Temperature logging system?

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Homercidal

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I have want of a temperature logging system for during the fermentation process. My original plan was to use a thermocouple and a data collection system, but I could not find anything that I thought I could build easily enough, nor could I find anything cheap enough for my budget.

My next plan is to have a webcam snap pics of a thermometer every hour or so. Yes, a bit clumsy, but unless someone has a better idea that is what I am forced to do.
 
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Check out the Brew Troller at www.brewtroller.com The logging capability isn't there yet, but I'm pretty sure Matt is working on it. It's relatively easy to build and has a lot of other features. the "FermTroller" is still not being readily developed but is in the works.
 
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The brewtroller program is cool, but I'm not interested in controlling anything, just taking readings.

The Go!temp device looks pretty nice! The accuracy is where it needs to be, and the price is within my contraints. I'll have to read up some more, but that looks exactly like what i was shooting for! Hopefully you can choose the interval.
 

kaiser423

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yea, the GoTemps are nice, and work quite well. I second those.

If you're looking to do more, then a real cheap Digital in/out device is a labjack. If you're looking to monitor/log multiple temps, other inputs, trigger some things or something like that they're cheap and easy to use.
 

freddyb

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If you have a spare computer with a parallel port, you can do temp logging for just the cost of a temp sensor (~$5). Check out this guy's site: TLOG Temperature Logger Utility

That same temp sensor interfaces really easily to the Brewtroller or an even cheaper Arduino project board if you ever wanted to expand to multiple sensors and multiple I/Os for controlling fermentation temps down the road.

I plan on putting together a temperature logging device to measure ambient air temp outside of the fermenter as well as temps inside the fermenter with a thermowell. Then I'll probably add heating/cooling elements for temp control.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I have two Sony Vaio pcg 505fx laptop computers. These are an old model from the 90's but were awesome at the time. Anyway, they are super cheap now and very small.



for example.

So I have two of these guys, and I want to use one for a fermentation control. I want to be able to monitor the temperature of multiple vessels and log the temperatures over time. I would then be able to print out charts of the ferment temps for record keeping.

Now I know this can be done, and that we can figure out a way to do it.

I was thinking an Arduino card in communication with the comp somehow. I have not used any of these project cards and am not a programmer by trade. The computer is old and runs slow with new systems so here are my questions:

1. What OS should I use. I want the most streamlined system possible since this comp will only be monitoring the temps of 8 vessels, and running no other programs.

2. What hardware do you think I should use? Arduino, other, I am way off base.

3. Is this realistic, can I do this?

Lets get some discussion going. Since these comps can be had for so cheap, this could be a very realistic project for a bunch of people, and could be useful to the community.

Thanks! :mug:
 

Cape Brewing

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Do you simply want to monitor temps or have it control temps??

this thread was just started a few minutes ago... not sure how you would do multiple ones but my guess is someone could tell you pretty quickly.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I have had the idea for a while but didn't want to trample into the other thread. I know, I know, sorry for the repeat.

I do not want to control temps, I already have my chamber all set up (see my sig). I just want to be able to monitor real time and collect data on all my fermentations.

My hope for the end product is an interface where I can have between 1-8 temperature probes operating. I can turn activate/deactivate them depending on how many I need. Then the interface will monitor and log the temperatures of the active probes. The output should be shown on screen as real time temperature monitoring, and log the temperature history for optional viewing and printing.

The temp logs would be printed and added to my brewing journal for record keeping purposes.
 

boodyrischous

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Check the Fermoire. I know he had a pretty elaborate system that used a wireless transmitter and had an automated control through his laptop.
 
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Keep going guys, this is pretty interesting.

I don't want to make mine very complicated, but now that I think about it, it would be cool to have 2 sensors, so that I can monitor the ambient air temp AND the temp inside the fermenter, that way I can see how efficient the cooling/heating chamber is when I implement a swamp cooler or beer belt or whatever.

But for now, one sensor would be cool and easier the better. All I need is temps every 10-15 minutes for about 2 weeks or so, and put in a generic format for import into database or spreadsheet.

Now back to reading up on these other suggestions...
 
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If you have a spare computer with a parallel port, you can do temp logging for just the cost of a temp sensor (~$5). Check out this guy's site: TLOG Temperature Logger Utility

That same temp sensor interfaces really easily to the Brewtroller or an even cheaper Arduino project board if you ever wanted to expand to multiple sensors and multiple I/Os for controlling fermentation temps down the road.

I plan on putting together a temperature logging device to measure ambient air temp outside of the fermenter as well as temps inside the fermenter with a thermowell. Then I'll probably add heating/cooling elements for temp control.
Dude, that is what I started looking for! Only thing is how to mount the sensor on fermentation bucket/carboy. Should/could I encase and submerge in beer, or mount to outside?

Man, I hope I didn't toss out those old IBM laptops I had sitting around collecting dust....
 
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Ok, the simple 1-wire sensor looks very simple and just what I wanted, other than the interval is preset and the source code is not available. I could use the 1 minute or 1 hour interval for my purposes, but was hoping to do 15 minute intervals for the fermentation. I could use 1 minute intervals and reduce the sampling frequency from the collected data I suppose, and still have the complete set in case I want to zoom in and look at a particular hour.

I'm thinking this is the one for me. Cheap, simple and does what I want. Thanks!
 

freddyb

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There's a guy on the HBT forums named Derrin. He makes nice stainless steel probe ends and thermowells for making your own temp probes. I bought a few and they look great. Good price too. Here's his website Stainless Steel Temperature Probe Ends at Stirplates.com and Stainless Steel Thermowells at Stirplates.com

The thermowell would allow you to drop a temp sensor/probe into the fermenter.

Here's a thread on the forums with more info that will help: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/make-your-own-precision-ss-temperature-probe-101192/

Dude, that is what I started looking for! Only thing is how to mount the sensor on fermentation bucket/carboy. Should/could I encase and submerge in beer, or mount to outside?

Man, I hope I didn't toss out those old IBM laptops I had sitting around collecting dust....
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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This is the freeware that was used on the fermoire:

Cacti: The Complete RRDTool-based Graphing Solution

It looks like it would work.

........................

What is the highest efficiency OS? The comps I listed above are not fast and I would like as little running in the background as possible.

What is the best way to read sensor data into these comps? Arduino board?

Is it possible to develop my own app similar to what Yuri did with his timers? That is really what I am looking for. Small stand along applications to monitor each ferment. Like this, except it would show a chart and save the data points to an excel or equivalent file. That is what I really want.

..............................

I can verify that Derrin's probes are very nice, I use one now in my fermentation chamber for maintaining ferment temps.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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My thoughts are to use the old comps with Linux. Then to write a java program to take inputs sensors. Here are my desired functions:

1. The program would be able to choose which sensor to monitor. For example, Sensor 1, sensor 2, etc...

2. The program would display real time temperature of the sensor.

3. Plot a graph of the temperature history of the sensor.

4. Save the temperature history data in a file able to be read by excel for later use. Maybe delimited in a notebook file???

..........

That's it. If you want to use multiple sensors you just open up multiple instances of the program and set them to monitor different sensors.

This sounds possible, but I want some confirmation and some direction. Is Linux the best OS for this?

I still don't really know how to get the sensor input to the comp so that it is readable by the Java program.

I put a PM to Yuri for his opinion. Hopefully he can shed some light.
 
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There's a guy on the HBT forums named Derrin. He makes nice stainless steel probe ends and thermowells for making your own temp probes. I bought a few and they look great. Good price too. Here's his website Stainless Steel Temperature Probe Ends at Stirplates.com and Stainless Steel Thermowells at Stirplates.com

The thermowell would allow you to drop a temp sensor/probe into the fermenter.

Here's a thread on the forums with more info that will help: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/make-your-own-precision-ss-temperature-probe-101192/
Awesum! I'm all set now. I'll order the sensors and try it out and plan on getting the probes once I get the software figured out. This is going to be fun! (and maybe my daughters next science project!)
 

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My thoughts are to use the old comps with Linux. Then to write a java program to take inputs sensors. Here are my desired functions:

1. The program would be able to choose which sensor to monitor. For example, Sensor 1, sensor 2, etc...

2. The program would display real time temperature of the sensor.

3. Plot a graph of the temperature history of the sensor.

4. Save the temperature history data in a file able to be read by excel for later use. Maybe delimited in a notebook file???

..........

That's it. If you want to use multiple sensors you just open up multiple instances of the program and set them to monitor different sensors.

This sounds possible, but I want some confirmation and some direction. Is Linux the best OS for this?

I still don't really know how to get the sensor input to the comp so that it is readable by the Java program.

I put a PM to Yuri for his opinion. Hopefully he can shed some light.
BK,

I have been looking for something like this as well for awhile. Keep posting back with your progress or in a new thread! So many applications for something like that.
 

lamarguy

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If it helps, I converted a thermoelectric wine cooler to be a primary fermentation chamber a year ago.



The conversion included:

  1. old laptop
  2. linux
  3. OWFS
  4. USB-to-1-Wire Network Adapter
  5. temperature sensor

The control process is about as simple as it gets:

  1. Build a small network of 1-wire devices. For me, this entailed attaching relays and multiple temperature sensors.
  2. Attach the 1-wire network to a laptop via the adapter.
  3. Install OWFS on linux
  4. Mount OWFS as a filesytem. This allows you to navigate and read/write to 1-wire devices like they are files. For example, to display the temperature for sensor Temp1 mounted at /1wire you just execute cat /1wire/Temp1. Writing to a relay (set to on) is just echo 1 > /1wire/Relay1.

From there, you can can log sensor readings as you please and graph the output using any number of available perl or php web packages.

In my case, I wrote a small Java app to control the fermentation schedule (heating and cooling) and to record active fermentation periods (identified as a continuous period of heat exhaustion).

Hope this helps... :)
 

eccsynd

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Another option: use a BCS-460. It has a nice interactive charting feature. The BCS logs temperatures at a programmable sample period (1s to 6hr) upto 4k samples for each of 4 traces Data Log - ECCWiki

Connect it to your home network, and its perfect to monitor fermentation temperatures from anywhere. And if/when you want to control the fermentation temps, the potential is there to do multiday ramp schedules, dual-stage heat/cool, etc..
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I have Damn Small Linux installed on my laptop now. First hurdle passed. What a cool little system, runs on only 100MB!!!

This thread describes how to do the install on the vaio laptop.

So now I need to figure out how to program a java gui and how to hook up a one wire network. This is already a fun project.
 

StoneHands

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Sorry to dig up an old post!

Anything ever come of this? I wanted to do a high tech analysis of my low tech temperature control system. I use a cooler/water bath to ferment my lagers. I'd like something that can log the temp of the fermenting beer (with a thermowell), the temp of the water bath, and then ambient air - so I'm looking for 3 probes total. Inexpensive and easy are both key.
 
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I have not yet. I had still planned on it, but now I bought a temp controller and will soon be getting a fridge, so I think the necessity of watching my temps will diminish greatly. When I was using the swamp cooler and ambient temps methods I was much more curious to see what happened during the day. Of course it may still be interesting to see the change in temps over as the yeast become less and less active.
 

enderdsus7

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I built a fermentation controller and temp logger that dumps all my logged data to SD card early this year. I believe this is the sort of thing the OP is looking for. If I get ambitious, I can put a schematic up with my arduino source files on github for anyone to play with. I will note, that as the previous poster suggested, I lost interest in tracking brew temperature after just a couple brews. If there is interest in the source and a schematic, I can clean it up and post it, but there's really nothing fancy about my implementation if you already are comfortable using a micro-controller and analog temp sensors.
 
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