Das Brewmeister!

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Project Scope

Description:
This is an attempt to mimic the control systems used in commercial brewing of beer. It has been done before with some external hardware and a refrigerator + heat lamp see:

http://www.blug.linux.no/files/presentations/freebeer/paper.pdf

My approach would be similar I think I may be able to get by with modifications to Spark Fun's toaster controller and a "cluged" together wireless temp sensor. I have prototyped in a breadboard a 16F88 with the DS18S20 one wire digital temperature sensor and one of Spark Fun's old Smirf's. Proto board passes data fine, even wrote a quick VB program to dump data in to Access for later.


PCB Conversion

I thought that the conversion would be relatively simple. Just take what I had and draw, right? I used the free Eagle setup and dumped everything to BatchPCB.com (PCB Manufacturers#BatchPCB). A problem arose from changing to SMDs and trying to cut too many corners. I found out, after I had assembled a board, got bizarre voltage readings and no response from the pic,that the SMD voltage regulator I had put on the new PCB required a capacitor on the output. I wanted to keep the components to a minimum and didn't include everything from the prototype when I drew up the design. I will be more aware next time.


Coming Later?

I hope to have the new PCB in the next few weeks and if everything goes well I begin to look more closely at the reflow controller and procurement of a refrigerator. Meantime I need to find the time to actually begin brewing some beer!

Finally got something together at http://seidle.blogspot.com/ not really the project originally described but may be of interest none the less.


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