New to BrewPI: Quick Intro

I’m new to BrewPi but thought I’d introduce myself, talk a bit about what I’m trying to do, share a little feedback and bounce some ideas around.

I received my BrewPi Spark 2 a few days ago. When I originally ordered, I think I followed a link to the order page. I don’t believe this page mentions that you need a Raspberry Pi to make it work. I did find that info on the product info page, but didn’t find that page until after I had the unit. Fortunately I had a RasPi V1 laying around (and now have a V2 on order), and was able to get that up and running. It seems obvious now that I’d need this, but it wasn’t clear from the order page (or maybe I just missed it).

The next thing that took some time, was the need for connecting the BrewPi to the RasPi via USB. It wasn’t mentioned in the docs, and I only found obscure references to that searching through the forums. Finally, however, I figured it out.

I have it running now, but its a little unclear if I need to update the BrewPi firmware. Also the update instructions on GItHub are a little unclear (mostly because I don’t know what the different versions are and exactly what I have). This is just learning curve- but it seems for now I’m fine as-is.

I’m actually not using this for beer- I built a wine cellar for aging & storing my wine (and maybe fermenting my white wines but now I’m just making reds). I was using an STC1000 type controller, but I like the web logging, and wanted to be able to control fans/lights and have the ability to customize things. So BrewPi looks like a real good starting point for me vs. building my own.

Some of the concepts are still a little unclear - how best to configure it for my use case. What Idling means. Room temp vs. chamber temp, details on the control algorithm (especially if I don’t have a beer temp sensor), details on the different modes, and details on fan control and light control. If I’ve somehow missed docs on all this, then pointers would be appreciated but otherwise it looks like I’ll be learning from source code.


Yes I was looking for similar beginners advice. In my case I just want to keep a fermenting sugar wash at a given temperature with a heater and no cooling required. So a bit of the opposite to you I think.

1 temperature probe, 1 SSR to turn the heater on. In your case I guess you’d have the same but perhaps to cool things. Dunno.

Maybe the documentation could be updated to include some simple use cases to get beginners started.

You’ll always need two temp probes as brewpi learns what adjustments to heating or cooling need to be made in order to achieve the desired temperature of the liquid It does this by monitoring the air temp around the vessel (chamber) and the temperature of the liquid (via a thermowell) and then doing some magic and heating or cool as appropriate

Room temperature is the obvious (temperature of the room)
Chamber temperature is the temperature of the chamber you’re fermenting in usually a fridge of a freezer.
Beer temperature is the temperature of the beer

Idling is neither cooling or heating.

As for what you guys are using it for it should keep it pretty constant but it works much better with more liquid than it does with small amounts and better with wort than water