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Old 07-02-2013, 02:56 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by barryfine View Post
Oh no! Isn't there any way for the system to just go back to doing what it was doing prior to the failure? If not, are you considering hooking it up to a UPS?
Real bummer, man. It looked so good until that moment.

Yeah, you definitely need your controller on a UPS so it can keep doing its work. Integrating an alarm loop is no luxury either. Probably want that to kick in after 10 or 20 minutes or so. Unless you have a reasonably large backup power source that can run the pumps and valves, and eventually the AC, there is a point where you got to let nature run its course.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:43 AM   #132
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Insulation in place:



It's 1/2" neoprene cut to size. We'll see how well this works, but it appears to have stopped the condensation.

In other news, running pure water on a hot day is a bad idea. I checked the reservoir and the A/C coil had ~1" of ice on it. Added a couple gallons of glycol and it went away in 15 minutes. So, now it's officially a glycol system.

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Old 07-02-2013, 03:54 AM   #133
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Oh no! Isn't there any way for the system to just go back to doing what it was doing prior to the failure? If not, are you considering hooking it up to a UPS?
So, there are a couple things going on here:

1) The BCS-460 as designed (for whatever reason) will not resume where it left off when it comes back on from power loss. I think this stems from the fact that it's really made for automated brewing and not fermenting. If that were to happen in an automated brewing system, there could be bad consequences.

2) The load of an A/C is way too high for a UPS. I could rewire it to run the A/C off it's own outlet and everything else off a UPS. The end result is it would buy you more time as you have a reservoir of chilled liquid. However, I think that's kind of overkill.

Really, this was kind of a perfect storm around here. We've lost power maybe twice in the 3 years I've lived here (including last night) and never for more than 5-10 seconds. On top of that, ambient temps in the garage were 85-90 since we're going through a heat wave. If I had insulated the conicals ahead of time, it probably would have knocked 10 degrees off the top in the morning. Temporarily reaching 68 I could get away with. 78, I don't think so.

Some time in the future, I'd like to redesign the controller around a BeagleBone, which would give me a lot more power to work with and would remove the limitations of the BCS. However, starting in August, my free time is going to be extremely limited and I don't have nearly the time in the interim to teach myself everything I'd need for a BeagleBone.

So, in the mean time, I'll dump the german pils and brew a czech pils later this week. The design of this system has really cut in to my brew time lately and I really want to start experimenting with decoction mashes. So, that's where I'm going to spend a lot of my time.

I still have a few bits to insulate here and there, but for the most part, I'd call this project complete. I'm going to watch the temps tomorrow and see how much of a difference the insulation makes. Other than that, I need to replace the wifi repeater I used as it's overheating in the box.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:26 AM   #134
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Looks like a standby generator with auto transfer switch is in order!!

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Old 07-02-2013, 01:31 PM   #135
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Well, the insulation makes a pretty huge difference.

Here's a temp graph prior to the insulation. The big spikes are from me disconnecting the temp probes to measure the fit.


and here's a graph after the insulation is in place:



Not too bad for a couple sheets of neoprene.

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Old 07-03-2013, 12:41 AM   #136
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I've been planning pretty much this exact build out myself and just stumbled on this thread. Some good ideas for improvement on my design! Any chance you could elaborate a bit on the fittings you used to connect the IC to the quick connect studs? Compression to NPT Adapter? And do you have a good source for the quick disconnects? Also, what's the fitting you're using for the racking arm? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for posting this!

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Old 07-03-2013, 01:10 AM   #137
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I've been planning pretty much this exact build out myself and just stumbled on this thread. Some good ideas for improvement on my design! Any chance you could elaborate a bit on the fittings you used to connect the IC to the quick connect studs? Compression to NPT Adapter? And do you have a good source for the quick disconnects? Also, what's the fitting you're using for the racking arm? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for posting this!
The IC uses a regular 1/2" compression to NPT adapter, which the quick disconnects screw directly in to. I have a couple washers and an o-ring to keep it air tight in between.

I got the disconnects off ebay. They're expensive if you buy them individually, but I found a seller with 6 sets of them for $70.

I splurged a bit on the fitting for the racking arm and got the one piece weldless bulkhead compression fitting Brewers Hardware sells . Less chance for leaks that way.

Let me know if you need any more information. Always happy to help.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:15 AM   #138
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Here's where I got the couplings:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190816557823

$72 with free shipping. On the other end of the connection I just used a camlock to connect to the ball valve. That way I can replace or change the length of the tubing if I need to, but can still disconnect the conicals without spilling more than a few drops.

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Old 07-03-2013, 03:45 AM   #139
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can you give me the link on those valves plz
www.tf-valvefittings.com you can try this site. it support online sales.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:35 AM   #140
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I would definitely put the controller on a UPS, so it remains online during power glitches.

Given the sporadic occurrences of longer term power outings in your area, you could probably get away with just that, or decide to also control the pump and valves with the UPS. You could build in an "emergency program" where it defaults to slightly higher temps during a persistent power outage, to save some backup power (UPS) energy. There is plenty of cooling capacity stored in your cooler reservoir, to feed the system for an hour or more.

Something you need to check. Can the drivers survive long term actuation, without actually engaging anything, in case there is not enough power to do so.

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