BrewBlox - first encounter

I am a very satisfied user of BrewPi-Spark.
Now, where can I go to find basic introductory information about BrewBlox?
What can it do, in some detail.
How does it do it?
Can it controll a HERMS process with a cascade PID similar to the fermentation controller?
Does it have auto tuning of PIDs?
How can I go from here?

Assume I know nothing about BrewBlox, but have some technical knowledge.

Have you read https://brewblox.netlify.app/ ?

That’s the best write-up we have at the moment. New website is in the works, but I’m overloaded with other work. I’m aware that we really need to work on our online presence.

The short answer to your questions are:

  • Yes full HERMS support, with cascaded PIDs, all generated by a wizard for you.
  • No auto tuning, but you can see what is happening inside the PID much better with graphs of internal results.
  • With BrewBlox you get a lot of flexibility, you can set up multiple processes and dashboards to fit your brewery. Our goal is to make it fit any brewery.
  • Follow the getting started guide linked above.

Thank you, I have been studying this web page. Very Good.
I plan on having separate control chains for mash and fermentation. Using a single spark3.
Can I easily switch between the two chains? Can I use the same SSRs and the same temp. sensors for both chains?

Yes. You can share the sensors without further configuration.
For actuators the easiest approach would be to physically swap the connector. For example: use two slots on the bottom for fermentation, and two on the top for HERMS.

It’s also possible to do it in software using the Logic Actuator (https://brewblox.netlify.app/user/all_blocks.html#logic-actuator). Before running the quickstart wizards, create a Mock Pins block, and use that as target in the wizards. Don’t overwrite pins in the second wizard.

Afterwards, create a Logic Actuator and a Digital Actuator for each SSR. The two actuators you want to share an SSR are input for the logic actuator, and the created Digital Actuator is output. Use an a^b expression to be safe. The inactive chain must always be disabled to prevent it trying to control the output.

But it would be easier to not use the same sensors for both. The sensors are pretty cheap, so just running both in parallel at the same time and not having to swap anything would be my choice.

Thank you.
I think I will have separate temp. sensors but I am not giving up on common SSRs yet.
Is the procedure you prescribe for the SSRs well tested and proven?

What Bob said is probably easiest: just plug them into a different port.
I’m assuming you don’t have more than 5 SSR things to control. That would require no reconfiguration, just plug them into the different port that is controlled by a different block.