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Small Craft Brewery - Is Brucontrol right for me?

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(@hopgoblin)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Hi all,

I have a pretty standard 3-vessel 10 HL brew system.  I run CBPi right now in a fairly manual function and I am looking to automate things more.

The logic is quite simple...i think...and the mechanical function of firing relays to open/close valves and turn pump on/off makes perfect sense.

Step 1 - transfer a volume of water from HLT to Mash Tun (would need to use flow sensor or volume sensor to get the right amount of water) /*open bottom valve on HTL, turn on HLT pump, open bottom valve Mash Tun

Step 2 - open grain hopper and turn on mash stirrer /*turn on relay for time to empty hopper and stir mash

Step 3 - wait 1 hour /*60 minute timer

Step 4 - Lauter into kettle and start sparge /*open Mash Tun bottom valve, turn on lauter pump, open sparge valve, turn on sparge pump, open kettle inlet valve

Step 5 - Turn on kettle when 200 liters is lautered and whirlpool( a single SSR will activate my control panel to fire up the kettle) /*turn on kettle relay when 200 liters of wort is sensed, turn on whilrpool pump

Step 6 - Stop sparge water when kettle reaches 800 liters /*close sparge valve and turn off sparge pump when 800 liters is sensed

Step 7 - Stop lauter when kettle reaches 1150 liters /*close mash tun bottom valve, turn off lauter pump, close kettle bottom inlet valve

Step 8 - Stop whirlpooling at 97C /*turn off whirlpool pump 

Step 9 - Drop in hops when kettle reaches 100C.  Start 60 minute timer /*10 second actuator to add hops from hopper 1

Step 10 - Drop in hops (time to be defined later) /*10 second actuator to add hops from hopper 2

Step 11 - hops again /*10 second actuator to add hops from hopper 3

Step 12 - Turn on whirlpool pump after kettle has been 100C for 60 Minutes /*open outer kettle drain valve, open kettle side valve, and turn on whirlpool pump

etc......

Pumps:

Lauter (1), Sparge (1), HLT (1), Whirlpool (1) (4 total)

Valves:

Mash Tun (1), HLT (1), Kettle (3) (5 total)

I seem to need relays for 4 pumps and 5 valves.

 

I guess the big question is, will Brucontrol do this?  I see a lot of homebrew applications and the concept looks like exactly what I want and I love the interface.

Assuming I already have all of the pumps and valves, to build a controller, I believe ! will need the following;

1x Arduino Mega 2560

1x terminal block expansion shield

1 x ethernet shield

1 x 20x4 i2c LCD

3 x 18b20 temp sensors (monitor HLT and Mash, temp control for kettle)

Am I on the right track?

Thanks

Mike


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(@pbruno3)
Reputable Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 333
 

Hi Mike,

Yes, you are on the right track! BC can do all the things you are looking for. If you already have a Raspberry Pi, you really just need to swap that for a compatible interface, such as the MEGA 2560 you mentioned. I don't think you need the LCD, but that is up to you.

Do you have a schematic drafted, with actual parts selected yet? That is a great place to start. You already have the right stuff... just need to ensure you pick the exact right parts and wire it up correctly. One thing that seems to be missing is the relays which will handle switching the low voltage/current signal from the MEGA into the higher power/voltage needed to drive your heating elements (SSR's) and your valves, etc. (electromechanical relays or SSRs).


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(@hopgoblin)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Thanks pbruno3.  I am thrilled that this will work for some process automation.  The next thing will be the schematic.  I already have all of the relays and will have to get a couple load cells to measure volumes.  Schematic coming soon!!!

Thanks

Mike


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(@hopgoblin)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Hello again,

I have created a basic schematic.  I already have all relays and pumps in place being controlled by CraftbeerPi.  I'm pretty sure I just need to buy the following;

1x Arduino Mega 2560

1x terminal block expansion shield

1 x ethernet shield

1 x Brucontrol software

2 x TC Load Sensors

Thanks

Mike


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(@pbruno3)
Reputable Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 333
 

Great start! Next, you should draft up a wiring schematic. You can see we have an example / editable template on our site, under Build/Schematics.


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(@hopgoblin)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Hey!

I've been trying my hand at my first-ever schematic.  I don't really know the ins and out of doing it, however, this is what I have been able to do so far. Does anyone see any red flags?

Thanks

 

Mike


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(@pbruno3)
Reputable Member Admin
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 333
 

Nice start!! I didn't review it exhaustively but looks good so far!


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(@hopgoblin)
Active Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Sweet!

This is exciting stuff.

I have built my Mega with a terminal shield, ethernet shield and I have been playing with the software.  I am no stranger to coding but my scripts are failing miserably LOL.  Right now, I have taken the most recent pbruno script posted on the "Brewery Code " thread under scripts and I have emulated the devices, inspectors, timers, etc in my workspace taken from the "Brew Day with BruControl" video.  

I want to build something very similar to that system so I thought it would be a good start to mimic it since the code is readily available on the thread.  Pbruno, would you be willing to send me your current script and config so I can play with it and pull the relevant pieces from it to get me started on my own system?

I tried to figure it out for a week, now I need help from the gurus.

Thanks

Mike


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