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Old 01-17-2014, 07:59 PM   #51
jgalati
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Update:

I'm working on a simpler design with these assumptions:

1) We'll get CIP working
2) There is already a tap-water solenoid valve for both the boil kettle and HLT (they're only $15)
3) Whirlpool is feasible
4) A stainless steel colander will be in the kettle to block the big hops from getting into the kettle.

Given these, I plan on installing an immersion chiller directly into the boil kettle, and whirl-pooling while cooling. The chiller will be close to the edge of the boil kettle where the velocity of the unfermented beer is greatest, thus increasing the rate of heat transfer.

Here's my rationale:
1) It's cheaper to buy 50' of copper tubing and punch holes in the kettle + connections than it is to build or buy a counterflow chiller, plate chiller, etc.
2) I don't have to worry about sanitizing or cleaning these devices.
3) I'm eliminating more plumbing
4) I'm reducing risk of infection by not having a chiller (terrible reason but I've seen a couple stories).
5) Plumbing is simplified

Anyone ever had a bad experience with an immersion chiller?

At the present, to cool my beer, I use a 25' 3/8" copper chiller with a hose connection outside. I then take a drill with a sanitized paint stirrer, and let that puppy go full blast while water is running. This cools 6.5 gallons of beer in 8' and also aerates it. While I won't get that type of velocity with a whirlpool, I can leave my kettle covered while this process is occurring, giving that most of the DMS have evaporated, and really don't have too much risk of infection.

Thoughts? Thanks.

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Old 01-17-2014, 08:59 PM   #52
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There are several types of hop blockers/filters that can be used in the kettle. You could simplify the problem by only using leaf hops in the boil and/or using the hop bag for pellet hops. The whirlpool and a course filter should be very effective on the leaf hops.

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Old 01-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgalati View Post
Having played with various motors for a year in the lab, its very very difficult to integrate or differentiate [bold]position[/bold] of the rotor without a tachometer. Thus, i believe its much easier and fool proof to buy cheaper electric ball valves (a mechanical device prone to failure) and control flow with motor/pump speed than to rely on a ball valve motor control. Does that make sense?
Couldn't you turn a ball valve into a servo pretty easily? Even use some of the electronics from a small plastic model servo but replace the motor with a gear motor with a lot of torque. All you need to do is attach a pot to the shaft of the valve.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:54 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spintab View Post

Couldn't you turn a ball valve into a servo pretty easily? Even use some of the electronics from a small plastic model servo but replace the motor with a gear motor with a lot of torque. All you need to do is attach a pot to the shaft of the valve.
I could..... but controlling flow from the pump is easier from a electrical standpoint and is less prone to failure
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:01 PM   #55
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Subscribed! Awesome and congratulations! Only thing I would add that hasn't been mentioned is touchscreen interface, I know you are trying to keep it on the cheap, but these things have really dropped in price. I think it would be money well spent on the system. Maybe a SQL database to store recipes .. Good luck!

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Old 01-18-2014, 02:16 PM   #56
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Subscribed! Awesome and congratulations! Only thing I would add that hasn't been mentioned is touchscreen interface, I know you are trying to keep it on the cheap, but these things have really dropped in price. I think it would be money well spent on the system. Maybe a SQL database to store recipes .. Good luck!
Hey bud. Thanks for subscribing. The interface is going to be on a webappp so all platforms can use the system. The SQL database is actually going to be a drop box folder on your local PC, which has to be connected to the same router as your phone and brewery. The beer XML files will then be grabbed off that folder and displayed on a menu to brew.

If a beer XML doesn't exist for a recipe, the traditional herms methods will be available, I.e. heat strike water, recirculate, boil wort, chill, etc.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:16 PM   #57
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Well I can't wait to see this unfold!

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Old 01-20-2014, 02:44 AM   #58
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hey jgalati,

great idea for a project! wish I would have thought of it when I was in school.

Have you had a look at the Braumeister? Its one of the most ingenuitive devices I've seen so far...very elegant. I could see it being improved with your beerxml idea, along with smartphone app to control it and or load beerxml files for brewing, along with system status updates to the brewer. also, it could easily be fitted with an additional port for a chiller, although that's really not necessary as an immersion chiller is not generally a problem to use. Assuming a fixed install, ports for water lines could be used, and once water lines are installed, a fixed immersion chiller could work (maybe a larger external tank diameter?). The drawbacks of the system is that one needs a second container to heat sparge water, and the sparging is manual (as opposed to an automated fly sparging set up).

I look forward to your progress and success! Good luck!

j

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Old 01-21-2014, 01:23 AM   #59
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Could you also consider looking into utilising the "in-built" microcontrollers on the Beagle Bones Black for the process control with the main microprocessor handling the UI and communcation tasks.

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Old 01-21-2014, 02:06 AM   #60
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Could you also consider looking into utilising the "in-built" microcontrollers on the Beagle Bones Black for the process control with the main microprocessor handling the UI and communcation tasks.
I'm currently looking into doing just that. Are you referring to the pin headers?

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