Introduction: Modular Beer Brewing Controller Demo

This is a very rough intro to controlling a beer brewing process using an Intel Edison development kit. It is not an exhaustive control system yet.

The parts used in the controller so far for demonstration include:

  1. Intel Edison Development Kit
  2. Arduino Breakout Shield
  3. Relay card with 4 controllable relays
  4. Grove-LCD RGB Backlight Kit
  5. Grove Temperature Sensor Kit
  6. Two 6V mini suction pumps
  7. Four meters of 6mm PVC tubing
  8. 6mm drill bit
  9. One 35W light bulb
  10. Jumper wires
  11. 6V power supply
  12. Two empty plastic bottles

Step 1: First Things First

Connect the Grove LCD Module to the Edison development board.

Get the IP address of the Edison development board using:

Step 2: Connect the Temperature Sensor

  1. Connect the Grove Temperature Sensor kit to Analog Input 0, and tape it to the plastic bottle directly in front of the light bulb.

Step 3: Connect the Relays

  1. Attach the Arduino Breakout shield to the Edison development board.
  2. Use jumper wires to connect the VCC and GND pins to the relay control board.
  3. Use jumper wires to connect the GPIO pins from the D2, D3, and D4 pins to the relay control board input pins.

Step 4: Connect the Pumps and 35W Light

  1. On the output side of the relays, connect the pumps and the 35W light.
  2. You can use one of the spare relays as a connection point for the positive rail of the pumps.
  3. The 35W light is connected to a separate relay. Be careful here, since 220V is enough to fry the Edison board or the pumps if you aren't careful.

Step 5: Connect the Pumps and Hoses

  1. Connect the pumps and hoses such that the output of each pump goes into the opposite plastic bottle.

Step 6: Write Your Code

At this point, you've got to write the code that drives everything.

Resources that have helped:

Basically, the GPIO pins D2, D3, and D4 control the relay outputs, which controls the pumps and light. Analog input 0 is used to connect the temperature sensor. The I2C bus is used to control the LCD.

Bonus task: Control the LCD backlight so that as the temperature rises, the color changes from green to red.

Step 7: Done!

That's it, you've got yourself a brewing controller that demonstrates on a small scale the type of control problems you will face when brewing for real.

The sky is the limit from here.

There's a video of it in operation here: