Category Archives: Tech in Homebrewing

Blichmann Engineering BrewVision Wireless Thermometer… $69.99 + free shipping

BrewVision Wireless Thermometer and Monitoring System

BrewVision Wireless Thermometer and Monitoring System

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Compatible with iPad 3rd gen (2012) or newer, iPhone 4s (2010) or newer, iPod Touch 5th gen (2012) or newer.
  • Interactive Updates and Alerts.
  • BeerSmith Recipe Integration.
  • Pair Up to 7 Sensors with Customizable Names.
  • 120 Hour Battery Life (about 20 batches).

 

3/26/20 6 PM Central: This is selling for just $69.99. Shipping is also free to many US addresses. Prices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability.

BrewVision Wireless Thermometer and Monitoring System – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


More: Recent Amazon Finds

Control Your Kegerator Or Fermentation Chamber With Samsung SmartThings!

I have Samsung SmartThings installed in my home.  SmartThings requires a central hub.  That hub communicates with other… SmartThings.  Loads of compatible devices using a number of protocols are available from multiple vendors.  Search Amazon for “smartthings” to see what’s out there.  After these things are connected, you can program automations or routines that define how they operate under certain conditions.  All of this is interoperable with other platforms like Google Home and Alexa.

This post is about using SmartThings to control the temperature of your kegerator or fermentation chamber.  To do that, I use three things – A SmartThings Hub, a Multipurpose Sensor and a Kasa Smart Plug.  Labels and photos show both kegerator and fermentation chamber scenarios.  This concept should work for both applications.

The Multipurpose Sensor can do several things including monitor temperatureThe other piece to the puzzle was a smart plug to tum the kegerator/freezer/fridge off and on as needed.  I used a Kasa Smart WiFi Plug by TP-Link.  It worked like a champ.  I used this because it’s what I had, but wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one.  Keep reading for more on that.

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Monitoring Kegerator or Fermentation Temps With Samsung SmartThings

I have Samsung SmartThings installed in my home.  SmartThings requires a central hub.  That hub communicates with other… SmartThings.  Loads of compatible devices using a number of protocols are available from multiple vendors.  Search Amazon for “smartthings” to see what’s out there.  After these things are connected, you can program automations or routines that define how they operate under certain conditions.  All of this is interoperable with other platforms like Google Home and Alexa.

This post is about using SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor to monitor temperatures in your kegerator or fermentation chamber.  Labels and photos show both kegerator and fermentation chamber scenarios.  This concept should work for both applications.

The Multipurpose Sensor can do several things including monitor temperature.  Note that a SmartThings hub and Wi-Fi are also required.

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Making a 3D Printed Pub Style Tap Handle

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3D Printed Tap Handles!

A while back I got an XYZprinting Da Vinci 3D Printer.  I think 3D Printing has a bunch of possible applications for homebrewing.  From tap handles to stir plates and on and on.


Note that the 3D printer featured in this post out of production.


Here’s a look at a 3D printed Pub Style Tap Handle designed by “InfiniTTTy” and available on thingiverse.  A link to the STL files and project description can be found below.

3D Printed Tap HandleI printed this on my XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer.  Here’s a look toward the beginning of the process. Note that my printer is out of production.  See: Amazon Best Sellers in 3D Printers for current models

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Announcing: BCS-482 Brewery Control System from Brewer’s Hardware

BCS-482 Brewery Control System

BCS-482 Brewery Control System via Brewer’s Hardware

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

ALL NEW! BCS-482 interactive temperature controller
– 8 temperature inputs
– 8 discrete inputs
– 16 discrete outputs
– Removable terminal blocks
– Heavy duty aluminum enclosure with mounting flanges
– Operates on 12VDC power supply (not included)
– I2C bus for additional accessories
– USB Support

Operates at 12VDC. Power is brought onboard via screw terminals to allow for a broader range of PSUs (Not Included). Our power supply unit now comes with the end pre-cut off exposing both wires. If you have your own power supply you will need to cut the end off and attach one wire to 12V IN and one wire to Ground (GND). Check out our third product image for a more detailed look.

What’s NEW!

– New Faster TI Tiva M4F Processor
– Higher current outputs (150mA 12VDC instead of 20mA 5VDC) to directly drive valves and accessories.
– Onboard LED Indicators for outputs
– Operates at 12VDC. Power is brought onboard via screw terminals to allow for a broader range of PSUs (Not Included)
– Internal daughterboard I/O expansion option (Q3/2018)
– I2C Jack for external 7-segment LED displays
– RS485 Port for future expansion boards
– USB Jack for simpler firmware updates
– Built-in alarm buzzer.

Details

Web-based User Interface

The BCS series’ user interface is all web based. Monitor and control temperatures and processes on your browser from any browser enabled device such as a computer, tablet or phone.

Temperature Sensor Inputs

The BCS-482 allows up to eight independent temperature sensors to be monitored simultaneously. Inputs can be any NTC thermistor based sensor with a 10Kohm ambient reading. Use our sensors, or purchase/build your own. Just set the temperature coefficients that are provided by the sensor manufacturer into the BCS-482, or calculate them based on experimental data.

Power

Operates at 12VDC. Power is brought onboard via screw terminals to allow for a broader range of PSUs (Not Included). Our power supply unit now comes with the end pre-cut off exposing both wires. If you have your own power supply you will need to cut the end off and attach one wire to 12V IN and one wire to Ground (GND). Check out our third product image for a more detailed look.

Inputs / Outputs

Along with the eight temperature sensor inputs, the BCS-482 provides eight 12VDC discrete inputs. All inputs can trigger controller responses. Sixteen 150mA 12VDC discrete outputs are provided for relay control or can directly drive many electric ball valves on the market. Eight of the outputs can be controlled by PWM, differentially by a temperature input, or under complete PID control. The remaining 10 outputs provide on/off control.

Expansion Options

The BCS-482 was designed with expansion in mind, supporting both internal and external expansion modules. The first expansion module slated for release in Q3 2018, is an internal in-case expansion board that will allow for an additional 8 inputs and 8 outputs. Additional modules on the drawing board include options for 1-wire support and 4-20mA support.

Advanced Data Logging

Data is logged internally in the device, and displayed on your browser, or saved as a text file. The BCS-482 supports internal logging of four signals up to 4k samples each. The user can set the frequency of the samples anywhere from 1 second to 6 hours, resulting in trace lengths anywhere from 1.1 hours to 2.8 years long.

Programmable Processes

A revolutionary State Machine interface allows the user to program with simple and intuitive rules, giving the controller the ability to exhibit extremely complex behavior. The BCS-482 allows up to eight independent processes, each with eight states. Check out the documentation for programming examples.

Open Interface API

The control system from ECC utilizes a simple HTTP GET/POST mechanism to control and monitor the unit. The protocol is completely open and documented, allowing users the ability to develop third-party interfaces. Does your application require a unique GUI, or if would like to have your own data logging/graphing application? Want to link multiple BCS systems together and have them all controlled from a unified interface? The possibilities are endless.


 

BCS-482 Brewery Control System

 

More: Recent Great Deals

Hands on Review: Tilt Bluetooth Fermentation Hydrometer!

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Tilt Bluetooth Fermentation Hydrometer

I get pretty excited about most homebrew gear. As an engineer, I love trying to find new tools that let me brew more consistently, or give me control over processes that previously were just a spectator sport. The Tilt Bluetooth hydrometer is one of those devices that pulls back the curtain a bit on a part of the brew process that’s a bit more mysterious. It lets you see what’s going on within your fermenting beer in a way that makes you wonder how you managed without it before.


Get the Gear, Review Continues Below

Check product pages and searches for current availability, description and pricing


The device comes in a compact clear polycarbonate tube, sealed on each end to keep the battery and fancy circuitry dry as it floats along in your fermentor. It’s completely no-strings-attached, and you just drop it in your fermentor and the Bluetooth chip on board broadcasts to your smartphone or tablet to report Standard Gravity and temperature. It makes use of a novel concept to track your gravity. It has a digital inclinometer on board, which measures how much it’s “tilt”-ed . The weight of the device makes it want to sink in your beer, and buoyancy of the cylinder counteracts it. The thicker your wort is, the Tilt doesn’t sink as much and as a result has a greater tilt. As your fermentation progresses and the gravity drops, the buoyancy decreases and Tilt sinks lower and becomes more vertical. The circuitry measuring the angle does some calculations and outputs the angle as a gravity measurement.

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Protect and Monitor Your Beer Fridge With Samsung SmartThings!

I have Samsung SmartThings installed in my home.  SmartThings requires a central hub.  That hub communicates with other… SmartThings.  Loads of compatible devices using a number of protocols are available from multiple vendors.  Search Amazon for “smartthings” to see what’s out there.  After these things are connected, you can program automations or routines that define how they operate under certain conditions.  All of this is interoperable with other platforms like Google Home and Alexa.

This post is about using SmartThings to help protect and monitor your beer fridge.  To do that, I use two things – A SmartThings Hub and a Multipurpose Sensor.

The Multipurpose Sensor can do several things including monitor temperature, monitor the open and close status and sense vibrations.A look at the Multipurpose SensorInitially I had planned to use the open/close sensing feature of this sensor for this project.  However, the space between the body of my beer fridge and the door itself was too large.  Fortunately, this sensor also detects vibration.  That means my setup was as easy as placing this in the door.  Depending on your refrigerator, you may be able to use the open/close sensor.

Monitoring Beer Fridge Access

Here you can see an alert that my beer fridge was opened.  Setting that up is as easy as setting up an Automation task in SmartThings to send an alert when vibration is detected.  I found this to be a fairly reliable system although I did get some false positives.  Example, I periodically received notice when the freezer door was opened.  Playing with the sensor location and orientation could help with that.Programming this alert is straightforward.  I Just added an automation that is activated when vibration is detected.  I chose to “send notification to members” which sends a notification to users of the app.  Text message notifications are also an option.

Monitoring Beer Fridge Temperature

The Multipurpose Sensor also monitors temperatures.  Super handy to make sure your kegerator or keezer is doing it’s job.You can also take action based on temperature.  This screenshot shows an alert I received telling me my beer fridge was too warm.  I set the threshold temp to 10 to trigger this alert as you can see from the notification.  That’s just so I could get a screenshot, of course, you’d want to choose a reasonable temp.

Programming this alert is straightforward.  I Just added an automation that is activated when the Multipurpose Sensor goes above a certain set point.  In this case, 40 degrees.  You could just as easy write another automation to let you know if it gets too cold.  I chose to “send notification to members” which sends a notification to users of the app.  Text message notifications are also an option.

Conclusions

If you’re already using SmartThings, this is a fun and inexpensive application.  It’s easy to set up and gives you some good info.

Part of our “Homebrew Hacks” Series of Posts!  Full Lineup…

Also: Kegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | Recent Keg Finds

Our Top Draft Resources

 

Recent Great Deals [view more]:


Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

toppost:stbeerfridge tag:tpr

Inkbird INK-WP-01 Wi-Fi Plug [pump control & more]

Inkbird INK-WP01 Smart Wi-Fi Plug, APP Remote Control, Timer Function, ETL Certified, Compatible with Alexa Echo and Google Assistant, No Hub Required, 10Amp, Only Supports 2.4GHz Network

Inkbird INK-WP01 Smart Wi-Fi Plug, APP Remote Control, Timer Function, ETL Certified, Compatible with Alexa Echo and Google Assistant, No Hub Required, 10Amp, Only Supports 2.4GHz Network

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • [Remote Control]Control the Wi-Fi plug through Inkbird Smart app. You could turn on/off the device or do some settings with your phone at anywhere.
  • [Simple Operation]The Wi-Fi plug is easy to install, you could connect the plug with your phone easily by following the instructions.
  • [Support ALEXA&GOOGLE ASSISTANT] Works with ALEXA and GOOGLE ASSISTANT. You could control the plug by voice once connected.
  • [Countdown and Timer Setting] Countdown or a time schedule setting is available on Inkbird Smart app, the connected device will turn on /off automatically at the time you set
  • [Device sharing] Your family could check or control the device without pairing.

 

Inkbird INK-WP01 Smart Wi-Fi Plug, APP Remote Control, Timer Function, ETL Certified, Compatible with Alexa Echo and Google Assistant, No Hub Required, 10Amp, Only Supports 2.4GHz Network – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


More: Recent Amazon Finds

I would not recommend this for use with hot liquids.  Always use caution when using your pump with hot liquids.  Likewise use caution when using electricity around liquids.  Hot liquids and electricity can be dangerous.

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

Blichmann Engineering BrewVision Wireless Thermometer

BrewVision Wireless Thermometer and Monitoring System

BrewVision Wireless Thermometer and Monitoring System

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Compatible with iPad 3rd gen (2012) or newer, iPhone 4s (2010) or newer, iPod Touch 5th gen (2012) or newer.
  • Interactive Updates and Alerts.
  • BeerSmith Recipe Integration.
  • Pair Up to 7 Sensors with Customizable Names.
  • 120 Hour Battery Life (about 20 batches).

 

BrewVision Wireless Thermometer and Monitoring System – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link


More: Recent Amazon Finds

iClever Water-Resistant Outdoor Wi-Fi Smart Switch – works with Alexa/Google Assistant [pump control]

iClever Outdoor Smart Plug IC-BS06 Wi-Fi Smart Switch, Wireless Remote Control Garden/Patio Lights, Timer Outlet, Works with Alexa/Google Assistant, Only Support 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • [An Amazing Voice Controlled Power Strip]: Controlling your technology has never been that simple. You can now use Alexa and Google Assistant to operate the devices around your home! You’ll be able to use simple voice commands to activate your appliances’ functions
  • [Power in the Palm of your Hand]: Thanks to the free app, you can operate your devices on your smartphone! Simply plug in a device, connect to your Wi-Fi network, and download the iClever Smart Home app. It’s as easy as one, two, three. Note:It only supports 2. 4GHz Wi-Fi network, not support 5. 0GHz Wi-Fi.
  • [Handy Automatic Timers]: Need to leave your house for a while but don’t want people to know you’re gone? Want to come home to a place that’s nice and cozy after a long day at work? Set your own automatic timers! Your lights and other devices will turn on (or off) automatically at the time you specify
  • [Hazard-Proof]: At iClever, we put your safety first. This power strip is equipped with surge protection and timing settings that eliminates potential hazards like power surges and overheating. Both you and your devices will stay safe from harm
  • [Inside, Outside, and Everywhere in Between]: Power your next barbecue or backyard party! Because the Power Strip is completely water-resistant, you can use it outside as well as inside. It’s a great to use for your sprinklers, sound system, and more

 

iClever Outdoor Smart Plug IC-BS06 Wi-Fi Smart Switch, Wireless Remote Control Garden/Patio Lights, Timer Outlet, Works with Alexa/Google Assistant, Only Support 2.4GHz Wi-Fi


More: Recent Amazon Finds

I would not recommend this for use with hot liquids.  Always use caution when using your pump with hot liquids.  Likewise use caution when using electricity around liquids.  Hot liquids and electricity can be dangerous.

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.