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

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.

Spark Shield and Power Regulation board
DIN rail Mounting
RJ45 and RJ12 Adapters
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.


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
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….


Another Parti Gyle #BrewDay Chest Hair and Black IPA

Friday 30th Jan was another Brewday. A slightly later than planned start, I slept in 

I used the same quantities of  Malt as the last Parti Gyle and achieve a similar SG 1.093 for the brew from the 1st runnings ignore the dry hop quantities as it’s likely to change ..

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 14.59.14
chest Hair 1st Runnings

The second runnings has an SG of 1.040 so  Ive inserted a  quantity DME  to get the numbers to match as a rough guide for he Black IPA

Black IPA from 2nd Runnings
Black IPA from 2nd Runnings

95L igloo in action..


Yesterday saw the BeerBuddies club meet up for an other afternoon at Saltaire Brewery’s shop/bar., a very pleasant afternoon with a bottle swap and tasting taking place. In attendance were Pete,Gaz,Tom,Paul and myself. We sampled some of Petes christmas Ale, a bfew sips of Pauls infected bottle of pale and   Tom’s 2014  Vintage Russian Imperial Stout, Tom and Gaz had to go outside to open it for the tasting as Tom Said it was a bit lively which it proved to be. as I came down to find the following this morning !

It literally blew the arse out of the bottle… Pity I was looking forward to it !!

Tom's RIS Bottle on the floor sans its bottm
Tom’s RIS Bottle on the floor sans its bottm
Toms RIS contents  + Bottle Bottom
Toms RIS contents + Bottle Bottom
The bottle !
The bottle !


Sorachi Ace IPA on the go with @BrewPi – arduino

New Years Eve

Since Mrs Purpleogre was working I managed to get up relatively early and have a BrewDay The last of the Year 

I chose to do a Sorachi Ace IPA Recipe

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 11.48.29

Mash Temperature was in the range of 67.5˚c to 68.5 ˚c as the HLT maintained its temperature using a PID controller . Giving a OG of 1.0575.

BrewPi Arduino rev c  shield
BrewPi Arduino rev c shield

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


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


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

#Brewday first Party Gyle and Brewpi Spark build

Just a quick update on several Brewdays.

The Last batch of Holy Purple Cow wasn’t right and managed to pick up an infection, It didn’t taste the same as previous batches with a slight old orange chemical taste, This will probably put an end to my yeast harvesting and freezing project.

on the 30th of September I brewed a stronger version of my Black IPA weighing in at 8.5% slightly modifying the recipe to use Columbus as a mid Hop addition rather than the usual Chinook. Safeale US-05 was used to good effect. Very easy to drink but not a session Ale 

On the 19th of October I did my first ever Party Gyle !  It was also the inaugural mash of the new 100qt Igloo.  (95L)

Zod 100Qt
Sparge arm working well

In retrospect  I think that I OVERDID the split batch  12kg of pale malt and 500g each of Crystal, Caramalt and Torrified Wheat the first runnings formed the base for  An imperial Pale ale, it came out with an OG of 1.092  and a F.G of 1.019 = 9.5% ABV a bit too strong I should have liquored it back a touch. Hops used were Columbus,Centennial and Citra in the Boil and Centennial for Dry Hopping. it’s currently conditioning…


For the second Runnings I added 72g of biscuit Malt, 250g of Chocolate Malt and 350g of Black malt and let it recirclulate for another hour. This batch was slightly larger and formed the basis for a Chocolate Vanilla Porter at an of OG 1.056 and an FG of 1.012 it weighs in at 5.6 -5.7%  Hops used in the Boil were 35g of Home grown Brewers Gold and 18g of home grown Cascade. 100g of Cacao nibs soaked in Kraken Rum  and 1/2 a vanilla pod were added in the secondary for 7 Days. I’m very pleased with the result.. I don’t think it will last long…


1.056 ish

The Brewpi Spark is underway albeit slowly….

I’m not too sure of the Blue  front panel Colour and I am awaiting a 12v psu and IEC panel mount connectors. I plan on using this regulator for the particle / spark  ..


and I am still very undecided on how to implement the connectors for the Temperature probes. Do I stick with the 5 pin DIN as per my previous build or use an Neutrik ethercon and use ethernet patch cables for interconnects or both or even try and implement Elco’s RJ12 interconnect….?

IMG_0171 IMG_0179 IMG_0180 IMG_0181 IMG_0182


#BrewDay Holy Purple Cow MKIII and Brewpi Particle FrontPanel

Today I have managed to squeeze in a Brew Day, A batch of Holy Purple Cow, Batch 3 , I just need to order some Citra hops to arrive just after we’ll be arriving home ready for the Dry hopping ! I will leave it fermenting in the hands of the Dependable Arduino Rev A BrewPi setup, whilst we jet off to France. Jake is around to deal with any emergencies with it if needs be.. I’m sure he can rinse out the Blow off bottle if it gets a little excited.

The experiment with the Frozen Yeast culture, well what can I say , I left it a little late, the WLP001 was just getting underway and the airlock had just started to pressurise as the Wort was ready, so As well as it, I put in the sachet of MangroveJacks West Coast dried yeast. next time I’ll start with an initial small starter about a week in advance and build it up. So it looks like it could be a feasible practice. Just don’t rush it.

Starter too late. should have started with it early in the week
Starter too late. should have started with it early in the week

I managed to get the CAD for the Front Panel for the replacement Particle Powered BrewPi  into a near completed state, so it’ll be ready for cutting and etching when back at work after my holiday.

Particle Powered
Particle Powered

My @BrewPi spark build continues

I have been getting to grips with LibreCAD to get a new front panel Laser cut from perspex . All I need to do now is get the BrewPi  logo on there…

just neen logo and LED markings...
just neen logo and LED markings…

I have also been doing a bit more building of my own spark shields which behave like Version 2 of Elco’s shield.
I have noticed the bug that Elco has tracked down to the Wakeup pin config and also some sligtly odd behaviour at powerup which I think is to do with filtering as both the Beer and Fridge temperatures are filtered but the room is not.

Is this filtering in action showing Fridge and Beer temperatures initially high


update on my @Brewpi Spark and thanks to Elco et al for my enjoyment so far :-)

After an agonising wait for another display to replace the non touch version that I mistakenly ordered, I paid over that odds for one from a local supplier but I have had another wait for a replacement display, as mentioned in my previous post the display wasn’t responding to touch…When the replacement arrived everything sprang into life almost as expected..

Since Elco’s announcement that they would soon stop supporting the Arduino version of the BrewPi, I have altered my plans from just building up a HERM’s controller to changing over one of the two existing fermenter BrewPi’s to the spark version. I have already purchased a Particle Photon as there have been hints about requirements for more code space for Wifi implementation for the photon but no WiFi for the core !
The BrewPi spark even though its under 1 year since release has seen Version 2 of the shield  and is released with an extra control output making it very versatile by itself and even more versatile when you start adding the 1-wire SSR expanders.

As I am now building two Particle based Brewpi Sparks, I have been getting both my PCB’s to the same build state where component availability allows, last night I came across a bug with the core build of version 0.2.11 firmware. If I hadn’t already verified the hardware  worked with a rudimentary test app built using the builder on Particles site I would have been worried. Pin A0 isn’t being implemented properly with the core build , the pin works as expected on the particle build running ver 0.2.11 (tested by swapping out to the same shield.)

Particle Core A0 set to 'ON' but not working as intended
Particle Core A0 set to ‘ON’ but not working as intended
Particle Photon in the same shield working as expected

Now let me find something on my mac to produce a DXF file that the Works Laser cutter can take to cut a replacement front panel….

and Finally..  my thanks to Elco and the BrewPi developers for a great project. Even though the arduino powered BrewPi will soon be archived it’ll still be used as a fermentation device on one of my fridges until the silicon wears out.. 🙂
thanks again for interesting times ahead with the HERMS setup that I know will be just around the corner…

Adventures with @Brewpi and my take on the particle nee spark

As well as dealing with my Blog being compromised and repairing the damage and securing it a bit more , This week I’ve been busy with my take on the Brewpi Spark !
I enjoy practical Electronics and that creative process. I have laid out a PCB using Cadsoft Eagle CAD and decided to get a couple of prototypes made rather than relying on the facilities at work !

3 for the price of 2
3 for the price of 2

I expect that I’ll have to try and modify and compile the code to reflect some changes , I was hoping that the code would work straight off but it doesn’t quite, It’s getting stuck not responding to the Touch with a ‘touch the cross with a stylus’ message… at first I thought I’d got my wires crossed…literally , but then realised I’d bought a screen without the touch driver , Doh…I wondered why it was 50P cheaper.. luckily only £2.50 from China so I bought another from a  UK Supplier but it’s still not playing ball….

the non touch version...there's a chip missing DoH !!
the non touch version…there’s the touch plate and a chip missing  DoH !!

I am still waiting on some connectors from Farnell but I have built it up and started testing.

Screen and LED testing
Back of the board awaiting connectors

As mentioned in my previous post it has initially been laid out to be home produceable without PTH’s and using DIP devices where possible, it is intended to be built up into and old equipment box to replace one of my arduino Brewpi boxes which already has a stable 5v switch mode PSU and uses SSR’s so no diode on the outputs, although you could use one of the many Arduino relay boards as most have protection built in.. .. as far as it being in a metal box… a duck antenna and  new photon are on the way and If  I use my works Laser cutter to do a nice Black perspex front panel I may not even need the Duck.. quack quack …

Put it in here with a black perspex front ?
Put it in here with a black perspex front ?

Lets have another try at learning C++ or at least being a bit more conversant with it…

V2 Board layout with no go zone…