Shopping list for building a fermentation chamber


I'm very new to all this as are you if you're reading this. I'll go through everything I bought so you have an idea of what you all need.

Shopping list:
~Freezer or fridge (I'll be using a chest freezer for this)
~Heater of some sort 50W-100W Recommended (I used a 60W tube heater)
~Raspberry Pi (I used the Raspberry Pi 3 B. The link has the board, power supply, case, and heatsinks)
~SD Card loaded with Noobs (Your operating system and storage for Raspberry Pi)
~BrewPi Spark V2
~OneWire temp sensors (at least 2. One for the fermenter, and one for the chamber)
~ 2 SSRs (One for each freezer/fridge, and heater)
~USB cable (to attach Rpi to Spark)
~18 Gauge wire (To connect spark to SSRs)
~8 red fork spade wire connectors (for attaching 18 gauge wire to SSRs)
~RTC (real time clock for keeping time)
~HDMI cable (for connecting Raspberry Pi to TV)
~Usb Keyboard (for connecting to Raspberry Pi)
~Usb mouse (for connecting to Raspberry Pi)


Thanks for sharing your list.
Some additional notes:

Which temperature sensors to use depends on your setup, I like the wall mounted ones myself as a beer sensor:

To make connections inside your fridge for them, you can consider the RJ12 coupler and some RJ12 cables:

I have added USB cables to the store:

SD card doesn't have to come pre-loaded with Noobs, you can do this yourself. But you do need to check that the SD card is compatible with the Pi here:

I would go for ring connectors instead of fork for the SSRs, they're less likely to come loose.

RTC is optional, but good if your Internet connection and/or power is unreliable. If your power tends to have interruptions, consider a UPS for the pi:
It can shut down the Pi correctly before the battery runs out so you don't risk SD card corruption.

If you want to hold the Spark to your fridge with magnets, get these:

HDMI cable, keyboard and mouse are only needed for a one time setup if you don't have a network connection on the Pi yet. You can just temporarily use your TV and an keyboard you have laying around.


This is exactly the kind of list I've been searching for. Just one more question - since the Spark is currently unavailable, can I just get an Adruino UNO R3 and get started?

Oh, and this is the first time I've seen a "RTC" on the build list. I'm assuming there's more info on this board on how to install and what it does, put a point out would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


A full sized computer will have a small battery on board and a chip to keep the on-board clock ticking if the power goes down. It's also more accurate at keeping time than the clocks in the CPU which are more about making sure the CPU can do its job than keeping time. A modern computer connected to the internet or a network with specialist hardware will commonly use protocols called NTP (network time protocol) or PTP (precision time protocol) to occasionally check its onboard representation of time is in sync with one or more masters (generally locked to one or more atomic clocks such as the GPS network). If your haven't changed any of the settings yourself and your computer is connected to the internet, it will likely be using NTP to connect to a few freely available masters on the internet. If you don't have a connection to a master (not internet or specialist hardware) then your computers time representation will drift. Potentially by several seconds a day for something with a relatively accurate onboard clock (an onboard RTC or a module like the one above) or by minuets where you only have the relatively inaccurate CPU clock on a CPU/computer without built in RTC (like the RasPi). After a few days/weeks of not being connected to the internet without an RTC, you'd find a brewpi thinking the data it just logged was at 9pm when its actually 10pm or, perhaps worse, following your pre-programmed temperature curves inaccurately.

Long story short. You don't need one if you've got the raspi connected to a reliable internet connection. You probably don't even need one if you've got an un-reliable connection as long as it can successfully sync its clock a few times a day. Though you may wish to get an RTC module as a backup for an un-reliable internet connection or if you don't want the RasPi connected to the internet.


I don't recommend an Arduino based build. It's 2 years old and won't get any updates either.
We have improved the software a lot and will come out with many new features on the Spark, not on the Arduino.

The Spark will hopefully be back in stock in 2 weeks. I'm waiting on the last parts to be ready.


Thanks Elco. I'll keep watching the website for the Spark. Looks like it has some very specific plugs for the thermometers - or can I buy the 11DS18B20 temp sensors and solder on the cat 6 jacks?


The plugs are not RJ45, but RJ11 or RJ12.
You could DIY the sensors, but we have some very nice options in the store that already have the right plugs on them, have heat resistant silicone cabling and guaranteed waterproof.


Alright, you convinced me. I'll get the sensors when the Sparks 2 is available - hopefully soon...