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HOWTO - Make a BrewPi Fermentation Controller For Cheap

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FuzzeWuzze

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Up to Date Instructions can be found here
http://diybrewpi.wikia.com/wiki/DIYBrewPi_Wikia


So, i will start this post by saying Elco, _mdma, and Geo(i believe) are amazing at what they have created with BrewPi and continue to develop for free. Brewers are great in that they share nearly everything, and they are no different.

This post is in no means being created in an effort to hurt their sales at their BrewPi store(http://www.brewpi.com) and the PCB's they have created, if your willing to spend the extra $$ you can get most of the hard circuitry done for you. But all of this as you know comes with a price, and a prebuilt BrewPi from them can cost a good amount of money. I hope this post brings BrewPi more press, and can get more people using it because i do honestly think it is the most accurate method of fermentation control available to a homebrewer. It is also nice because all of this data is stored on your BrewPi system, so in 9 months you make your same Oktoberfest and your last one was amazing, you can just pull up your old graph and recreate your exact temperature profile.

This is a post for how to piece together a basic relay driven circuit using an Arduino and a RPi for max $100(If you use a old PC instead of an RPI to host the web server it can be done for the same cost as a STC-1000 Build($30ish)) in such a way that it will interface with the amazing BrewPi software running on a RaspPi(or PC w/ Debian) that gives you graphs like this



And to give you the precision of this because of its advanced dynamic PID algorithms, you can see over the 4 hours of this sample brew with the set point at 65F my temperature rarely moved .1F off of the set point. For those not familiar with PID, you can think of it as "self learning" software. A very simple explanation is that it learns and adjusts its internal variables to match your system, it learns that in your setup if your requested beer temp is set to 65f and right now its at 67F that it needs to get your beer to 65.3F and then turn off because your chamber's residual cold air will bring it down that extra .3F. This results in very accurate temperatures without huge overshooting or undershooting you may experience with other temperature controllers. It also results in less cycling of your cooling/heating elements and therefore more power savings and less wear and tear on your fridge/freezer. If you look at the picture below you can see this in action, the blue and red bars along the bottom of the graph represent when the fridge is cooling and heating respectively. You can see it only chills for a few minutes, and before the beer even really begins cooling it already turns off because it knows the ambient cold air will bring it down to where it needs to be as it slowly drifts back towards 65F and below where the heater kicks on.


Or this zoomed in snippet of the same brew during nearly 24 hours of constant temperature ramping, again almost rarely reaching .1F over its set point, in most cases its .05F-.07F. Ignore the front panel showing 65.05C, its because they are Euro :tank: and BrewPi defaults to C, but i have it swapped to Fahrenheit in the settings but there are a few GUI bugs like that still that dont swap properly...no biggie doesnt effect the operation.



And hopefully for only about $100, or less depending on which route you take which will be explained below. This assumes you have the basics, like a soldering iron and some way to strip wires.

So lets get a list of things that are needed

PARTS
Arduino Uno - $18

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E5WJSHK/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
  • Can get a Sainsmart Arduino Uno on amazon for $18, cheapest ive found it not buying a knockoff from China.

http://www.dx.com/p/uno-r3-atmega328p-uno-r3-development-board-deep-blue-285620#.U3Jy0fldU_o
  • If money is a main concern and every dollar matters and you dont mind waiting a long time, order from Dx.com for $13 with free shipping from China. Do realize this will take a minimum of 3-4 weeks to arrive in the US. So dont expect it for 30-45 days after you order. I still think the Sainsmart is a better option for only $5 you get it in a few days, but this is the next best thing.

Webserver Host (PICK ONE)
  • RaspPi - $60
    [**] This is where a majority of the above mentioned $100 cost is if you go the RaspPi route. You can get a complete Kit including a MicroSD card on Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008XVAVAW/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
    [**] Another option is to just buy the RPI for $40 and use a power cord and or MicroSD card you already have.
  • Any PC with USB
    [**] This is where you can save a ton of money, if you are like me and have any old spare PC’s laying around with old drives, you can install Debian Wheezy on it, Unix based OS's are great because they can run on the crappiest of PC's. Doing this route makes the software installs a bit more manual but its all very well documented line by line on the BrewPi Wiki. Instructions here http://docs.brewpi.com/manual-brewpi-install/manual-brewpi-install.html
    EDIT - Its also come to my attention via this thread that the BrewPi Install script you would use on a RPI works fine on Debian installs, and likely some other Debian based Unix OS's. So try running the automated installer documented below first to see if it just works, if it doesnt reinstall Debian and do it manually.

SainSmart 2 Channel Relay Board - $10

4.7k Resistor x1
  • This is needed to wire between the Data and VCC pins on your arduino, this is a requirement of the DS18B20's to be used on the OneWire bus.

DS18B20 Sensors x2
  • There are a lot of options here so shop around to find the cheapest ones that fit your criteria, you can buy premade ones, something like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-Waterpr...688?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d17cc2d40
  • Just make sure if you get premade sensors that any sheathing is not greater than .305 inches or it wont fit in the listed thermowell.
  • Or you can buy just the sensors themselves and wire make cables yourself, you can get 4 wire cable by the foot at Lowes/HD for like 44c per foot. If you think 1 Meter of cable is long enough for your implementation then the above are good...if you need a long run you may want to make your own..or splice some longer cable onto the premade ones…I think you can get 10 DS18B20 sensors on Amazon for about 8 bucks. Hooking them up is straight forward just follow the schematic. Once i have a sensor up and running, i typically just put a thin layer of aquarium silicone on its contacts to keep them in place and from shorting together when i shove it down the thermowell, hot glue works as well just try to keep it off the top of the sensor where it takes its readings.
  • Things to think about when ordering premade wires is if their length is long enough to fit into your setup from where you will externally mount your brewpi, and if the sheathing is too wide to fit in a thermowell. Honestly pretty much every one you see with a metal tip covering it will be identical, because their all the same thing just mass produced in china and resold here at various prices, but do check these things.

Thermowell (OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED) - $12

  • http://www.brewershardware.com/Straight-Wall-Thermowells/
  • Brewers Hardware sells these that i use, the width is wide enough to fit the premade sensors down. You also need to figure out a way to get said thermowell in your fermenter. For me using a bucket, i simply drilled another hole in my lid, bought another cheap rubber stopper with a hole drilled in it to fit that hole and the thermowell fits very snuggly in a standard drilled stopper.
  • You can alternatively just insulate it properly on the side of the fermenter, but you need to be VERY good with your insulation...I would highly recommend a thermowell as measuring the temp inside is going to be the most accurate, and that's what we are going for with this project over a standard STC1000...external mounting will get you close, but when your talking +-.1F accuracy you will want it in the heart of your wort where the heat is, not externally measuring heat through the somewhat insulating plastic of your fermenter.

Power socket - $5?
  • Any 10-15A socket from HD/Lowes should work

Power cord - $??
  • The easiest thing to do is to harvest a PC power cord and cut off the power supply end and keep the socket plug in end. Many people have boat loads of these laying around, the nice thing is you can harvest the cut end for good 14-16 gauge wire to use for this project. If you must, buy the shortest and cheapest 16 gauge extension cord you can find. You may be able to find something to harvest at a store like GoodWill/Salvation army, they usually have piles of cables near their electronics for a few dollars each. In the case of PC power cords you can cut the power supply end off, then cut some 6-12 inch sections off as needed and pull the individual White/Green/Black cables out of the outer black sheathing. These make great connections for the Relay side going to the Wall socket, which should use 14-16 gauge wire to be safe. Use thinner wire if possible for the arduino connections, it will make it easier to solder onto the pads...or if you want you can always use header pins and just plug directly into the arduino from the top.

Assorted bag of Twist on Wire nut style connectors
  • These can be used to make the connections more quickly and easy, optionally instead of using these you could twist the wires in the diagram together and solder them, but this makes it harder to disassemble if you hook something up wrong.


SCHEMATIC

This is a very basic sketch i threw together with my amazing MS Paint skills. The circles are the wire nuts.


Here is an alternative Schematic that the awesome 100Amps here on HBT made up that he has given me permission to post here. Gives a good setup using the block connectors to hook everything together rather than twist caps. The only other real difference is a few extra ground connections to the outlet. Technically the relays are grounded through the Arduino to the RPI's ground which would be the same as the wall outlet, but if it makes you feel better its a good idea.



The wiring isn’t actually all that difficult and can be banged out in an hour or so once you have all of your wires cut and ready, i will note that you are playing with 120V mains voltage coming from your wall. Be extremely careful when handling this when plugged in, always ensure that there is no power being supplied from the Arduino and the 120V plug hooked up to the SSR is not plugged in when you are messing with the wiring.

I will note that the Sainsmart relay board comes with stupid male pins for the inputs instead of female to use easy jumper cables. Because of this I and many others just pull the header pins out and solder wires to the pads or through the connector.

Installation
  • Hook Up Arduino to RPi via USB
  • Once you have the Arduino wired up properly to the relay board and Sensors, hook it up via USB to the RPi.
  • Install Raspian Wheezy -
  • If you bought the Canakit listed above, simply plug it into a monitor via HDMI and usb keyboard in with the MicroSD card in it...when it boots it will ask you what OS to install, select Raspian and leave it...it takes a while to install.
  • If you didnt have the NoobSD card, install Raspbian Wheezy onto a MicroSD card following the Raspbian instructions.
  • If you are using a PC instead of an RPI, use the install Debian Wheezy on the hard drive(Dont use a Live DVD)

Install BrewPi

Update Arduino’s image ??
  • This may or may not be different now, i have not done a fresh install in quite a while. It seems like now when you run an Install that one of the steps is to program automatically flash your Arduino via the above Install script. You want the Uno RevC image.
  • If it does not pop up asking you this during the install then use the following instructions to upload the appropriate image to the Arduino, you want to save the brewpi-uno-revc.hex image to your local machine by right clicking on it and saving it to a file. You then go to your BrewPi interface at http://brewpi/ on your local network(or goto the IP address of your RPI) You will then use that file in these instructions http://docs.brewpi.com/after-install/program-arduino.html

Setup Devices
  • We are almost there! You should have have a brewpi web interface if you open up a web browser and go to http://brewpi
  • The final step is to tell it about your sensors, this is where you will find out if something is not wired properly in your Arduino circuit.
  • First check the top right, it should say that the Script is running. If it is not, try clicking the button the start the script and wait 30 seconds to see if it starts. If it still wont work, this means the script on your Arduino is not properly running and you may need to try reflashing it with the image, you cant set the settings below until it shows the Script is running.
  • Step one you should have a page that looks something like this, you may have a demo graph in this case my BrewPi was set to the Off mode.

  • Under the Maintenence Panel, select Device Configuration
  • Check Read Values, and press the Refresh Select Device button

  • When you do so a big list of devices will show up under Detected Devices, we will be doing the temp sensors first and they will be on Arduino Pin A4(OneWire). Scroll through the list and you should see TWO devices on Pin A4(OneWire) with a number in the value field, this is the temperature it is reading(probably in Celcius). If you do NOT see two sensors reporting back a temperature, check your circuitry.

  • When both are detected, assign each a device number, set each one to Chamber 1 and Beer 1, and hit apply.
  • Next you need to set one of the devices to Chamber Temp(sensor that just sits in your thermal chamber), and the other to Beer Temp(the one that is on the side of your fermenter or in a thermowell), we dont care about the Room temperature. Be sure to hit Apply for each device after you’ve set them up properly. Once you hit apply and refresh the devices will show up in the Installed area


  • Under DETECTED DEVICES you will see quite a few devices, find the one on Arduino Pin 5(Act2) and one on Arduino Pin 6(Act 1), these are your relay switches.
  • Set them to Chamber 1, and Chamber Device for their assigned values. You also need to set the Pin Type to inverted if you followed my wiring diagram and used the left and middle pins of the Relay output. Also make sure to hit apply for each device after you have set them up properly. After you do this for both of them and they show up as installed they should be listed as Switch Actuators.
  • Your now done, you should now have 4 devices in your installed section. Two temp sensors that read values and two switch actuators that will likely say inactive.
  • Your front panel LCD panel in the top left of the main BrewPi page should now be updating with your temperatures, you may want to go into the Maintenence Panel->Advanced settings and change from Celcius to Fahrenheit and click the Send to Arduino button and you should now be getting readings in Fahrenheit.
  • The final step is to determine which power outlet goes to what. The easiest way to do this is to set your BrewPi to a temperature thats colder than what they are currently reading. Select Beer Constant, enter in a temp and hit apply and in 10 seconds your LCD panel should update that it is waiting to cool and count down as well as show the set beer temp and a set fridge temp(that it calculated as part of the PID algorithm, this is the temp your BrewPi thinks it needs to get to in order to chill your beer to your set point). Once it starts cooling, one of your relays is going to trigger on(you will see one of the red LED's on the relay board turn on and hear the relay click on). This is your cooling plug, mark it somehow with tape or a sharpie or something so you dont forget which is your hot plug and which is your cold plug. If you need to swap them for whatever reason(like your fridge has a plug that bends down and would block the heat plug) just go back into the Device Config, swap your Cooling switch actuator to heat hit apply, and your heat to cool.
  • Use the same principle to determine which of your probes is your fridge and which is your beer probe, you can just hold one of them between your fingers for a few seconds and see which one goes up. I recommend marking these as well somehow with tape or something so you dont accidentally put your fridge probe in your beer and beer in your fridge and start a brew and it doesnt work.

After that, you should have a functioning BrewPi, take whatever steps you want to make it pretty by putting it in a box to protect the electronics. I recommend testing it and your electrical socket wiring with a fan or light of some sort and watch the BrewPi interface to see if it thinks it is heating or cooling or idle, and that it is indeed doing that by powering the appropriate outlet or none(idle).

The brewpi LCD interface in the top left by default updates every 10s, you can press the refresh graph button to update the graph, or just reload the page.

Lets keep the banter about doing everything on a RPi to a minimum, there are reasons that they have chosen to go this route, mostly due to the innate stability of the Arduino, and the general unstability of Raspbian and the RPi. If the RPi was to crash, the Arduino would still has everything it needs to maintain its temperature until you fix the problem. But a micro controller like the Arduino crashing is generally unheard of, although i guess in theory it could happen it should reset itself. And honestly the Arduino Uno at this point is so cheap it doesnt matter if you did it strictly on a RPI, your not really saving much money.

Lastly if you made it this far you can take a look at my BrewPi graph and play with it, i altered the page so that the settings are all gone so people cant mess with my ferm chamber, but you can still see the graph and play with it if you want. You can turn on and off the various graphs on the right, zoom in time or temperature, etc.
http://fuzzelogicbrewing.dyndns-server.com/FuzzeLogicBrewery.php

If you want to learn how to make this public page, and or a password protected public page so that you can view your BrewPi from anywhere check out this post
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...ntroller-cheap-466106/index9.html#post6038106

Feel free to post here if i left anything obvious out and i’ll do my best to help!

Tips & New Features
Finally I will attempt to keep this list up to date with cool things and tips people have posted throughout this big thread, if you have something i missed that you think should be here PM me!

External BrewPi Page
Calibrating Probe
Installing in VirtualBox
Setting up Wireless/WiFi
Good Heater to use
Email Alerts
3d Printable Case
Issues Flashing Arduino
External BrewPi Page Problem Fixes
Using RPI Camera Port to add Delayed pictures
More Using Camera to take pictures
Even more Camera stuff
Getting Live Video Stream
Installing LCD Screen Schematic
Running Multiple BrewPi Instances at once
More Running Multiple BrewPi Instances
Multiple BrewPi Web Software LCD's on one page


Install Idea's
This list contains many of the completed BrewPi install's so that people can get idea's for mounting/container type solutions that others have done.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index16.html#post6076256
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index34.html#post6127111
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index45.html#post6144442
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index48.html#post6148574
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index48.html#post6151442
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index49.html#post6152698
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index52.html#post6154995
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index65.html#post6186351
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index68.html#post6205309
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index71.html#post6210231
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index87.html#post6228152
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index87.html#post6228517
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...troller-cheap-466106/index98.html#post6243776
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index118.html#post6273011
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index141.html#post6318057
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index141.html#post6318538
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index147.html#post6329253
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index151.html#post6336054
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index156.html#post6343894
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index161.html#post6349658
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index166.html#post6357560
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ho...roller-cheap-466106/index164.html#post6355481
 
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day_trippr

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Quicky question: with BrewPi running the show does the RPi serve the web pages or does BrewPi utilize an external server?

Cheers!
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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Quicky question: with BrewPi running the show does the RPi serve the web pages or does BrewPi utilize an external server?

Cheers!
The RPI hosts the webpages only basically and communicates over the USB(and powers) to the Arduino to get the data. It archives all of the data locally on the RPI too, so you can go back and look at previous fermentation's if needed. I think at some point they want to use a MySQL database, but its not there at the moment.

This is why you can get away with just a Debian Wheezy install on a PC, although its quite a bit more work to manually install the packages that Raspbian comes with by default...but if you have an extra PC its the way to go as it can save you a ton of $$ on having to buy a RPi.
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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Looking forward to hopefully converting quite a few of you to using a BrewPi, its hard to explain how awesome it is in words until you've used one over a STC1000
 

alphaomega

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Looking forward to hopefully converting quite a few of you to using a BrewPi, its hard to explain how awesome it is in words until you've used one over a STC1000
I'm not looking to start an argument here, I just want to share my opinion.
While I do think the BrewPi project is awesome, and has come a long way, the main thing is the beer. And controlling fermentation temperature is one of the key elements to brew good beer. Yes, the BrewPi uses a pretty clever autotuned PID algorithm to keep temperature very close to setpoint, and the STC uses simple thermostat control that allows some swing.
I think going from no temperature control to temperature control is a big step up. From temperature control to just a little bit better temperature control is probably not going to affect the final taste of the beer much.
Still, BrewPi is awesome. If you have the money (or happen to have the hardware), why not? It is open source as well. Simply great!
But both have their place.
I didn't interpret your comment as knocking the STC-1000 as much as expressing how impressive BrewPi is, but someone else might. Personally, I think BOTH are awesome, but for different reasons :)
 

ss4ivan

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I was just looking at the Brewpi website and almost pulled the trigger. Im glad I found this thread, $100 vs. $300 is a big steal. Cant wait to order parts from amazon and get started on this project :)
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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I'm not looking to start an argument here, I just want to share my opinion.
While I do think the BrewPi project is awesome, and has come a long way, the main thing is the beer. And controlling fermentation temperature is one of the key elements to brew good beer. Yes, the BrewPi uses a pretty clever autotuned PID algorithm to keep temperature very close to setpoint, and the STC uses simple thermostat control that allows some swing.
I think going from no temperature control to temperature control is a big step up. From temperature control to just a little bit better temperature control is probably not going to affect the final taste of the beer much.
Still, BrewPi is awesome. If you have the money (or happen to have the hardware), why not? It is open source as well. Simply great!
But both have their place.
I didn't interpret your comment as knocking the STC-1000 as much as expressing how impressive BrewPi is, but someone else might. Personally, I think BOTH are awesome, but for different reasons :)
Yea i wasnt meant to be, I own two STC1000's. I went from a STC-1000 to my own DIY hack(in my sig) using online data services like Xively/COSM, then it kind of naturally just turned into why am i recreating this when it already exists and figured out how to get a BrewPi for cheap ;) Yes ferm control is better than no ferm control, but having wild swings like i was with my STC-1000 is just as unhealthy for the yeast constantly going up and down a degree every few hours while trying to hold a set point...

I was pleasantly surprised when i went to the IRC channel and bugged Elco and mdma about my setup, even though i havent spent a dime with them on hardware they spent hours with me debugging my setup because i dont think anyone had previously attempted to cobble together a BrewPi from parts instead of using their prebuilt PCB's.
 

hyperboarder

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Do you have a link to the Arduino Uno? I'm admittedly quite green on this but I'm feeling like perhaps giving this one a shot.
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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Do you have a link to the Arduino Uno? I'm admittedly quite green on this but I'm feeling like perhaps giving this one a shot.
I updated the main topic, it seems its jumped up a few dollars in the last few days on Amazon...or i was just dreaming it was ever $13..regardless there it is :)
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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FuzzeWuzze.....What di you consider a "wild swing" in your ferm temps?
Greater than +-1f, maybe it's just me being anal but realistically for most yeasts that's 20% or more of their range. Which to me is to much. As many know fermenting your beer at different temperatures even within the recommended range can produce drastically different beer. But I also wanted another diy project :)

I do believe that BrewPi is the most accurate method of fermentation control for people at the homebrew level, if thats worth $100-150 or so is really up to each person :)
 

wapitiscat

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I've been using an STC-1000 for heating my fermenters. As we move out of the sweet spot here in the SE, I was thinking of cobbling together a cooling component to fermentation temp control. Right now I was going to cobble together a water "jacket" type system with a complimentary heating pad. I've seen the brewpi style setups with freezers, etc. Would it work with a water jacket type application as well?

Todd
 

sdgenxr

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I've been watching BrewPi for sometime now and really like the interface they have created. My big question that has been bugging me is why use an Arduino when the RaspberryPi can interface with temperature sensors and relays directly?
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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I've been watching BrewPi for sometime now and really like the interface they have created. My big question that has been bugging me is why use an Arduino when the RaspberryPi can interface with temperature sensors and relays directly?
As i mention at the bottom of the post it has more to do with stability. In terms of stability, the weak point is the RPI. Where as things like a STC1000 or a Arduino are Microcontrollers and once they get going they really never stop, or if they do they can gracefully reset themselves. Where as Linux running on a RPI can crash, and if it does and is running your chamber your now SOL with no temperature control happening. As of now if the RPI dies, your out your web interface and thats it..all the data is still being collected and your temperature profile is still set on the Arduino.

Yes in theory it can be done, maybe the RPI is more stable now than it was in the past and this isn't an issue..but the price of Uno's is also so cheap now and only getting cheaper its kind of a moot point spending an extra $15 dollars for an Arduino when your already spending 80+ on a RPI setup.
 

wapitiscat

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Fuzze got to this first. Anyway, From the Brewpi page ...

The Arduino runs the temperature control algorithm autonomously. If you don't care about data logging, it can control your beer without the Rasberry Pi. This makes this combo very stable: if the Raspberry Pi crashes, the Arduino will still keep your beer temperature perfectly under control. And being a simple embedded device, the Arduino just does not crash. If you want to run BrewPi on something else than a Raspberry Pi, you can! Any platform that has USB and can run a web server and Python will be able to run BrewPi.​

I had the same question and stumbled across this a while back. I'm just getting into the the temp control stuff so I'm sure there's more to the explanation.

Todd
 
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I've been using an STC-1000 for heating my fermenters. As we move out of the sweet spot here in the SE, I was thinking of cobbling together a cooling component to fermentation temp control. Right now I was going to cobble together a water "jacket" type system with a complimentary heating pad. I've seen the brewpi style setups with freezers, etc. Would it work with a water jacket type application as well?

Todd
It will work for anything, its just two sensors powering a heating and cooling circuit. What you plug in is really up to you. You could easily setup your sockets in such a way that both a pump and heating pad get turned on. It's really no different than a STC1000 in that respect, its just all the additional controls and data logging capabilities.
 

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Ah, stability of the microcontoller makes a lot of sense! I'll look into this a little more then.
 

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I have been on the edge of taking on one of these arduino/raspberrypi projects for quite a while now. I think I'll start with yours. The one concern I have is the ability to run more than one freezer. Do I need a separate arduino for each freezer? Can the Brewpi software handle more than one fermenter?

Thanks!
 
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Fuzze got to this first. Anyway, From the Brewpi page ...

The Arduino runs the temperature control algorithm autonomously. If you don't care about data logging, it can control your beer without the Rasberry Pi. This makes this combo very stable: if the Raspberry Pi crashes, the Arduino will still keep your beer temperature perfectly under control. And being a simple embedded device, the Arduino just does not crash. If you want to run BrewPi on something else than a Raspberry Pi, you can! Any platform that has USB and can run a web server and Python will be able to run BrewPi.​

I had the same question and stumbled across this a while back. I'm just getting into the the temp control stuff so I'm sure there's more to the explanation.

Todd
This is actually what i did, I ran the webserver on my old Core2Duo system with some old 100 gig hard drive i had laying around. Worked great for months but eventually the system just started acting up too much, it probably didnt help i spilled some beer on it ;)
 
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I have been on the edge of taking on one of these arduino/raspberrypi projects for quite a while now. I think I'll start with yours. The one concern I have is the ability to run more than one freezer. Do I need a separate arduino for each freezer? Can the Brewpi software handle more than one fermenter?

Thanks!
I was pretty sure it could, turns out they already have a document how to do it(Yes you need a seperate Arduino). Its nice in that respect i guess in that once you have the webserver infrastructure in place, your really only out $20ish for a new arduino and new sensors for each additional chamber.
http://docs.brewpi.com/advanced-setups/multiple-arduinos-single-rpi.html
 

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It's really no different than a STC1000 in that respect, its just all the additional controls and data logging capabilities.
That's what I'm after. I want to take advantage of the PID approach through Brewpi to reduce the over/under shoots. I've got the Amaazon cart all filled up and ready to order.

I'm going to start out using an old IBM Thinkpad instead of going the RPI route. I already have Ubuntu 10.04 installed. Will that work or should I put the Debian distro on it?

Todd
 
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That's what I'm after. I want to take advantage of the PID approach through Brewpi to reduce the over/under shoots. I've got the Amaazon cart all filled up and ready to order.

I'm going to start out using an old IBM Thinkpad instead of going the RPI route. I already have Ubuntu 10.04 installed. Will that work or should I put the Debian distro on it?

Todd
I'd go with Debian Wheezy, unless your very proficient with Unix and think you can read their manual instructions and convert any changes required to Ubuntu yourself..its really just installing Apache, python and some other packages and setting them up.

But even then i cant guarantee it will work, im far from a Linux aficionado.
 

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I was pretty sure it could, turns out they already have a document how to do it(Yes you need a seperate Arduino). Its nice in that respect i guess in that once you have the webserver infrastructure in place, your really only out $20ish for a new arduino and new sensors for each additional chamber.
http://docs.brewpi.com/advanced-setups/multiple-arduinos-single-rpi.html
Okay, I'm in. I'm going to try it with a PC for now. The page you sent the link to should be applicable still. I'm off to make some purchases.
 
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Good to hear, i'll do my best to help you guys get yours put together if there's issues.

If you've built a STC-1000 before its really not that much more complicated of a circuit, the software and arduino flashing are what can be a pain to deal with sometimes, but their documentation is very good and readable to solve almost any problem..just dont gloss over it, follow their instructions line by line and it will work.

It used to be much more of a PITA doing it manually, but with their new install script its actually quite easy. The thing im not sure on is if the automated install script works on a base Debian Wheezy or if it assumes there are some other packages in place from Raspbian...i'll have to check with them and report back on that.
 
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Interesting picture I saw today and thought i'd share


I believe what we are seeing starting at March 20th is the end of fermentation. You can see where it goes from a ton of small tweaks over the 19th to keep it steady, then drastically around 2am on the 20th it dropped drastically more than the others as BrewPi wasnt prepared for it to drop so significantly, im guessing because all the fermentation was done and it stopped producing heat...now its in a much longer wavelength cycle that's shortening as the PID gets things back under control since there isnt an external source(the yeast) doing their thing. Just an assumption, the beer's been in there 7 days(started cold) so it would make sense and is cool to see. The cycles went from every 50 minutes to every 3 hours...
 

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Can someone confirm the net savings here compared to a regular brewpi setup?

From what I can make out, this setup doesn't use the shield and uses a 2 channel relay instead of 2 SSRs. There's no with the relays, both the 2 channel board and 2 SSRs cost $10.

That leaves the shield, which costs $45. But there must be a reason for having the shield?

How do you stop the wires falling out or being unreliable in the arduino?
 
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Can someone confirm the net savings here compared to a regular brewpi setup?

From what I can make out, this setup doesn't use the shield and uses a 2 channel relay instead of 2 SSRs. There's no with the relays, both the 2 channel board and 2 SSRs cost $10.

That leaves the shield, which costs $45. But there must be a reason for having the shield?

How do you stop the wires falling out or being unreliable in the arduino?
Its 59 USD, 45 Euro, after the cheapest shipping its $65. And it doesnt include the LCD/SSR/Temp probes/Arduino/RPI

So i'd say thats where the real savings is, 60 bucks to buy their shield or much lower to just wire it all together with some wing nuts. I dont care about the LCD screen or any other the rotary gizmos you get with the Shield which is why i didnt get one...i dont need to set the temperature manually, that's what the web interface is for and is much more powerful anyways :)

You solder them to the underside of the Arduino, or atleast i did. You only need heavier gauge wire for the Relay side, the communication on the arduino can be soldered together with some 18-20 gauge wire and is easy to solder onto the bottom pads. I even managed to do it at first with the 14 gauge wire, it was fine due to spacing until i had to wire pin 5 and 6 and i personally just dont have the dexterity to solder that close without creating a bridge between the two pins. :)



The Arduino can take a lot of punishment, ive been soldering and unsoldering wires off the bottom of this thing forever as you can see.

Even if you buy their shield your using your soldering iron to wire it all together they have no complete package with socket/SSR/etc, again probably because their from NL and its easier to just provide the components that arent region specific and let the user build the rest with their appropriate Wall sockets and SSR's for 120/240V.
 

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The shield I was looking at costs 32.50 euro, or about $44.50.

I just noticed that's not-soldered - but you already going to solder anway. Maybe it's just me, but $45 doesn't seem that much to have a professional reliable solution, than risk botching the job up with a bad solder to the arduino. I found a good soldering guide on the brewpi site that seems to mean there's less chance of botching the shield soldering.

I think it'd rather skip the rpi and save $70 from not using that rather than cutting out the shield. But each to their own.

And good write up, makes it clear what's needed and how it works! :rockin::rockin:
 
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The shield I was looking at costs 32.50 euro, or about $44.50.

I just noticed that's not-soldered - but you already going to solder anway. Maybe it's just me, but $45 doesn't seem that much to have a professional reliable solution, than risk botching the job up with a bad solder to the arduino. I found a good soldering guide on the brewpi site that seems to mean there's less chance of botching the shield soldering.

I think it'd rather skip the rpi and save $70 from not using that rather than cutting out the shield. But each to their own.

And good write up, makes it clear what's needed and how it works! :rockin::rockin:
Yea there are infinite number of ways to build one, this is just how i did it.
It depends on your comfort level and how much you want to spend, and what you have laying around. If you have a PC already you could in theory build this for nearly the same as a STC-1000, 18 bucks for an Arduino Uno and a few more dollars for sensors and then all the supplemental costs for extension cord wiring and sockets.

It's REALLY hard to botch a job on the arduino i will say, and if you do your only out $20 bucks not $45 if you screw it up on the Shield, although thats even less likely :)

Probably the most annoying thing is wiring the Arduino to the Relay board because it has stupid through hole headers on it, so getting those out was a bit of a pain but not horrible.
 
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That's what I'm after. I want to take advantage of the PID approach through Brewpi to reduce the over/under shoots. I've got the Amaazon cart all filled up and ready to order.

I'm going to start out using an old IBM Thinkpad instead of going the RPI route. I already have Ubuntu 10.04 installed. Will that work or should I put the Debian distro on it?

Todd
So according to the dev's the automatic install script should work on any Debian based OS including Wheezy, Ubuntu, or Raspbian...so maybe give the automated installer a try before you wipe it for Debian Wheezy, then you dont have to go through the whole manual install process which is a giant PITA and i wouldnt recommend unless you have too :) Its easy to mess up a line and not realize it.
 

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Right. I'll try the install on my Ubuntu OS.

My parts and pieces should be arriving this week so be prepared for some noob-ish questions regarding the solder hacking of the Arduino and relay boards.

I brewed two batches this weekend and have them in my crawlspace "sharing" a heating pad that's hooked to my STC-1000 rig (still a little chilly under the house). What do I need to be able to run two heating/cooling systems or zones? Another relay board? I seem to remember reading or dreaming that this is able to be implemented with the brewpi approach. I'll poke around some today as I'm pretty sure there are some examples I could look at.

Todd
 
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Right. I'll try the install on my Ubuntu OS.

My parts and pieces should be arriving this week so be prepared for some noob-ish questions regarding the solder hacking of the Arduino and relay boards.

I brewed two batches this weekend and have them in my crawlspace "sharing" a heating pad that's hooked to my STC-1000 rig (still a little chilly under the house). What do I need to be able to run two heating/cooling systems or zones? Another relay board? I seem to remember reading or dreaming that this is able to be implemented with the brewpi approach. I'll poke around some today as I'm pretty sure there are some examples I could look at.

Todd

Either another relay board if you already ordered the 2 channel, or Sainsmart sells 4 relay boards as well. You also need another Arduino to control it.
http://docs.brewpi.com/advanced-setups/multiple-arduinos-single-rpi.html
 
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So i made some quick modifications to BrewPi to safely host the graph to the outside world.

For those of you that want to play with the interface and zoom in with the graph etc and see what its like(minus the setting control panel, i dont need you guys setting my beer to 90F :) ) you can view my current beer at

http://fuzzelogicbrewing.dyndns-server.com/FuzzeLogicBrewery.php

You can play with the zooming on time, or temperature, and turn on and off the various graphs from the legend.

You can actually see at about Noon on the 24th is when the fermentation kicked in to high gear, the pi was just rattling along throwing heat at it every once in awhile to stay at 62f overnight, then the temperature took off and it took an hour for the brewpi to realize this and bring it back down but it still only made it just over .2F from the set point before it realized it. The fridge setting and fridge temp are interesting to look at to see how well the PID works. The fridge setting is what the PID thinks the fridge should be set too.
 

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I have a quick question about the parts for this specific to my project and I would appreciate a common sense check as I am new to the hardware side of all this. I will be moving to Germany in about four months so I want to only have to switch out the sockets for new fridges when I get there.

What I think I am looking for is a relay board that can link with an arduino that handles European voltages with a max rating in amps over what the fridge is going to use to turn on the compressor. Is that correct? Is there any other part of this that is obvious to you guys?

Thanks for starting this thread. It was the one thread that got me started researching this in the first place!
 
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The relays listed show that they can switch 10A at 250V which means it will work for the 220V over there in Euro, as i understand it...someone else can chime in though. 10A is more than enough for any fridge/freezer, its what the STC1000 uses and no one complains.

The reason there are different STC models are only for the input power. But because a Arduino runs off the RPI's USB power we dont care about that, and the RPI just needs a 5V power supply that sources 1.2A. So as long as the power supply you have for it(most should) list it at 110V~220V you should be ok and will just need an adapter to turn it from the US plug into whatever Germany uses.

So in the end, you should be able to do this build exactly, except wire up Euro sockets instead, and then a few dollars on an adapter from US->Germany socket to plug the RPi into, but im sure you'll have plenty of those anyways for your other appliances if your moving there ;)
 

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I think this has been addressed in part, but I'll shoot anyway because I am really interested in this. My brewery is about 20 minutes away from where I actually live and I would love to be able to deploy some technology to maintain fermentation temps, rather than having my old man (Igor) check and adjust my STC-1000s.

My current setup is an old school Delfield commercial cooler (think elementary school kitchen) set at a constant 38 degrees. I can fit three 1/2 bbl sanke fermenters in it. To regulate temperature, I use reptile tape around the fermenter insulated by a reflectix insulation jacket that I velcro around the sanke and the tape. With this setup and three STC-1000s, I can maintain a temperature within about .2 degrees C anywhere from 38 degrees to 72 degrees F.

I've held off on the BrewPi because it seems to focus on controlling the refrigerator temp, which in my case, won't work because I will use my setup to lager ferment, ale ferment, or crashing/lager at any one time.

How difficult would it be to setup a homebrewed option for my case?

Needless to say, Fuzze, this is awesome work. I'll jump at any chance to build a Linux LAMP server to make better beer!
 

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I installed BrewPi on my Ubuntu 12.04 desktop using the manual install instructions. The automatic install threw an error so I went right to manual mode. I say I installed it but I'm not sure since I haven't been able to get the web interface up. Do you have to have an Arduino attached for this to work? I would suggest using the Debian Wheezy if the automatic install works with that as there was quite a bit of back and forth with the manual install on Ubuntu 12.04. Nothing major but sort of a pain. If anyone else does this and runs into problems, send me a message or start a thread and I'll try to help.

I've got my Arduino and relay board (still waiting on temp sensors) so I guess I'll get started with that part. Fuzze, is there any way you could flesh out the part of the process about pulling male pins off, etc?

Todd
 
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I think this has been addressed in part, but I'll shoot anyway because I am really interested in this. My brewery is about 20 minutes away from where I actually live and I would love to be able to deploy some technology to maintain fermentation temps, rather than having my old man (Igor) check and adjust my STC-1000s.

My current setup is an old school Delfield commercial cooler (think elementary school kitchen) set at a constant 38 degrees. I can fit three 1/2 bbl sanke fermenters in it. To regulate temperature, I use reptile tape around the fermenter insulated by a reflectix insulation jacket that I velcro around the sanke and the tape. With this setup and three STC-1000s, I can maintain a temperature within about .2 degrees C anywhere from 38 degrees to 72 degrees F.

I've held off on the BrewPi because it seems to focus on controlling the refrigerator temp, which in my case, won't work because I will use my setup to lager ferment, ale ferment, or crashing/lager at any one time.

How difficult would it be to setup a homebrewed option for my case?

Needless to say, Fuzze, this is awesome work. I'll jump at any chance to build a Linux LAMP server to make better beer!
Hmm you most definitely have a very awkward setup. Im trying to think if this will work or not for you. Prepare for a brain dump as i just crap things out as i think of them here...

I'm thinking it might be able to work if you can just put your beer and fridge sensors at the same location inside your reflectix wrap? Or even better one inside the beer and one inside the reflectix wrap. You just need to keep the sensor from measuring your ambient temp in the fridge because that's not changing.

You would still need one arduino and two sensors per fermenter in your case you'd have 6 total sensors because your basically running 3 separate fridges inside of your freezer.

Interesting...!
 
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I installed BrewPi on my Ubuntu 12.04 desktop using the manual install instructions. I say I installed it but I'm not sure since I haven't been able to get the web interface up. Do you have to have an Arduino attached for this to work? I would suggest using the Debian Wheezy as there was quite a bit of back and forth with the manual install on Ubuntu 12.04. Nothing major but sort of a pain. If anyone else does this and runs into problems, send me a message or start a thread and I'll try to help.

I've got my Arduino and relay board (still waiting on temp sensors) so I guess I'll get started with that part. Fuzze, is there any way you could flesh out the part of the process about pulling male pins off, etc?

Todd
I'd try Wheezy then yea...you shouldnt need the arduino for the web interface to show up no. So if its not showing up when you go to Http://brewpi then something isnt right. Without the arduino up and working it should still work, it will just not display the LCD screen properly and say that the Script isnt running on the front page.

And the process for pulling the pins is straight forward, find the VCC/In2/In1/GND header pins, apply a bunch of heat to the underside of the pins with your soldering iron across as many pins as you can and use some pliers or something to yank them out while the solder is still flowing. The first thing that will happen is the black shroud will come/break off, maybe leaving the pins still in place...just keep heating and pulling them out one at a time, it would help to have an extra set of hands so you can heat it up and then can pull it out, but its not that difficult to do by yourself.

I should note you dont HAVE to pull these pins, you could in theory just solder directly to those pins or do the underside of the board and leave them in place. In either case you just have to be careful you dont bridge any of the solder connections together. If you do just clean it up so they are no longer connected and you should be fine. Its once you power up the first time if you have any solder bridges that you could short things out.
 
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