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btbonser 06-13-2012 01:53 PM

Software to control brewing process
 
I see a lot of threads about people automating their brewing process by building control panels that use switches and temp controllers to turn burners/heating elements on and off, opening valves, monitoring temperatures, etc. Does anyone know of an inexpensive (or free) software that will run on a laptop and do the same thing?

I have searched but couldn't find anything

Thanks

tator2k 06-13-2012 03:37 PM

You still need something to control the operations.

kladue 06-13-2012 04:17 PM

The simplest PC interfaced platform is the BCS460, otherwise it is build your own with LabJack or other IO modules. There are freeware HMI packages out there, but you still need interface hardware to activate devices and collect readings from sensors. If you can program in Java or C# I have a library of automation software graphics and code built for my automated system that would save time and learning curve effort.

btbonser 06-13-2012 10:12 PM

Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies.

I understand the need for hardware to activate devices, collect readings from sensors, etc. What I was looking for is something similar to the software that they use for the BCS-460 Temp Controller but installs locally on a PC. From what I can tell from the BCS website is their software is web based and for the iPhone and such.

I'm not a not a programmer so I am really looking for a Windows app with an installer. Might buy a BCS460 or somenting similar or build my own I/O module, not sure yet.

carlisle_bob 06-13-2012 10:36 PM

Hi

The gotcha is that the software really *needs* to know what your hardware looks like. That makes a "no code at all" software package tough to do with an arbitrary batch of hardware. That gets you back to a pre-packaged hardware setup pretty quick.

I'd recommend learning how to do a little code and taking Kladue up on his offer of libraries...

Bob

btbonser 06-13-2012 11:03 PM

Thanks Bob, that makes perfect sense!

btbonser 06-13-2012 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kladue (Post 4168020)
The simplest PC interfaced platform is the BCS460, otherwise it is build your own with LabJack or other IO modules. There are freeware HMI packages out there, but you still need interface hardware to activate devices and collect readings from sensors. If you can program in Java or C# I have a library of automation software graphics and code built for my automated system that would save time and learning curve effort.

Kladue, would it be possible to get your library of automation software graphics and code? Maybe I can get some of these software engineers that I work with to help me out if I get stuuck.

kladue 06-13-2012 11:24 PM

If you can hang on a bit I am working on a setup with off the shelf parts and an application to make it all work. The goal of the software is a runtime setup of hardware so no coding is needed, just enter names and ranges of sensors, pid, and on-off control settings, and click on buttons to make things happen.
What are you working towards, a typical single tier system, or something a bit more exotic so I can figure out what would be appropriate to send.

btbonser 06-13-2012 11:51 PM

I'm in no rush, my local HBS has a complete, all manual, single tier HERMS system for $1500 (Keggels, pumps, valves chiller, etc.) that I am going to get. I am planning on taking this system and automating it as much as the budget (aka wife) will allow.

Say good bye to batch sparging in the Coleman Extreme :)

jCOSbrew 06-20-2012 08:10 PM

BCS460 works more like a PLC, you can program it, hit start, and have it run an automated process. The web interface can be used to monitor and control the process on a laptop, ipad, etc. but is not required. Displays and buttons on the control could also be used to control/start/stop the brewing process without a PC connected.


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