Brew Control Panel Build

The forum for discussing all kinds of brewing paraphernalia.
MTomlinson
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Brew Control Panel Build

Post by MTomlinson » Tue May 01, 2018 3:44 pm

After a long time of wanting to do Home Brew iv finally taken the plunge and committed to it.

The Electric Brewery Build was the inspiration but after seeing the price of it, the fact its US based and not tailored exactly to what i wanted to do i have decided to design my own.

I am going to use this thread to ask questions, get recommendations and document what i am doing. Hopefully any short sighted mistakes will be picked up and rectified before i start if i go about it in this manner.

Due to the costs associated i am going to build this gradually in stages, its going to be a long term project.

My build plan is as follows:

- Control Panel Build (Basic Functionality - Pump & Heating Element Basic Control)
- Budget (Plastic Buckets) Brewery Build (Test/Commission Panel)
- Basic Brewery Build (All Final Equipment - Manual valves)
- Panel Upgrade (Add Valve Control, Flow Control and Level Detection)
- Brewery Upgrade (Gradually add automated valves as budget allows - Cold Feed last as its pretty pointless just been lazy but will do it)

Now for the Microsoft paint masterpieces (These will be drawn up in AutoCad when i get the time as a Panel Layout with dimensions and a P&ID Diagram)

Control Panel Draft Mock Up:
[img]https://image.ibb.co/n3ODw7/Home_Brew_P ... _Draft.png[/img]

Brewery System Draft Mock Up:
[img]https://image.ibb.co/gbyrin/Home_Brew_2_Pump_Layout.png[/img]

MTomlinson
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by MTomlinson » Tue May 01, 2018 3:55 pm

Questions:

I plan on using Inkbird ITC-100 PIDs and an Inkbird IDT Timer, until i order the timer and have a play about i cant be sure how it is working the forum posts i have read arnt clear. Does anyone know if the Gate input acts as a trigger as i suspect it does? so set time = 90mins > Press start > 12v on Gate > timer starts.

Initially i specc'ed valves as ½” Diaphram Isolation Solenoid Valve (Viton). But have also seen motorised valves that are available with position feedback like http://www.china-tonhe.com/Products/Ele ... C_550.html, has anyone implemented automatic valves into here system and used either of these solutions? I have requested quotes for a number of different options so ultimately this will come down to price.

Can i gravity feed my counter flow chiller rather than pump it through ?

Does anyone know of a cheap but reliable/functional flowmeter ?

Recommend what size elements to use ? been pricing up 5kw ones, suitable for a 57L ? seen some builds with 2 smaller elements what is the benefit of this ?

jaroporter
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by jaroporter » Tue May 01, 2018 4:29 pm

in addition to einbrew's post the other benefit of two smaller elements is that if one faults for any reason you can still continue with the other. a well built system can boil 60 litres with half of 5kw no problem at all. the extra power is just useful for quicker heatup times
dazzled, doused in gin..

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orlando
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Location: North Norfolk: Nearest breweries All Day Brewery, Salle. Panther, Reepham. Yetman's, Holt

Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by orlando » Tue May 01, 2018 4:51 pm

Have you done any brewing at all?
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Drowning in Dusseldorf (Alt Bier)
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS), Party Like A Russian (RIS)
Drinking: India (real IPA), California Sun, Black Night
Up Next: Near Mild Heaven, Peaches (Peach IPA),
Planning: Autumn beer.

MTomlinson
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by MTomlinson » Tue May 01, 2018 5:08 pm

The current isnt an issue i need to run a new supply into my garage for a small Garden Distribution board so there is the availability i can expand this to accommodate an extra supply.

When you say extra level of control i presume this would be more relevant to the BK ?

My initial design is that the BK would operate in auto upto pre boil temperature i would then have an alarm and then operate manually.

So say i had 2x 2.5kw in my BK. I could get upto pre boil using 2x 2.5kw and then reduce to 1x 2.5kw for the final stage of the boil keeping it in auto all the way through ? possibly use the alarm to disable one of the elements automatically, looks like there are 2 alarm outputs on the PID so this could be possible.

MTomlinson
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by MTomlinson » Tue May 01, 2018 5:12 pm

[quote=orlando post_id=832410 time=1525189866 user_id=8970]
Have you done any brewing at all?
[/quote]

No none complete novice will be jumping in feet first. This is why i will be doing a few runs in plastic buckets first to get a feel for it.
The basic process seems fairly straight forward though.

From the notes iv made while researching what process control elements i need i have written up the following process stage summary:

Brew Process Stages
1. Power On / Safe Start (Ensure All Switches Set To “OFF” & Stop Button Released, Reset to clear alarms)
2. HLT Fill (Cold Water Feed)
3. HLT Re-Circulate
4. HLT Heat > Brew Stage Complete Alarm @ Temp
5. HLT to MLT Transfer
6. HLT Re-Circulate + HERMS Re-Circulate > Brew Stage Complete Alarm @ Temp
7. Manual Step Add Grain > Stir > Ph check/adjust
8. HLT Re-Circulate + HERMS Re-Circulate > Brew Stage Complete Alarm @ Timer
9. Mash Out > Brew Stage Complete Alarm @ Timer
10. Sparge MLT + HLT matched flow rate > Brew Stage Complete Alarm @ BK Volume
11. Manual Step Ph check/adjust + Specific gravity measurement
12. BK Pre-Boil > Pre Boil Alarm @ Temp
13. Bk Reach Boil > Brew Stage Complete Alarm @ Temp
14. Bk Boil > Brew Stage Complete Alarm @ Timer
15. Wort Chiller Transfer + Chiller Cold Water Feed
16. Manual Step Ph check + Specific gravity measurement
17. Fermentation

Am i missing anything?

Fil
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by Fil » Tue May 01, 2018 7:36 pm

before you take the plunge and start buying bits, get a couple of bucket brews under your belt as it will highlight just what aspects if any would enhance the brewday with a level of automation. then check out some of the off the shelf offerings, from the smartpid (an stc1000 sized box with electric brewery functionality) there are also a few matho style controllers about.. but you can check out the original 'matho roadmap in Jabba's 'Brewery Programming thread' in here from about 5-6 years ago..

You may find brewing with buckets by the seat of your pants suits you without any automation whatsoever, all you really need is a thermometer notebook and pen/pencil and a kitchen timer/watch/clock/phone ;)

Automation will only help with consistency, but you will need to refine your procedures for positive results before you can start repeating consistently..

Dont be deterred just loose your ag cherry before you start designing the last brewery you will need..
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

Mr Uppity

Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by Mr Uppity » Tue May 01, 2018 8:11 pm

Image

A few members made control panels a few years back using the Electric Brewery website instructions, thats the one barneey made,

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orlando
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Location: North Norfolk: Nearest breweries All Day Brewery, Salle. Panther, Reepham. Yetman's, Holt

Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by orlando » Tue May 01, 2018 9:31 pm

Fil wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:36 pm

Automation will only help with consistency, but you will need to refine your procedures for positive results before you can start repeating consistently..

Dont be deterred just loose your ag cherry before you start designing the last brewery you will need..
Listen to Fil.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Drowning in Dusseldorf (Alt Bier)
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS), Party Like A Russian (RIS)
Drinking: India (real IPA), California Sun, Black Night
Up Next: Near Mild Heaven, Peaches (Peach IPA),
Planning: Autumn beer.

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donchiquon
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Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by donchiquon » Tue May 01, 2018 10:07 pm

orlando wrote:
Fil wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:36 pm

Automation will only help with consistency, but you will need to refine your procedures for positive results before you can start repeating consistently..

Dont be deterred just loose your ag cherry before you start designing the last brewery you will need..
Listen to Fil.
Couldn’t agree more. There are so many variables involved that it’s worth brewing for a while to work out which ones you want to spend money automating.

Either way you’ve got some very enjoyable brews ahead of you :)


Ian
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cerbera84
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by cerbera84 » Tue May 01, 2018 10:15 pm

orlando wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 9:31 pm
Fil wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:36 pm

Automation will only help with consistency, but you will need to refine your procedures for positive results before you can start repeating consistently..

Dont be deterred just loose your ag cherry before you start designing the last brewery you will need..
Listen to Fil.
There’s good advice on offer here, it’s tempting to jump straight in at the deep end but you do need to master the basics first. I went a little crazy after my first (and only) kit brew, and built a 3 vessel stainless setup. It’s only now I’ve reached about 20/25 all grain brews that I’ve found some consistency in the beers I’ve produced. I’d say concentrate on maintaining mash temps, measuring volumes, thorough cleaning and sanitising practices, understanding recipes and steady fermentation temps initially - these are probably the areas to focus your cash on at the beginning, rather than automated valves.
Planning: BrewEasy system build; possibly a Wychwood Hobgoblin Gold clone
Fermenting: Simcoe SMASH
Drinking: Cascade Centennial Pale

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themadhippy
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by themadhippy » Wed May 02, 2018 8:05 am

A few members made control panels a few years back using the Electric Brewery website instructions
im more an analogue man
Image
much simpler to build than the electric brewery as most of the work is done with an ardunio
Warning: The Dutch Coffeeshops products may contain drugs. Drinks containing caffeine should be used with care and moderation

chris246810

Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by chris246810 » Wed May 02, 2018 10:54 am

Have a look at brucontrol. Loads easier and quicker to wire up than a hardware based panel and makes future upgrades/changes a piece of cake

MTomlinson
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by MTomlinson » Wed May 02, 2018 5:26 pm

[quote=Fil post_id=832419 time=1525199789 user_id=8767]
before you take the plunge and start buying bits, get a couple of bucket brews under your belt as it will highlight just what aspects if any would enhance the brewday with a level of automation. then check out some of the off the shelf offerings, from the smartpid (an stc1000 sized box with electric brewery functionality) there are also a few matho style controllers about.. but you can check out the original 'matho roadmap in Jabba's 'Brewery Programming thread' in here from about 5-6 years ago..

You may find brewing with buckets by the seat of your pants suits you without any automation whatsoever, all you really need is a thermometer notebook and pen/pencil and a kitchen timer/watch/clock/phone ;)

Automation will only help with consistency, but you will need to refine your procedures for positive results before you can start repeating consistently..

Dont be deterred just loose your ag cherry before you start designing the last brewery you will need..
[/quote]


Iv got a brew kit on order and a box of Thor’s Hammer.

As I say it’s a long term project not splurging loads of cash at once buy small bits at a time, just getting it all designed and planned, bonus is I need a project to finish my HNC off so this could potentially tick the box

Fil
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Re: Brew Control Panel Build

Post by Fil » Wed May 02, 2018 7:30 pm

Good to hear, kits make great beer and let you hone your cold side skills and cleaning and sanitation procedures..
tip #1 skip straight to using no rinse sanitisers such as 5star-starsan or similar, it may appear more expensive but its not and its so much less work and makes it easier to maintain a high level of sanitation

enjoy brewing and the beer and everything else will simply fall into place one evening as your supping a pint of your personal best ;)
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

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