Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > Temp controller build
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-22-2012, 01:14 AM   #1
Ruprect
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 30
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Temp controller build

Due to a lack of viable options, I decided awhile back to create my own thermostat for my fermentation chamber.

After looking at the options available, I wasn’t too excited about any of the temperature controllers I could find. The thought of having to update the temperature manually on a daily/hourly basis during a lager process doesn’t really excite me or my ADD tendencies too much. So I set about making one of my own with the help of a temperature reading IC, a microcontroller and a relay to control a power outlet.

Despite getting a little carried away on some of the options/features, I’m pretty excited about the resulting product. I essentially come up with a digital controller that has an LCD screen on it to show the current stage of the fermentation process, number of days at the current stage, the actual temperature inside the chamber and the temperature you have it set to. It has the ability to control a fridge/freezer as well as a heating element of some sort.

The best part of the controller is that it has the ability to setup and change fermentation “programs”. For instance, I can setup a lager fermentation program that will set the temperature at 52 degrees for 10 days, then slowly bring it up to 68 degrees over 2 days for a diacetyl rest, then gradually lower the temperature to 34 degrees for lagering.

You can create a program by adding stages. Each stage has a start temperature, a duration and a gradient. If you want to set a temperature and keep it, set the gradient to zero. If you want to lower the temperature 1 degree per day, you set the gradient to -1/day, or you can set the rate to drop 1 degree every 6 hours or whatever your heart desires.

I’m just now finishing up programming the code to store new programs. Outside of that, it’s about ready to go. I have a chest freezer (thanks craigslist) with a fresh coat of paint on it and ready to go. I hope to be brewing my first lager here very soon!

Here are a pic of what it looks like:

dscf0789_small.jpg

I have also posted blog entries during the building process of the controller. Lots more pics and information can be found there.
You can check it out at this address if you like: ohmbrew.blogspot.com

**Disclaimer: There's plenty of geeky vernacular on there.

__________________
Ruprect is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-22-2012, 01:30 AM   #2
ClaudiusB
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: El Paso, Texas
Posts: 1,291
Liked 64 Times on 54 Posts
Likes Given: 126

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruprect View Post
Due to a lack of viable options, I decided awhile back to create my own thermostat for my fermentation chamber.
Great project


Cheers,
ClaudiusB
ClaudiusB is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #3
krazydave
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Santa Clarita, California
Posts: 880
Liked 24 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Very cool! I wish I had the time to sit down and spend some more time learning circuit design and ultimately build something like this.

So... what was your total build cost on this bad boy? There's definitely a lot more crammed into that little box than I had guessed by looking at that first pic!

__________________
krazydave is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-22-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
Ruprect
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 30
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Thanks guys!

I'm probably up to around $100 or so in parts for this guy, but part of that cost was taken up with buying multiple parts in order to find the correct one. Plus I purchased some spares of several of the "finicky" components just in case I let the smoke out of them during development.

And yeah, the insides certainly take up more than I would have hoped. A good portion of the internals have to do with the power supply/conversion. I could have saved some space by using one of those blocky DC converters that are used for almost every piece of electronics. But since I needed both 120V AC (to power the freezer) as well as DC, I put the DC converter inside the box.

The wires connecting the LCD screen and buttons to the main board are also very bulky.

__________________
Ohmbrew Automations
Ruprect is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-21-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
Yandle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lakewood, CO
Posts: 2
Default

Nice looking build! I had to piece mine together with out of the box tech like an STC-1000 temp controller and an outlet. I just got it up and running and it seems to be holding pretty well. I was already thinking about a lager to start with and manually stepping the temperature. Yours is awesome though, the ability to set it and forget it would definitely be handy!

__________________
Yandle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ebay aquarium temp controller build android Fermenters 4112 Yesterday 03:51 PM
DIY temp controller build android Other 100 05-09-2013 02:14 PM
Quickie Temp Controller Build gib0r Fermenters 8 12-26-2011 10:33 PM
Secondary temp controller for keezer build ToastedPenguin Kegerators and Keezers 3 03-31-2011 05:29 PM
Another Love TS-13010 Temp. Controller Build OneHotKarl Brew Stands 0 08-15-2010 05:15 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS