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Moving to automating my brew day

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Well, I think after pricing everything, I was a little over zealous on my timeline. This looks like it will be more of a longer-term project. I don't want to rebuild this a few years down the road so I will start with the 24" x 24" case and start buying equipment from there. Once I have enough to make something function, then I will put it together.

After doing some more price comparison. I see there are 8, 10, and 12 inch depths. Is 8 deep enough?
 
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I think so. Look at the case @oakbarn posted in the BruControl thread - it looked like a great deal.
Wow, that is nice! What a great price too! I was hoping for NEMA4/IP66 (for liquid protection), but the price difference may have me considering another route (@$200 cheaper, I could build (or fabricate) something to help protect it).
 
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So there I was...trying to build out my wiring schematic when I decided I'd go take a look at my circuit breaker panel to see what was in there. Unfortunately, I only have a 15A breaker for my garage. My only other options are to go with 20A kitchen (assuming my external plugs are tied to my kitchen on other side of wall) or run a long 30A from my laundry room (might be more expensive than it's worth).

I rent and can't add in a breaker :(

The good news is that I have very small footprint, when it comes to electrical on my brew rig. Right now, all I have is 2 110VAC pumps (MKII). I may be able to get away with what I have in the garage. I've never looked into any of this stuff until about a month ago, so we'll see.

If anyone has been in this spot, please share what you did.
 
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Thanks for the feedback. Those two will be my last option (if it is an option). Not sure my better half will want a wire running all the way down the hallway, leaving the door open for a few hours as I brew.

Verified, because I rent, that I can't have additional circuit breaker installed or run additional wiring.

I think I will be stuck with 15A or 20A until I move (which is only a couple of years if I retire).

With only having 2 pumps (0.1A/each), could I run BruControl with only 15 or 20 amps? I'm not an electrical genius, but I don't think that I will be going over that.
 
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Best bet would be to find two separate 120V circuits, which are ideally on opposite legs of the split phase system. They would show 240V when across them, but you should not use them that way.
With two circuits, you will get respectable power to heat and pump with. You’ll need more supporting circuitry but honestly not much more than a split phase 240 system. You will need double the elements, which might not be practical for a 3V system though.
 
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With two circuits, you will get respectable power to heat and pump with.
What if I don't have any circuitry for heating? I currently use propane as my heat source. I really only have 2 pumps that use 110VAC. Everything else is propane and gravity.

I think I will end up moving to a heat source, but that will be several years down the road. Right now, I am simply trying to get used to automation for transferring and monitoring the brew process. Can that be done with just 15 or 20 Amps (110VAC)?
 
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I'm sorry... made some assumptions. You just want to automate your pumps and valves... well, this is much easier. You can accomplish this with in interface and a relay board. A power supply... and I think that's all you need. No need for a giant control enclosure then.
 

oakbarn

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If only two pumps and some valves, the single 15 amp is overkill. I would get one of these for your outlet if it is not already gfi.


I ran 3 pumps (Chuggers) off one 15 amp circuit for years without issues.

The available DC Amps is no issue as you could have 1163.80 on a 12 vdc available if you had that big an transformer. Ball Valves are normally fairly low amperage and only need power to open (and maybe close). Solenoid valves have to be powered constantly but still are maybe 1.25 amps. Your DC limit will be more from the AC to DC Power Supply you choose than the 15 amp 110 vac circuit.

I really like the BruControl UM-1 https://brucontrol.com/buy/interface-assemblies/ to control valves. It could also control any 110 vac pumps via SSRs.
 
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I'm sorry... made some assumptions. You just want to automate your pumps and valves... well, this is much easier. You can accomplish this with in interface and a relay board. A power supply... and I think that's all you need. No need for a giant control enclosure then.
No problem. Thank you for walking this through for me.

If only two pumps and some valves, the single 15 amp is overkill. I would get one of these for your outlet if it is not already gfi.


I really like the BruControl UM-1 Interface Assemblies – BruControl to control valves. It could also control any 110 vac pumps via SSRs.
I think I was looking at that exact item on Amazon for this. As for the BruControl, this is what I had on my list so far:
Enclosure-
Box: Yuco (12x8x8)
Arduino: Model AM-XD
Power Supplies: 12V 5A 60W (for Arduino) / 5V 10A 50W (for accessories)
Pump interface: 4-channel SSR board
Rig-
2x P Valve
2x 3-way Valve

Note: I currently don't have anything that monitors temp automatically. I have some research to do here...no clue what any of the acronyms mean or how they operate/connect.

If I looked at the videos right, I think I still need some sort of terminal board and possibly a main power contact? Any thoughts?
 

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Depending on what you want, one wires are easy and not expensive Temperature probes and only take one physical port on the Arduino. RTDs are more expensive due to the need for the additional circuits and hardware required. The same is true for the 10KNTC probes. All of the probes are relatively available and RTDs are also very inexpensive.

You can start small but plan for expansion. If you are able to grow, you will want additional hardware. When I started, I had a single 10 gal Blickmann and a turkey fryer. Just before my fire (unrelated to the Brewery, it was a lawn mower), I had 9 vessels and five pumps along with valves and a manifold. One of the issues with automated Brewing with BruControl, is that if you think you can do it, you likely can! Why is this an issue? $$$$! If I replace all of my Brewery, it would be around $25K. I did not do it all at once, but over a period of years.
 

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When looking at RTD's and thermocouples, inexpensive temperature transmitters can be obtained for under $10 a sensor. They will convert sensor signal to 4-20ma (1-5V across 250 ohm resistor) or 0-10vdc when powered by 24 vdc. If you take time to find the units with range and zero adjustments you can tighten the sensor range to a more useable value with the analog inputs.
 

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Arduino: Model AM-XD
What is it? Some flavor of Arduino Mega?

Power Supplies: 12V 5A 60W (for Arduino) / 5V 10A 50W (for accessories)
If your accessories are 5V you can use one 5V power supply for Arduino and accessories. Arduino itself (without radio module) consume less than a 1W if it has WiFI/BT - 10 Watt should be enough.

Pump interface: 4-channel SSR board
SSR is good however can be easily frayed if you will get a short circuit in pump wiring. Mechanical relay with low amp fuse much more forgettable for such stuff though ander normal conditions relays has shorter lifespan .

If you have an Arduino thermo sensor based on DS18B20 is an optimal choice.
 
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What is it? Some flavor of Arduino Mega?
It's the prebuilt version from BruControl. I feel like I'd buy more in parts with potential to mess it up than it's worth to just buy the pre-packaged deal.
If you have an Arduino thermo sensor based on DS18B20 is an optimal choice.
Thanks...will look into this type.
 

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It's the prebuilt version from BruControl. I feel like I'd buy more in parts with potential to mess it up than it's worth to just buy the pre-packaged deal.
You can get the same for $50-$70 less even buying locally or even more when ordering from China

$35 - Srew Sheild - https://www.amazon.com/Electronics-Salon-Terminal-Adapter-Arduino-MEGA-2560/dp/B01CU3OB5Y
$38 - Original Mega - https://www.amazon.com/ARDUINO-MEGA-2560-REV3-A000067/dp/B0046AMGW0/
or
$16 Clone of Mega - https://www.amazon.com/ELEGOO-ATmega2560-ATMEGA16U2-Projects-Compliant/dp/B01H4ZLZLQ/
$25 WiFI shield - Adafruit WINC1500 WiFi Shield with uFL Connector
$2.5 Antenna - 2.4GHz Mini Flexible WiFi Antenna with uFL Connector
 
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You can get the same for $50-$70 less even buying locally or even more when ordering from China

$35 - Srew Sheild - Robot Check
$38 - Original Mega - https://www.amazon.com/ARDUINO-MEGA-2560-REV3-A000067/dp/B0046AMGW0/
or
$16 Clone of Mega - https://www.amazon.com/ELEGOO-ATmega2560-ATMEGA16U2-Projects-Compliant/dp/B01H4ZLZLQ/
$25 WiFI shield - Adafruit WINC1500 WiFi Shield with uFL Connector
$2.5 Antenna - 2.4GHz Mini Flexible WiFi Antenna with uFL Connector
This screw shield will not accommodate the WiFi shield. You would need this one. It comes unassembled. You also need to add the 3x2 header that connect the shield and the MEGA, which oddly is not included with this screw shield.
.

Certainly the parts are less expensive than if we provide it as a kit. We solder it, assemble it (with DIN rail clips), upload FW, test it... so there is an additional cost for that, but if you can do those things yourself and have the time and tools, you may save some dollars.
 
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