BrewPi Remix – What’s Old is New Again

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kc.rkitek

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@LBussy

I'm trying to get back into brewing after a little hiatus. I have a couple tilts and a fermentation chamber fashioned from a mini-fridge that is controlled by an Inkbird ITC-308. There's also a couple seedling mats on the side walls that generate heat when called for, and my stainless buckets have thermowells for the sensor. Previously, I tried using both an old phone and a RPi zero, but both seemed a little inconsistent for connectivity/logging. I believe that was bluetooth signal strength related, but not certain. Fighting the Tilts/receivers was frustrating got to be more trouble than it was worth.

Well, in the interest of salvaging some of the investment while upgrading a little, I decided to put together a Tiltbridge to see if that would alleviate the signal issues. I had first planned on just keeping my current controller and sending the tilt data to Brewer's Friend. But now after digging in to the latest automation projects, I really like the idea of being able to log data and manage/schedule fermentation control with a Brewpi Remix.

I have no formal computing education, but I've messed with a RPi Zero and D1 Mini for another project. I know a little about mech engineering/modeling have a 3d printer to make my enclosures. That's just enough to put one these together, I think! I just have a few questions before I start ordering parts:

  1. Does Brewpi Remix work on RPi 4 already?
  2. Can the Brewpi Remix manage multiple ferm chambers concurrently?
  3. If I did eventually run multiple chambers, would it make any sense to have the RPi in it's own enclosure separate from the controller eqpt in their own enclosures that were fixed to each chamber? If RPi4 works, I was thinking about plugging the ethernet port right into my switch.
  4. Can I write fermentation schedules that advance to the next step after a certain gravity is reached?
  5. Can the data from the Tiltbridge go to both Brewer's Friend and Brewpi Remix independently, or is there a better way to do this?
  6. Is the main difference between Brewpi Remix and Fermentrack just the web interface design? I'm having a hard time distinguishing the unique features of each project...

Thanks for your effort on this project and time to read my post!
 

duncan.brown

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Lee is the authority but the following might be helpful from my experience:
Does Brewpi Remix work on RPi 4 already?
I had no problems running on a 4. The Pi is running the web interface and management software. The Arduino is doing the work of running the real-time software that controls the temperature.
Can the Brewpi Remix manage multiple ferm chambers concurrently?
One Pi can manage multiple fermentation chambers (I have two) but each chamber needs it's own Arduino. So you'll need two Arduinos plugged into a single Pi. I do this with two USB cables. Lee has notes in the installation instructions that make it easy to figure out which Arduino is on which serial line.
If I did eventually run multiple chambers, would it make any sense to have the RPi in it's own enclosure separate from the controller eqpt in their own enclosures that were fixed to each chamber? If RPi4 works, I was thinking about plugging the ethernet port right into my switch.
My Pi, Arduinos, and the control relays are all remote from the chambers themselves as they are mounted on the back of my brewing desk. You'll have a longer cable run, but otherwise it's fine.
Can I write fermentation schedules that advance to the next step after a certain gravity is reached?
As far as I can tell, no. You can only set temperature as a function of time. This is something that I'd like to code up, though. I'd also like the ability to say "free rise from the current temperature to temperature X and then hold at temperature X." These are on my list of brewing things to code, unless @LBussy has already done it.
 

kc.rkitek

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Thanks for the response; that's great info! I've missed brewing a lot, but lately finding time has been very difficult. The more automated I can get things right now, the better. With that in mind, being able to program a quick lager routine based on attenuation and/or time would be so cool. Dang, if I manage to get this Tiltbridge working, I may build this next!
 
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Can the data from the Tiltbridge go to both Brewer's Friend and Brewpi Remix independently, or is there a better way to do this?
Yes, it will happily send to every type of endpoint it supports simultaneously.

Can I write fermentation schedules that advance to the next step after a certain gravity is reached?
No, and it's a feature I would use so there's no good reason I've not gotten around to supporting it. Other than the time it takes of course.

Is the main difference between Brewpi Remix and Fermentrack just the web interface design? I'm having a hard time distinguishing the unique features of each project...
I was trying to find some other way to describe it, but for the end user: yes.
 

Quigongentoo

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Hello everyone,

Ive successfully gotten BPR installed and running in a test environment. I do have a quick question. Is there a way to calibrate the temp probes? Ive put both the chamber probe and beer probe in the same test water to see if they were “close” but I see about a 1 to 1.5 degree (F) difference. I looked around in the software but I don’t see any calibration settings. I apologize if this has been asked before, I searched this thread with no results. Also, I didn’t see anyway of using the tilt as the beer temp?

Thanks in advance for any time spent answering these questions.
 

balrog

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Just dropping by to say how great this continues to be.
<BrewPi Remix running on Debian on laptop, we have entered exotherm of a Lite pale ale with OLY-071 Lutra at 70F>

1629292054273.png
 

balrog

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Trying to keep up is exhausting. I need to ditch the Dell anyway. Battery long dead, run from brick all the time and when the power cuts out, BIOS complains about setting date/time which if lazily not done, leads to fun like this:

1629475295582.png
 

DuncB

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Rebuild the battery pack, it's very easy and will give you a lot more juice plus much cheaper than a replacement pack.
 

day_trippr

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The battery reference may be to a motherboard "CMOS battery" that may be embedded inside a chip package.
When those go bad the small static memory the battery powered and that is used to hold all the "bios settings" is 100% volatile...

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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Right, the coin cell cmos battery days are waaay behind us. Too bad...
 

scubahiker

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Thanks for the work you have put into updating this. I have been running the old script since 2017. Before I attempt this update, what will happen to my saved beer profiles? I have a different one for each type of yeast strain.
 
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Before I attempt this update, what will happen to my saved beer profiles? I have a different one for each type of yeast strain.
Thaaaats a good question. I created a backup script but I'm not sure it's been tested recently.

If all you want to save is your temp profiles though, you should just be able to save the *.csv files out of the /home/brewpi/settings directory:

Bash:
[email protected]:/home/brewpi/settings $ ls -al
total 40
drwxrwxr-x  2 brewpi www-data 4096 Aug 26 14:55 .
drwxr-xr-x 10 brewpi brewpi   4096 Sep  1 10:17 ..
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data  219 Aug 26 14:55 config.cfg
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data 1874 Aug 26 12:05 config.cfg.example
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data  457 Aug 26 12:05 defaults.cfg
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data  231 Aug 26 12:05 .gitignore
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data  564 Aug 26 12:05 GRAVITY.color
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data    0 Aug 26 12:05 README.md
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data  547 Aug 26 12:05 TEMPERATURE.color
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data  191 Aug 26 12:05 tempProfile.csv
-rw-rw-r--  1 brewpi www-data 1039 Aug 26 12:05 tiltsettings.ini
Anything that's *.csv is your temp profiles. I'd leave the rest out as they will be overwritten in the install.
 

scubahiker

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Thanks Lee, I was able to grab all my csv's!

When I ran the upgrade script, I received a 404 on tmpUpdate.sh. I ran this:

[email protected] /home/brewpi $ curl -L upgrade.brewpiremix.com | sudo bash
% Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current
Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
100 707 100 707 0 0 1205 0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 1808
100 10712 100 10712 0 0 7421 0 0:00:01 0:00:01 --:--:-- 46939
bash: line 50: /home/brewpi/inc/const.inc: No such file or directory
bash: line 54: /home/brewpi/inc/error.inc: No such file or directory
bash: line 58: /home/brewpi/inc/asroot.inc: No such file or directory
bash: line 62: /home/brewpi/inc/help.inc: No such file or directory
bash: line 66: /home/brewpi/inc/nettest.inc: No such file or directory
bash: line 70: /home/brewpi/inc/config.inc: No such file or directory
bash: line 297: const: command not found
....

***Script doUpdate.sh starting.***

Downloading current version of this script.

Executing current version of script.
/home/brewpi/tmpUpdate.sh: line 1: 404:: command not found

***Script doUpdate.sh complete.***


Ideas what went wrong? I checked the directory and do not have an 'inc' folder. So no includes would be found.
 
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Yes - the upgrade was written to upgrade BrewPi Remix and not the OG BrewPi. Since both use GitHub's versioning as their base, and this is a separate GitHub repo, you need to start clean(er). Your path should be simple, however:
  1. Get outside the BrewPi home
  2. curl -L uninstall.brewpiremix.com | sudo bash
  3. Take the first option
  4. curl -L install.brewpiremix.com | sudo bash
  5. Replace your temp profiles
  6. Restart BrewPi with sudo systemctl restart brewpi
HOWEVER - You are likely on an old version of the OS. It makes me itchy thinking about that, and I did not test BPR with really old Raspbian releases. The whole idea was to allow updated versions. I am not sure what other issues you may have with that old image and corresponding binaries.

My most sincere recommendation would be to re-flash your SD card with a recent version. No changes to the image/OS are necessary after your first boot, the BPR install script will prompt you to change the password, system name, time zone, etc.

The new Raspberry Pi Image Tool makes it uber easy to create a new image. If you run headless, I created a small app called Headless Pi to help you set up the WiFi to allow a connection at first boot. At the top of this article, it will allow you to skip all the manual stuff and download that app.
 

scubahiker

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Great, I re-flashed my SD card and started a new. I added ssh and the wifi via the headless Pi app. Once I plugged it into the pi, it had noticeable lag in all the prompts. Login, password, etc. Something is def bogging the connection down. Have you experienced that?

When I open the site up via http://brewpi.local/ it takes about 2.5mins to open the page. Once the site is up, I can use it as intended. Just wondering what I did with my setup to create this lag.
 
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Sometimes I get that from my network security software when a new system drops. Not sure if that's the case there.

I would use something like top to see what the processes are which are consuming resources:

Bash:
top - 14:55:25 up 1 day,  4:32,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
Tasks: 133 total,   1 running, 132 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s):  0.1 us,  0.4 sy,  0.0 ni, 99.5 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
MiB Mem :   3827.3 total,   3337.2 free,    160.8 used,    329.3 buff/cache
MiB Swap:    100.0 total,    100.0 free,      0.0 used.   3493.9 avail Mem

  PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU  %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND
11170 pi        20   0   10296   2940   2564 R   0.7   0.1   0:00.07 top
  400 root      20   0   10744   3700   3328 S   0.3   0.1   0:00.66 wpa_suppl+
  639 brewpi    20   0   57372  27412  11480 S   0.3   0.7   4:21.70 python3
    1 root      20   0   33804   8212   6536 S   0.0   0.2   0:07.00 systemd
    2 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.24 kthreadd
    3 root       0 -20       0      0      0 I   0.0   0.0   0:00.00 rcu_gp
    4 root       0 -20       0      0      0 I   0.0   0.0   0:00.00 rcu_par_gp
    8 root       0 -20       0      0      0 I   0.0   0.0   0:00.00 mm_percpu+
    9 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.00 rcu_tasks+
   10 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.00 rcu_tasks+
   11 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:01.99 ksoftirqd+
   12 root      20   0       0      0      0 I   0.0   0.0   0:07.29 rcu_sched
   13 root      rt   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.04 migration+
   14 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.00 cpuhp/0
   15 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.00 cpuhp/1
   16 root      rt   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.03 migration+
   17 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0   0.0   0:00.88 ksoftirqd+
Here you can see top is using more CPU than anything else, so it's a lightly traveled system.

If you installed Desktop, you can also pop a web page locally to see if the slowness is totally local, or network-based.
 

scubahiker

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I'm still having the bad lag issues, sometimes I can't even ping it. But! I was too anxious to get a batch going with it, so here goes! I set up a beer profile and have applied it, but my idling is just getting longer. For some reason its not getting triggered by my wort or chamber temp. It should have already started cooling. The dip in the middle is where I inserted the the thermometer. What am I missing?
 

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scubahiker

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Thanks, it always helps when starting a project over to be sure all your devices are setup! While the temp probes were, my heating and cooling devices were not. Once I set those up, I was back in action.

Now to resolve the network stability issue. I've disabled my 5g network to see if that helps.
 
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it always helps when starting a project over to be sure all your devices are setup! [...] my heating and cooling devices were not
That would certainly explain that! :)

Now to resolve the network stability issue. I've disabled my 5g network to see if that helps.
What version of Pi?
 

scubahiker

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What version of Pi?
I upgraded up to Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster) for this rebuild. The switch to 2.4 didn't change anything so going to turn 5g back on. I typically get 50% packet loss on pings, with replies ranging from 8ms-1100ms.
 

scubahiker

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I agree, its driving me crazy and I'm in IT!! The Pi is a 2B. I was having these network issues before I moved it down to the garage where the fermenter is. On the old build I was running, before the upgrade, I didn't have lag issues. I'm wondering if the drivers need to be changed for the wifi dongle since I also updated the OS.

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 148f:5370 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT5370 Wireless Adapter
 

day_trippr

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I typically get 50% packet loss on pings, with replies ranging from 8ms-1100ms.
I would forget even a notion of "lag issues" with that network performance.
Your setup must be spending most of its life executing retries...

Cheers!
 
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On the old build I was running, before the upgrade, I didn't have lag issues. I'm wondering if the drivers need to be changed for the wifi dongle since I also updated the OS.
If you upgraded the OS, I would heartily recommend you (optionally grab a spare SD card and) re-flash with the current image. Not everything will be upgraded the same way when you do that.
 

balrog

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I agree, its driving me crazy and I'm in IT!! The Pi is a 2B. I was having these network issues before I moved it down to the garage where the fermenter is. On the old build I was running, before the upgrade, I didn't have lag issues. I'm wondering if the drivers need to be changed for the wifi dongle since I also updated the OS.

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 148f:5370 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT5370 Wireless Adapter
I've had good luck with those network over power line devices FWIW. You just can't plug either endpoint device into a power strip, that's the only caveat.
 

DuncB

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I made a NAT repeater using D1 mini

and attached an external antenna to it this way

Works so well signal before was 80+ now it's as good as 43.

Simple job even for a non ITer like me.
 
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