Category Archives: BrewPi

A Short Update – a long time coming

Well it might appear to people that I’ve stopped brewing, I haven’t it’s just time and work and tiredness that’s got in the way 🙃.

Recent brews include a Raspberry N Vanilla pale, brewed New England style with 17% oats, a Rooibos and honey tea ale, nice but a bit of a high ABV for general quaffing. A double split batch af wheat beer, a Mango  fruit beer for the NCB Competition at Wishbone brewery and a couple of split test brews with different fruits before the competition . I’ve had a couple of gushers from that initial bottled test batch due to large amounts of fruit pulp over fermenting in the bottle 😳.
Here’re a few of he recipes



All brewed with the brewpi and Tilt, although I have had one or two issues with the Tilt and yeast coating the top and affecting the readings as can be seen below.

Treacle Porter @brewpi update

 

Just a quick update

my control settings are now

{
  "kind": "Control",
  "pids": [
    {
      "kind": "Pid",
      "name": "heater1",
      "enabled": true,
      "setPoint": {
        "kind": "SetPointSimple",
        "name": "fridgeset",
        "value": 17.9453
      },
      "inputSensor": {
        "kind": "TempSensorFallback",
        "onBackupSensor": false,
        "sensor": {
          "kind": "TempSensor",
          "name": "fridge",
          "sensor": {
            "kind": "OneWireTempSensor",
            "value": 17.75,
            "connected": true,
            "address": "285C83B504000046",
            "calibrationOffset": 0
          }
        }
      },
      "inputError": -0.1953,
      "Kp": 10,
      "Ti": 600,
      "Td": 60,
      "p": 1.9531,
      "i": 0.0547,
      "d": -0.1172,
      "actuatorIsNegative": false,
      "outputActuator": {
        "kind": "ActuatorPwm",
        "value": 1.8906,
        "period": 4,
        "minVal": 0,
        "maxVal": 100,
        "target": {
          "kind": "ActuatorMutexDriver",
          "mutexGroup": {
            "kind": "ActuatorMutexGroup",
            "deadTime": 1800000,
            "waitTime": 1797431
          },
          "target": {
            "kind": "ActuatorPin",
            "state": false,
            "pin": 10,
            "invert": false
          }
        }
      }
    },
    {
      "kind": "Pid",
      "name": "heater2",
      "enabled": true,
      "setPoint": {
        "kind": "SetPointSimple",
        "name": "beer2set",
        "value": null
      },
      "inputSensor": {
        "kind": "TempSensor",
        "name": "beer2",
        "sensor": {
          "kind": "OneWireTempSensor",
          "value": 14.375,
          "connected": true,
          "address": "28AA4C830400008A",
          "calibrationOffset": 0
        }
      },
      "inputError": null,
      "Kp": 10,
      "Ti": 600,
      "Td": 60,
      "p": 0,
      "i": 0,
      "d": 0,
      "actuatorIsNegative": false,
      "outputActuator": {
        "kind": "ActuatorPwm",
        "value": 0,
        "period": 4,
        "minVal": 0,
        "maxVal": 100,
        "target": {
          "kind": "ActuatorMutexDriver",
          "mutexGroup": {
            "kind": "ActuatorMutexGroup",
            "deadTime": 1800000,
            "waitTime": 1797429
          },
          "target": {
            "kind": "ActuatorNop",
            "state": false
          }
        }
      }
    },
    {
      "kind": "Pid",
      "name": "cooler",
      "enabled": true,
      "setPoint": {
        "kind": "SetPointSimple",
        "name": "fridgeset",
        "value": 17.9453
      },
      "inputSensor": {
        "kind": "TempSensorFallback",
        "onBackupSensor": false,
        "sensor": {
          "kind": "TempSensor",
          "name": "fridge",
          "sensor": {
            "kind": "OneWireTempSensor",
            "value": 17.75,
            "connected": true,
            "address": "285C83B504000046",
            "calibrationOffset": 0
          }
        }
      },
      "inputError": -0.1953,
      "Kp": 10,
      "Ti": 1800,
      "Td": 200,
      "p": 1.9531,
      "i": -0.0078,
      "d": -0.4688,
      "actuatorIsNegative": true,
      "outputActuator": {
        "kind": "ActuatorPwm",
        "value": 0,
        "period": 1200,
        "minVal": 0,
        "maxVal": 100,
        "target": {
          "kind": "ActuatorMutexDriver",
          "mutexGroup": {
            "kind": "ActuatorMutexGroup",
            "deadTime": 1800000,
            "waitTime": 1797426
          },
          "target": {
            "kind": "ActuatorTimeLimited",
            "minOnTime": 120,
            "minOffTime": 180,
            "maxOnTime": 65535,
            "state": false,
            "target": {
              "kind": "ActuatorPin",
              "state": false,
              "pin": 11,
              "invert": false
            }
          }
        }
      }
    },
    {
      "kind": "Pid",
      "name": "beer2fridge",
      "enabled": true,
      "setPoint": {
        "kind": "SetPointSimple",
        "name": "beer1set",
        "value": 20
      },
      "inputSensor": {
        "kind": "TempSensor",
        "name": "beer1",
        "sensor": {
          "kind": "OneWireTempSensor",
          "value": 19.9375,
          "connected": true,
          "address": "28E95857040000CA",
          "calibrationOffset": 0
        }
      },
      "inputError": -0.0391,
      "Kp": 8,
      "Ti": 10200,
      "Td": 600,
      "p": 0.3125,
      "i": -2.5547,
      "d": 0.1875,
      "actuatorIsNegative": false,
      "outputActuator": {
        "kind": "ActuatorSetPoint",
        "targetSetPoint": {
          "kind": "SetPointSimple",
          "name": "fridgeset",
          "value": 17.9453
        },
        "targetSensor": {
          "kind": "TempSensor",
          "name": "fridge",
          "sensor": {
            "kind": "OneWireTempSensor",
            "value": 17.75,
            "connected": true,
            "address": "285C83B504000046",
            "calibrationOffset": 0
          }
        },
        "referenceSetPoint": {
          "kind": "SetPointSimple",
          "name": "beer1set",
          "value": 20
        },
        "output": -2.0547,
        "achieved": -2.25,
        "minimum": -5,
        "maximum": 5
      }
    }
  ]
}

Many thanks to Elco for replying to my post, I have already  implemented the changes you suggested and it seems to be behaving much better !
After my rant yesterday and thinking about  PID settings I will do a bit of digging  on the web  to see if a calibration routine could be implemented. ..thats if I can find and understand the relevant maths involved.. 😳
and Yes I will stick with the Brewpi Spark a little longer and I might up-rate the tube heater (currently 45-60W) to a 200W ceramic ES type  heater as used for reptile tanks  but if I do, a trial run to tune the settings before a ferment is underway will be in order.
Smiley

Treacle Porter @Brewpi woes

I had a late start Brewday to do a Treacle Porter might double up for the NCB January event but Maybe not as I don’t intend going..last time the tasting of 22 beers wasn’t that enjoyable..!
Any way back to the BrewDay.

I think the Gremlins have taken up residance !My automation in the BrewShed just didn’t play as nicely as it should, the Raspberry Pi on the Herms System froze / crashed  and so I reset it. but towards the end of the mash noticed the temperature wasn’t rising but was falling !  a quick SSH into the Pi and the time was now -1  hour out even though the time zone was London…a quick manual intervention and set it to mash out temp of 75.5 to lock the sugar profile.. saved the brew…

Whilst I was in maintenance mode back up at the house I thought I might as well update the fermentation Brewpi with the integrated Tilt Hydrometer mods to the latest 0.4.4 version. Everything appeared to go smoothly but as I found out this morning something just isn’t right and I am considering either reverting to an earlier version or going back to my trusty Brewpi Arduino version.

With the technical problems I was having with the Herms  my mind wasn’t focussed on the brewing, so I had over chilled the wort with my flatplate chiller, not a problem just leave it overnight on beer constant set to 21˚C and then work out a profile for the Safale  S-04 yeast in the morning. 21˚C is towards the top end of the recommended temperature range but acceptable, when I looked I was shocked to see the beer was just over 22˚C.. Nearly in Panic mode. I set the photon (the heart of the new Brewpi spark ) back to factory settings and  re assigned all the devices but to no avail it’s still intent on boiling my brew!

I am just about  ready to swap back to the Arduino version of the Brewpi. I am loosing faith in the Spark version of the controller, it just doesn’t do it for me. The old version had a readable display and  you could easily control it using the knob and set its mode with wet hands, finish the clean up of the Brew Shed then go and set the beer profile up once back in the comfort of the lounge. The spark version just is’t as readable and you need a smart device to change the settings, smart devices don’t work very well with wet hands…..in my eyes the move to the spark/particle  lost usability in favour of promised multi chamber support which so far has turned out to be vapourware as Elco has stuggled to maintain the demand from his store and put in Development time… you can’t currently even set the Brewpi to beer/fridge constant using the touch screen, the only saving feature so far has been the HERMS configuration but I’m finding that unwieldy as I use 2 different mash tuns so have to swap between two different beer sensors and have to set two different beer-fridge KP settings and so have to re configure instead of being able to select a different profiles for the mash tuns.

Personally I think Elco has made a mistake and royally f@*ked up ! (yep  I know it’s easy to say with hind sight ..) considering the amount of posts on the forum concerning the arduino  there was room for two products. The arduino version of the BrewPi had a large user base and had attained a mature state and was very usable and stable as a single chamber fermentation controller for the home brewer, then a lot of code refactoring  and object orientation went on to try and go multi-chamber and started the transition to an ARM based device with more resources- the SPARK controller (as it was called then) and it became less stable .. It would have been nice to freeze development of the arduino and still sell it and hire someone to look after the store and any support issues and Elco concentrate on the dev work for the new semi professionally orientated  multi chamber system that the micro and nano brewers were shouting for…

Elco if you read this, sorry .. it has turned into a bit of a rant.. your original idea for the BREWPI was fantastic and I have used it with great success and given me pleasure in the process I do truly hope things get turned around and become successful for you..

as always to finish up  here’s the Treacle Porter recipe

 

 

 

Homebrew Competition Brew – Euro/British IPA @WishboneBrewery

I originally wasn’t going to Brew for this competition but a cheeky day off before we went on Holiday to Norfolk and it’s a go !
I went with  5 hop varieties,  Fusion,  First Gold, Hallertau Blanc, Olicana and Pioneer.

Brewday on the 8th of July went straight forward, with the Brewpi Herms in charge .

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 22.57.13
HERMS profile
IMG_1540
Awaiting more Wort
IMG_1542
Mid Hop addition

Whilst on Holiday  another BrewPi Controller monitored the fermentation and the new Baronbrew TlLT  measured the SG

wishbone

As soon as I was back from Holiday it was put into the secondary and dry hopped.

IMG_1647
Colour check 🙂

Today it’s been bottled and Kegged after 3 days of being Dry Hopped. OG 1.064 FG 1.013  approx 6.7 % and I am looking forward to trying it in the next 2 or 3 weeks, best make sure there’s enough left for the competition……

Northern Craft Brewers UK Hop Black IPA

One or Two of my Brewing Friends belong to the Northern Craft Brewers group (They have a website but most of the day to daystuff is on their facebook group page) . Our small group of brewing friends regularly communicate using a whatsapp group created after the breakup of the Olicanabrewing home-brew group..  ‘Bromo‘ shared a recipe for an upcoming competition in October. He asked for feedback and comments, after several of our group commented and gave him feedback, I thought I’d have a go myself, what the heck…. a little bit of friendly competition never goes amiss.

So I Used Beersmith to do my own recipe

Caputre 2016-06-20 at 15.34.10

As mentioned in my previous post the brew day went slightly awry after the element in my HLT failed just as the mash profile was about to be fixed using my BrewPi configured to do HERMS. I Also decided to use Propino malt as the base malt instead of my usual default of Maris Otter.

The OG came in at 1.060  a little below par but I decided to keep it as it came out instead of boiling it out further to get a higher OG.

After 5 days in the primary FV loosely following a profiled fermentation I transferred into the secondary

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 13.31.45
Profiled ferment

During its time in the primary my Brewometer/Tilt arrived from the USA , so at the time of the transfer I sanitised it and popped it in .

Brewometer Tilt
Brewometer Tilt

This has tracked the Secondary Fermentation, giving me a visual indication for the ideal time when fermentation has all but stopped to add my Hops for the Dry Hopping.

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 12.25.37

I took the opportunity to sample the brew before the dry hopping. My Initial conclusion was not enough hops, the back bone was a little too malty and it didn’t have that Crisp Hoppiness that its American Cascadian cousins have ! Lets see what 3 or 4 days of dry hopping  at 14˚c brings to the palate…….

HERMS using @BrewPi Spark and the @Baronbrew Brewometer/Tilt

I finally got my HERMS panel finished and installed in my Shedquarters .

HERMS Panel
HERMS Panel up and Running

It’s had two shakedowns, both times it has had different problems. On the first run I decided to do an Anchor Steam Clone. The BrewPi was set to Fridge constant mode to get the HLT up to strike temperature and then after doughing in, on changing modes to Beer Constant the Beer probe temperature switched to 85˚C and stayed there, stubbornly refusing my attempts to 1) remove and then re assign the probe and 2) swap out and configure a standby probe. I only sorted it by cycling the power on the controller…. note to self add an external  switch, I don’t want to either open up the panel or SSH in to the Pi  to issue

sudo shutdown -r now

midway through  a mash….

IMG_1327
Anchor Steam Clone underway

On the second Run things went smoothly (well nearly ), Fridge constant mode  successfully switched to profile mode after dough in  and was holding the temperature on the  at beer sensor ( probe in a T piece just after the tap on the Mash Tun ). There was approx a 2˚C temperature difference between the Beer sensor and the Room sensor which was just hanging into the top of the grain bed.  this second brew was a test for an NCB competition to brew Black IPA but only using English hops. Things seemed stable at 64.5 ˚C , so I left it in search of a cup of Tea.  I checked just before the profile was about to start its ramp up to 76.5˚to  fix the wort profile and noticed it was down a whole 1˚C.

The Element had gone !

In my efforts to diagnose it, I switched the BrewPi spark to  test mode  but this seemed a bit  buggy! The state of the outputs seemed to be locked into profile mode and wouldn’t allow me to change them, yes, the display on the spark changed but the logic seemed to be locked in to what it was doing previously… only changing when I  came out of test mode and changed it to mode OFF  and then back into test mode ..I am glad I put an isolation switched socket on two of the outputs !.  Brew rescued by just putting it in the copper and starting the boil without fixing the profile…(it was down a couple of points on the forecasted OG but I can cope with that…) Recipe below for completeness..

Caputre 2016-06-20 at 15.34.10

Whilst the Black IPA was in the FV the Brewometer from  that I ordered 3 weeks prior arrived .

IMG_1395

I checked it’s calibration….(  I left it uncalibrated as it was spot on)IMG_1398

sanitised it and then when the Black IPA was transferred to the secondary over the weekend in it went…

I’ll post another screenshot when it looks like the Fermentation has stopped. This looks like a really  promising bit of electronics and my thanks go out to SBowler in the BrewPi Community for his integration of the Brewometer/Tilt into the BrewPi.. and of course BaronBrew for making it…

I’ll just finish off with a picture or two of the HERMS Panel with the door open showing its internals.

cheers

 

IMG_1316IMG_1321

oh and NCB = Northern Craft Brewers..

My @brewpi Based HERMS Panel takes shape… well a bit more in Shape !

This weekend we should have been seeing friends but unfortunately this didn’t happen (I missed out on BeerTownMalton and the NCB meeting in Sowerby Bridge too )  so …
I made a bit more progress on the HERMS panel. The LV side is nearly complete.

LV side nearly finished
LV side nearly finished

For Power I used a reclaimed  WII PSU  12v @3.7Aand a 12-5 v step down board with USB ports to power the Raspberry Pi and the spark shield,  I need two more heatsinks after my failed attempts at using an old CPU heatsinks…

Copper follies
Copper follies didn’t think copper would be hard to work with.. wrong…
IMG_1132
managed to break several drill bits and two Taps:-(

and I need to get some more DS18B20 probes. The previous batch from an Amazon supplier ‘Tenflyer’ just don’t Work. ! so either its’ a faulty batch ..or… their wire colour code is wrong ! so thats 5 x RJ45 connectors wasted… I even went so far as to chop the RJ45 off one and splice in a known working probe from another supplier, all to check the RJ45 was crimped ok.. it was…!

checking out the bad batch of DS18B20's
checking out the bad batch of DS18B20’s connected to the RJ45 board..

So Now to decide on HV outputs and switches and protection…. !
Do I go with wires tails from the box bottom or go 16A CEE and switches in the Door Panel ?outlet $_103

or a combined interlocked 16A CEEinterlocked

decisions, decisions …

My PartiGyle brews are coming along and will be swapping into secondaries soon.  did notice some odd swinging from the new @BrewPi spark thats now on the fermentation fridge so I have just updated the firmware to 0.4.3 hopefully it will settle down.

a bit bouncy with the 0.42 f/w hopefully better now at 0.43
a bit bouncy with the 0.42 f/w hopefully better now at 0.43

 

Another Partigyle Brewday and @Brewpi spark progress

It’s been a busy Extended Weekend !
Foundations for the shed are now extended , they just need to cure before the Egyptian style roll back happens..

Foundations Extended
Foundations Extended

Friday the 15th saw me doing another PartiGyle,  this time using 10Kg of base malt . Ist runnings used for another DIPA a Simcoe -Citra based brew hopefully coming in at 8% ABV and The second runnings used for a Coffee Porter  .Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 13.02.52

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 13.03.36

IMG_1112
jury rigged Old Brewpi and insulation..

The 1st runnings gave me an OG of 1.075 so it should hit the 7.9-8.0 % mark The Second runnings were just left to steep and not recurculated and came in at 1.036  a little low….
Since the Brewpi fridge in the Shedquarters has the Simcoe-Citra brew in it I have had to have the Porter fermenting in the Cellar ..

I have also progressed a wee amount on the Brewpi Spark for Herms Control. The RJ45 board has arrived and I have made a mounting for the Spark Shield to go onto the DIN Rail in the cabinet.

IMG_1100
Spark Shield and Power Regulation board
IMG_1098
DIN rail Mounting
IMG_1104
RJ45 and RJ12 Adapters
IMG_1047
RJ11-RJ45 scribblings

#BrewDay HERMS and @BrewPi Spark RJ11

Easter saw me upgrading my HLT to have a SS coil for HERMS Mashing, All went well and I was very impressed with the Q-Max cutter used to punch out the correct hole size for the BSP fittings.

SS Coil
SS Coil

So on the Tuesday after Easter  I tested the HY HERMS setup by doing a Pale Ale , Using my 2015 season Homegrown Brewers Gold Hops for Bittering. I used a recipe based on Rich’s Brew.

Homegrown

OG was a little under spec at 1.042 but apart from that Everything went well and the Wort came out of the Plate heat exchanger at a nice 21˚c.

Rolling boil
Boil just about underway
IMG_1022
Starsan being used to kill off things even though it’d been boiled for 20 mins 🙂

Progress on my BrewPi based HERMS controller has stalled a little ! I couldn’t get the cables from my probes into the RJ11/12 plugs

Won't fit
Won’t fit

I have abandoned the RJ11/12 plugs in favour of RJ45’s

RJ45 crimped
RJ45 crimped

and so intend to have both RJ12 and RJ45 Din rail mounted adaptors fitted to my panels that I can use official BrewPi merchandise as well as home brewed, I could even use Cat 5 patch cables for interconnects…. I just have to wait on delivery from Audiowind..

RJ12 Din Rail adaptor
RJ12 Din Rail adaptor

I am not quite sure why Elco decided to use RJ11/12 but i’m sure it doesn’t matter in the long run….

 

New @Brewpi Photon takes form

After feeling under the weather for what now seems like an eternity. Christamas eve and the day before, saw me put a bit of effort into my version of the Brewpi Spark.

Back panel
Back panel

I decided to use IEC 10A rated sockets and mount the SSR’s on the side of the chassis

Internals
Internals

A bit fiddley to get a screwdriver in but with the PSU installed Last it’s do-able 

Not Ideal but It Works
Not Ideal but It Works

My Original Plan was to bring USB to the rear panel, but I couldn’t get a compact enough right angled Cable, in retrospect I have the Photon/Core too high on my board for my enclosure…, so holes in the Lid will suffice for the time being, two screws in the panel just coincide with the Pi case mounting slots to stop it sliding.

Last thing was to decide on the probe connection and inter connect. Since I already have 2 Arduino based BrewPi systems I wanted to be able to swap out the temperature probes so decided to stick with  a DIN connector. They use a 3 Pin DIN so a 7 Pin DIN socket will take everything  and still allow my existing Probes. I can see though that If I get any of Elco’s extra Expanders a DIN to RJ12 adapter will be necessary !

7 Pin DIN
7 Pin DIN

 

IMG_0470
It’s Alive

I had a slight moment updating from ver 0.2.11 to the latest 0.4.1, I got the White screen of death after running the Updater. So off came the Lid and a into DFU mode to run the right Tool using Terminal and all was well.

Next put it through its paces and test as a Herms Controller, possibly with a crib sheet to hand for all the new settings….

Merry Christmas 2015