DIY BrewPub for cheap (arduino) Vs. BrewPi Spark

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RussPDX

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Hi All,

I am about to start a build on a new ferm chamber. My current one uses a basic stc 1000 control which I built. I set the ambient but really have no way to monitor beer temp except the sticky thermometer on the carboys, which is inconvenient to say the least. So to satisfy my inner beer geek, I want the full balanced temp with blogging and viewing from my phone in case I start missing my beer while I am at work.

So here is the question.....

FuzzeWuzze's cheap pi build uses arduino and BrewPi just realeased the new version on Spark. I am not an engineer and have no experience with these boards so I dont know what makes the spark better and if it is just worth buying it built. My main concern is future enhancements and will I be limiting what I can do later? (ie. The elusive specific gravity meter that has been discussed for 3 years).

I just dont want to be penny wise and pound foolish. Any thoughts are appreciated.

For extra credit, since i will need a ras pi for either option, can I use on ras pi for both the brew pi and a raspberry pints setup?

Thanks for any feedback.
 

sandyeggoxj

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I believe you can run both off the same pi. I have everything for rpints and I'm acquiring the stuff for brewpi too. I plan to use it to run my serving keezer and cold conditioning keezer as well as rpints. I was doing some research and it looks like a backpack touchscreen display that runs off the gpio of the pi can run at the same time at the HDMI port allowing a full time display of the brewpi plus rpints on the big screen. Still waiting to see if that is the case. But I hope it is because that would be fantastic!
 

Mikmonken

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Yes Brewpi and work alongside Raspberry pints, i don't have this set up but many people have day_Trippr on these forums being one of them.

In terms of brewpi, the Arduino seemingly has hit it's capacity the designed has indicated that there is no space to add any more functionality, so effectively you get an excellent ferm controller, it can be adapted for multiple chambers and I seem to remember Warber has done this. but really it's limitation is done.

The Spark does all this at the moment, but in future it will be able to control mash temps and the whole process of brewing (maybe gravity at some point?)

So if you want to control your mash temps and have eventually a fully automated system Spark would be worth gambling on.

if you're happy to just have something that controls your fermentation temps go for that. they both use the same temp probes, same SSRs (although if you follow Fuzzy's design you'll use a relay instead) etc, so really the price difference will come down to the price of an arduino some wire and a few resistors, and a display (if you want one) vs the price of the whole spark unit.

You'll get more life out of a spark if you think you'll ever use it for mashing, personally i'm happy with my arduino version as I mash upstairs and ferment in the cellar and don't want to have to power down and move brewpi between stages.
 

FuzzeWuzze

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Yes Brewpi and work alongside Raspberry pints, i don't have this set up but many people have day_Trippr on these forums being one of them.

In terms of brewpi, the Arduino seemingly has hit it's capacity the designed has indicated that there is no space to add any more functionality, so effectively you get an excellent ferm controller, it can be adapted for multiple chambers and I seem to remember Warber has done this. but really it's limitation is done.

The Spark does all this at the moment, but in future it will be able to control mash temps and the whole process of brewing (maybe gravity at some point?)

So if you want to control your mash temps and have eventually a fully automated system Spark would be worth gambling on.

if you're happy to just have something that controls your fermentation temps go for that. they both use the same temp probes, same SSRs (although if you follow Fuzzy's design you'll use a relay instead) etc, so really the price difference will come down to the price of an arduino some wire and a few resistors, and a display (if you want one) vs the price of the whole spark unit.

You'll get more life out of a spark if you think you'll ever use it for mashing, personally i'm happy with my arduino version as I mash upstairs and ferment in the cellar and don't want to have to power down and move brewpi between stages.
As he says..
Do you have plans to move to an electric and or automated propane setup where controlling a HERMS/RIMS setup is something you care about? Then Spark is for you. It will be basically a cheaper version of a BCS/BrewTroller setup.

If you just want fermentation control, their standard BrewPi is the way to go.

And yes you can use Rpints and BrewPi on the same RPI, even more so now with the RPI 2 and its additional horsepower.
 
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RussPDX

RussPDX

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I went for the Spark. No specific future plans, but decided I would rather pay a little more now for the flexibility later. Got the RasPi 2 and the spark. Easy to setup and connect. I just have to finish wiring the fridge.
 

doomy86

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I went for the Spark. No specific future plans, but decided I would rather pay a little more now for the flexibility later. Got the RasPi 2 and the spark. Easy to setup and connect. I just have to finish wiring the fridge.
I think you made the right decision. The Spark is the future. I hope multi chamber support will be added soon.

The old arduino works very well, but there is no development anymore.
 
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