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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Automated Brewing Forum > Android Controlled Electric Brewery Part 1
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:19 AM   #81
Adeering
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Nice Looking setup. Im doing a 2 vessel RIMS as well. Ive got the system programmed for the most part. The Android aspect just needs some finishing touches. The basic system is done.

On another note, did a complete test run with water today and the PID code worked great, the displayed temp seemed to stay 1-2 degrees below but when tested with my Infrared Thermometer it was dead on +-0.7 degrees. Brewing tomorrow morning for real on the first batch. Ill take pictures and let everyone know the results

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Old 02-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #82
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Did a brew today and with the few exceptions of using a new rig and making mistakes it went really well.

First heres the control box, with my tablet running BrewAide (seperate not connected)


The Complete Setup


After the Mash In


Mashing Running through the Pump


Pic of my control box and BrewAide with the MashTimer


Cleaning my Carboy and turning my Fermenter on


MISTAKE #1:
Half way through the mash a few grains started clogging the pump, so I need to come up with a secondary screen for the inlet before my next brew. Had to quickly detach the pump and clean it and go back half way through the mash.

MISTAKE#2:
After the mash was complete I started the transfer to the Brew Kettle but didnt have all the valves set up right. The inlet valve to the Brew Kettle was oriented wrong and there was no way to close the back flow from the kettle. That plus I forgot to close the outflow from the Kettle so half my wort ended up in a keg I was using as runoff while cleaning. Luckily the keg was empty but still spilled some made a mess. Collected all of the wort and started the boil but not sure how it is going to turn out.


Even with the mistakes that was caused by me not being fully comfortable with the new system the first brew was a success. The control box and wiring all worked perfectly. Other than the valves being oriented wrong all the tubing and connections were leak proof and worked good.

Now all I have to do is solve a couple small problems and it will be good to go. This batch had some errors, but I still finished it and well see how it turns out. Then I just need to figure out the loss I lose due to the RIMS tube and tubing as to allow BeerSmith to calculate properly

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Old 04-04-2013, 06:09 PM   #83
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Hi Adeering,

That is a nice setup you have there.

I am roughly onto the same path like you: an android controlled one vessel brewing system.

I am hoping to do a program that can control the pump(s) and heating element after a scheduled either manually with some on screen buttons or automatic from the temp reading of a ds18b20 probe displayed on a gauge.

I did some research and I thought that arduino is the way to go with this until I run into this little devil.

It's made to work with android and I also found some interesting project controlled by android. They offer open source libraries for android developers to make their own app.

Here comes my problem, I have no experience what so ever with android development. I want the program also to have incorporated a receipt reader and to get the timers and all the controls needed from receipt. I hope I made myself understood (English is not my first language as you might tell)

I would like to hear you opinion on this and maybe you can point me in the right direction.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Old 04-16-2013, 03:16 AM   #84
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:14 PM   #85
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Sorry for the slow response @Came2meca

I have seen that device and considered it as well, however I had a bunch of arduinos laying around as I like to build a bunch of projects so for me I wanted to work with something I already knew. But Here are my major lessons learned and advice on doing something like this:

1. Go with the arduino and use either bluetooth or wifi to talk to it via the android. I have it hard wired and it is kinda a pain (as I currently havent completed the android side of it cause I have 3 other android projects Im working on that are more important). For bluetooth here is a good starting Tutorial

2. Make the system work with or without the android. This was important to allow it to still work even though I havent finished the android. Plus most the time it is easy to change the temp or pump manually. Also I didnt want it to be fully automatic as I enjoy the brewing process and wanted to be involved, just wanted to have better control for more repeat-ability.

3. For the Android side of things there are some app buildings for basic apps if you want to just control everything. For things more complex like reading recipes and control it from there is going to be a big undertaking. I have an app made to read recipes already and its still a big task to make it function off of that (which is my ultimate goal with mine). I would start basic with simple control of the elements and pumps and as you learn more increase the features. Also for learning, google is your friend, tons of tutorials/examples for every aspect of android and stackoverflow.com is a wonderful community to get specific questions answered, when I was learning (and still now) I used it constantly. They handle all types of programming as well not just android


My biggest advice to anyone tackling any kind of project like this that involves programming is to get a good design and flow chart of what they want it to do. I use excel to create diagrams and maps of what I want it to do and get a giant overview picture figured out first before I even start programming. It helps you to stay focused and know what you need to do.

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Old 04-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #86
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In the first instance I would use a serial cable same you. But looks like most of the microcontroller interfaces that I have seen use some kind of web connection to the outside world. Is Bluetooth really that much easier/cheaper to get up and running?

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Old 04-16-2013, 07:22 PM   #87
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If you have the know-how to do web interface then that is an option and a wifi shield for arduino is relatively cheap as well. I like bluetooth as everything is self contained. Im not a fan of web based interfaces myself, mainly cause I havent done much with it

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Old 04-16-2013, 07:48 PM   #88
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Fair enough, it seems the Bluetooth modules have come down quite a lot in price since I last looked too.

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Old 09-22-2013, 04:44 PM   #89
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Havent been around much lately as I am in the process of moving and training and havent been able to brew since beginning of July

But I am planning an update to my system to try and correct a couple flaws that I dont like and make it nicer.

First Im going to redo the control box as Im not completely happy with how it turned out. Mainly the playstation joystick interface. While the idea was great, making a nice mounting for it is a pain in the ass for the tools I have. Also I wanted a little more automation in everything. So what Im doing is going to build a new control box, most likely from plexiglass, and redo the wiring. Im planning on removing most of the switches and remove the single element limitation from manual control. Second, I want to be able to run the element in the boil kettle during the mash as to heat sparge water and do a true Brutus20 style to increase efficiency, dont worry I have a method to handle the two elements on 30amps.

What Im planning is to use one of these as my user interface. Planning a multiple page display to control each vessel through the touch screen. The arduino code will handle the safety of running multiple elements on 30amps. The reasoning behind this is to allow the sparge water to be heated. What it will do is only power one element at a time, but it will control which element to balance the power, it will give priority to the mash element to maintain temps, but will switch to the boil element whenever the mash is at temp. This way I can heat sparge water while mashing.

The control box will have a hardware on/off switch for the master power and then the LCD touchscreen and thats it for the outside. The inside will be the same minus the extra relays that were to prevent both elements going at once, since that will be controlled by the arduino. All in all I think it will be a cleaner finish and a lot less wiring to complete with the arduino as right now I have inputs to detect the position of each switch which is a mess of wiring.

Wont get to start on this build until december though as Im currently traveling for work training, but I am gonna work on all the code for the build

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Old 09-25-2013, 01:19 PM   #90
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Playstation controller idea is great. You can get wireless ones and they are hackable to interface with arduino. Also the guitar hero controller uses the same protocol so you can just as easily control your brewday axe style

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