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Old 09-02-2009, 08:04 PM   #1
justinm
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Default Labjack brewing software

I am just starting construction of my automated brewing system and purchased lab jack usb controller for controlling temperatures. However, I could not find any open source brewing specific software for the controller.

This means I would need to write my own software through DAQ factory, labview, or some other alternatives. This sounds fun but also really time consuming and possibly limiting with law school schedules.

I know a couple people on the boards like jrm16311 and deep six have written software for the labjack. I was wondering if there was any advise on where to start with the software development or if anyone had software they were willing to part with or sell. Ideally, I would like to customize the software to my rig, but would love to not have to reinvent the wheel if possible.

Thanks.

Justin Miller

www.symposiumbrewery.com



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Old 09-04-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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Well I decided to bite the bullet and start programing. The DAQ software is actually very easy to use. I have programed buttons for turning on and off the temperature monitoring of the HLT, MT, and Kettle, temperature read outs for the 3, and on/off switches for the pumps, propane, and electric heater.

Working now on an import system so recipes from beer xml or beer smith which automatically then set the water levels and temperatures. I will have pics of the GUI soon.

Once it is finished I will offer the source code free to anyone else who wants to use or improve it. I am using it with the Lab Jack U3 HV Home | LabJack, which I really like, but the software should work with any usb data acquisition device.

I love the Open Source idea of BrewTroll, but thought there should be an option of people who want a computer based system. I have so many old computers and servers lying around, I am always looking for an excuse to use them.

Justin



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Old 09-04-2009, 11:18 PM   #3
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Awesome! Keep up the good work. I'll probably be interested in the software when you release it. Thanks.

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Old 09-05-2009, 12:55 AM   #4
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Plumbing, electricity and some metalwork are all fine - but I draw the line at programming in order to make a beer. Good luck, that's WAY outta my league.

-OCD

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Old 09-06-2009, 01:20 PM   #5
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Which programming language are going to use?

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Old 09-06-2009, 02:27 PM   #6
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Hey fellas. I'm certainly glad I'm not alone using labjack for automating my brewery. For a while there I thought I had taken on way more than I could chew with my vision for my brewery, inspired by some of the equipment here at work (biotechnology company). Not being a welder, machinist, electrician, plumber, computer IT guy, nor a programmer, this project has been very challenging.

Like you, I'm using Labjack to connect the I/O with my controlling PC. I'm also using DAQFactory for monitoring and control. DAQFactory uses C/C++ (one of the two, not sure if they are one in the same), but it's somewhat intuitive and easy to play with. I certainly wish I knew more on it. The software makes it easy to create a nice user interface.

Justin, if you need any help, I can certainly assist with the very limited knowledge I do have. If you get that export feature (to export XML recipes from BeerSmith) to work that would be awesome.

Updating on my build, the only thing left is installing the propane jet burners, propane lines, and the direct spark ignition controllers. I think I've left this for the end because of my apprehension with working with flammable gases. LOL. A hell, I learned to weld to make this thing, what's a little flammable gas...I guess I better not mix the two though. I'll post more pictures of the finished project. I'd like to brew my first batch in this thing here in the winter.

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:39 PM   #7
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Regarding the porting of XML recipe from BeerSmith into DAQFactory, check this out.

Parsing an XML recipe - AzeoTech Forum

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:48 PM   #8
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Justin or JRM - what do you figure you have invested in the LabJack/DAQFactory? Did you consider the BCS-460 or BrewTroller?

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Old 09-08-2009, 08:01 PM   #9
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I decided on DAQFactory because I needed a software package that allowed me to scale my system as I needed. I needed to control over a dozen valves, pumps, and spark ignition units. I needed to monitor temperature probes, flow meters and level transmitters, as well as, logging/trend values throughout the process. I also wanted to create process sequences based on recipes (from BeerSmith) that would automate different types of mash profiles that would control mashing step temperatures and durations, infusion volumes and temperature, timing of these, etc.

Basically, I wanted to connect this thing to the electricity and water, turn it on, add the grain and hops as needed, and collect the cooled wort at the end and pitch the yeast. It's not that I'm lazy, I just thought it would be kind of cool, I wanted consistent brewing capabilities and the ability to review my brewing session data in case tweaking is needed.

When I was looking for something to fit these needs, I was not aware of BCS-460 or BrewTroller, so I didn't even evaluate them.

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Old 09-08-2009, 08:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrm16311 View Post
Basically, I wanted to connect this thing to the electricity and water, turn it on, add the grain and hops as needed, and collect the cooled wort at the end and pitch the yeast.
What? No automated dump buckets for unattended hop additions?


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