Give it some time. We many many plans for the system. One of which is to add CIP (Clean In Place) functionality to the system as well so the vast majority of the work will be handled by the CIP. It will even dump the spent grain out of the mash pot before cleaning.
What if your fermenters do not fit inside of a fridge or you have multiple fermentation vessels? We have four 1bbl conical fermenters and they do not fit inside of a fridge so we glycol jacketed them. That was accomplished by wrapped tubing around the fermenters then wrapped insulation over the top of the tubing. We pump glycol through the tubing to keep them at a constant temp according to that recipes fermentation profile. The glycol tank is a converted chest freezer that we simply filled full of glycol then connected four pond pumps to the tubing for each fermenter. It's a easy, simple solution to monitoring and individually cool each fermenter. We're also able to crash each fermenter independently of the others when it's time to transfer to the brite tank. This same setup works great for carboys as well.
Or Perl, Python, Java, C, C++ and a ton of other languages. By having the host controller being a linux box that you could pull out of your closet, dust off and slap linux onto it, you've just given yourself an incredibly flexible platform to build the automation on. That's exactly what we did and is one of our core philosophies. Not everyone can afford to go out and purchase an AVR (Arduino and the like) but I can guarantee you people can scrounge up a old computer and most likely for free. Last year at LinuxFest Northwest our host machine was a PII 233Mhz as proof that you can take an old PC that most people would send off to recycle and turn it into a automation host.
Are you able to reproduce consistant tasting batches time and time again? We can with our automation. It's more than just the brewing process we're automating. We have glycol jacketed fermenters, glycol tank, brite tank in a commercial refrigerator and a lot more all being controlled and alerting us if there are any problems. It's not about being lazy, it's about making consistently great beer without all the worry to make sure everything is at the optimal temperature or if something goes wrong.
We are in the process of starting a microbrewery and we fully intend to use our automation system within the brewery controlling every aspect we control now and much much more. We also have a couple of other microbreweries in the area interested in our automation and that is partially why we are seeking developers to make the interface more user friendly than bash scrips. We will have to substitute some of our current components for switching AC with commercially made solid-state relays but the rest of our automation will easily be adaptable to commercial microbrewery scale. We also intend to build the system so that it is fully redundant in the event any hardware failures happen, there is a secondary system ready to take over until the failure is repaired or replaced.
For the brew we did today the automation simply held the temperature of the mash at a constant by turning on the burner and circulation pump any time the temp dropped below the set point. We don't have to worry about the temp of the mash as the system takes care of that for us. We're able to sit back and drink beer or more accurately, clean more equipment while drinking. The real beauty of the automation system is for doing step a step mash. We plug in a mash profile and let it do it's thing without having to constantly check on the temperatur and adjust the flame which used to be a pain in the ass before we automated it.
Putting a 350 into a Vespa would be awesome! The point of our project is to be able to be able to use that old PII 200Mhz PC collecting dust in your closet and turn that into the host for an automation system. We also will be working on developing an interface that will make it so anyone can build automation sequences through a web interface so they won't be required to know any programming at all. Of course we will have an advanced interface that would allow someone with programming knowledge to build much more complex automation sequences. The point is that we want to make the project as simple and accessible by making the hardware as simple an inexpensive as posible. By removing the complexity out of hardware and putting that into software it will be easy to rapidly make changes to the system without having to redesign hardware. We will be posting more information about our philosophies and how we plan to accomplish them very soon. Stay tuned to our facebook page and website.
We do as well, that's why we started this project and spend so much time brewing
On the contrary, we already have a couple microbreweries interested in our automation and we will be using our automation when we go commercial hopefully this year.
Thank you Roblimo for posting this video! It has shot our facebook likes up a lot today and generated a lot of interest. We have been very slow in writing documentation and building the website because we spend so much time brewing beer in preparation in launching a commercial brewery hopefully this year. We also spent a lot of time brewing batches of beer that were served at after party for LinuxFest Northwest where the interview took place. If we didn't spend so much time brewing and working on starting a commercial brewery we would have far more time to devote to this project. If there is anyone in the Seattle area that would like to help create documentation for this project we would love to have you over and demonstrate the automation system and it's electronics. We can't pay you any money but we do brew a lot of test batches of beer in trying to profect them for our commercial launch and we do often need to offload beer to free up kegs
:). Contact us either on Facebook, firstname.lastname@example.org or our mailing lists: http://list.zenify.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/softwaredev - or - http://list.zenify.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/hardwaredev
Unfortunately we haven't had a lot of time to devote to building a web page and other necessary documentation because we spend the majority of our time brewing beer and working on starting a commercial brewery. In fact, as I am typing this Kurt is starting to mash in on another batch of beer. We are recruiting technical writers and developers to help us with the website and GUI for the automation. Have a little patients and things will come around on the site. TheBeerDudes@LinuxAutomation.org
Exactly but we can make those interfaces far less expensive and require far fewer parts on the interface PCB so it makes it a lot easier to build yourself saving time and money.