Single vessel brewing (BIAB, Braumeister, Grain father etc)

It seems slightly crazy to ask about this when othe elements seem to be way behind schedule but I wondered whether you were specifically designing the RIMS capacbility around you classic three vessel (HLT, MT, BK) setup or whether it would work / be suited to single vessel set ups like those in the title.

I ask because I have a three vbessel system I am considering changing for a DIY single vessel system and it would seem a shame to do so and then BrewPi to rock up with the perfect solution later on.


I think if I create 4 PID’s there will be enough flexibility for most setups, before we can move towards a truly flexible setup.

For a fridge setup like the current algorithm:

input sensor      PID                  output actuator
fridge            heater 1             fridge heater
fridge            cooler 1             fridge cooler
beer 1            beer to fridge       fridge setting (=beer setting + PID)

For a HERMS:

input sensor      PID                  output actuator
HLT               heater 1             HLT element
Mash              mash to HLT          HLT setting (= mash setting + PID)
beer 1            heater 2             boil element

For a direct heated kettle, it could be much simpler:

input sensor      PID                  output actuator
Kettle            heater 1             Kettle element

In the last few weeks, I have coded and tested a new fixed point class to replace our typecasted integers.
I have also updated the filtering classes to the new format. I am now busy writing the new PID class.
I have a few ideas for auto-tuning as well.

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What about RIMS? I’m assuming it would be similar to the HERMS??

It is up to you whether you want to use 2 sensors (one in the RIMS and one in the kettle), which would be setup 2. Or if you want a sort of cascaded setup like the HERMS.
Just replace HLT with RIMS in that case. A benefit of that is that you could set a maximum difference between kettle temp and RIMS output temperature.

That’s what I was hoping. My plan is to have a sensor on the output of the mash tun and the second sensor on the output side of the rims tube. I have a dial thermometer on the mash tun itself (blichmann). Past experience there is very little difference between mash bed temp and output when I was running a brutus 10 type setup direct fired.

If the BrewPi Spark was able to be run without a hard connection to the Pi, over wifi for example and had the basic direct heat/single vessel control it would open up a fairly big market quite quickly.

There are so many Braumeister clone builds out there, most using arduino based controllers like Matho ‘Braumeiser’ or Open Ardbir etc.

A small touchscreen unit for those applications would sell well and also cross sell the hardware in your store well without needing to get full HERMS/three vessel control nailed down.

It will be workable though simple using the beer constant mode and PWM. The issue being that functionality wise it only matches, the much cheaper, off the shelf units (aside from the very lovely web logging/control, which arent all that important to a single vessel brewer using the unit face to face).


Actually, the more I think about it, the best option for me right now is to use Open Ardbir for the brewery control/automation and keep BrewPi Spark for what it is good at/can do currently which is fermentation control.

For any others stuck in this situation:

Sytem overview:

Tmelapse brewday: