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Topic: Brewing thermostat (Read 19681 times) previous topic - next topic


Thanks for that, if I have any questions I'll be sure to come to you! That would actually be great if you could ship me some of those, I'll PM you. I'm not sure why they don't ship to Australia, but I tried to get some things from them a while ago and they refused to send to me.

With boxing it up, I was referring to the electronics rather than the whole system, but when I have room I intend to hack an old fridge as an insulated brew-box.

I've been doing the hardware side of things since I was 12, so I can offer you some help there if you like, though it is just a hobby of mine, my main pursuit being Classical History.


You can't get more classical history than brewing your own beer. Much like killing an antelope with a stick you sharpened on a rock and eating it raw...... well maybe not that dramatic, but you get the point  :P


American science surplus has these cool little heaters from coffee pots right now and they are dirt cheap (2 for $1.25) I got 4 or them

The heaters I was talking about http://www.sciplus.com/recommend.cfm/recommendid/4157

Howdy, have you tried these little babies yet? I was planning on a gas RIMS system - couldn't be bothered with a stainless steel electric system) so was wondering how you got on with these.

I'm heading over to the states soon, so might order a few to have waiting for me when I get there.


Still trying to get this damned thing to work, the whole thing works perfectly on the breadboard, but as soon as I try to migrate it to vero board or a PCB, it fails. I'm up to my second PCB design, I gave up on vero board after 3 failures, I have absolutely no clue what is going wrong. Does anyone have any ideas? I've checked and double-checked my connections, there are no short circuits that I've found. The one error I have found I have corrected. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


One of the electronics wizards can probably help you, but they'll need a bit more detail. Some pictures might help.


Hmm, good point.

The farthest into double checking that I've been ale to get is the display half of the circuit. I've checked so many times that the RS, EN, and D4-7 pins are connected to the right pins, and they are. For some reason though, when I power the circuit up, I get the first row filled with the black rectangles that make up the characters' spots, and the second row is empty. At the moment, getting the display working is the first priority, because the rest relies on it, and the rest is much easier to test/fix.

I'll see if I can come up with some good photos, but does that problem scream out to anyone as being caused by a particular thing?


Problem solved, it turns out the 7805 I had was interfering with the LCD in some way, I'm not entirely sure how, but I've gotten rid of it and it works fine. Does anyone have any ideas why this may have been a problem?


I've no idea specifically why it didn't work, but generally I can say that my experience is that if all connections are fine (triple checked and measured), you should have a look at the power supply. It is one of the things that also changes when moving off from the breadboard and into "reality". Powering from an USB, or desktop power supply with nice smooth voltage and steady current is something completely different than a dodgy old car battery, solar cell or whatever you end up connecting you thing to in the end.



I was using a switchmode regulated 12v power supply, feeding directly into the 7805, I'm now using the supply's equivalent in 5v with no regulator, works fine.


Hi bowlerhatman, and the  others in the forum. I am looking for a similar project for a small distiller. I have the tecnnichal for the electronic but not for the arduino programing. In the distilling we need four sensors ( one for the still temp, one for the vapor in the reflux tower, one for the final liquid alcohol flow - its optional - and one for the proof of the alcohol. We need two outputs, one for control a 220v element - using a relay or something like a transistor to regulated the voltage in the 220v element to control the temp in the still. The second output its for control a water supply for the reflux tower - using a relay to open/close a water valve or a servo for slow open/close a water vale.  The still temp and the reflux tower need a set point with a minimal variation possible all the sensor must be monitor and log. I make a search in the forums but not see nothing similar, only this maybe can be adapted for the project


Thanks for reading, any idea or help its going to be very appreciate


Sounds plausible enough - is it legal in your jurisdiction though? Measuring temps and switching relays are tasks you'll find in many projects described here. Logging to an SD card comes up often too. I haven't seen anything relating to measuring percentage of alcohol - what sensor are you going to use?


Not legal, I have a license under the TTB federal agency for that purpose there in Puerto Rico. Im going to use a MQ3 alcohol sensor describe in this project


yes, i see many project to home brew but not one specify for distilling.I have the technical experience with the electronic part but not with the code programing. its the same for the home brew but with two set point / reading / control / log inputs point  and one only reading / log input point.

thanks for you feed back


the traditional way to measure the alcohol proof its a alcohol meter. like a buoyancy apparatus. i think if i place a ultrasonic distance meter i can use the variable in the buoyancy to calculate the measurement


That sensor is going to somehow measure breath alcohol,   will that sensor also work correctly for
your distillation condensate ?

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