HOWTO - Make a BrewPi Fermentation Controller For Cheap

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Status
Not open for further replies.

Veedo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
448
Reaction score
23
Location
U.P.
second question of the day, does anyone have a recommendation on some panel mounts + connectors for the temp probes? thinking something along the lines of a XLR panel mount and connectors. starting to work on an enclosure, and would like to keep everything clean. btw, a an old UPS box is my candidate and should work pretty good.
 

day_trippr

Covid-19 Vaccine Effectivity Test Subject
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,854
Reaction score
18,263
Location
Stow, MA
Mini-XLRs are the bomb for bulkhead connectors. I used some on my keezer to bring low current power and control lines through the back edge of the lid...

Cheers!
 

wbarber69

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
263
Is anyone out there running a brewpi using teensy instead of arduino? Reading up in it, it would seem to be more logical to do so. I've never used either platform yet, but to me if the teensy can handle up to 12 different devices as opposed to the arduino handling 4. And it's ability to run arduino code and libraries. Wouldn't it be a more powerful platform if you wanted to run a single chamber with multiple fermenters?
 
OP
FuzzeWuzze

FuzzeWuzze

I Love DIY
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
3,140
Reaction score
457
Location
Newberg
Is anyone out there running a brewpi using teensy instead of arduino? Reading up in it, it would seem to be more logical to do so. I've never used either platform yet, but to me if the teensy can handle up to 12 different devices as opposed to the arduino handling 4. And it's ability to run arduino code and libraries. Wouldn't it be a more powerful platform if you wanted to run a single chamber with multiple fermenters?
Its not a matter of capabilities of the Arduino, in this case its the capabilities of the BrewPi software itself.

It wasnt designed to handle multiple chambers on one Arduino, i think they are in the process of changing that but I dont have a timeline for when .3 will come out.

The only reason you need multiple Arduinos right now is because the BrewPi software assumes it communicates to one chamber per USB port to plot its data. So you have to run two instances of the BrewPi web server and you need 2 arduinos plugged into two seperate USB ports.
 

lcat45

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
94
Reaction score
2
Hey BrewerJack, in your post #177 you said to do the following:
". Add your Windows box's IP and the port you want to forward (I used 8888), then get your guest box's IP by typing 'ip add' on the command line of the guest box. "
Can you elaborate on how to do this...not a Linux guy, and Thanks for the awesome info!
 

wbarber69

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
263
Its not a matter of capabilities of the Arduino, in this case its the capabilities of the BrewPi software itself.



It wasnt designed to handle multiple chambers on one Arduino, i think they are in the process of changing that but I dont have a timeline for when .3 will come out.



The only reason you need multiple Arduinos right now is because the BrewPi software assumes it communicates to one chamber per USB port to plot its data. So you have to run two instances of the BrewPi web server and you need 2 arduinos plugged into two seperate USB ports.

This is why I might wait to bite down on this. I like the pi but this new hummingboard seems to have merit and 4 USB ports. I like what I started to see from teensynet until I got to the last post and realized it hasn't really gone anywhere for over a year. And I want to get all my equipment tangled up before I start asking the hard question on the brewpi forums. But my impatient side wants to start hacking away. I've been messing with wheezy and the http frontend. I love the layout of brewpi and would prefer it to the vanilla nothingness of teensynet. I've just never tackled anything like this before. I know what I want it to do and I know brewpi can do it. The code just needs to be written. And personally I'm a hardware hacker my mind just doesn't work in the code space. Or it'd be done already.
 

wbarber69

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
263
I mean technically all I want is a single chamber(really a split level chamber). That can handle 2 fermenters per level. If 1 arduino could handle 2 fermenters (ie: 1 cooling chamber and 2 fermwraps) using only 3 probes per arduino. 1 for each fermenter and one for chamber temp. It'd be perfect. Have the freezer compartment controlled by 1 arduino cycling the compressor and 2 fermwraps. The fridge compartment handling primary fermentations using the second arduino to cycle fans to move cold air down from the freezer compartment and the other 2 fermwraps. I know it can be done but it would also be nice to have it all on one page instead of having to make 4 seperate instances. As well as having to figure out which one will control the refrigerator or worse having to get a 5th arduino to handle that or another temperature controller.
 

wbarber69

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
263
It wasnt designed to handle multiple chambers on one Arduino, i think they are in the process of changing that but I dont have a timeline for when .3 will come out.
.3 came out last year
 
OP
FuzzeWuzze

FuzzeWuzze

I Love DIY
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
3,140
Reaction score
457
Location
Newberg
I mean technically all I want is a single chamber(really a split level chamber). That can handle 2 fermenters per level. If 1 arduino could handle 2 fermenters (ie: 1 cooling chamber and 2 fermwraps) using only 3 probes per arduino. 1 for each fermenter and one for chamber temp. It'd be perfect. Have the freezer compartment controlled by 1 arduino cycling the compressor and 2 fermwraps. The fridge compartment handling primary fermentations using the second arduino to cycle fans to move cold air down from the freezer compartment and the other 2 fermwraps. I know it can be done but it would also be nice to have it all on one page instead of having to make 4 seperate instances. As well as having to figure out which one will control the refrigerator or worse having to get a 5th arduino to handle that or another temperature controller.
Why is the arduino whats stopping you though? Really they and the additional relay board are a very small portion of the actual cost. Relay board + arduino for 25, afew more dollars for a power socket and you have another chamber controlled for ~30 bucks.
 

wbarber69

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
263
I want real control of the fridge freezer and 4 fermwraps door switches/lights and fans all in one brain. Elco says their working on it so I might wait it out. I'm still getting the pi and one arduino for now to start messing with it.
 

wbarber69

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
263
And what is this fascination with receptacles I see on all these ferm chamber/keezer builds. The point is to integrate not complicate. I'm building everything into the fridge so it's 1 unit. Just like I did with my kegerator. Turn it on and go.
 
OP
FuzzeWuzze

FuzzeWuzze

I Love DIY
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
3,140
Reaction score
457
Location
Newberg
And what is this fascination with receptacles I see on all these ferm chamber/keezer builds. The point is to integrate not complicate. I'm building everything into the fridge so it's 1 unit. Just like I did with my kegerator. Turn it on and go.
Many people want to keep their chambers or keezers as stock as possible so when they die they are still under warranty. Once you start cutting wires to hook in a thermostat or a big hole to put in a controller your not getting anything if it dies the next day. :)
 

srice

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
262
Reaction score
58
When I first setup up my raspberry pi, I did so with a wired ethernet connection and noticed that the hostname "raspberrypi" showed up on the admin page of my router. Somewhere along the path of setting up the brewpi code and switching over to an Edimax EW7811 wifi adapter, my network no longer recognizes the hostname of my pi. I've made sure both files, /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts indicate brewpi. I've gone into raspi-config and set the hostname to brewpi via the advanced settings. I've run hostname on my system and it returned brewpi. It seems that the raspberry pi knows that it is "brewpi", but the rest of my network won't recognize that name. Any suggestions?
 

day_trippr

Covid-19 Vaccine Effectivity Test Subject
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,854
Reaction score
18,263
Location
Stow, MA
My fourth-hand rat-rod fridge is no longer under warranty.
"Woohoo!"?

;)

One of the major humungous issues with having BrewPi run multiple chambers is code size vs AVR code capacity. If you had followed the history - or even read the conclusions on github - you'd be aware that the design team was fighting for every byte of capacity to fit the microcode for a single chamber with the current feature set.

It they're interested in pushing further you can bet it'll be on a different AVR microcontroller...

Cheers!
 

diatonic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
716
Reaction score
12
Location
Boise, ID
Is anyone out there running a brewpi using teensy instead of arduino? Reading up in it, it would seem to be more logical to do so. I've never used either platform yet, but to me if the teensy can handle up to 12 different devices as opposed to the arduino handling 4. And it's ability to run arduino code and libraries. Wouldn't it be a more powerful platform if you wanted to run a single chamber with multiple fermenters?
Arduinos (Uno, Leonardo, Mega, etc.) can "handle" a lot more than 4 devices. The BrewPi shield has actuators for 4 devices. It's not really a limitation of the Arduino hardware. There are plenty of unused outputs on an Uno for $18 if you want to use them for something.

This is why I might wait to bite down on this. I like the pi but this new hummingboard seems to have merit and 4 USB ports.

...
I don't know why people keep saying this. All of the Hummingboards only have 2 external USB ports (just like the Pi). If you need more USB ports get a cheap USB hub.

Anyhow, a rewrite is underway for BrewPi (early in development) with plans to support more chambers. I've got 3 BrewPis at the moment. Since I can throw one together for <$30 I don't worry too much about needing more than one.
 

wbarber69

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
263
The humming board has 2 usb built in and headers for 2 more.
 

diatonic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
716
Reaction score
12
Location
Boise, ID
I appreciate your thoughtful response, explaining how the 2 internal headers on the HummingBoard-i2ex make it a better platform for fermentation control. I guess I've concluded that the RaspberryPi is quite capable as-is.
 

wbarber69

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
263
I never said I chose one over the other I just said it was nice to have 4 USB ports as opposed to 2. I'm going with raspi for my setup since it's just basically install an sd card with os and run install script. I've been hitting up what relevant forums I can to figure out how to do this. Since I seem to have a unique setup. I've been sticking to this forum because it's the only one where I can get a response quickly (or at all). And I'm the kind of person who, when finished with working out the details of my own build will come back to help others.
 

stewart194

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
294
Reaction score
10
Location
Lawrence
HALLE F-ING LUJAH!!! I FINALLY HAVE A WORKING BREWPI!!!!

THANK YOU balrog & Fuzze. You guys are AWESOME!! day_trippr, atoughram, & BrewerJack too. THANK YOU!! I know I&#8217;ve been a MAJOR pain in the ass during this project and you guys spent a TON of time helping me out.

I still can&#8217;t believe it&#8217;s actually working. I&#8217;m drinking a victory homebrew right now!

I&#8217;ve learned a lot though and it&#8217;s been a lot of fun. Thanks again Fuzze for posting this! I&#8217;m going to wire everything back up tomorrow and test it out with a carboy full of water this week. Hopefully everything goes well and I&#8217;ll be brewing again next weekend.

THANKS AGAIN!!
 
OP
FuzzeWuzze

FuzzeWuzze

I Love DIY
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
3,140
Reaction score
457
Location
Newberg
Ha good to hear.

For those curious about his Arduino problems it has something to do with the way the BrewPi software flashes the Arduino.

If there is code on there that is spamming out messages to the serial port (like the DS18B20 test code does) then it doesnt work. Once you flash the arduino with a empty application that just contains a setup and loop function(the default script that pops up when you do File->New the Arduino IDE) it gets it in a state that the BrewPi can properly write to it.

So for those of you that are re-purposing old Arduinos make sure you flash a blank app on it before flashing with BrewPi.
 

balrog

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
3,873
Reaction score
3,660
Interesting. I was convinced it was the user initially set up in Debian and the abortive install.she script issues, but I am hella-glad it is finally working :)
 

stewart194

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
294
Reaction score
10
Location
Lawrence
Interesting. I was convinced it was the user initially set up in Debian and the abortive install.she script issues, but I am hella-glad it is finally working :)
It was! I had several issues! Haha. One was the user / rights / the way I originally installed Debian...and you helped me get passed that. Then my Arduino was borked due to a script that I programmed it with using my PC while troubleshooting my temp sensors, which Fuzze helped me correct.

Thanks again to both of you!
 

gezzanet

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
221
Reaction score
28
Location
Newcastle
HALLE F-ING LUJAH!!! I FINALLY HAVE A WORKING BREWPI!!!!

THANK YOU balrog & Fuzze. You guys are AWESOME!! day_trippr, atoughram, & BrewerJack too. THANK YOU!!

THANKS AGAIN!!
Way to go!
And a thanks from me too. I've be lurking and learning. Lot of fun

:mug:
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
My apologies in advance if this is :off:, but would it be possible to run this same arduino setup and algorithm without the rasp pi but use an Electric Imp instead to send data back and forth via built in wifi. You may lose the sweet brew pi interface, but an Electric imp plus shield is far cheaper than rasp pi and much more compact which opens some different mounting options. Just a thought if you are only really concerned about controlling your ferm chamber remotely and tracking its progress.
 

ejluttmann

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
105
Reaction score
28
Location
Meridian

swamp_brewer

New Member
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Great thread, thanks Fuzze and other contributors! I'm assembling components now for a build, and thinking that I will get 25 amp SSR's instead of the 10 amp ones recommended so I can run a larger chest freezer. I know nothing about SSR's, so could someone more knowledgeable let me know if these would work? And if they do work, which wires go where?

Amerlight TM 25Amp SSR-25DA Solid State Relays for Temperature Controller
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E6JWIII/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3N7ADKJ6EHK8X&coliid=I1141ZO0U95CME

Thanks!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
FuzzeWuzze

FuzzeWuzze

I Love DIY
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
3,140
Reaction score
457
Location
Newberg
Know that if you use SSR's you need heat sinks, because they get extremely hot.

What fridge are you thinking of using that would require that much power? Unless your using some type of industrial fridge i doubt it pulls that much power.

As a reference most houses use 20A circuit breakers for power outlets for fridges, so if a fridge or any device pulled anywhere near 20A their breaker would be going off..so no residential fridge will pull that much power. I would be skeptical still if any industrial fridge pulled that much power unless its like a 50cuFt beast or something.
 

swamp_brewer

New Member
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
25 amp relays is certainly overkill, but that seems to be the next increment available >10amp. I have two reasons for wanting to use something >10amp

1) the recommended minimum amp rating for anything that goes between the outlet and my current freezer is 15 amps (although I'm guessing 10 amps would suffice), and I may want to hook this up to a friend's fermentation chest freezer than is significantly larger than mine, so I assume it takes more juice to run.

2) I've heard of folks having overheating/melting problems with the STC 1000 controller (which is rated for 10amps) on keezer builds. This seems to be quite rare, but why take the risk if a 25amp solution is only a few dollars more?

As for heat sinks - yes I agree they will need heat sinks, although this is fairly easy and cheap. Is the relay you recommend solid state or mechanical? I assumed it was SSR since the brewpi folks sell SSR on their site, but I really don't have a preference.

Thanks again for your help!
 
OP
FuzzeWuzze

FuzzeWuzze

I Love DIY
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
3,140
Reaction score
457
Location
Newberg
The one i recommended is a mechanical relay, not a SSR.

SSR's obviously work, I only chose that option because its so much smaller than a SSR and cheaper, which was the entire point of this build to keep cost low. But there are many ways to personalize it to what you have or your needs.
 

alphaomega

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
461

atoughram

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2013
Messages
1,888
Reaction score
295
Location
Puyallup
I ran my refer on an SSR for many years on only used the steel junction box it was installed in as a heat sink. It didnt even get warm at 120V.

Your results may vary - but I wouldnt bother with a SSR heat sink in this instance unless you were mounting it in a plastic or wood enclosure.
 

robfar

Thomas Corcoran Brew Works
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
292
Reaction score
46
Location
Odenton
Inspired by this thread, I installed Wheezy on an old Dell Vistacrap machine. Haven't touched linux in over ten years and even then I was a N00B. The Dell is serving the sample brewpi graph at its static IP, so I guess that's all good so far. Have the UNO and the relay board, waiting on the sensors. The fun will resume next week. :mug:
 
OP
FuzzeWuzze

FuzzeWuzze

I Love DIY
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
3,140
Reaction score
457
Location
Newberg
Well if you have that done thats the hard part, wiring everything up is no different than a STC1000 really. :tank:
 

gezzanet

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
221
Reaction score
28
Location
Newcastle
So guys, first brew with brewpi done. woo hoo works great. I dropped the wattage of the heater and had a better result with reducing the cycling of the fridge. Crashed to 4degc with profile and worked well.
I am now trying to fix any issues i had to make it better next time.
I am running brewpi on an old dell laptop with debian wheezy installed. I did a manual install and am a noob at linux and brewpi so a great learning curve.
All runs ok but when I i try to run by "start script" on the webpage it doesnt want to start. I have been able to get around it by running sudo -u brewpi python /home/brewpi/brewpi.py
Any tips on how i get it to recognise the webpage start.
The webpage stop script command works ok at the webpage.
Maybe because the username i log on as and run under is not brewpi?
Next step is to open it to the web so i can watch it from afar Mwahahahahahah
cheers:D
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest posts

Top