Thursday, 6 November 2014

Fail Fast

Starting to dry run the brew-controller and realised there was a very important piece of code missing.
@@ -299,14 +301,31 @@ if self.zoneTemp < self.zoneTarget: - if self.useZoneA: + if self.useZoneA and self.useZoneB: self.ssrZoneA=True + self.ssrZoneB=True + elif self.useZoneA: + self.ssrZoneA=True + self.ssrZoneB=False else: self.ssrZoneB=True + self.ssrZoneA=False else: self.ssrZoneA=False self.ssrZoneB=False - + + if self.ssrZoneA: + self.gpio.output('ssrZoneA',1) + print "BOIL: ssrZoneA = 1" + else: + self.gpio.output('ssrZoneA',0) + print "BOIL: ssrZoneA = 0" + if self.ssrZoneB: + self.gpio.output('ssrZoneB',1) + print "BOIL: ssrZoneB = 1" + else: + self.gpio.output('ssrZoneB',0) + print "BOIL: ssrZoneB = 0"
When testing on a bench there was just enough current leaking through the SSR's to light up the panel indicators, took a while to realise that I wasn't actually firing the SSR

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Mosaic

A recipe with Mosaic hops at the focus, and the first attempt with First Wort Hopping


Mosaic


A recipe to try out First Wort Hopping with Moasic hops. Assuming that FWH will be somewhat close to 20min worth of bittering hops.
Recipe Stats
Batch Size: 25.0 L
Estimated Gravity: 1.048 OG - 1.013 FG
Estimated ABV: 4.6 %
Estimated IBU: 48 IBU
Fermentables
QtyIngredient
6500 gmMaris Otter
Grain
Mash Required
HWE: 315.6
340 gmHoney
Adjunct
HWE: 291.8
170 gmTorrified Wheat
Grain
Mash Required
HWE: 299.5
Hops
QtyIngredient
25 gmMosaic
First Wort Hop - 20 min
30 gmColumbus
Copper (60min) - 60 min
25 gmMosaic
Aroma (15min) - 15 min
25 gmMosaic
Dryhop - 0 min
25 gmMosaic
Flameout (0min) - 0 min
Yeast
QtyIngredient
1 pktSafale S04

Monday, 21 July 2014

Mild

Bottled half of the Mild that was brewed... the other half was drunk straight from the fermenter.

... really happy with the way this one turned out even after a couple of weeks it's pretty damn good.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

back to back bottling and brewing

Bottled "Simcoe" yesterday, after 12 days in the FV it went from bloody gorgeous out the FV to a bit questionable, to very drinkable.
I think I prefer the pre-dryhopped version as additional aroma seems to take something away. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.
Given it's high on the aroma side I'm pleased I went with guy instinct a put in the 50g of Bravo boiled for 10 minutes.

Today, brewed another Mild, same recipe as before but with an extra 250g of chocolate. Pretty smooth from the brewing side of things... although a few more teething problems with the brew controller. The rapsberry pi's refuse to power up if the case is stood up (the right way) so it must be on it's side.....
but it's getting closer. The SSR code was fixed so that it alternates between the HLT elements and the graphing code is fixed so a graph of fermentation temps should be in place. Although still using the ATC800+ to actually control the temps, will use the graphing as a soak test to ensure things stay stable over the week.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Oops


A couple of mistakes post-brew day.

Starting to test the brew-controller, because of the poor wi-fi taking down the secondary Raspberry Pi, I switched the temp probe to another socket (measured from the primary). Unfortunately this ended up creating a short-circuit- complete with smoke.

- Thankfully after testing today I've found that I ended up with a corrupt swap partition on one of the RPi's - and the temperature probe in question has died (given that's only £3 or so) I'm not too upset.


The second mistake was that because the boil volume in the kettle was 36L not 31L then the IBU might be as low as 28 IBU instead of 48. THe recipe below was calculated as 17% IBU. The more I think about it the more I think the 13.4% printed on the label might have been correct (after all they were £2 for 100g).

The third mistake might turn out to be boiling up the remaining 50g of Bravo hops for 10 minute in a jar of honey and water. Putting in a sterile jar in the fridge over night and then putting it in the fermenttion bin. Fermentation was still underway (given the fridge still cutting in to cool the FV) so hopefully there won't be any oxidation.

A taste from the fermentation bin so far is not very bitter, but I guess until fermentation is over it's hard to tell.





Recipe Stats
Batch Size: 25.0 L
Estimated Gravity: 1.048 OG - 1.013 FG
Estimated ABV: 4.6 %
Estimated IBU: 48 IBU
Fermentables
 QtyIngredient
 6500 gmMaris Otter
Grain
Mash Required
HWE: 315.6
 340 gmHoney
Adjunct
HWE: 291.8
 250 gmTorrified Wheat
Grain
Mash Required
HWE: 299.5
Hops
 QtyIngredient
 25 gmBravo
Copper (60min) - 60 min
 25 gmBravo
Aroma (15min) - 15 min
 50 gmSimcoe
Dryhop - 0 min
 50 gmSimcoe
Flameout (0min) - 0 min
Yeast
 QtyIngredient
 1 pktSafale S04
Other
 QtyIngredient
 48 LBottled Water (2L)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Simcoe The Brave

Today's brew is called "Simcoe The Brave", it gets the brave tag as there are two firsts in there.

1) It's the first time using a random Bravo hop for bittering, as it was £2 for 100g I figured I'd give it a go. I'm not sure if it's 17% or 13.2%.

2) It's the first use of the new brewcontroller.


It's been a bit of an adventures day, the brewcontroller was made up of two Raspberry PI's, one of the RPi had a wi-fi link, and a cross-over between them seemed a good idea (with a bridge it would be straightforward Multicast with IGMP,  I didn't want to go down L3 Multicast in Linux).

Unfortunately the wi-fi dongle keeps dropping and taking the bridge down - which means the inter-pi link fails. This causes all kinds of havoc when the secondary pi is controlling the SSR for the HLT and the primary pi is governing it all but is getting dropped.

I think the wi-fi dongle needs dropping and  instead go with a usb dongle and either wire up a wired ethernet socket outside or go with powerline adapters.

Alongside with contending with a flaky brew controller ended up getting 44 litres out of the mash because of all things left the tap open when thinking it was shut.

Eventful days like this often produce good beer

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Part 1 - Relay Board

This page provides an Overview for the project


A 8 port relay board is central to controlling power within the brew controller.
There are plenty on ebay 5v 8 relay board arduino, the relay board will be hooked up to an intermediate I2C MCP23017 chip which avoids using up GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi.
A downside of the Arduino based relay boards is that they are active low, I've put a set of NPN transistors to take a logic-high from the MCP23017 in order to switch ground. The logic-signal from the MCP23017 is taken via an illuminated switch which is the reason for using the transistors so that the MCP23017 stays logic-high is ON, logic-low is OFF. A 10k resistor is placed between base of the transistor and the output of the switch.

Cost

1x Raspberry Pi - £30
1x 8 Relay Board - £ 4.71
1x MCP23017 - £ 2.45
8x Transistors - £1.00
8x 10k Resistors - £1.00
8x Illuminated Switches - £7.92
1x Solderless prototype board - £3
1x selection of jumper wires - £2
Total cost - £52.08

Functionality

The software can enable/disable power to sockets based upon setting a logic-high/logic-low. The status of the socket will be shown via the illuminated switch, which can be used to force a socket off.

The relays on these boards are only good for 10A, this design really was based on a few parts that I already had, and evolved a little. In hindsight I might have just put optocouplers in front of the right kind of relays. As it is for the HLT and Boil zone these little relays act as a control circuit for some bigger 30A relays, there is also an SSR involved for these circuits.


Hooking it together

The Raspberry Pi is the slave RPi.


The I2C GPIO
- Pins (28-21) A7,A6,A5,A4,A3,A2,A1 and A0 are connected to the +Ve supply of 8 illuminated switches.
- Pins 18, 15 and 9 are connected to 5V
- Pin 17, 16 and 10 is connected to ground.
- Pin 12 is connected to Pin 3 of the slave raspberry pi
- Pin 13 is connected to Pin 5 of the slave raspberry pi.

Each of the 8 switches.
- The ACCessory leg of each of the switches is connected via a 10kohm resistor to the base of 8 individual transistors (BC548C - NPN)
- Each of the 8 switches is grounded for it's illumination led

Each of the 8 transistors.
- The collector of each transistor is tied to ground.

The relay board
 - Input pins 1-8 are tied to the emitter of the 8 individual transistors.
 - VSS is tied to ground
 - VDD is tied to 5V.




Saturday, 17 May 2014

Brew Controller - Specification

The aim for the new brew controller is to control the brew day. This could be built to varying budgets (probably around £200 in what I'm building) primarily determined by the power rating. I am of the view two elements is better than one but haven't actually specified the elements for the boiler yet- the HLT elements are standard kettle elements ~ 11amps each. I'm taking a view that things which can't easily be replaced should aim for 20A - but to keep control on the cost intiially some easily replaced switches are only good for 15A.

In the garage I'm likely to have 1 x 30amp feed and 1 x 13amp feed, two 15A zones is an improvement over the current ATC800+ based temperature controller which is only good for a single 13A zone.


Specifications


  • 2 x Diverse - Power Zones
  • Control of HLT for heating the mash water, and sparge water. 
  • Control of Boil control
  • Control of fermentation (to replace existing ATC800+), and provide graph of fermentation temperature
  • Automatic control of extractor fan
  • Manual control of 1 Pump
  • Ability to drive the functions from the brew controller, with (perhaps) of remote triggering of functions over a network interface.
  • Base settings for a given receipes should be set from a network interface to avoid manually setting values
  • Ability for real-time status to be seen over the network (web interface, android app) 
  • Allow future expansion to RIMS/HERMS
    • Hardware wise additional pumps may be required and control would move to software


Basic Equipment


  • RaspberryPi for control. 
    • In the previous temperature controller there was stability issues with running two DS18B20 probes. In hindsight this may have been a hardware wiring issue. Since I have a spare RPi two will be used to spread the load. (Testing will determine if refactoring onto a single RPi has any downsides).
  • DS18B20 probes for temperature control
  • HD44780 20x4 LCD screen 
    • previously used a 16x2 which was a little too limiting
  • SSR's for controlling element (1 per zone)
  • Mechanical Relays to protect element sockets 
  • Mechanical Relays to control low-power devices (fridge, heater, extractor fan, pump).
  • Lot's of switches, buttons, wire, sockets and plugs, resistors, transistors
  • MCP23017 I2C switch for providing extra GPIO ports.
  • Old computer case to house it all in.

Parts gathered so far

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Plans in place for getting water into the garage

Plans are underway for getting water into the garage for the next brew day as well as creating a new HLT.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Last week bottled, mini-kegged and polypinned the batch of Pure Gold Goose. The caragold toffee notes really come through, maybe a little too much. The F.G. was high but given a high mash temp and the caragold this is in line with the Dark Green Goose

The plan today is to do an Orange River Goose again (with the harvested yeast), although this time I'm scaling back the caragold. Unfortunately the record keeping for the Orange River Goose first time around is leaving me guessing at how much orange and coriander was adding at each stage.

--EDIT--
The zest of 4 oranges  + 100ml of orange juice

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Time for a goose themed view.

I've done single hop brews for a while and missing the White/Gold Goose. I think it's time to do a gold goose again (as I have caragold in).