iwerebeer
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Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:44 pm

Hello all,

I am going to be building a brewery in the coming months in London. There is a ton of expensive equipment that I can buy to help me regulate and control the brewing process. However, I think a much more interesting way to do it would be to somehow use the Raspberry Pi and some Arduino's to control the process.

I would say I am a noob at both linux/raspberry-pi and arduino's. I learn systems pretty quickly, and can understand most coding logic.

I would love to collaborate on how to design this project, but if not, some friendly advice is much appreciated.

Thanks!

David

Lorian
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:48 pm

How many gallons a year do you forecast producing?

asselinpaul
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:57 pm

I'm not sure you want to use a Raspberry Pi for the appliances. I'd use a microcontroller (ARM, Atmel, etc..) or simply an Arduino to control the appliances(if this is really professional then you need to take a look at PLC's, but this is mostly for industry). Then I'd connect all of these to a central system which could be as raspberry Pi.

Were are you building the brewery. I'm in London too and would love to come and have a look :D

holdup
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:58 pm

I'm pretty sure this would be straight forward with a handful of arduinos and a Raspberry pi as the command centre.

dext0rb
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:06 pm

David,

I think I know who you are! Small world, perhaps!
BUT, kinda vague of a question...where would you like to start automating first? (Or where do you need automation right now?)

For example, if you Google's a bit for Arduino PID library you will come up with some info. Used in conjunction with a temperature sensor and burner controller, you can automate/ regulate your brew pot.

I agree with asselinpaul, not sure if you really need the flexibility a RaspPI in this case, or quite yet.
An Arduino should be good enough to start playing with controlling your mechanical hardware. If anything though, you could use the RaspPI as the brewery "command center", which could query various Arduinos running various processes, run a web server, etc.

If you want to talk more engineering stuff in private, hit me up @foolingmachine on twitter.

Threlkeld
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:06 pm

It's surely not how you do it at this stage, it's what you need to do?

What needs to be measured and recorded, what needs to be controlled? Systems analysis first, decisions on hardware and software very much later.

And yes, how many gallons of aie, and what sort? IPA, winter warmer, mild - all good systems analysis questions I'd say.

asselinpaul
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:06 pm

Actually I might even be able to come and give you a hand :) , if you are in Central London that is !

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croston
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:30 pm

I run the Fuzzy Duck Brewery http://www.fuzzyduckbrewery.co.uk and have a few ideas for automation of my brewplant:

1. Temperature control of hot liquor tank.
2. Temperature control of fermenters
3. Temperature control of wort chill
4. Cask washer automation

1, 2 and 4 do not need a real time system as the sample rate can be once a minute. 3 is the tricky part though. 4 needs something like actuated valves and I don't know where to buy these cheaply.

I was going to use an Arduino for most of the electronics work but a RPi for the high level control - e.g. and monitoring and control via a control panel and internet from a smartphone. The biggest problem I face is high powered electronics expertise - I can do low powered circuits ok but have never needed to switch 26 amps! I can do the software portion in my sleep!

If you have the electronics and actuator experience then between us we can do a very professional job.

Mjiig
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:33 pm

I'd be the first to admit that I don't know much about brewing, but I wonder how precise you need the control to be for large scale (ie, not in your kitchen stuff) brewing? If there's "a ton of expensive equipment", there might be a reason for that.

Angus

thexman
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:28 pm

if all you wish to do is control Temperatures theres at least 10 if not more electronic thermometer / controllers on the market

Trend Controls
Siemens Controls
Priva Controls
Satchwell Controls
Honeywell Controls

to name but a few they all have proportional control systems and digital logging and actuator controls if needed very varied in cost but typical systems start around the £2000 pounds plus vat plus commissioning and installation depending on what you need,
Heat exchanger or electrical elements or low pressure steam systems
one armed controls engineer, my grammar is bad but lets face it most keyboards don't suit a one armed man

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liz
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:32 pm

Mjiig wrote:If there's "a ton of expensive equipment", there might be a reason for that.
Actually, we've found that there's a ton of expensive equipment being sold for all kinds of applications which can be done very cheaply with something like a Raspi. (One of the worst examples we found for bleeding needy people's wallets dry was monitoring systems for disabled kids, which can cost tens of thousands of quid for some bog-standard sensors, cameras, a microcontroller and a CPU.) They're expensive because they're produced for niche markets who can't do the things they need to do without such a device. Volumes are often small, so prices are high, but this doesn't reflect how much that device costs to engineer or to build.

See also: baby monitors. (I can't believe how much those things cost.)
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MotoBlue
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:33 pm

croston wrote:I run the Fuzzy Duck Brewery http://www.fuzzyduckbrewery.co.uk and have a few ideas for automation of my brewplant:
My introduction to computers many years ago was the result of my interest in brewing beer. I imported a Commodore Pet to run a database rather than using a card index system to record by brews.

I bought the Pi with the intention of automating my brewing. My approach will be to consider each stage of brewing in isolation and join up the processes with the PI.
For instance I would use a PID temperature controller to control the heat into the hot liquor store and separately monitor the temperature to determine when the strike temperature was achieved. The pi would be used to start the heat phase and determine the start of the next phase.
You didn't give any mention to the problem of measuring liquid levels in each container. How do you automate the transfer of x gallons from your hot liquor store to your mash tun etc.
http://www.vandelogt.nl/index_uk.htm appears to be solving some of the problems.

jamesh
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Re: Brewery

Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:20 pm

I'm a homebrew amateur compared with you guys!

Still, I like beer. And have just got back from the pub. On a Monday. Drinking Elgood's 100m Dachshund (local brewery, Wisbech). Very Raspberry flavoured!

Yes, there was NO point to this post.
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wallacebiy
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:14 am

I've been discussing this very thing in a homebrewing setup ( with a few lads who know a lot more than me about electronics ) .

If you can do the electronics and source the right linux drivers for the sensors and controllers you choose , the raspi should easily run it . You likely won't even need the arduino's ( as far as I can gather )

Putting a good front end on it and it'll look great .

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AndrewS
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:18 am

But something like Arduino will be much less likely to "crash" as it's doing less stuff in the first place. That's why people are suggesting using Raspi only as a "high level" (non-realtime) controller. Nobody wants their beer to get over-cooked ;)

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cnxsoft
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:21 am

One guy (Matthew Pratt) has designed a "brewbot" based on Frescale MCU.
http://www.cnx-software.com/2011/11/10/ ... ex-m4-mcu/

He might be interested in implementing his system with a Raspberry Pi instead.

jamesh
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:43 am

You don't need to worry about any real time aspects - the Raspi is perfectly 'realtime' enough for this task. In fact, probably overspecced for it. And if you write the software correctly, won't crash either.
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tech_monkey
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:52 am

Hmmmm Beer. SO would this make the PI a Raspbrewery-Pi then :lol:

You could use a couple of EZ Web Lynx Modules. http://www.ezweblynx.com/ . These are basically programmable web servers with connection pins to the outside world. These can be used to monitor or control HVAC systems, monitor fridges, Turn motors on or off. The good thing about them is that they are fairly cheap. So for some of the things you want to do you could use these.
Then the pi just points to webpages of the various stages or processes.

Another option which isn't huge sums would be something like Siemens Logo PLC controllers. http://www.automation.siemens.com/mcms/ ... fault.aspx These aren't that hard to program and the software is almost point and click. Plus there is an emulation mode so you can test the design before you go live. The main Logo module is about 100 pounds, depending on version (mains powered or low voltage AC/DC power, with or without LCD display etc), then you may need to add some other modules to this. RS sell most of the Logo stuff. http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/?sra=oss& ... go&x=0&y=0
Here's the link for the basic mains powered LCD module http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/logic-modules/0499829/
Ebay sometimes has good deals on the logo modules. Some are second-hand or rather almost new bought for a project and never actually did the project.

With either method you could then use the PI to collect info and display on a central screen. Then you could click on a process to adjust settings or act on warning messages etc.
One thing just thought about. Fail safes if the monitor or the PI or power supply dies, you will still need to have the various monitoring and control processes running. So not too sure if the EZ Lynx does this or not, but then if you have a smart phone you could then log in to the web pages and see what is happening. The Siemens Logo would definitely work in stand alone mode.
http://www.casatech.eu

wallacebiy
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:35 am

jamesh wrote:You don't need to worry about any real time aspects - the Raspi is perfectly 'realtime' enough for this task. In fact, probably overspecced for it. And if you write the software correctly, won't crash either.

Exactly the conclusion I was coming to ....

iwerebeer
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:01 am

Lorian wrote:How many gallons a year do you forecast producing?
Basically I am looking at an 8 bbl system, which comes down to 240 imperial gallons per batch.

iwerebeer
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:04 am

tech_monkey wrote:Hmmmm Beer. SO would this make the PI a Raspbrewery-Pi then :lol:

You could use a couple of EZ Web Lynx Modules. http://www.ezweblynx.com/ . These are basically programmable web servers with connection pins to the outside world. These can be used to monitor or control HVAC systems, monitor fridges, Turn motors on or off. The good thing about them is that they are fairly cheap. So for some of the things you want to do you could use these.
Then the pi just points to webpages of the various stages or processes.

Another option which isn't huge sums would be something like Siemens Logo PLC controllers. http://www.automation.siemens.com/mcms/ ... fault.aspx These aren't that hard to program and the software is almost point and click. Plus there is an emulation mode so you can test the design before you go live. The main Logo module is about 100 pounds, depending on version (mains powered or low voltage AC/DC power, with or without LCD display etc), then you may need to add some other modules to this. RS sell most of the Logo stuff. http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/?sra=oss& ... go&x=0&y=0
Here's the link for the basic mains powered LCD module http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/logic-modules/0499829/
Ebay sometimes has good deals on the logo modules. Some are second-hand or rather almost new bought for a project and never actually did the project.

With either method you could then use the PI to collect info and display on a central screen. Then you could click on a process to adjust settings or act on warning messages etc.
One thing just thought about. Fail safes if the monitor or the PI or power supply dies, you will still need to have the various monitoring and control processes running. So not too sure if the EZ Lynx does this or not, but then if you have a smart phone you could then log in to the web pages and see what is happening. The Siemens Logo would definitely work in stand alone mode.
So basically the controls would all be linked back up to Siemens, and I would just use the Pi as sort of a monitoring device/web-browser but the main control would exist somewhere completely different?

iwerebeer
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:08 am

cnxsoft wrote:One guy (Matthew Pratt) has designed a "brewbot" based on Frescale MCU.
http://www.cnx-software.com/2011/11/10/ ... ex-m4-mcu/

He might be interested in implementing his system with a Raspberry Pi instead.
That is pretty awesome! Will have to try and connect.

iwerebeer
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:40 am

Threlkeld wrote:It's surely not how you do it at this stage, it's what you need to do?

What needs to be measured and recorded, what needs to be controlled? Systems analysis first, decisions on hardware and software very much later.

And yes, how many gallons of aie, and what sort? IPA, winter warmer, mild - all good systems analysis questions I'd say.
I started to write this, and realized how complex the whole thing is going to be... I will get some documentation on what exactly would be needed, where and why, maybe with a drawing? ASAP. There are quite a few temperature sensors and switches, with a constant oversight on fermenters required.

honda4life
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:42 am

I'm a professional PLC programmer.
It shouldn't be that hard to implement some temperature control, you can always contact me I'm very interested in your project.
You need a way to get the analog value in, ADC, I2C,... and you can control heating power with on/off controller.
Not that expensive as analog out / PWM, just al solid state relais.

iwerebeer
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Re: Brewery

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:45 am

dext0rb wrote:David,

I think I know who you are! Small world, perhaps!
BUT, kinda vague of a question...where would you like to start automating first? (Or where do you need automation right now?)

For example, if you Google's a bit for Arduino PID library you will come up with some info. Used in conjunction with a temperature sensor and burner controller, you can automate/ regulate your brew pot.

I agree with asselinpaul, not sure if you really need the flexibility a RaspPI in this case, or quite yet.
An Arduino should be good enough to start playing with controlling your mechanical hardware. If anything though, you could use the RaspPI as the brewery "command center", which could query various Arduinos running various processes, run a web server, etc.

If you want to talk more engineering stuff in private, hit me up @foolingmachine on twitter.
I think the cool thing about all of this gear, from what I can tell, is that it does not need to be done all at once. I can automate certain aspects of it as I move along, and find where the most arduous tasks/monitoring requirements exist. As I have not yet 'Broken Ground' and already purchased my Raspberry Pi with the assumption that I could find some use for it somewhere, I thought it would be alot of fun to discuss what the ultimate brewery control would be, and how it could be put together for minimal cost. I like the idea of the Raspberry Pi as a command center, with the cost of them I suppose there would be a way to make redundant ones in case some issue occurred with one.

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