Instructions for Spark

I found this site after reading the whole “Build your own Brewpi” thread on Homebrewtalk, and decided to wait for the Spark instead of trying to build my own. From the description, I assumed it would be mostly plug and play for temp control and I didn’t mind waiting or spending the extra money to have this new and awesome little product.

Problem is, I was hoping to see some sort of instruction sheet on how to work the darn thing. I realize it was shipped in test mode but my main problem is a complete lack of information on how to update or operate it. I had hoped there would be some sort of “easy setup” instruction sheet we could read to get started. I have poured over the forum topics and website trying to find the information and have only become more confused.

For the record, I have zero experience with programming of any sort so most of what is posted may as well be in a foreign language. Would it be possible to get a step by step instruction sheet on how to operate the Spark? I’m talking absolute idiot instructions. For someone like myself, with no basic knowledge, I feel like a lot of the simple stuff is not being talked about since most of you have been at this a long time and understand what is being said. I purchased a Raspberry Pi to go along with the Spark, but now I have absolutely no clue what purpose it serves…

Please don’t take this as complaining since I know my lack of experience with this sort of thing is the main issue, but a set of instructions including the most basic steps would be greatly helpful. I am pretty positive I can get this thing figured out, but I have no idea where to start. As of now all I have is an expensive little black box that beeps when I plug it in…

My questions include stuff like:
What is the Pi for?
How do I connect the Spark to the internet?
How do I view the web interface?
How do I go about updating the Spark?

Honestly, did I get in over my head with this purchase? or will the layman be able to use one of these?

Thanks for all you do, I just need some guidance


The Pi Runs the web UI. All the controls for the brewpi are on the user interface.
You connect it for now with the usb port on the pi with the mini usb provide with the spark.
You view the UI by typing in the url the ip address of your pi You must give your pi a static ip address. your router can reserve it for you.
Update the spark by typing the code in the terminal on the pi.

Getting a static ip from your router is usually pretty simple.

You need to know your user id and password for the router usually on its base or side, and then Google the make, model and how to reserve a static IP.

I’ve not got the spark but started in the same position as you, albeit with instructions for the Brewpi arduino, you’re in good hands with the support here!

I’m a noob too and have my spark up and running. You have already done one thing right by asking a question. I can help you through it as I started from scratch also.

I am aware that a proper guide is missing. Heck, I have not even removed all the Arduino content from the front page.
I just spent most of the week to ship out all open orders, now that’s done I can focus on documentation and software again.

It shipped with a test screen so you can build it into your fridge, see that the sensors work and that you can turn the heating and cooling on and off.

It will definitely become more plug and play as we work on the software. It is just a bit early.
To quickly answer your first questions:

What is the Pi for?
The Pi runs the web interface and logs data. It connects to the controller and sends it commands and requests data periodically.

How do I connect the Spark to the internet?
For now, you don’t. You connect it to the Raspberry Pi via USB. Connecting via WiFi will be supported later, but you will always connect to a local web server, not to a cloud service.

How do I view the web interface?
After you have installed it on your Raspberry Pi, you enter the IP address in a web browser.

How do I go about updating the Spark?
You can flash a new binary via the BrewPi web interface, under the maintenance panel.

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Do you have to download the binary to your desktop to flash the spark or do you just select the spark from the drop down

Download brewpi.bin, from, save it to your desktop.
Browse to it or drag it onto the browse button in the Web UI.

But actually having the script download it is not a bad idea.
If we just keep a moving tag to the latest stable release on github, we can just let the script download it from

Thanks for the replies!

I re-read all if the brewpi intstall instructions and managed to get Brewpi and the web interface up and running, now a lot more of this makes sense to me. (Stupid mistake on my part, I had missed the instruction line about imputing the IP into the browser window to view the UI). I guess I didn’t realize the existing instructions on the site still applied to the Spark.

I got the latest version flashed to the Spark, with the info from this thread. One of the main reasons I went with the Spark and Brewpi was the level of support I saw on this forum, and I’m very glad to see this kind of community and customer support! From here I’m pretty sure I can get the rest figured out easily enough.

Thanks again!

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This is probably a moronic question, but until my Pi/Spark arrive soon I have zero experience with Raspberry Pi. So here’s the question: is the Pi limited to having a static IP address in the range? Reason I ask is because my router currently assigns local IP addresses in the range, and I’d rather not configure the router so that it uses a different DHCP “namespace” unless necessary.

No it’ll be fine just like anything else connecting to your router.

I got everything up and running, built my control box and tested to make sure the outlets are working properly using the test screen. I currently have a beer fermenting using my old controller so I put the brewpi setup on the beer as well just to track fridge temp and beer temp (the fridge and heater are not plugged into the brewpi).

I set up all the devices and loaded a profile to start the script (the probes do show beer and fridge temp on both the display and web interface), but it still tells me the temp control function is disabled and I can’t figure out how to turn it on. Is there something I’m missing here? I am running 2.7, the temp control is enabled with this version, right? I am not trying to control this beer with the brewpi, I only wanted to see when the spark wants to turn the fridge on and off.

Other than the help buttons on the web interface, is there another set of instructions on how to run the interface?

Thanks again

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Try hitting “start a new brew” in the logging section under the brewPi logo, name it something and get logging going, then applying your profile change.

I had a similar issue with doing beer / fridge constant settings and the temp always staying disabled until I did that. Now it appears I can set anything with or without logging enabled. Maybe something about that first log file being created?

I did try that, but I may give it another go. As with mots things it’s probably a simple step I missed in the process.

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How did it go?

I’m almost on the same boat. I am near purchasing the BrewPi Spark and remain mostly confused about where to find proper instructions about proper bring-up. I was able to configure the RasberryPi just by browsing through the threads and websites but that was more tedious and time consuming than it should have been :smile: At this time, good or bad, it’s the only way.

Having said that, I look forward to all the functionality the Spark can offer my fermentation fridge!


Such a noob, I’m sorry, looking for some help please. I think I have the RaspberryPi up and running correctly. I’m now trying to get the Spark working correctly. I was able to successfully get the Windows Drivers installed, so that my Windows machine sees the unit in Device Manger. I think the next step is to somehow connect to the Spark via PuTTY or Tera Term VT on the serial port. This is where I’m stuck. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I just purchased my Raspberry pi and brewpi spark. The raspberry pi is up and running with a static IP, and I’m able to pull up the user interface, however I have not been able to connect my spark and in the process I seem to have wiped the firmware off of it. HELP! I have been reading through all of these pages and can not figure how to get this to work. I did have my windows machine seeing the spark in the device manager but at no point have I been able to get the pi to recognize it.

If the firmware has gone missing (typically a white screen on startup and no double beep) you can reload it pretty simply.

Start by following: Flashing a Spark Core you bought elsewhere or in case of emergency

if you’ve tried that…post more details about what is not working.

If you are getting the Brewpi test screen up on the Spark, you need a couple of things to work

  1. The Operating System to see the USB when its plugged in an present it as a serial port.
    (Windows will typically generate a COM3, linux (rPI) will typically generate a /dev/ACM0.)
  2. The Brewpi script running and communicating with the Spark. The script won’t continue to run if the spark is not connected or (1) is not working. For testing it is worth running it manually rather than relying on the cronttab)
  3. The Web interface up and running and communicating with the script.
    (The web interface will tell you that the script is running, and the script will mention something about a port being open).

Whilst the software install on the webpage brewpi docs applies to the Arduino version, it does step through the setup process a lot more manually than the Spark guide here which can be useful for testing what has and hasn’t worked in the setup.

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