Homebrewing has become a popular way to produce something that is all your own — a unique beverage that you can share with others. Like many homebrewers, Christopher Aedo started brewing extract-based beer in his kitchen, and his hobby steadily progressed into more equipment, all-grain brewing, and larger batch sizes. However, after finding the Strangebrew Elsinore brewing control application, he realized that what he really needed was to convert his system to automatic control using a Raspberry Pi.
Once this idea was hatched, he started buying parts for the build — a sort of financial commitment to the project — including a boil kettle with a 5500W heating element and the needed pumping equipment. After quite a bit of setup work, a Raspberry Pi now takes input from temperature sensors over a 1-wire bus, then uses this information to switch these elements on and off via solid-state relays. Electronics are enclosed in a waterproof project box, which sits on the bottom of Aedo’s brew cart, allowing him to transfer operations where they are needed.
Although this idea was inspired by seeing the Elsinore sofware, after considering other options, he settled on a software package called CraftBeerPi for control. Now that his brewing system runs automatically, Aedo reports that his brew days are “a little bit boring,” but is happy to trade the “excitement” of manual control for the efficiency and consistency of his new system![h/t: Reddit]