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Old 10-23-2012, 01:52 AM   #1
blakelyc
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Default Temp control automation with gas burners

Hi folks: so I am going to start experimenting with brewing automation. I have degrees in computer science and chemical engineering, so I kind of get it from a programming and control perspective, but I have zero experience with hands-on electronics.

Here's what I want to do: I want to use my kettle with a temperature controller and a gas valve to implement basic water temperature control. No big deal, just fill the thing with water, start up the controller, and at some time later have water at a stable temperature.

I use a gas burner rather than an electric element. Is there an igniter device that can be added to an existing burner? Are any of you willing to help me along? I don't mean to ask remedial questions, but I am having trouble finding clear direction to get me pointed in the right direction.

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Old 10-23-2012, 02:18 AM   #2
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There are tons of Brutus 10, brewstand builds on here using Honeywell components. The VR8200 gas valves with thermocouples and standing pilot lights are common. I am in the process my brewery build, but haven't started a thread on it yet. The Honeywell setup on low pressure propane is the route I'm going with and also using TS2 controllers for temps. Look at the automated brewstands on here and I'm sure you'll be able to adapt what you find for your needs.

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Old 10-23-2012, 03:39 AM   #3
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Being a bit cheap (or lazy, or perhaps just simple) I looked at the cost and complexity of those systems and went with pilot lights. I'm using natural gas. I shut off the gas to the rig when the brew day is done. I put ball valves on each pilot as well, so I can shut off the pilots to the HLT and MLT when I'm done with them and still boiling wort. Natural gas will have to get amazingly more effective, and I'll have to brew far more often than every other weekend (at best) before my pilot lights are not cost effective.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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Did you manufacturers your own or buy the pilot lights? I think this is one of those areas where there are lots of options, but I can't seem to find one that is generally acceptable for these kinds of burners. I will be using LP for the time being, so I was even considering one of those spark igniter from a grill.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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Here's what I bought: http://www.etundra.com/3_16__x_24__P...2|||0|24|7|1|0

And the valves to go with them: http://www.etundra.com/Angled_Pilot_...2|||0|24|7|1|0

I have ball valves in series below these, in part because I already had them around from another version. I do find them handy, but they aren't essential, if you light your pilots promptly when you turn on the gas.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:18 PM   #6
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You can add a pilot burner and a thermocouple to the VR8200 gas valve if you choose a standing pilot set up or a spark igniter with the Y8610 electronic ignition system if you don't want a standing pilot.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:34 PM   #7
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I think I like the standing pilot setup better than a spark igniter... I have been looking around at lots of other builds, and while there are lots of them the threads can be a little light on these kinds of details. I am researching every nut and bolt before I start building so I can make sure I know exactly how my setup works. Thanks for the info!

-Blake

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