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Old 05-30-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default Anyone dual-purposing a PID for RIMS and a BBQ blower fan?

One of my other hobbies is BBQ. In fact, it's a bit more than a hobby; we roast a chicken in the Big Green Egg about once a week. I've often thought about getting a pitminder to control temps and allow me to do some lower and slower cooking.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking I need to step up my brewing and probably add some better mash temperature controls.

While I'm still in my early phases, I was looking at putting a PID in a toolbox to control a RIMS tube for my mash temps and then it hit me, could I also use the same box to control a blower fan for my grill?

I don't know the difference between cycling a heater element on and off and a blower fan. Could a PID do both? I'm assuming I could get an accessory blower from something like a BBQ Guru.

This would also go a long way in convincing SWMBO that I need to lay out some money on a new project.

The first step will be using the PID for simple monitoring of temperatures (boil and mash). Then, probably controlling the BBQ. Ultimately, I'd build the RIMS tube and mount to the toolbox as well.

Thoughts?



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Old 05-30-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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I was just looking for the "Golden Rhino" PID and stumbled upon this BBQ/smoker blower setup:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ATC-Automatic-Temperature-Controller-Wood-Charcoal-Burn-BBQ-Grill-Smoker-Cooker-/140937766258?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item20d08b a572

Now he used to sell those kits for $118 + $30 for shipping before...

Anyway still a good source of inspiration. Mind you, this is a DC controller, not AC, and has 2 probes.



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Old 05-30-2013, 08:18 PM   #3
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I'd like to hear answers to this as well, just got my smoker and would be need to use my RIMS box to control a fan

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:26 PM   #4
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Not bad!

I just found this, right after I posted my thread.

http://www.ice8420.com/blog/2012/01/diy-pid-control-for-bbq-sous-vide-mash-tun-whatever/

Looks like it should work. I'm just wondering if there's something different about the output. My link, he doesn't go into how he uses it for homebrewing, just the BBQ. But if it's coming off the SSR, it should be simply plug and play.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:26 PM   #5
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I use my PID temp controller for beer, BBQ, sous vide - love multi-taskers.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by IPA-Hole View Post
I use my PID temp controller for beer, BBQ, sous vide - love multi-taskers.
Then I demand a tour and a how-to!
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetSmooth View Post
Not bad!

I just found this, right after I posted my thread.

http://www.ice8420.com/blog/2012/01/diy-pid-control-for-bbq-sous-vide-mash-tun-whatever/

Looks like it should work. I'm just wondering if there's something different about the output. My link, he doesn't go into how he uses it for homebrewing, just the BBQ. But if it's coming off the SSR, it should be simply plug and play.
That's my site

I'm a bad homebrewer cause I haven't brewed in 1 year +. Life Got married though, that counts? Never took pics of when I used it for mashing, it was only once.

It is just plug and play - depending on what I'm doing (sous vide, bbq) - just hook up a thermocouple, and output device, whether that be fan or heater.. and that's it. That is the reason that I made the box with all of the ports on the side, so I could change the thermocouple and output device easily.

For sous vide (electric heating element) this thing is VERY accurate, never see it sway more than ~.1 degree. Mashing, the same.

On the UDS or chargriller, usually within 1-2 degree unless I go doing stupid things like opening the lid for some reason - it'll eventually level out. On my chargriller, it would level out easier - on the UDS though, just by the nature of what it is, opening the lid for any period of time lets a ton of air in and will spike the temp.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
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When I built my temp controller, it was with the intention of using it for a variety of needs - RIMS, BBQ (both electric and wood/charcoal), sous vide (with a mini water recirculating pump), fermentation temp control, chicken coop temp control; the uses are endless.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:56 PM   #9
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sethga, awesome! So, does it have to "learn" every time you change what's on the output side? Or is that pretty quick?

I've brewed maybe twice in the past three years. Same issue; life. We've got a three-and-a-half-year-old boy. Last time, I brewed (MLK day), I fell off a ladder onto a stone patio HARD. So I started looking at ways to improve and make a solo brew day easier. First, I'll have to get a second pump (to eliminate the need to have my mash up on a ladder). But then I figured if I was going to put together a central control toolbox, I might as well make sure I can fit some temp control in there.

Funny how these things snowball, ain't it?

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Old 05-30-2013, 09:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetSmooth View Post
sethga, awesome! So, does it have to "learn" every time you change what's on the output side? Or is that pretty quick?

I've brewed maybe twice in the past three years. Same issue; life. We've got a three-and-a-half-year-old boy. Last time, I brewed (MLK day), I fell off a ladder onto a stone patio HARD. So I started looking at ways to improve and make a solo brew day easier. First, I'll have to get a second pump (to eliminate the need to have my mash up on a ladder). But then I figured if I was going to put together a central control toolbox, I might as well make sure I can fit some temp control in there.

Funny how these things snowball, ain't it?
I am injury prone.. my wife is cool with all my dangerous hobbies now that she is my beneficiary

Whenever I switch between BBQ or sous vide, yes, I'll put it in learn mode.

The learn function on that PID is really fast on anything like sous vide or mash - most PIDs will be - even the instructions state, anything with electric control in a closed system will increase accuracy and decrease learning time.

On the UDS or smoker.. I'll hit the relearn at the beginning of the smoke most of the time, because the outside air temperature is different and it does affect things. It'll take a little bit longer on the BBQ to lock in, I never watched but usually it's under an hour - it has to take the time to figure out the overshoot parameter properly which is what I have gathered from reading.

Like IPA-hole.. love this thing as a multitasker. The one I built, I just shared, and hopefully people find it useful and sparks an idea in their head - the build and use possibilities are really endless.


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