You are currently browsing articles tagged brewstand.

Once I was able to get into my Rasberry Pi (RPi) I started to think about how I was going to use it.  I was pretty far along on my Ardunio controller and circuit schematics that I started to think that I would connect the serial cable to the Ardunio and build upon my existing design.

So I started to look at Craftbeerpi which seemed to have a pretty solid start on what I wanted. The more I looked it seemed to not have support to read from an Ardunio to the pre-made widgets.  So I started scheming ideas to make my own program.  For better or worse I was leaning towards a Python development.  My brief time using Python wasn’t too great and I hated the tabbing format for block commands (if statements, loops, etc).  However, after looking around it seems to be one of the more popular languages and something I should probably be more familiar with.  From what I could see Django was about my best option as it looked like I would be able to get something up and running quickly.  If I could follow instructions better I would have Django setup in about 20 mins, instead I spent a day fumbling with errors before I re-read the instructions.

With Django setup I started to wonder if I was making this too hard.  So tonight I re-visited my I/O needs from my Arduino controller vs what RPi offers.   Turns out RPi can fully support my needs and I don’t have to deal with interfacing with the Arduino a bit more.  With that simplifcation, Craftbeerpi is now back to being my quickest way to getting a Brewstand Controller working.  I think I’d still like to make my own program, but given that I tend not to have much free time (unless it is late at night) I seriously doubt that will ever happen once I get a controller working with Craftbeerpi.  So now I just need to tweak the circuits a bit to adjust for 3.3V outputs  and watching the currents.  


Tags: , , , , ,

Here is a photo of my nearly complete brewstand.  To finish I still need to clean up the electrical wiring (and to think I’m licensed in something like this),  build my circuit board, build the HERMs pot, program an Ardunio and paired Android app.  Besides that I can do large batches 15+ gallons of infusion mashing  brewing.  More photos at the end.


First Edition

When we lived in CA I  was able to get some brewing equipment off of Craigslist that would let me do at least 15G batchs.  The problem with that is that I didn’t think it to be a good idea to lift 10+ gallons of boiling water above my head to pour into the mash tun.

Since I had everything in the garage which was incredibly over packed the initial stand had to be very compact.  I knew the pump wasn’t self priming and came up with an idea to solve that…suction start.  I tried a few concepts before I figured out how to make things work the way I intended it too.  Here is a photo of that stand for batch #12.

Second Edition

With a pump in hand I started day dreaming of a better brewing setup.   I spun up some ideas for a single pump HERMS system and created some basic Visio drawings to help make sense of it.     I posted my ideas on homebrewtalk, but didn’t catch the attention of anyone.  By this time we had moved to CO and I continued to press on with my idea.  In a panic to make my back-to-back brew days while Lisa and the kids were out of town I slapped together my concept.  Needless to say the brews day didn’t go well.  Switches didn’t work, power supply died, liquid wouldn’t transfer through the tubing, and all sorts of other things.

Third Edition

I learned a lot on the failed brew session and went back to the drawing boards.  With more space to work in CO I dreamed up a real brewstand.  A 2 tier, all wood,  and pretty simple to assemble brewstand.  I use some grid paper to get my the concept put together and then used Google SketchUp to complete the design.  One theory for my failed liquid transfers was too much back pressure and suction on the tubing.  So I simplified the tubing and added in a gant before the pump.  I got one brew day on this setup for batch #16.  The day went well, but I figured out a few more tweaks to make.  I then had a 3 day brewing marathon to make 40G in 4 beers.  The brew day was success and I’m quite pleased with my brewstand.

Next update for the brew stand I hope to have the HERMs system up and running with a decent looking control panel and Android app.


Tags: , , , , , ,