BruControl: Brewery control & automation software

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Check this out. I *think* it uses that sensor... but if not the concept is the same, and the work is done for you! Flite project, by @UncleD:

 

VinceBrews

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Check this out. I *think* it uses that sensor... but if not the concept is the same, and the work is done for you! Flite project, by @UncleD:

Yes - I saw that. I was curious about your thoughts about using it for vessel volume instead of keg.
 

exoticatom

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I'd like to use iSpindel data recorded by BC and import it in Beersmith for the specific brew.
Is there an easier way to find out which of the CSV files corresponds to the device/global element, or I have to click through all files until I find it ?

Furthermore, do you think export button from DE would make sense for the future releases?

EDIT: I must have missed something in past releases as I don't see any more CSV files being created. I have localDB instance, which can be also used for export. Now same question remains how to find corresponding table to the element .

1614234129285.png
 
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In v1.1 Build 9+, we moved to a database back end to store data rather than text files, so that's why. Here's a way to look at it. If you use the DeviceID property in a script, you can flush out which UUID you are looking for.

 

oakbarn

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Is my logic correct?

I am about to start my wiring for the Brewery.

I have an HLT that I named "Big Mac". It has a 5500 watt element.

I plan to use the PID Control.
Big Mac Plan.png


I do not like any hot leg to the vessel unless it is "On".

I always put a Cut Out Safety Switch in my line away from the Brewery

I like to "know" that the heater is commanded "On" by a small LED Bulb.

I will be using 30 amp Circuit Breakers and one standard SSR for Leg 1
The PID will be via an AA-2 Analog Amplifier and a Proportional Control (2-10 input) for Leg 2.


My plan is to command Both the Standard SSR Digital Out (Leg 1) and the PID Proportional Controller (Leg 2) at the same time. The Standard SSR will be hot to the Outlet as well as turn on the Red LED letting me "know" BruControl has powered the standard SSR (Leg 1)

The Outlet will provide PID control via Leg 2 Proportional Control (2-10 input) with the Target and Temp set for that PID.

I know that an HLT may not need the precise control. I have other parts that are similar that do need the precision of a PID, that will be wired the same. My HLT would be a backup for that if I needed it.

Regardless, Is this a good way to use PID Control for a 240 volt Element?
 

oakbarn

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Thanks guys. I actually did replace my BCS with this system. I used the same thermistor probes, relays, etc. so the upgrade path was fairly easy.

BTW, I need to give a big "Thank You" to @augiedoggy for being a contributing beta tester. He's actually done more brews than I and can probably give unbiased feedback.

I plan to do a brew video soon to show it in operation as well.
I was moving from the BCS to BruControl before my incident. I was going to run side by side for a while. But many of my "wishlist" for a BCS 482 came standard on BruControl. I was always limited on the BCS by:

1. BCS: 64 unique steps available. Only 8 Processes with only 8 Steps.
BruControl: Unlimited
2. BCS: 8 Temperature Probes which must be 10KNTC type.
BruControl: Unlimited Can take 1-wire, RTD or 10KNTC. There is a Limit that the Probe must be on the same Interface as what it is controlling, but Interfaces are easy to add.
3. BCS: 8 Digital Inputs. Only On/Off signal Type.
BruControl: Unlimited Can take On/Off signal, 4-20ma, Counters (Flow), Pressure Sensors, Load Cells (weight), Tilt Hydrometer, ISpindel Hydrometer and I am sure more.
4. BCS: 15 Digital Outputs. On/Off, PID, Hysteresis, Duty Cycle and maybe more (can't remember).
BruControl: Unlimited On/Off, PID, Hysteresis, Duty Cycle, Deadband, PWM

4. BCS: HMI Available from a 3rd Party (Power User)
BruControl: Tons of Widgets for you to create your own. BruControl is HMI natively.

The only plus I can think of for a BCS is that you can have multiple instances running at the same time (web based). BruControl is Windows based and only a single instance can be running. There are APIs that can do what I want to display what I "need" on BruControl.

Another big difference: BruControl Active Forum with lots of help from other users. BruControl is also more prone to consider your "wishes" for future updates. BCS is limited by its proprietary hardware.

I have one BCS that survived, and I might use it for Fermentation, but I just might get another BruControl License.
 

RiverCityBrewer

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I am reading what you wrote, I am just not sure that we are on the same page.

If I open once DE, after closing it , I can't open it again, ever (unless I restart BC). Nothing to do with lock IMHO (as I originally thought).
It won't help to (me to) close it every time, because there is nothing to close. The Window of DE is nowhere to find (there is a process called DATA EXPLORER).

I could keep the window opened in the background and never close it.

Is that what you are talking about?
I just wanted to second this as having the same issue.

I can open the DE just fine on the initial BC launch. If I keep the DE in the background I don't have any issues (locked/unlocked didn't seem to matter). If I close out of the DE, I am unable to open it again until I close and relaunch BC.

The explanation given as to the source of the issue with locking and unlocking didn't seem to mesh up with what I was seeing, so there might be 2 different issues here.
 

exoticatom

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I just wanted to second this as having the same issue.

I can open the DE just fine on the initial BC launch. If I keep the DE in the background I don't have any issues (locked/unlocked didn't seem to matter). If I close out of the DE, I am unable to open it again until I close and relaunch BC.

The explanation given as to the source of the issue with locking and unlocking didn't seem to mesh up with what I was seeing, so there might be 2 different issues here.
Brundog confirmed to me both bugs and wrote that they will be fixed.
 

oakbarn

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Is my logic correct?

I am about to start my wiring for the Brewery.

I have an HLT that I named "Big Mac". It has a 5500 watt element.

I plan to use the PID Control.View attachment 719967

I do not like any hot leg to the vessel unless it is "On".

I always put a Cut Out Safety Switch in my line away from the Brewery

I like to "know" that the heater is commanded "On" by a small LED Bulb.

I will be using 30 amp Circuit Breakers and one standard SSR for Leg 1
The PID will be via an AA-2 Analog Amplifier and a Proportional Control (2-10 input) for Leg 2.


My plan is to command Both the Standard SSR Digital Out (Leg 1) and the PID Proportional Controller (Leg 2) at the same time. The Standard SSR will be hot to the Outlet as well as turn on the Red LED letting me "know" BruControl has powered the standard SSR (Leg 1)

The Outlet will provide PID control via Leg 2 Proportional Control (2-10 input) with the Target and Temp set for that PID.

I know that an HLT may not need the precise control. I have other parts that are similar that do need the precision of a PID, that will be wired the same. My HLT would be a backup for that if I needed it.

Regardless, Is this a good way to use PID Control for a 240 volt Element?
bump Any advice?
 
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bump Any advice?
You need to use a two pole contactor if you wish to ensure that the element has no voltage on it when it is off. SSR's have leakage voltage that is enough to make for a very uncomfortable experience should you touch the conductor well enough. You can get a 12 or 24VDC coil voltage version of the contactor and control it directly from the UniShield. Use a digital output to turn it on, then a single proportional SSR to control it's power amount.
 

oakbarn

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You need to use a two pole contactor if you wish to ensure that the element has no voltage on it when it is off. SSR's have leakage voltage that is enough to make for a very uncomfortable experience should you touch the conductor well enough. You can get a 12 or 24VDC coil voltage version of the contactor and control it directly from the UniShield. Use a digital output to turn it on, then a single proportional SSR to control it's power amount.
I plan to cut off the safety switch when not brewing so while a mechanical contractor would be automatic, I will use the manual cutoff. So I can have the one leg hot with the contactor and the other leg with the proportional controller . Do I need to have the contactor a double pole and feed the proportional controller via the contactor?
 
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If you are going to use a contactor, then I would suggest it be a double pole and cut off both legs. If you don't want to cut off both legs, then you can use a single pole contactor and cut off one leg while the other is "cut off" with the SSR (quotes in this context because SSR's are never fully off).
 

oakbarn

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Ok, I am going to wire for a double pole contactor on each the 240 Heating Elements. I will likely use an AC SSR and use 24vac Coil contractors and a 110v/24vac transformer due to cost of the dc coil contractors. I will also add an indicator light on the load side of the contactor so I know it is closed.
 

cyberbackpacker

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@BrunDog so with the use of the double pole contactors, are you suggesting to use the SSR to switch the coil? If so, can the coil handle the high switching frequency it would see through an SSR for a pwm heating element?
 

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I am looking at a DC motor controller that I would like to control within BruControl to control the speed of my DC brew pump. However it only accepts a 0-10v input signal... is there some workaround where I can use the 0-5v output from my mega to make this work?
 
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@BrunDog so with the use of the double pole contactors, are you suggesting to use the SSR to switch the coil? If so, can the coil handle the high switching frequency it would see through an SSR for a pwm heating element?
Not sure what you are asking... The contactor should just serve as an interlock to make sure the voltage doesn't reach the heating element. This would practically only be a concern if you had the disconnection type heating element and you want to make sure the receptacle is dead. If it's hard-wired, I don't see the purpose personally. You should not use a contactor to switch heat power on and off - that's why we use SSRs. Yes, you could use a contactor to switch a big HLT on and off so long as the switching frequency isn't more than maybe 1x/minute, but SSR's are cheap and easy.

If you are looking to switch the contactor via BruControl, then you will need an intermediate relay/driver to power the coil as the interface will not be able to handle the power requirement. If the contactor coil is DC, then a MOSFET board could do it. I mentioned the UniShield above - which has on-board drives to handle it. If the contactor coil is AC then a small SSR could do it. In any event,
 
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I am looking at a DC motor controller that I would like to control within BruControl to control the speed of my DC brew pump. However it only accepts a 0-10v input signal... is there some workaround where I can use the 0-5v output from my mega to make this work?
The MEGA does not put out analog voltage. You need a PWM -> Analog converter. We make a 4-channel Analog Amplifier... alternatively you can find single channel units online for less $$.
 

oakbarn

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@BrunDog so with the use of the double pole contactors, are you suggesting to use the SSR to switch the coil? If so, can the coil handle the high switching frequency it would see through an SSR for a pwm heating element?
I plan to put the contractor BEFORE the SSR. When I command the PID of my Big Mac (63 gal HLT). The contractor is on and Red Leg is always hot when it is on. The Crydom 10OCV2450 (Black Leg) is under PID Control.

The Only reason I am doing this is to keep little fingers out of trouble. I have the manual Safety switch as an Manual Emergency Stop. Unless I am Brewing, The manual Safety Switch will be off. And the Contractor will only allow power when the Element is called for in the Script, otherwise, the Power if Off.

Rule #3
Brewing is a wet Process!

Big Mac Plan #2.png
 
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cyberbackpacker

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The MEGA does not put out analog voltage. You need a PWM -> Analog converter. We make a 4-channel Analog Amplifier... alternatively you can find single channel units online for less $$.
Thanks for this... I just googled looking for one of these and then it triggered a memory. Away to my parts stash and lo and behold I actually have two single channel PWM -> 0-10V Analog converters from a previous project!

Looks like I am in business. Thank you!
 

southerncross39

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Hi @BrunDog, Overall I'm quite happy with the latest updates to brucontrol. I'm running the latest beta (v17). One issue I'm seeing with the v16 and v17 versions is a uncontrolled exception (see attached picture) that is killing brucontrol. It looks like it's related to the SQL usage. Let me know if there is a change that I can make to stop this uncontrolled exception from occuring.
 

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RiverCityBrewer

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Is there a graph on screen when it throws the fault? If so, delete and recreate it... that solved the issue for me.
 

Dustin_J

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Hello everyone. I'm having some trouble connecting a Unishield Mega Interface via a crossover cable directly to my computer. Basically, I don't know what instructions to follow from the manual, as they all seem to refer to assigning static IPs via a router, using DHCP, etc. It seems like I might need to connect the Unishield via USB then go back through interface/network setup, but it's a bit unclear. Any help/guidance would be appreciated.
 

RiverCityBrewer

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If directly connecting, you will not only need a static IP set on the MEGA, but a static IP on your computer as well (in the same subnet).

For example:
MEGA - 10.10.0.10/255.255.255.0
PC - 10.10.0.11/255.255.255.0
 

oakbarn

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Hello everyone. I'm having some trouble connecting a Unishield Mega Interface via a crossover cable directly to my computer. Basically, I don't know what instructions to follow from the manual, as they all seem to refer to assigning static IPs via a router, using DHCP, etc. It seems like I might need to connect the Unishield via USB then go back through interface/network setup, but it's a bit unclear. Any help/guidance would be appreciated.
Quick fix. Get a cheap router
 

oakbarn

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Is there a way to enumerate a list of all assigned ports on an Interface. I want to know the name of each Element, Port , Type and the Workspace where it resides. I have lost a counter element somewhere.

I have been renaming all my elements with a Camel Code so I know by the name of these attributes:

for example, my Blue Pump is named :
MB_33_do_BluePump_B1

which means
Interface: MB_ = Mega Brewery
Port: 33
Type: do = Digital Out
what?: Blue Pump
Workspace: B1 = Batch 1 Workspace.



Alternately, is there a way I can delete an element in a back door way so as to recreate it where I can find it?
 
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oakbarn

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on v17, I added a 12th workspace and could not get to it except by abbreviating the names of the workspaces. It may have nothing to do with being the 12th workspace if all the names are short, but would be nice to have a method to move to those workspaces. I rarely use several of my workspaces but have tons of globals that "record" items as I brew such as how long it takes to bring the Wort to boil.

I have 5 workspaces that I use for brew. The rest are "holders".



I have two workspaces that are Batch 1 and Batch 2 Recipes globals so I can import from Beer Smith. I do not need to see them for the most part, but would be nice to be able to get to them if I need to.
 

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My HLT was off 10deg last brewday and thus strike water was off. I calibrated the 3 wire pt100 a few months ago with slushy ice water and boiling per Pete's recommendation. What would cause such a large swing in a short period of time? It's on about 40' of shielded cable designed for RTDs, drain tied to panel only. I don't see any noise or spikes ever. Is there a break in period for these things? Are cheap PT100s the issue?
 

RiverCityBrewer

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More than likely you are probably going to end up gutting your panel anyway. You can reuse your heating elements and SSRs (probably), but the discreet PIDs you have will be gone, a lot of your manual switching will be gone (I like ON|OFF|AUTO switches), and depending on what temperature probes you have, you may end up replacing those as well. I think its an easier transition if you think about and plan for what you want your system to do vs what it does now.
 

RiverCityBrewer

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My HLT was off 10deg last brewday and thus strike water was off. I calibrated the 3 wire pt100 a few months ago with slushy ice water and boiling per Pete's recommendation. What would cause such a large swing in a short period of time? It's on about 40' of shielded cable designed for RTDs, drain tied to panel only. I don't see any noise or spikes ever. Is there a break in period for these things? Are cheap PT100s the issue?
How big is your HLT? Are you recirculating while heating?

Also, where is your temperature probe in comparison to where you took a manual reading?
 

aeviaanah

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How big is your HLT? Are you recirculating while heating?

Also, where is your temperature probe in comparison to where you took a manual reading?
HLT is 280gal working vol. I did recirculate while heating for strike but not at the time I realized the thermometer was off. It wasnt until I brought the HLT to a boil and realized it was reading 202 it was not recirculating at this time. I thought maybe my calibrations had been lost with an update or something but confirmed they were still there. I recalibrated to boil. The original calibration was performed in a small pot of boiling water and a small cup of slushy ice.
 

RiverCityBrewer

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HLT is 280gal working vol. I did recirculate while heating for strike but not at the time I realized the thermometer was off. It wasnt until I brought the HLT to a boil and realized it was reading 202 it was not recirculating at this time. I thought maybe my calibrations had been lost with an update or something but confirmed they were still there. I recalibrated to boil. The original calibration was performed in a small pot of boiling water and a small cup of slushy ice.
Do you think you could be getting some temperature stratification? Have you pulled the probe and measured it against a small pan of something boiling?

Also, where are you elevation wise? I live at about 900' and my boil temp is around 209.
 

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I recently acquired a Tilt. I was wondering your opinions and preferences for data logging? I use Brewfather for recipe formulation so I would like the data there eventually. I’m thinking of direct to Brucontrol with ESP32, TiltPi, or IOS app?
 

aeviaanah

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Do you think you could be getting some temperature stratification? Have you pulled the probe and measured it against a small pan of something boiling?

Also, where are you elevation wise? I live at about 900' and my boil temp is around 209.
Could be but I figured a rolling boil would mitigate most stratification. Maybe I'm wrong but 10 degrees seems like a huge swing at boil. I'm at 80'. 211.9 boil temp.
 

RiverCityBrewer

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The spec for a PT100 is usually 0 ohms at 0C and ~138.5 ohms at 100C. I can't see how additional lengths of wiring would introduce less resistance in the circuit (sans a short somewhere), so I don't think that would be the issue. If it were me, I would remove the RTD from the amplifier and measure the resistance across the PT100 in a small boiler, then again when you boil your HLT. If you are hitting your expected resistance in the small boiler, then the PT100 is not the issue. When in place in the HLT, if you don't hit the proper resistance when boiling, its either an issue with the tank geometry not allowing the boiling current near the probe and/or a stratification issue. Both of those scenarios could be corrected via the probe placement.

The amplifier could cause you headaches as well, but if you are noting no spikes or erratic behavior, I would focus on the PT100 right now.

A couple questions - is this a gas or electric heated vessel? How far from the bottom is the temperature probe mounted?
 

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I read through the CBPI to Brucontrol document. I have a screw terminal hat on my RPI, it's pretty basic setup, just some SSRs, mech relays and 1wire.

From what I gather the only thing that would need to change from my current setup to Brucontrol is an Arduino-Mega, shifting the GPIO outputs over to the Arduino, and the instead of remotely doing stuff I'd just have to plug my laptop into it? Obviously I need to purchase a license as well.

If my assumption is correct, could I skip the requirement of the laptop at the brewing area with this Arduino ? Or I suppose if I didn't care to do this I could remote desktop into the laptop?

From what I gather the Arduino has some analog inputs as well, so if I went this way, if I decide to do stuff like pressure sensing/flow sensing I wouldn't have to invest in ADC boards like I would the raspi?

Also does Brucontrol have any type of control over 2 sensors with 1 element simultaneously? I think it's been called cascade PID. Essentially if I want to ramp my mash up, is there anyway to set my rims tube (with sensor) up to go full power or preferable a certain amount of power, and base when it turns off on the mash tun sensor gets to setpoint, then switch over to the RIMS tube for temp control?
 
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