Brewtroller - just purchased, problems with boil settings

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Bdigs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Location
Chico
I just bought a complete system that is using brewtroller and have ran into a few problems that I can't seem to figure out, and was hoping you may share your experience with me. I would really appreciate it! I've got two issues;

1. The "boil power" setting seems to have no effect. I've changed it to 10% and it is as strong as it is set to 70%. When the burner is on it's such an intense boil that it boils over with volumes as low as 9 gallons. Is there a trick to making that setting work?

2. The boil control setting does not work when set to "auto" below 205 degrees. I'm at a high elevation and the wort starts boiling at about 204.5 degrees and will never reach over 205 degrees, therefore it never turns off the burner. This, combined with the boil power setting not working means I cannot control the boil at all unless I'm manually switching it on and off, which of course is a terrible way to boil wort. I know that 205 is the threshold for the auto function to work because one single time the wort hit 205.2 and it shut off, then came back on when it dropped down to 204. However mostly when boiling it stays at a steady 204.9, which is maddening because if it would hit 205 it would shut off and then back on.

These two issues make it so I basically can't use the system and I can't seem to find any settings in the menus that will fix it. Thanks in advance for any help!
 

RufusBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
503
Reaction score
253
Location
Nashville
I am not familiar with the brewtroller. But your post is >24 hours old. I offer what I can.

You have one of two problems, remotely possible two concurrent problems. #1 operator error or #2 hardware mistakes. ( I assume for now the software is OK)

You bought a complete system from somebody. Is it new? If so, somebody owes you some level of customer support. Reach out, tell them what you are doing, how you do it, what result you expect and what result you observe. See if they can help you out. Did you forget to check a box, a setting is wrong etc.

Do you have a link or reference of what and where you got your brewtroller?

A brewtroller has multiple inputs and outputs. Are you sure you matched you I/O correctly?

Other is hardware issues. Errors in wiring or defective components. Easiest is to swap things, see if you can the error to follow the change. A basic multimeter can be useful, if you know how to operate one.

Good luck.
 
OP
Bdigs

Bdigs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Location
Chico
No, it's not new, I bought it from a guy who was getting out of brewing. He has helped me as much as he can but he was at lower elevation where the auto boil feature worked because of the wort boiled at a higher temp, over 205.
I'm relatively sure the I/O are correctly wired. I can't really just start swapping parts, there's an entire electrical panel full of them. My problem is my rudimentary understanding of how the brewtroller actually functions aside from the basics, which I get (I think). I'm pretty sure I'm just missing a setting somewhere, and if not that would tell me if a component is bad. Thanks for the input!
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
11,916
Reaction score
8,285
Location
Renton
The code for the Brewtroller is available on-line. You will probably need the assistance of someone familiar with software development to find and change the constant in the code that limits the boil trigger to 205 or above, and then recompile and install the new code. I'm not a software developer, so I personally can't help you with this.

Brew on :mug:
 

Cottonmouth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
246
Reaction score
49
Is there a temperature correction setting you can use to fool the controller into thinking the probe is sensing a temperature greater than 205?
 
OP
Bdigs

Bdigs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Location
Chico
That's what I was thinking, on a system as complex as this, there would have to be, right? I can't find it if it exists. Thanks for the suggestion!
 
OP
Bdigs

Bdigs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Location
Chico
Thanks Doug, I have seen that page, but can't find anything that addresses my issue. My "programming" experience started and ended with doing a Raspberry Pi computer taplist, which took me a long time. That was frustrating enough, I can't imagine what coding the brewtroller is like!
 

RufusBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
503
Reaction score
253
Location
Nashville
"jcdillin" look for posts from this guy here on homebrewtalk. He appears to be some sort of developer of brewtroller.

He was last seen here 09/2018.

Try sending him a PM, maybe it will get to him.

Just a stab in the dark herr. I saw one post where he says switch from On/Off mode to PID mode.
 

RufusBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
503
Reaction score
253
Location
Nashville
Try this:

Open file: config.h
Line 270 preboil_alarm 205
Edit the line to a different value, say 200.

See what happens.

If that does not work, open each in the github.com link and search for 205, and some integers near that. Also search preboil, alarm. See if anything looks like it is working off the pre boil alarm value.

It is going to take some time, but that threshold is defined somewhere in that code.
 
Last edited:
OP
Bdigs

Bdigs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Location
Chico
Try this:

Open file: config.h
Line 270 preboil_alarm 205
Edit the line to a different value, say 200.

See what happens.

If that does not work, open each in the github.com link and search for 205, and some integers near that. Also search preboil, alarm. See if anything looks like it is working off the pre boil alarm value.

It is going to take some time, but that threshold is defined somewhere in that code.
When you say open the file, I'm not sure how to do that. On the brewtroller itself? If so, where is that located? I haven't seen it in the menus. Thanks man!
 

RufusBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
503
Reaction score
253
Location
Nashville
Shut down Brewtroller

Locate the folder where config.h is stored. Right click on the file. When the window pops open, find "Open With...". Select to open with notepad application.

When the file opens, be careful to not change anything. Scroll to Line 270, put you cursor into place and change 205 to 200. Pick save file.

Restart brewtroller and see if you affected the operation point.

Bonus hint: before opening the file, make a copy of the config.h. If some goes wrong with brewtroller, replace the modified file with the copy so you can get back to normal.
 
Last edited:

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
11,916
Reaction score
8,285
Location
Renton
When you say open the file, I'm not sure how to do that. On the brewtroller itself? If so, where is that located? I haven't seen it in the menus. Thanks man!
That question indicates that you really need to find a local person who knows something about software development. It doesn't sound like you have the background knowledge to deal with this yourself, or even with on-line guidance. Find a software person who likes beer, and trade beer for assistance.

Brew on :mug:
 
OP
Bdigs

Bdigs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Location
Chico
That question indicates that you really need to find a local person who knows something about software development. It doesn't sound like you have the background knowledge to deal with this yourself, or even with on-line guidance. Find a software person who likes beer, and trade beer for assistance.

Brew on :mug:
You're dead on there. I know nothing about the coding aspect of how this thing works, just how to navigate the menus. I'll give that a shot.
 
OP
Bdigs

Bdigs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Location
Chico
Shut down Brewtroller

Locate the folder where config.h is stored. Right click on the file. When the window pops open, find "Open With...". Select to open with notepad application.

When the file opens, be careful to not change anything. Scroll to Line 270, put you cursor into place and change 205 to 200. Pick save file.

Restart brewtroller and see if you affected the operation point.

Bonus hint: before opening the file, make a copy of the config.h. If some goes wrong with brewtroller, replace the modified file with the copy so you can get back to normal.
Thanks again, I'll see what I can do with it.
 
OP
Bdigs

Bdigs

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Location
Chico
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and time, I got it fixed! The solution was incredibly simple once I got the owner's manual sent to me from a fellow on the brewtroller FB page. I had no idea what a PID loop was, but that was the setting that had to be changed on the brewtroller itself in the boil menu for the boil power setting to take effect. Celebrating by brewing a Schwarzbier right now!
 
Top