Impasse with my BrewPi - need guidance

I’m a brewer with enough technical skill to get by, however that does not include soldering except for plumbing. I need to use Arduino in the process as I use it for additional tasks in addition to BrewPi. Included in those tasks are flow monitoring/control in my RIMS system. I decided to go with BrewPi but now have discovered that I need an arduino shield that is no longer available. What are the options if any. The learning curve is too steep to design my own in the time I have. I have a few of the new RPI V2’s and am seriously considering shelving the whole project and returning to a BeagleBone Black based setup if I can’t get this issue resolved. I would prefer not to at this point but at least I have an Arduino Cape for the BBB. Can anyone help save this endeavor? or am I doomed?

The BrewPi Spark looks good but won’t do what I need at this point.

Hi Blackwater!

I would suggest the Brewpi Spark, that you would use alongside your arduino. You mention that it doesn’t do what you need at present - what is that exactly?

We released 0.2.6 today, This features a embedded UI for testing hardware and the full brewpi controller which you can operate using the familiar Web UI. Apart from UI on the embedded display, this a drop-in replacement for the previous arduino hardware.

We are aiming for releases at a minimum of every 2 weeks. The next release will include an embedded UI for the controller, making it complete replacement for the arduino-based version.

I will take a closer look at the Spark, but I am thinking I over complicated the whole process here. The project started out as a way to monitor temperature in as many as 10 3bbl fermentors as well as using a flow sensor to act as a fail safe on my RIMS tube. I really wanted to just finish the 2 Brewpi’s I had started but I think I will put this on the back burner and focus on brewing and stick with the basic fermentor monitor and my existing PID based controller. Thanks for the prompt response, I should have done this a month ago. I’ll keep following this and may get back to it for my small homebrew setup, but I think I will stick with traditional controls with the brewery itself. Maybe once more people switch to the spark I can find some used shields to play with.


The new spark design has a better integrated one wire bus controller, mdma am i right in thinking you be able to support 10 temp probes with 1 spark with ease ?, To just read the temperature values of 10 fermentors, values are sent wirelessly to any web server. If the API is json based this is easy enough yourself.

Also im confused by your go back to beaglebone project comment what do you have currently ?

I have spent more time with my BBB than the new RPI. I decided to pickup the Pi because I thought it would be easier to utilize BrewPi instead of running BrewPi on BBB. The only reason I would go back is that I bought a commercial Arduino Shield to connect directly to the BBB as that seems to be the bottleneck I am up against. I think I really have to take a step back and decide what I really want to accomplish. I really got involved via the HomeBrewTalk forums and in my brewing club I am the only one really pushing electric brewing and any computer /web interface. I had to present the new setup on March 19 for a demo brew session with my club, hence my deadline.

My other project is helping a couple of friends setup a simple 5bbl brewery and was trying to at least push them in this direction for basic temp monitoring. If there is a resource to bypass the RPI arduino sheld even with a breadboard that would buy me some time. My main issue with the spark is on principle, not performance, I don’t like being beaten by a project. For years my mantra was “Hardware Good, Software Evil”, when it comes to component level design I am in over my head.

Is there any info available for bypassing the arduino shield?

Ok well the brew pi arduino shield is not needed it just makes it a lot lot lot easier as it takes away set up issues and makes things more plug and play.

There are guides on homebrewtalk on how to wire up a arduino without the shield and then connect to brew pi this could be your way forward for you… but you need to be able source all parts and build it.

BrewPi as it stands is for controlling fermentation temp.

All the super new features are in development (Brewday side) are for the spark core thats only just about to launch, its the plan that some will be ported back to arduino and the web server in due time update…BUT… theres no time frame for this and some things just might not fit in the small memory footprint of the arduino. I’d imagine all work going forward is going to be Spark core focused firstly.

Yes it would be easier to run BrewPI the (web server part) on a Raspberry pi as the guides are very good and there are scripts that help set it up. But its just a webserver and a lot people run it on a spare linux machine i cant see why a BBB could not be used.

My opinion anyway, and personally i’m amazed these guys are even thinking about backporting some stuff to the old arduino !
I’d of marked it feature complete ( fully working web access fermentation controller ) and moved on with the brewSpark.

But then i hate porting code to legacy hardware. :smirk:

While I don’t have 10 temp probes here to actually test (perhaps @elco will test this someday since he has a bazillion!) I fully expect supporting 10 or more probes to be possible, both with the new bus master controller. We may exhaust RAM before maxing out the onewire controller, since each probe requires something like 500 bytes for filtering. If memory becomes the limit, then I suggest switching to the Photon for larger setups like this.