Automated/closed system HERMS layout

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Elkoe

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Hey Guys,

I'm Elco, founder of BrewPi. Up until now BrewPi has only focused on controlling fermentation, but that's about to change. The very first step in this, is to build a HERMS myself.

Until now I have been doing stove-top BIAB. I have had pretty good results with my very simple method:
- Heat water on stove (4 burners at once, big kettle)
- Put kettle in fridge for 5 minutes to preheat the fridge
- Put kettle back on stove, keep fridge door closed
- Heat again
- Put back in fridge, add grains, close door. Fridge is well isolated, temp hardly drops.
- For a next mash step, take kettle out, put on stove again (stir!) and put back.


2013-11-02-18.09.04-768x1024.jpg


2013-11-02-15.41.10-768x1024.jpg


duvel-mash-in-fridge.png


With that very simple method I could produce pretty decent beers, but I think it's time for an upgrade.

For the software, we are going to rewrite BrewPi from scratch. It will be very modular and very flexible. It will adapt to all kinds of setups: HERMS, RIMS, BIAB, Fridges, Glycol, etc. But that's not the point of this post. I would like to talk about hardware here.

We are going to build 2 systems:
- 1 33L cheap and simple HERMS with manual hose swapping (Koen's system) and probably just one pump.
- 1 70L fully automated HERMS with motorized ball valves and two pumps. (My system).

Both systems will use electric Camco heating elements in the HLT and BK.

I have sourced most stainless steel parts and we even machined a lot of custom parts. I will post an update when these are ready (2-3 weeks).
I am building this HERMS for myself, but in such a way that I can provide all these parts later as a complete, simple to assemble HERMS kit.
On our website we will provide build guides, similar to the Electric Brewery.

So let's get to the point: I made a Piping and Instrumentation diagram.
I used the trial version of Edraw. If you want to adapt my diagram for yourself, get the files from GitHub:
https://github.com/BrewPi/herms-layout

If you want to download/print the diagrams, get the PDF:https://github.com/BrewPi/herms-layout/blob/master/pdf/BrewPi-HERMS-drawing.pdf?raw=true

Otherwise, look at the images below.

I got some inspiration from blackheart brewery [tag]blackheart[/tag], but due to lack of running water they used ice in the HLT to chill. I have running water, so a counter flow chiller was added for much more effective cooling.

When I brew, I tend to make a huge mess (wort on the floor, burnt hands, sugar solution splashed everywhere, etc), so that's why I think a closed system would be much better for me.

A lot of attention has been given to clean in place possibilities of the system. It should be easy to flush with tap water, hot water and PBW. Therefore a dedicated cold water input and drain output have been added.

I plan to use silicone hose for all connections. I like to see the wort flow and this makes the system very re-configurable and easy to take apart.

After the clean in place procedure (cold, PBW, cold, hot), the system should be pretty clean, but I would still like to fully drain it. This can be done by opening all valves. For this to work well, the tubing that's drawn above the kettles, should be above the kettles. I have to figure out a nice way to do this. Suggestions welcome.

I have a 150x60cm stainless steel table with 2 levels to hold this beast. Pumps will be below the kettles on the lower level.

I do not plan to use a tipping system. I do not have room for tipping and read blackheart comment that they never use their fancy tipping system. All the cables are in the way to make tipping work well.
I will rely an on a powerful wet vac for cleaning and emptying the kettles.

So without further ado, here are the pics:

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-00.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-01.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-02.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-03.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-04.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-05.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-06.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-07.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-08.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-09.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-10.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-11.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-12.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-13.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-14.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-15.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-16.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-17.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-18.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-19.png

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-20.png


Your feedback is very welcome!

If you want to play around with the design, all files are available from GitHub under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license :tank:.

Cheers! :mug:
 

day_trippr

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Yeah, I want all of that! ;)

Go for it, Elco! I'll be watching this as it develops.

One request: design the controls to be heating-method agnostic so the gasser folks can use this to control their fires...

Cheers! :mug:
 

acidrain

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Consider using a fourth pot... a dedicated whirlpool kettle.
I recently started doing that in a system similar to yours and found I was able to cool the wort to ground temp in one transfer (8 to 10 minutes) through a plate chiller with pre-filter. The bonus is when you chill that fast you can add flame out hops to the filter and not loose any aroma as the wort is cooled.
Also, I suggest a method of draining valuable trapped wort from the lines so that it can be added to the fermenter prior to the "add sanitized water" and "cleaning steps".
Love your system... just a thought.
 

atoughram

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Subbed.... My next upgrade is 20gallon Stouts - a brewpi for wort generation could push me off the cliff...
 
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Elkoe

Elkoe

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Consider using a fourth pot... a dedicated whirlpool kettle.
I recently started doing that in a system similar to yours and found I was able to cool the wort to ground temp in one transfer (8 to 10 minutes) through a plate chiller with pre-filter. The bonus is when you chill that fast you can add flame out hops to the filter and not loose any aroma as the wort is cooled.

My CFC can cool wort in a single pass, boiling to pitch temp in 10 minutes. I had drawn the system like that initially:

10.PNG


https://github.com/BrewPi/herms-layout/tree/68b4ac75d3bc06da09ad0e5fa7bd8bd84f7e2425/png

The downside of that version was:
- BK recirc was through the coil, which meant it could not have an independent higher temperature before mash in.
- Cooling the wort in a single pass is harder to get exactly right. The output temperature is determined by the flow rate of cold water and hot wort. It is harder to hit target pitch temp with .1 degree accuracy. With the recirc back to the boil kettle, I can just cool until desired temp is reached.

Also, I suggest a method of draining valuable trapped wort from the lines so that it can be added to the fermenter prior to the "add sanitized water" and "cleaning steps".

You could let the system drain by gravity by opening valve 7,8,10 and 12. This will get all the cooled wort into the fermentor. This gets all the wort in lines between 6 and 12.

The wort that is trapped after the mash out step between 11 and 6 through the CFC is from the end of sparging and should be mainly water without much sugar.
 

wbarber69

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For automation i'd go with pumps similar the ones I got from ussolarpumps.com they are relatively cheap, you have different options to choose from, ie. volume per hour pricing, stainless and non stainless versions and speed controlled versions. All their pumps offer run-dry protection and over-heat protection, so you don't have to worry about forgetting a pump running with an empty kettle or a pump head failing due to overheating. And I like them because they are small, light, and you're not going to kill yourself if you get them wet. For me, though, the price is what got me. I could outfit each kettle with its own dedicated pump. So I didn't have to build some fancy manifold (since I run a single tiered, all-electric, 3 vessel mobile system).
 

lcat45

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I'm in the final stages of doing just what you're about to start....here is a pic of what I'm doing and hoping to achieve all the task you have mentioned and would love anyone's comments and I should probably try and explain how in my mind this is "supposed to work",,, could have overlooked several things so please hit me up with your comments....first the design:

Beer%20System%20Layout.png
 
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Elkoe

Elkoe

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I'm in the final stages of doing just what you're about to start....here is a pic of what I'm doing and hoping to achieve all the task you have mentioned and would love anyone's comments and I should probably try and explain how in my mind this is "supposed to work",,, could have overlooked several things so please hit me up with your comments....first the design:

What really worked for me to wrap my head around things is to start drawing the flows. You'll see when your flows overlap or if you are missing certain paths. For example, I do not understand the position of your mash flow control valve. When mashing, you are circulating the content of your mash tun, but your mash control valve is connect to your boil kettle.

Also try to make it complete: If you are using a counterflow chiller, add the fresh water path and drain path. Also add how you fill your kettles with water. If you are just filling the kettle from the top, add that.

What software did you use to draw this? I like the way it looks.
 

lcat45

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Here's how I see it work "in my mind"....water is manually added to the HLT for the desired amount....the propane is lit and the valve is open and the pump is turn on and the water is pumped thru the HEX(electric) and back to the MT as well as being recirculated using the manual recirculating valve to heat the water to the desired temp using both sources initially until the first desired temp is reached (the firing of the propane under the HLT is automatically controlled). At that point all the water will be returned to the HLT and grain added to the MT and the required of water added to start that process. Water is then added and heats up until the correct temp is reached to do the next step (sparge or step mash temp). The water in the MT is recirculated thru the HEX until that process is finished...from there pump 2 is engaged and it will pump the wort out of the MT thru a mash control valve which is able to control the amt of liquid that is pumped out of the MT so sparge flow rate can be controlled. As that is happening the BK is manually lit and the wort heated up while the sparge is finishing.....after that when the boil is complete, the wort is channeled thru the chiller and back to the boil kettle bypassing the Flow Control valve and using the other manually opened valve(one to left) which will allow the wort to be returned fast enough to form a vortex and help gather the hops in the center....this is done to cool and separate until the desired temp is reached , then the manual valve is shut, the other manual valve opened (to left of chiller) where it is sent to the fermenter. Hope this makes sense and hope you find I haven't made some hugh mistakes in the plumbing or I gotta bend some more pipe!!

Comment: the design hopefully will allow me so start another batch while the other boils so I can fill a barrel and do a solera.....my fermenters are glycol chilled
 

lcat45

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Sorry I don't remember what software was used but I was so limited in it's graphics that I would never recommend it even if I remembered.....I'll post the name if I do happen to remember it....

Comment: I actually like what you used and it seems much easier to use
 

MrTrigger

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Hi,
first of all, great looking system and charts. I just started a eHERMS build and have sourced 3pcs 53 gallon tanks so I will definitely have a closer look at your project and of course subscribed to this thread.

Some suggestions:
- You may not need it with your water quality but I would add one or two water filters before valve 13. Maybe bypass the water filter during cleanout but I don't know if that's necessary.
- I would also add a manual valve just a the very start of the cold water inlet and make all other valves motorized (except the ones in the tanks) in order to reach a bit higher automatization. For instance I would like to run an entire washing program without having to be there and check on it and also automatically switch to the fermentor when the appropriate temp has been reached.
- Are the motorized valves binary on/off or can you set them to be slightly open? If so, I would also like to have the possibility to regulate the flow through the chiller (both warm and cold) programmatically in order to optimize the cold water spent depending on the cold water temp. Probably not very crucial when you don't do a one-pass chill.
- Direct some of the cold water through the chiller to be reused for PBW/Startsan.
 
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Elkoe

Elkoe

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Thanks for your suggestions MrTrigger.

- You may not need it with your water quality but I would add one or two water filters before valve 13. Maybe bypass the water filter during cleanout but I don't know if that's necessary.
I think I will not need it indeed, the water quality in the Netherlands is excellent.

- I would also add a manual valve just a the very start of the cold water inlet and make all other valves motorized (except the ones in the tanks) in order to reach a bit higher automatization. For instance I would like to run an entire washing program without having to be there and check on it and also automatically switch to the fermentor when the appropriate temp has been reached.
The idea behind design was that all valves in and out of the entire system were manual for safety. The manual valves do not need to be opened or closed often and it is at the start or at the end of the brewing process.

- Are the motorized valves binary on/off or can you set them to be slightly open? If so, I would also like to have the possibility to regulate the flow through the chiller (both warm and cold) programmatically in order to optimize the cold water spent depending on the cold water temp. Probably not very crucial when you don't do a one-pass chill.
I am talking to ball valve suppliers now. There are ball valves that have 3 flows: 30% open, 60% open or 100% open. I think I will not be using them. The pumps will be speed controlled and for the CFC water I can adjust manually. The system now is not designed for single pass, because it is easier to control (just continue until target temp).

- Direct some of the cold water through the chiller to be reused for PBW/Startsan.
You could catch the output from the drain but I think I will do it like this: PBW works better with warm water, so I will mix it with warm water from my kitchen tap and then let pump 1 suck it up.
 

MrTrigger

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Ok, sounds reasonable. The reason I will need water filter(s) is that the place where I will setup the system has it's own well and is not connected to the common water line.

Do you have any thoughts on how you will measure the water volume pumped in to the tanks?
 

MrTrigger

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Sorry for all the questions but you seem to be on top of things and have already though through most of the things I'm wondering about... :)

So here is another one - any need for valves close to the motors to bleed air out of the hoses?
 
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Elkoe

Elkoe

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Sorry for all the questions but you seem to be on top of things and have already though through most of the things I'm wondering about... :)

Please keep your questions coming, it can only make the design better!

So here is another one - any need for valves close to the motors to bleed air out of the hoses?

Excellent question. A bleed valve before the pump might be a very good addition. Right now the only way to let air escape is through the kettle inlets. For pump 2, that's quite a detour.

On the heat HLT and BK step, that's the first time the pumps are active and need to bleed air. If the whirlpool inlet in the BK is under water, the system might not prime the pump well. I will have to test this out and install a bleed valve before each pump if necessary.
 

aangel

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Elkoe: beautiful system and an excellent job documenting it - especially showing all the modes including water flow. How far along this project are you? This is basically exactly what I'm looking at implementing next summer, and I'll be following your progress closely.

Several questions I've thought up so far:

1 - Flow Meter: with OCSYS out of the game, how are you thinking of going forward with the flow meter? I recently found this page for a DIY flowmeter (including programming) do you think you could adapt it? http://www.freetronics.com/pages/jaycar-water-flow-gauge As for measuring gravity, the only device I've found to do it automatically is a beerbug placed in the fermenter - gravity would have to be measured manually prior.
2 - System draining: considering it's electric, it should be possible to use bottom-draining fittings on the mash tun, brew kettle, and HLT. This should eliminate any wasted wort or standing water / sanitizer. Any thoughts?
3 - pump losing priming: at the sparge-out step, "when all wort is in the boil kettle, all pumps are turned off" - how do you avoid dry-running pump #2? Towards the end of the transfer, the pump will have no sparge water left from the mash tun, and thus will be using air pressure i guess to push the remaining liquid in the lines through to the boil kettle. Will this damage the pump? Also, can you even use air pressure to push all that fluid through the line? I'm inexperienced here.
4 - Any word on tuneable valves? I imagine you could hook up a manual ball valve to a step motor but that seems like a clunky solution
5 - I'm only somewhat familiar with your brewpi project - I'm assuming you're going to use it to control your whole setup?

As for suggestions:
1 - perhaps rejig your diagram to make the horizontal/lateral flow lines slightly angled? Since you've said that elevation in the diagram matters, for open-draining the lines adding a bit of slant would ensure no wet spots
2 - an idea for how to elegantly elevate valves 1,3,4,5,6,7,8 as well as the plumbing would be to add a steel back to the brew sculpture, with an open shelf at the top. you could affix the plumbing and valves to it. I don't know if hotlinking this picture will work, but this is kind of what I mean:
Steel-Shelving-Work-Centers.jpg


Considering those sections of the plumbing seem to be mostly not the kind to be switched out and/or replaced, hard plumbing them would be an idea too. It could certainly professional...but I don't really see many advantages to doing that other than appearance.

Thanks for providing inspiration and well documented plans!
 
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Elkoe

Elkoe

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Elkoe: beautiful system and an excellent job documenting it - especially showing all the modes including water flow. How far along this project are you? This is basically exactly what I'm looking at implementing next summer, and I'll be following your progress closely.

Stainless steel parts are in production now, I have a lot of custom designed parts. I will get these in 2 weeks and will post an update in the thread with photos. We have designed custom fittings with integrated O-ring, kettle inlets and outlets, coils/spirals and more.
I hope do be able to do a quick test brew without automated control, to be ready for my birthday in 6 weeks.

I will have a few custom PCB's for ball valve control, SSR control, and the main unit with a touch screen and spark core. Everything will be daisy chained, no central control panel with 15 cables going out. Some more info on the spark forum: https://community.spark.io/t/looking-for-feedback-on-brewing-shield-with-touchscreen/7203

Several questions I've thought up so far:

1 - Flow Meter: with OCSYS out of the game, how are you thinking of going forward with the flow meter? I recently found this page for a DIY flowmeter (including programming) do you think you could adapt it? http://www.freetronics.com/pages/jaycar-water-flow-gauge As for measuring gravity, the only device I've found to do it automatically is a beerbug placed in the fermenter - gravity would have to be measured manually prior.
I don't want to use a flow sensor, I want to use a level sensor, so I can also measure boil-off. With 2 pressure sensors per kettle, at different higth, I hope to be able to measure SG as well.

2 - System draining: considering it's electric, it should be possible to use bottom-draining fittings on the mash tun, brew kettle, and HLT. This should eliminate any wasted wort or standing water / sanitizer. Any thoughts?
I don't want to drill in my table and not be able to move the kettles, so I will use a low mounted output on the side. I can just tip the kettles a bit to get the last bit out.

3 - pump losing priming: at the sparge-out step, "when all wort is in the boil kettle, all pumps are turned off" - how do you avoid dry-running pump #2? Towards the end of the transfer, the pump will have no sparge water left from the mash tun, and thus will be using air pressure i guess to push the remaining liquid in the lines through to the boil kettle. Will this damage the pump? Also, can you even use air pressure to push all that fluid through the line? I'm inexperienced here.

I added Y-strainers before the pumps. They can also be opened to release air.

4 - Any word on tuneable valves? I imagine you could hook up a manual ball valve to a step motor but that seems like a clunky solution
I use valves with 5 wires: 2 for opening and closing, 3 for 2 feedback switches, which are opened when fully closed or fully open. Using this feedback, the system could theoretically measure how long the valves take top open/close and stop half-way. I have designed a OneWire board that controls 2 valves, with LED's for OPEN/OPENING/CLOSING/CLOSED.

5 - I'm only somewhat familiar with your brewpi project - I'm assuming you're going to use it to control your whole setup?
Yes, but basically a rewrite from scratch. All open source of course, I cannot do this just by myself.

As for suggestions:
1 - perhaps rejig your diagram to make the horizontal/lateral flow lines slightly angled? Since you've said that elevation in the diagram matters, for open-draining the lines adding a bit of slant would ensure no wet spots
2 - an idea for how to elegantly elevate valves 1,3,4,5,6,7,8 as well as the plumbing would be to add a steel back to the brew sculpture, with an open shelf at the top. you could affix the plumbing and valves to it. I don't know if hotlinking this picture will work, but this is kind of what I mean:
Steel-Shelving-Work-Centers.jpg
I have redesigned the layout to make 3 blocks of valves. 2 below the table and 1 (with 6 valves) above. I have not had time to make a proper diagram export yet, but will show soon. I had a similar thing in mind as the pic you posted, but will have to figure out how to fit a back panel to my stainless steel table.

Considering those sections of the plumbing seem to be mostly not the kind to be switched out and/or replaced, hard plumbing them would be an idea too. It could certainly professional...but I don't really see many advantages to doing that other than appearance.

I am going to use silicone tubing between the 3 blocks of valves, I like that it is transparent and you can see stuff flow. Also a bit easier to rearrange things.

Thanks for the feedback! Stay tuned for updates in the next 2 weeks. :tank:
 

wbarber69

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On the bottom drain issue. You could still do it without drilling into your table. Just use risers on your pots and 90 out the bottom to the front. I built my brewery using old kegs I cut the hole out the bottom and flipped them over. I use tri-clovers to make up the bottom drain using the sanke port already built in. No dip tubes required in my mlt and hlt. I built my boil kettle before I found out that triclovers would fit into sake kegs. So that's the only pot I use a dip tube in.
 

aangel

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Elkoe, hella cool stuff. Seeing the PCB layouts at the spark website almost made me nostalgic for my undergrad. Looking forward to your prototypes, and I certainly hope to be able to afford your end product :)

Question about the spark devices:

They basically seem to be network (probably wifi) connected, super simple, one-purpose sensors/controllers. They won't house any controller logic; they just report their sensor data to the 'net, and then any commands issued are performed. So a valve would open or close, and report that it's open or closed. Powering them would be, I assume, either battery power or +5v or +12v. With the boil kettle or mash tun, the spark device would relay the output of a temperature probe and its output would be switching an SSR on or off, so you'd be implementing PID logic in the cloud.

Am I right so far in my interpretation?

I guess I have questions about how a y-strainer would work. The intended application of that is for trub straining I presume? I can see how you'd use that to drain air from the line to pre-prime the pump, but I don't see how that'd help with the situation I was talking about.

So, our brew pumps require...

fluid source -> line -> pump -> line -> destination

with the vital thing being that the inlet of the pump contains basically nothing but fluid. Now, say you're transferring 1L of water...

bucket 1 (1L) -> valve -> tubing -> pump inlet -> pump outlet -> tubing -> bucket 2
so we open the valve, water starts to flow into the tubing towards the pump inlet. Then we turn the pump on, and the pump inlet sucks water in, pump outlet shoots it out, through the tubing towards bucket 2.

bucket 1 (losing water) -> valve -> tubing (with water) -> pump inlet (with water) -> pump outlet (with water) ->tubing (with water) -> bucket 2 (starting to fill with water)

as this process comes to completion, we get

bucket 1 (dry) -> valve -> tubing (dry) -> pump inlet (dry) -> pump outlet (with water) -> tubing (with water) -> bucket 2 (mostly, but not completely, full).

At this point, the pump is no longer primed with water - the inlet is sucking air. the tubing between the pump outlet and the bucket should (to my understanding) have nothing forcing that water along its path.

This wouldn't be a problem if, say, the pump was physically above bucket 2 - in that case gravity would finish the job.

Then again...I guess we're talking about what, maybe 0.5L-1.0L of the last of the sparge water...not exactly the end of the world. Probably enough to make the gravity a tiny bit off though.

Ah, one question I forgot to ask before: Does your setup imagine CIP spray balls attached for the clean cycle?
 
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Elkoe

Elkoe

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They basically seem to be network (probably wifi) connected, super simple, one-purpose sensors/controllers. They won't house any controller logic; they just report their sensor data to the 'net, and then any commands issued are performed. So a valve would open or close, and report that it's open or closed. Powering them would be, I assume, either battery power or +5v or +12v. With the boil kettle or mash tun, the spark device would relay the output of a temperature probe and its output would be switching an SSR on or off, so you'd be implementing PID logic in the cloud.

Am I right so far in my interpretation?
No, definitely not. The Spark Core has a fully programmable ARM cortex M4 chip. All control algorithms will run locally. I won't trust anything else. BrewPi right now also runs all control on the Arduino. The Pi is there for data logging and interfacing, not to make decisions about turning actuators on or off.

I guess I have questions about how a y-strainer would work. The intended application of that is for trub straining I presume? I can see how you'd use that to drain air from the line to pre-prime the pump, but I don't see how that'd help with the situation I was talking about.
This is a y-strainer. I could unscrew the top to let air out.
y-strainer-316-ss-bsp.jpg

They only help to prime the pump (get air out of the line), but you are right that some wort is lost as it stands still between the pump and valve 6.

What I could do is open the fermenter out valve and drain it manually to add to the boil kettle. The part that stands still includes the herms coil, so there is quite a bit of length. I estimate that it is about 2 liters (6mm)^2*pi*20m).

But as you already said, it is just the last sparge water. If I have a volume sensor in the boil pot, I could just sparge until desired volume is reached and not care about the bit still in the lines.


Ah, one question I forgot to ask before: Does your setup imagine CIP spray balls attached for the clean cycle?

I think I want to use them, but I am not sure how yet. I don't know where to mount them. The kettle inlets of the HLT and MT will have a hose barb, so it could be connected before cleaning easily, but the BK will have a longer whirlpool pipe without a barb at the end. I will ask them if it can be added.

New layout, now grouped in 3 blocks. Green lines are flexible silicone tubing. I also added temp sensors.

BrewPi-HERMS-drawing-00.png
 

aangel

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The ikea hangers look like they'd work. Cheap too.

Ah ok so the Spark is just a replacement for the arduino/raspberry pi that brewpi had been using?

What did you mean before about how everything will be daisy-chained off the spark controller, avoiding the big control panel with 15 outputs?
 
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Elkoe

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The Spark replaces the Arduino, not the Pi.
You still need a server to run a web interface. The Pi is that server. That server could be moved to the could, and we might offer that functionality on the BrewPi servers in the long run for people that do not want to set up their own web server.

About the daisy-chaining, check the spark core thread again, I have added 2 expansion boards:
https://community.spark.io/t/looking-for-feedback-on-brewing-shield-with-touchscreen/7203/27

The setup is built with small little boards, instead of one big one. The valve control board connects to 2 valves. It has 4 RJ12 ports on them: 1 in and 3 out. So you will have one cable going in, one going to the next board and 2 free inputs for temperature sensors. So you will have one cable going around from board to board, instead of 15 cables going out to all boards from a central control panel. Each board has it's own unique address to identify it on the bus.
 

aangel

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Ah, so that's what you meant about daisy-chaining.

Question about your intended volume & gravity sensor: any thoughts of applying it to fermentation, and not just mash tun / boil kettle? Sounds like it'd be pretty competitive with the beer bug. If I'm imagining it right, all it requires is two contact points with the wort at known heights, so it would be the kind of thing you could either mount in a fermenter or mount externally via two small weldless holes.
 

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I think his intention is to use pressure sensors at varying heights inside the boil kettle. Which wouldn't work inside your fermenters.
 

aangel

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Why not? kettles and conicals are both stainless steel, and have easily measurable or calculable volume, height, etc etc.
 

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Because the pressure sensor I've seen him discuss before is literally an aquarium pump that constantly pushes air into the wort…
 
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Elkoe

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wbarber69 is right, this would not work in the fermenter, because it will contaminate or oxidize the beer. I have another solution for the fermentor, but this is still in development and I cannot make it public yet.
 

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Just be sure to let me know when you need beta testers for your beer-bug killer!
 

aangel

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Yeah seriously. Elkoe, you're filling in every major hole in home brewing process control that I'm aware of. I eagerly look forward to your inventions :D
 
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Elkoe

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Small update, I got some parts today.

This is our custom designed and CNC'd fitting, with integrated O-ring.
Just put it through your kettle wall, put a locknut on the outside and you have a properly sealed pipe going into the kettle. Should take about 1 minute to install, designed for a 13/16 hole, BSP 1/2" thread.

The O-ring is 1/8 inch and the groove is designed for 20% compression and 20% free groove volume, the proper way for a good seal and a healthy O-ring.
The pipes are hydraulically press fitted onto the fittings, which have a small grove on the inside.

These short pieces can be used as inlet in the mash tun (with silicone hose), HLT inlet or as dip tube.

2014-10-09-17.09.07.jpg


I have not drilled the kettles yet, so here is the fitting in our test kettle (an aluminum spring form).

2014-10-09-18.13.07.jpg


We designed parts for a 35cm and a 45 cm kettle.

We made 2 coils (30cm and 40cm, both 12 windings):
2014-10-09-17.07.47.jpg


These prototype coils are a bit rough, as the company making them did not have all the tools to bend the radii required. They will develop some custom tooling to make the next prototype perfect. The bends will be done with a bigger radius for a nicer looking coil and better flow.

And finally, we made whirlpool inlets:

2014-10-09-17.09.00.jpg


I'll post again when we install these in the kettles, still waiting on some parts.
 

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I'm gonna start getting elco to fab me up some parts. In the u.s. there is this great new trend among new homeowners with money where they find the most lavish kitchen and bath parts for sinks and tubs and such through these custom bath/tile and granite distributors. Neither of which realize that anything with bsp threads is a waste of money, since it's unrepairable and doesn't mate up with anything else used. Making it pretty difficult to even install in the first place. We usually end up having to pretend we used the parts they bought and have to source cheaper look-alike replacements that actually mate up with standard drain parts.
 
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Elkoe

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wbarber69, I choose BSP because it is the standard everywhere except the US.
Most of these parts will be pretty heavy, so shipping to the US could get expensive. I'll probably make an NPT version later and find a US distributor to reduce shipping cost.
 
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I will be tracking this thread. I have an up and running Osccys DX1 system, but they are stopping support. I will try and find my Visio/PDF layout (2 pumps, 6 temprature sensors, 6 2 way valves and one 3 way valve). All pot connections have ball valves, volume flow control, and my dump valve is manual. I have never done a full automated run (valve control) and have done manual switch control. I have a 50 foot 1/2 inch stainless heat exchanger in the HLT, all 20 gallon Blichmann pots, and have a temp. probe on the HEX return plus a temp probe in the grain bed (MLT). Other sensors is incoming water temp (Houston summer water can getup to 82F) and one on the output of my plate chiller. I am adding a second plate chiller so I will have one on tap water and one on ice water (ice chest with sump pump).
I will follow Elco's updates closely as I am extremely pleased with his BrewPi.

Update: I tried uploading my Visio layout converted to PDF, but it is 12K and am not sure how to resize to the 700X700 limit of this site. Diagram was built around tabloid size paper (11X17).
 

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Elkoe I like the work you've done on the BrewPi system and what you are doing here.
Can this automated herms system be "dumbed down" to run an electric BIAB system?
 
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Elkoe

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Elkoe I like the work you've done on the BrewPi system and what you are doing here.
Can this automated herms system be "dumbed down" to run an electric BIAB system?

Yes, definitely. We plan to make the system very modular. You can start with a simple BIAB system and add more hardware later, without having to redo your control panel. The system will grow with the brewer :)

You should be able to go from BIAB to HERMS to fully automated HERMS without throwing out any hardware.
 
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