HOWTO - Make a BrewPi Fermentation Controller For Cheap

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garzlok

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What is the perfect size for the enclosure?I have the tools to make a few out of wood.
You know...in the thousands of posts I read...I never remember seeing a Cigar Box Build (I dub thee the CBbBPi). An 8"x 8" Cigar Box could theoretically fit a 3 chamber build (it would be tight) and on the condition that you find one that's thicker than 1.25"...maybe 8x8x2.5 could fit a 2 chamber build comfortably...3 chambers uncomfortably....if you want to do just one...8x4x2.5 is where I would start.


(Apparently I cant post a pic through the app and I don’t know wtf I just did)
 
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Bigdaddyale

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You know...in the thousands of posts I read...I never remember seeing a Cigar Box Build (I dub thee the CBbBPi). An 8"x 8" Cigar Box could theoretically fit a 3 chamber build (it would be tight) and on the condition that you find one that's thicker than 1.25"...maybe 8x8x2.5 could fit a 2 chamber build comfortably...3 chambers uncomfortably....if you want to do just one...8x4x2.5 is where I would start.View attachment 617667
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garzlok

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I can see it ... no cigar box but a ruler and three pieces of paper.
Paper?!? (LOL) Those are "to scale" 2D representations of the 20x4 LCD Boards that I ordered and are either in China or en route from China.

This waiting is absolutely killing me...I've resorted to making 2D representations of all my components to figure out how I want to position everything and decide on a project box dimension.
 
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Efficiencies sir.
"to scale" 2D representations of the 20x4 LCD Boards that I ordered and are either in China or en route from China
That equals 114 characters.
That's 5. Efficiency improvement of almost 96%!! :D

Yeah, waiting for Chinese stuff does take a while. I've given up and just ordered from Amazon. A few $ more and it's here same-day. My impatience is expensive.
 

gromitdj

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You know...in the thousands of posts I read...I never remember seeing a Cigar Box Build (I dub thee the CBbBPi). An 8"x 8" Cigar Box could theoretically fit a 3 chamber build (it would be tight) and on the condition that you find one that's thicker than 1.25"...maybe 8x8x2.5 could fit a 2 chamber build comfortably...3 chambers uncomfortably....if you want to do just one...8x4x2.5 is where I would start.
One of my instances had a temporary cigar box enclosure. And by "temporary", I mean 2 or 3 years...

BrewPI_1.JPG
 

Bigdaddyale

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This is the "Cube" I'm working on 150mm x 130mm x 150mm. 10mm thick fiberboard with 4 coats of polyurethane. I need to find a bezel for the LCD I just used black electricians tape for the moment.
20190316_132901.jpg 20190316_132844.jpg 20190316_132916.jpg
 

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Looks great @Bigdaddyale! Needs a black lacquer finish ... :)

Here's a teaser of what I was working on this afternoon - let's see how long before someone notices the difference:
Code:
[email protected]:/home/brewpi/logs $ tail -f std*.txt
==> stderr.txt <==


==> stdout.txt <==

tail: stdout.txt: file truncated
2019-03-16 15:43:08   Opening serial port.
2019-03-16 15:43:08   Notification: Script started for beer 'My First Legacy BrewPi Run'
2019-03-16 15:43:23   Checking software version on controller.
2019-03-16 15:43:24   Found BrewPi v0.2.10 build unknown, running on an Arduino Uno with a revC shield on port socket://192.168.168.143:23
2019-03-16 15:43:25    {"BeerTemp":null,"BeerSet":null,"BeerAnn":null,"FridgeTemp":null,"FridgeSet":null,"FridgeAnn":null,"State":0}
:D
 

CadiBrewer

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So, um, not to ask the guy who is doing all of the work to do extra work, but...with your new slick installer, do you get the option of where to install the brewpi files so that there isn't a conflict with other Apache programs like RaspberryPints? That would be awesome.
 
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So, um, not to ask the guy who is doing all of the work to do extra work, but...with your new slick installer, do you get the option of where to install the brewpi files so that there isn't a conflict with other Apache programs like RaspberryPints? That would be awesome.
I have never messed with Raspberry Pints, but from the very little I've read it should coexist if you choose the multi-chamber option which installs the web UI files into a sub-directory. That is of course assuming RPints has an option to likewise behave well. If not then the symlink to the multi-index file in the root web could conflict but that could be deleted pretty easily.

Maybe one of these days I'll install it and see what happens.
 

CadiBrewer

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Before, RaspberryPints would install in the default Apache folder. Then you'd install each BrewPi instance into a subfolder of the default directory, say Chamber1, Chamber2, etc. You'd then access 'Pints in the default localhost location and the various BrewPi instances by adding a /Chamber1, etc. It worked very well.

Seems like with what you've explained, if you could install the symlink file in a subfolder and the chambers in sub subfolders, it would accomplish the same thing.
 

day_trippr

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Well, shoot, only one or the other needs to leave its home for everyone to co-exist.
For me it was logical that with four appliances being controlled by one program thus already having to use unique paths for each it made sense to leave the non-offender R'Pints in place...

Cheers!
 

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A fan is a good idea in general I’ve found, but if you are hitting a wall, I don’t think that’s it. Can you describe the physical layout? Fridge type? Size?
Sorry for the delay very hectic weekend!

I've attached a pic of my chamber, the dimensions are width 53cm, Depth 45cm, and height 122cm. The sensor for the fridge is mounted in the light fitting on the right side, and you can see the cable to the beer sensor going onto a thermawell.

The ambient temperature of the chamber at the moment is between 6c (43f) and 10c (50f) depending on the time of day as it sits in my poorly insulated garage.

Ive checked brewpi and the max temperature is set to 30c (86c) but as mentioned it's not getting anywhere near that and levels off at around 20c (68f) whilst still calling for heat

I will aim to build a better shelf for the fermenter with more airflow, but think there must be an issue with the heater.

Thanks again for the replies


A fan is a good idea in general I’ve found, but if you are hitting a wall, I don’t think that’s it. Can you describe the physical layout? Fridge type? Size?
 

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Well, shoot, only one or the other needs to leave its home for everyone to co-exist.
For me it was logical that with four appliances being controlled by one program thus already having to use unique paths for each it made sense to leave the non-offender R'Pints in place...
I don't disagree. I also don't think it's the responsibility of a software developer to make sure every possible contingency is planned for.

The symlink in the web root for BrewPi is a "nice to have" and allows use of the Multi-Chamber console. If used, it needs to run in the context of the root of the web directories so that it can scan the sub-directories and see the chambers. I wanted to be able to determine at runtime if there were chambers and how many there were. Git also has a firm requirement that a repository may not exist in a repository, so I could not have a "root" application and then the sub-chambers. The symlink is named "index.php" but that's for convenience and it could be named anything.

That git requirement would probably also conflict with RPints if it also uses git for installation/version management. That's why I suggest that for proper functionality, RPints should be able to run in a directory off the root.

All that's said not having ever done more than glance at the "new" installation script. If I get bored, I might have a look. :)

I've attached a pic of my chamber, the dimensions are width 53cm, Depth 45cm, and height 122cm. The sensor for the fridge is mounted in the light fitting on the right side, and you can see the cable to the beer sensor going onto a thermawell.
I think 60w may be on the light side, BUT I also see airflow as an issue. I'd seek a way to allow ventilation through/around that glass shelf. I'd recommend a fan in all cases. Once you get that figured out, see if it gets any better. Even if that doesn't fix it, it will help.

I'm betting there's a high-level cut-off on the tube heater and the fact that the sensor exists in basically a different area, it never warms the chamber up enough.
 

Thorrak

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I mean... alternatively you could switch RPints to run on nginx, have it live in its own user directory, and make the user choose what port to use. Just sayin’. ;)
 
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I mean... alternatively you could switch RPints to run on nginx, have it live in its own user directory, and make the user choose what port to use. Just sayin’. ;)
Either way "someone" has to do "something" and it's a matter of finding the path of least resistance for the most people.

Hell, you could use Apache for both with a reverse proxy to the "other" application for that matter. That way you're not throwing the baby out with the bathwater and using a different untested (with this app) web engine. I've been studying up on nginx vs. Apache and the best I've come up with that applies to our application here is "[email protected]$$, it's a Raspberry Pi not a web cluster!" Greatly paraphrased of course.
 

Mightydob

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I think 60w may be on the light side, BUT I also see airflow as an issue. I'd seek a way to allow ventilation through/around that glass shelf. I'd recommend a fan in all cases. Once you get that figured out, see if it gets any better. Even if that doesn't fix it, it will help.
Okey dokey will definitely work on the airflow first, before i think about a replacement / additional heating
 
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Hey guys I also wanted to share this independently; it's previously been buried in my "Off With Her Head" post. Anyone messing with BrewPi inherently messes with RPi quite a bit. I have created a small app which allows you to set up a newly-flashed SD card for wireless and ssh operation. No keyboard, mouse and monitor needed. I use this even when I do have all that because it's easier than typing it.

HeadlessPi.png


You can see the git here, or go straight to the releases and download the read-to-run compiled app. It should run without an installation, just unzip somewhere handy.
 

bloombrews

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BREWPI,HAPPYBIRTHDAY to FuzzeWuzze'sPi !

It's been 5 years already and 7,712 posts now! Yahoo!
What will we see here, in 5 more years? Thorrak's Mead with oranges, that's hiding in the closet? or maybe day_trippr's MoonPi ??
Lee'sPi that does support for 15 vacuum sweeper's at a time???

Thanks for all of you contributers', on this forum, that have made a LOT of us better brewers!
 

bloombrews

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Paper?!? (LOL) Those are "to scale" 2D representations of the 20x4 LCD Boards that I ordered and are either in China or en route from China.

This waiting is absolutely killing me...I've resorted to making 2D representations of all my components to figure out how I want to position everything and decide on a project box dimension.
Is there a Thread here on HBT, to showcase everyone's enclosures ?
I just wire everything up on my bench, the put the mess into a shoe-box, shake it up, and it looks great!
Ok, enough with the funnies..... this is a serious HBT Thread, and I am off topic - < less, one virtual beer for me...
 

Thorrak

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Is there a Thread here on HBT, to showcase everyone's enclosures ?
I just wire everything up on my bench, the put the mess into a shoe-box, shake it up, and it looks great!
Ok, enough with the funnies..... this is a serious HBT Thread, and I am off topic - < less, one virtual beer for me...
Make one!
 

bloombrews

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I've attached a pic of my chamber, the dimensions are width 53cm, Depth 45cm, and height 122cm. The sensor for the fridge is mounted in the light fitting on the right side, and you can see the cable to the beer sensor going onto a thermawell.
Why don't you try to just move the Chamber sensor DOWN, at the level of the beer, or even lower? (not the Beer thermowell sensor)
That's why hot-water-heaters first heat the upper water, then switch to the lower heating element to finish the set point off. Maybe all your heat is stacking at the top, with no air circulation. The Chamber sensor sees it's really much hotter then your set point, then there still is a cool pocket of air around your beer cargo?
 

verboten

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So, if you ever want to make someone that is relatively intelligent feel confused, have them try to set up a brewpi fermentation controller. Especially if they have never used or seen a raspberry pi in person, and have no idea what half of this stuff means. I am so lost right now. :/
 
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Is there a Thread here on HBT, to showcase everyone's enclosures ?
I just wire everything up on my bench, the put the mess into a shoe-box, shake it up, and it looks great!
There are some links on the original FuzzeWuzze post. This is one that Donnie designed and I printed up a while back:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3416312

It holds the Arduino, LCD, switches, knob, LCD's, power outlets for heat/cool, RJ-11 outlet for sensors, power switch, power supply ... I think that's it. The only thing that's not in the box is the RPi and the fridge. :)

So, if you ever want to make someone that is relatively intelligent feel confused, have them try to set up a brewpi fermentation controller. Especially if they have never used or seen a raspberry pi in person, and have no idea what half of this stuff means. I am so lost right now. :/
Verboten, you are right this is like drinking from a fire-hose. There have been a lot of "all-inclusive" posts, stories, wikis, etc. None of them are completely current right now. I have about 75% of one done that is BrewPi specific that takes you from Amazon to Amazing (yes I just made that up.)

If you are truly starting at "0", buy yourself a Raspberry Pi. This link gets you a great deal on all the little things you will need with it for $79.99:
  • Raspberry Pi 3B + (quad core, newest, etc)
  • 32 Gb SD card
  • Micro SD card reader
  • Power Supply with switch
  • Heat Sinks
  • Case
  • HDMI Cable
Get it, plug it in, play with it. For a couple days don't even worry about the BrewPi portion of it. After you are semi-comfortable logging in, applying updates, navigating around, etc., we should have something for you to follow beginning to end.

If you need to save some dollars, you can go with a Pi Zero W (single core processor, smaller, etc.). I would recommend this kit which is similar to the above. You'd need to add a micro SD card reader (which is what you use to read/write the card on your PC) I think, I don't see any kits which have one included.
 

Bigdaddyale

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The gotchas for me during my initial install of BrewPi
1: loading the drivers and editing the BPI software for the ch340 chip
2: DS18B20 temp sensor not being detected
3: Setting up Wifi.
I'm sure there were a few more things but these were the top 3 for me.
 
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Thanks for the words of encouragement. I actually found your remix, and "trusted" your link....I got the 3 B+ set up this morning, and i'm now working on the brewpi side.....edit ..I have SOMETHING at least!
Hey that's fantastic! Looks like you just need to configure some probes. Starting with FuzzeWuzze's first post should get you going.
 

bloombrews

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Hey that's fantastic! Looks like you just need to configure some probes. Starting with FuzzeWuzze's first post should get you going.
Elco ( The "Inventor" of BrewPi), had great documents for the BrewPi Configuring your Devices. I still have the hard copy from 1-16-2015, and tried to reload the page now for verboten, but the page was taken down....

http://docs.brewpi.com/after-install/device-configuration.html
I did try to search this thread for "device configuration" and found a lot of references after you configured them! Maybe someone can find the Documentation on this, either from Elco or somewhere on these 7,720 posts!

Hay, if a Plumber can do this, even a smart verboten can!
 
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