Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #11
cadwallion
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On the control panel front, we started drilling the control panel and tapping the backplate. Continuing on the doomed front, our hole saw for the heating element power managed to crap out on us without finishing the job, which resulted in having to use a dremel to cut and grind the holes to completion. Additionally, when I was explaining the hole positioning for the switches and indicators to my friend manning the drill press, he accidentally drilled the heating element 3-way switch as two separate switches, resulting in two misplaced holes. I haven't decided if I'm going to drop the 3-way switch in favor of two 2-way switches under each indicator and wire up a lock to prevent both being on inside, or if I'm going to drill a third hole for the 3-way and mount two potentiometers under the indicators for manual mode power control. Currently my software handles manual power control via the keypad, but switching to pots wouldn't be particularly challenging in the code.

I designed the expansion board for the Pi to handle the sensor inputs and SSR outputs and a friend is getting ready to etch and ship it for me. It was originally designed to act like a Pi shield, mounting to the GPIO pins. Since he can only etch one layer, though, I have had to go through a few rounds to get it right and I may have to abandon the shield approach entirely and use jumpers and add mounting holes. I will post the schematic once it has been finalized. The breadboard version has been working well, however, and I look forward to putting all the pieces together this week.

control_panel_drilled.jpg   switch_test_fitting.jpg  
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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The Samsung 7" LCD LED touchscreen has shipped and I am waiting on that component for final drilling. I have decided to use RJ11 jacks for temperature sensors, primarily due to availability. XLR connectors look nice, but would cost money for not much gain. I was hoping for something like M12 or M8 connectors for the sensors, but I cannot find a decent price on them when I've got RJ11 and RJ45 connectors and receptacles lying around. The SSR heatsinks have arrived and are getting installed during tonight's sprint.

Our Counter-Pressure Bottle Filler arrived yesterday, I will be constructing a filler stand tonight using some hard plastic board I acquired from a thrown away convention kiosk sign. For bottle holding, I have a tape spring that was used for inventory shelving that should do the trick nicely, and has enough length that bombers and even growlers shouldn't be a problem with a stopper swap.

This weekend is my son's 3rd birthday party, so I'm trying to get as much done before the weekend as possible, since I imagine I won't be doing much then.

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Old 12-18-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
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How's the project coming along?

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Old 12-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markwhi View Post
How's the project coming along?
Things are great, I'll post pictures later this afternoon. The brewstand has been working for several months with a few upgrades along the way. Several brews have come through and as we speak I am filling up a few kegs from recent batches. The lab has been extremely helpful in tweaking recipes for production and having samples to give to potential clients.

The control panel, as originally planned, is running all the logic control through a single Raspberry Pi with custom brewery code. The first build ran on OpenGL ES but was a PITA to maintain and extend. I replaced it with a webserver and accessed it via web browser, but the browser was somewhat laggy and I did not agree with running that architecture on an embedded machine. The third build because an ncurses-based interface that loaded up a recipe file. Most recently, I have replaced this ncurses-based interface with a fully interactive touchscreen GUI running in Shoes 4.0.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:38 PM   #15
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Wow, 3 weeks later and I finally have time to take some pics. The holidays were spent with family and processing all the beer already in the works, this week I have started replenishing. Here are a couple shots of the area while I am currently brewing a Red Rye.

Current projects in the lab include a hose rack on the wall, a new mash paddle, and improving the drill mount on the mill cart. I'll post as they progress.

lab_entrance.jpg   fermenters.jpg   grain_shelves.jpg  
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:29 PM   #16
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Not sure if I missed this, but how are you controlling fermentation temp in these batches? Do you get much of an off-flavor profile fermenting at ambient? Just curious.

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Old 01-08-2014, 08:52 PM   #17
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My basement sits 68F year round, so I run ambient. I want to switch to active fermentation control, but the money's been focused on the production brewery so I haven't dropped the cash on immersion coils for each fermenter.

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Old 01-08-2014, 09:07 PM   #18
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Badass!

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Old 02-24-2014, 02:23 PM   #19
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Just a quick update on the lab. I've been brewing twice a week for a while now making samples for tastings and such. The mash paddle got a coat of poly/stain last week, the grain mill's drill mount has been replaced with a 1/3hp 1/2" drive shaft motor and is wired up to a switch. The mill is considerably quieter now that I'm not using a mounted drill, and has much better power than before. Couple that with the 55lb hopper I have on it, and milling is a 'set and forget' situation now.

My time the past two weeks has been promoting an Indiegogo campaign for the opening of my brewery's taproom. The link is here: http://igg.me/at/cademon

I have a public Meet & Taste on March 1st, another public tasting the week after that, a few private tastings, and some B2B support in progress over the next week.

mash_paddle.jpg   mill1.jpg   mill2.jpg   mill3.jpg  
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