM   #3
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Hey, that's cool!

Is that LabView that you used to make the UI?

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Old 12-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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very nice looking product, and for everything it comes with I think the control panel is pretty reasonably priced. Whats the length restrictions on the cold side leads?

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Old 12-02-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbageman View Post
Is that an Aurduino based? My son was trying to figure out the programming for his to help me with automation.
+1, this is an incredible setup! My dream brewery.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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Sorry for the belated reply here I have been traveling the last couple days.

Garbageman - yes we do use the Aurduino it is a great litte board that can do many things.

Rcbishop- yes you are correct.

Strecker25 - I am glad to see you think we are well priced. The bottom line is that we have the ability to be better priced because we do not have all the parts (switches, lights, timers, PIDs) necessary in some of the other systems on the market. Second we do not have all the labor of cutting a front panel and wiring it. Hence we can save you a bit of money there. The software took many, many hours to develop and test, but we spread that cost over projected sales. (plus we made beer while testing...)

Quote:
+1, this is an incredible setup! My dream brewery.
Glad to see this. Keep the Brewmaster Controls system in mind when you upgrade. Also keep an eye on us, we plan to do a system give away next year for National Homebrew Day!

And always guys, what features are missing? How can we make this better?

Happy Brewing.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:23 AM   #7
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wow VERY impressive

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Old 12-03-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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Awesome system!
I have been emailing though the "contact us" on your website this past week and now seeing the "been traveling" post understand why no reply. So I will ask the question here...

Will you software work on a Mac?

Thanks

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Old 12-03-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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Nice! Very clean implementation and UI!

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Awesome system!
I have been emailing though the "contact us" on your website this past week and now seeing the "been traveling" post understand why no reply. So I will ask the question here...

Will you software work on a Mac?

Thanks
Thanks for trackig us down. We had an issue with our contact us form where the captcha was not working. We have removed captcha completely from the contact us page and it is working with one click now.

To answer your question, we are based upon the Windows platform, you may be able to use VM Ware or another virtual processing platform to run with a Mac but we have not tested this setup.

Cheers
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