HOWTO - Make a BrewPi Fermentation Controller For Cheap

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balrog

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I run as user PI, being the only user set up on the Dell laptop Debian I installed. Brewpi user is running the apache server to show the webpage in the background (? maybe like a windoz service).

One thing about starting the script is the watchdog timer is on a one minute loop, check that you have the cron job installed and working, then realize it can take up to a minute after pressing Start (which I think just removes a "don't run" file) before the script will actually show restart.
 

gezzanet

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I run as user PI, being the only user set up on the Dell laptop Debian I installed. Brewpi user is running the apache server to show the webpage in the background (? maybe like a windoz service).

One thing about starting the script is the watchdog timer is on a one minute loop, check that you have the cron job installed and working, then realize it can take up to a minute after pressing Start (which I think just removes a "don't run" file) before the script will actually show restart.
mmmm i have 3 users on the system gerry, pi and brewpi. i initially setup the system with gerry then added users to align to manula setup. if i login in under each i can see the cron.d but srat doesnt do anything. Do i need arduino hooked up for this to start script or it should be able to start anyway?:drunk:
 

robfar

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I only have users rob and brewpi. I thought the pi user was the Raspberry, and I'm not using one. I run the script as rob, brewpi owns the server files, and it works. I'm getting the brewpi web interface without the arduino connected to the Dell PC. The fixpermission.sh script gets full credit here.
 

gezzanet

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I only have users rob and brewpi. I thought the pi user was the Raspberry, and I'm not using one. I run the script as rob, brewpi owns the server files, and it works. I'm getting the brewpi web interface without the arduino connected to the Dell PC. The fixpermission.sh script gets full credit here.
just ran [email protected]:~$ sudo /home/brewpi/utils/fixPermissions.sh
[sudo] password for gerry:

***** Fixing file permissions for /var/www *****

***** Fixing file permissions for /home/brewpi *****
[email protected]:~$

then went to try start script on web interface. still no go.:confused:

All good. Start script button is fine. Button works. I left it for the 1 min loop and started fine. Just impatient previously.
 

robfar

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I'm a complete linux N00B, so I just followed the manual brewpi instructions step by step. Only hiccup I recall was having to add the brewpi user manually. That worked for me. You can go back and repeat steps in that install procedure in case something went wrong along the way. Good luck.
 

gezzanet

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I had the same in manual install. Added brewpi an pi manually. Bit more digging yet. Might help replace a few brain cells lost to the brew.


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 

balrog

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mmmm i have 3 users on the system gerry, pi and brewpi. i initially setup the system with gerry then added users to align to manula setup. if i login in under each i can see the cron.d but srat doesnt do anything. Do i need arduino hooked up for this to start script or it should be able to start anyway?:drunk:
You have to have the Arduino hooked up before it'll run I believe.

Edit: the web interface will run without Arduino connected, but the script will not, from my experience.
 

MongooseMan

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My brewpi is working well, apart from one issue:
The Brewpi operates fine, until it is disconnected and reconnected to the computer.
Then, once the script restarts, I see the following:
"Could not receive version from Arduino Please (re)program your Arduino"

Log:
Jul 12 2014 19:00:01 Notification: Script started for beer 't3'
Jul 12 2014 19:00:29 Warning: Cannot receive version number from Arduino. Your Arduino is either not programmed or running a very old version of BrewPi. Please upload a new version of BrewPi to your Arduino.

Reprogramming does fix it, until the next disconnection...

Thoughts?
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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My brewpi is working well, apart from one issue:
The Brewpi operates fine, until it is disconnected and reconnected to the computer.
Then, once the script restarts, I see the following:
"Could not receive version from Arduino Please (re)program your Arduino"

Log:
Jul 12 2014 19:00:01 Notification: Script started for beer 't3'
Jul 12 2014 19:00:29 Warning: Cannot receive version number from Arduino. Your Arduino is either not programmed or running a very old version of BrewPi. Please upload a new version of BrewPi to your Arduino.

Reprogramming does fix it, until the next disconnection...

Thoughts?
I'd try rebooting the BrewPi system? Unplugging it from the Arduino may screw something in it up.

Whenever my BrewPi acts up i just turn off the entire system and arduino and then back on and it always seems to fix it.
 

MongooseMan

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I'd try rebooting the BrewPi system? Unplugging it from the Arduino may screw something in it up.

Whenever my BrewPi acts up i just turn off the entire system and arduino and then back on and it always seems to fix it.
wow, that worked.
Restarted the host PC and all went back to normal.
Weird, but good (I suppose)

Thanks!
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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Ya try not to unplug it much, it's meant to be a static setup that you setup once and never touch :)
 

wbarber69

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ok im messing around with my new arduino trying to figure out how brewpi and everything works while im waiting for my rasbpi and stuff to come in. I have read the wiki on how to get brewpi to install on wamp for windows. Im stuck as it tells me to get python and everything running and ive done that but the current step im on just says to edit settings.cfg I cannot find any file that resembles settings.anything either on my server or in the brewpi files themselves. Ive got the brewpi example interface to load now i Just want to try to program this arduino with the python scripts but I have no clue what it wants me to do here.
 

robfar

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Just received my Amazon temp sensors and the leads are Red, Green and Yellow. No black. Any way to figure out what's what?

I asked the question on Amazon, but my soldering iron is cooling.
 

day_trippr

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Just received my Amazon temp sensors and the leads are Red, Green and Yellow. No black. Any way to figure out what's what?

I asked the question on Amazon, but my soldering iron is cooling.
Red = 5vdc
Yellow = Signal
Green = Ground

Cheers!
 

MongooseMan

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It's alive!
After much soldering, poking of fingers, and scratching of heads, my BrewPi fridge is doing its first test run (with the ever important task of regulating the temperature of a glass of water :D)

Here are some pics:
All the various components:

Arduino getting wired up:

My sensor extension solution (Cat5 network cabling):

Hooking up the relay:

Sticking it in the project box:

Sticking everything on top of the fridge:

My temporary heating solution, while I wait for my reptile heater to arrive:

And finally, running the first test profile:
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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srice

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I like the experiment although disagree with the summary, I think 2 degree swings every hour or two can't be good for yeast.
I'm not so sure that the yeast is seeing a +/- 1F swing. The outside of the fermenter is, but I'm not sure about the beer.

I really need to flip the probes around and run that test
 

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did a fresh install of raspbian and tried again to get the external page working. still no go. I must be missing something simple but I have no idea. I keep getting this error when I try to access the page

Authorization Required

This server could not verify that you are authorized to access the document requested. Either you supplied the wrong credentials (e.g., bad password), or your browser doesn't understand how to supply the credentials required.


Apache/2.2.22 (Debian) Server at 192.168.1.112 Port 80
this is what I have my .htaccess file looking like

<FilesMatch "index.php">
Allow from all
authuserFile /var/www/private/.htpasswd
AuthName "brewpi"
AuthType Basic
<Limit GET POST>
require valid-user
</Limit>
</FilesMatch>
<FilesMatch "beer-panel.php|config.php|configuration.php|control-panel.php|maintenance-panel.php|previous_beers.php|program_arduino.php|save_beer_profile.php|start_script.php">
Order deny,allow
Deny from All
Allow from 192.168.1.
</FilesMatch>
any ideas?
 

day_trippr

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When you're trying to access the page, are you doing it from a node on the same lan subnet (192.168.1.*)?

And did you grant htaccess rights to the user you're trying to log on as?

Cheers!
 

Veedo

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yep same subnet. pi's ip is .112, my pc is .133. when I go to the page, I don't get prompted for a login, just straight to the authorization required.
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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Are you going to brewpi or brewpi/index.php? You have to go to the actual page when passworded, you can't just go to the root
 

Herb3

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I got my BrewPi going this afternoon and I have a question about using a fan inside my chest freezer. Should I set the fan up to run all the time, only run while heating or run when heating or cooling?
 

gezzanet

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I got my BrewPi going this afternoon and I have a question about using a fan inside my chest freezer. Should I set the fan up to run all the time, only run while heating or run when heating or cooling?
I just finished the first brew using brewpi. I ran a 12v pc case fan off an old 12v walwart. I ran it all the time. Doesn't chew much power and helps circulate the heat and cold around my drum and the fridge probe. It is separate to the brewpi setup as it was the easiest way. I know a guy in the refrigeration business and the first thing he said when I was setting up was to put in a fan. Works for me. :)
 

day_trippr

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Stratification can happen even without either chiller or heater running, especially in a keezer, so I keep my "stirring" fan running 24/7...

Cheers!
 

Herb3

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Stratification can happen even without either chiller or heater running, especially in a keezer, so I keep my "stirring" fan running 24/7...

Cheers!
That is kinda what I was thinking. Right now I have the fan set-up to come on when there is a call for heating or cooling through a relay. When i install everything permanently I'll set the fan to run all the time
 

day_trippr

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I can't recall, but were you (both) able to successfully load the brewpi "home" page from wherever (networking-wise) before mucking around with htaccess?

Cheers!
 

stewart194

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I got everything wired up this morning and everything is working! I'm fermenting a nice carboy full of water as we speak. Questions...

1. The refrigerator I'm using is kind of a clunker. The coldest it was able to get while testing it out was about 45 degrees. This was before I hooked it up to my BrewPi system. The fridge is also out in my garage and it's pretty damn hot here right now. The carboy has been sitting in it with the fridge off for the last month while I got my BrewPi setup working. Today when I set up my test profile and started it, both the carboy and the fridge temp were 85 degrees. I set the beer temp for 62 degrees and it's been trying to get to that temp for almost 9 hours now. Currently the beer temp is 64.5 and the fridge temp is 53.9. The fridge temp has been as low as 49 at times, but not 45 which I know it can attain. I've also noticed it idling for 10 minutes or so at a time. When it does this it says "Waiting to Cool". Why would it idle if my beer temp isn't at the proper temp yet? Is this so it won't overshoot my target temp?

2. Does it take any of your refrigerators this long to get to your desired temp? Would a better refrigerator that can get down to 34 degrees get my beer down to temp faster?

3. Would a freezer be a better option than a refrigerator? Could it cool at 20 degrees to get the beer temp down at half the amount of time?

4. Now that I have a working fermentation temp controller for the first time, what kind of temp / timeline should I do? I know this is subjective and can depend on the yeast type / beer style, but what do you guys usually do?

Thanks in advance! I've just been staring at this thing all day! I don't think I'll get anything done ever again!
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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I got everything wired up this morning and everything is working! I'm fermenting a nice carboy full of water as we speak. Questions...

1. The refrigerator I'm using is kind of a clunker. The coldest it was able to get while testing it out was about 45 degrees. This was before I hooked it up to my BrewPi system. The fridge is also out in my garage and it's pretty damn hot here right now. The carboy has been sitting in it with the fridge off for the last month while I got my BrewPi setup working. Today when I set up my test profile and started it, both the carboy and the fridge temp were 85 degrees. I set the beer temp for 62 degrees and it's been trying to get to that temp for almost 9 hours now. Currently the beer temp is 64.5 and the fridge temp is 53.9. The fridge temp has been as low as 49 at times, but not 45 which I know it can attain. I've also noticed it idling for 10 minutes or so at a time. When it does this it says "Waiting to Cool". Why would it idle if my beer temp isn't at the proper temp yet? Is this so it won't overshoot my target temp?

2. Does it take any of your refrigerators this long to get to your desired temp? Would a better refrigerator that can get down to 34 degrees get my beer down to temp faster?

3. Would a freezer be a better option than a refrigerator? Could it cool at 20 degrees to get the beer temp down at half the amount of time?

4. Now that I have a working fermentation temp controller for the first time, what kind of temp / timeline should I do? I know this is subjective and can depend on the yeast type / beer style, but what do you guys usually do?

Thanks in advance! I've just been staring at this thing all day! I don't think I'll get anything done ever again!
1. In thje maintenence panel, under advanced settings, then under the Control constants section find POD: maximum, increase it to like 25-30(assuming your using F scale) and then hit send to Arduino. This is the setting t hat determins what the max delta between your fridge setting and beer temp setting is...so it only goes lower as your beer goes lower.

2. Yes, but increase that setting first. One thing to keep in mind though is not to set the PID Maximum higher than you may ever set your fridge. So if your beer will ever try to get to 30F, keep the max at 25F or else it goes negative and screws BrewPi up..they fixed it in the latest code apparently but i havent tested it..so just be warned. If your fridge only gets to 42 anyways 30F should be fine. I rarely mess with profiles until i get to day 5 and determine its where it should be, because after that the flow is pretty static...the initial fermentation i usually just use beer constant and set it to where i want it and leave it.

3. I like my stand up freezer, but theres no reason you shouldnt keep using your fridge until it dies.

4. I usually ferment out for 5 days and take a sample, if its low enough or near where i expect it to be i start ramping it up to 70F over a day or two so that the yeast dont drop out until they are done fermenting the last few gravity points. Then i crash it down to 30F for a day to drop it clear and then keg.
 

gezzanet

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It took my little fridge about 10hrs drop my 23l drum from 20 to 4 deg c. Mind you I had it on auto. I'll make the changes fuzze talked about next time.

brewpi coldcrash.jpg
 

balrog

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I got everything wired up this morning and everything is working! I'm fermenting a nice carboy full of water as we speak. Questions...

1. The refrigerator I'm using is kind of a clunker. The coldest it was able to get while testing it out was about 45 degrees. This was before I hooked it up to my BrewPi system. The fridge is also out in my garage and it's pretty damn hot here right now. The carboy has been sitting in it with the fridge off for the last month while I got my BrewPi setup working. Today when I set up my test profile and started it, both the carboy and the fridge temp were 85 degrees. I set the beer temp for 62 degrees and it's been trying to get to that temp for almost 9 hours now. Currently the beer temp is 64.5 and the fridge temp is 53.9. The fridge temp has been as low as 49 at times, but not 45 which I know it can attain. I've also noticed it idling for 10 minutes or so at a time. When it does this it says "Waiting to Cool". Why would it idle if my beer temp isn't at the proper temp yet? Is this so it won't overshoot my target temp?

2. Does it take any of your refrigerators this long to get to your desired temp? Would a better refrigerator that can get down to 34 degrees get my beer down to temp faster?

3. Would a freezer be a better option than a refrigerator? Could it cool at 20 degrees to get the beer temp down at half the amount of time?

4. Now that I have a working fermentation temp controller for the first time, what kind of temp / timeline should I do? I know this is subjective and can depend on the yeast type / beer style, but what do you guys usually do?

Thanks in advance! I've just been staring at this thing all day! I don't think I'll get anything done ever again!
One thing I will add to Fuzze's great advice is that my cute little fridge wasn't expected to do better than whatever it could so I can't speak to rate of change in ambient thermo-dynamic whatnot. HOWEVER, I did run into one crucial thing--I initially forgot to set the fridge internal rotary "thermostat" to 'coldest' and the danged fridge would shut itself off if it reached some aggravatingly too warm temp even tho the much smarter controller was telling it to run like nuts on fire. :) :) (technical Physics term I learned in college)
 
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