Brewery control panel revision 3

Today when I got home from my day at the University of Guelph as a PhD student, I was excited to see that the final piece required to complete the third revision of my control panel had arrived. I had been missing a 40a SSR (used for element control) due to a mix up in a parts order. Unfortunately it took a whole month to get here from China. Even more unfortunately, I have been too busy for this delay to have any impact on my brewing schedule.

The main changes to my panel in its third revision were the removal of an untrustworthy, cheap, 8 channel relay module and replacement with high quality solid state relays. While I was at it, I decided to also replace my element SSRs with higher quality ones. In total I have six 25a SSRs, which are used for lower amperage circuits, and the two 40a SSRs for the 5500 watt heating elements. Those six SSRs control keg fridge heating and cooling, fermentation chamber heating and cooling, and two pumps simultaneously by a Beaglebone Black running Strangebrew Elsinore.

Since I now have a wack of SSRs in my panel I decided I should add some ventilation. A 120mm case fan was a good fit. I also now have a temperature probe inside the panel to keep a closer eye on things. While just running my keg fridge and fermentation chamber, the case keeps 2-3F above ambient temperature in my garage. I’m very interested in seeing how it holds up over a full brew day this upcoming weekend!

Lots of pictures on the progression of my panel have been included below:

 

IMG_9990

Revision 3 exchanged an 8 channel relay module for six 25A SSRS, upgraded the element SSRs, added a panel fan, and an internal temperature probe.

New fan from the exterior of the panel

New fan from the exterior of the panel

Revision 2 saw the addition of 4 outlets for fermentation chamber and keg fridge temperature control, the removal of two large DPDT relays that had been used to ensure only a single element received power, replaced with a simple circuit involving the low powered element SSR inputs. It saw the removal of 2 SSRs previously used for pumps, replaced by an 8 channel relay module. Lastly some better internal wiring methods were used for the 1wire probes.

Revision 2 saw the addition of 4 outlets for fermentation chamber and keg fridge temperature control, the removal of two large DPDT relays that had been used to ensure only a single element received power, replaced with a simple circuit involving the low powered element SSR inputs. It saw the removal of 2 SSRs previously used for pumps, replaced by an 8 channel relay module. Lastly some better internal wiring methods were used for the 1wire probes.

Revision 1 used 4 SSRs to control 2 elements and 2 pumps. 1 DPDT relay was used for master power, and  2 DPDT relays to ensure only a single element could be powered at a time. Wiring of the 1wire probes was messy, with all temperature probes daisy chained on the Beaglebone Protocape.

Revision 1 used 4 SSRs to control 2 elements and 2 pumps. 1 DPDT relay was used for master power, and 2 DPDT relays to ensure only a single element could be powered at a time. Wiring of the 1wire probes was messy, with all temperature probes daisy chained on the Beaglebone Protocape.

  10 comments for “Brewery control panel revision 3

  1. dougedey
    September 4, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Are you doing anything to bump up the voltage from the BBB GPIO to the SSRs? I’m finding that the SSRs seem to be borderline powered (the red LED on them is barely visible)

    • Justin
      September 4, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      I’m not no. I do notice that if I go to meter the draw on the SSRs, that the additional load on my multimeter is enough to turn their LEDs off though… so it’s close. My multimeter tells me that there is about 6mA on each SSR (I don’t know if that’s an accurate read). Apparently 6mA is the maximum on all pins except P9_19, P9_20, P9_24, P9_26, P9_41, and P9_42, which are 4mA (source: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/beaglebone/dosKmEE7xso)… I bought an 8-channel darlington array when I started my electric brewery… but haven’t needed it… knock on wood.

      So, if you’re using those pins, try others I’d say. It seems to be hit or miss if specific SSRs can be powered directly from RPi or BBB… I’ve had good luck with the various ones I’ve tried though. A darlington array is super cheap, a bit of a pain if you have to do some re-wiring. Hopefully not the case for you.

      • dougedey
        September 4, 2015 at 3:16 pm

        GPIO0_7, P9_42.

        DAMNIT that may be about

  2. malin
    March 10, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Looks awesome! How do you connect/power the fan? Is it controlled by the Raspberry Pi?

    • Justin
      March 10, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Thank you! The fan came with a power adapter, which is just plugged into the electrical receptacle inside the panel.

  3. Rick Hutfloetz
    June 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Hey Justin, I’m thinking of going electric and liked your setup. Would it be relatively easy to make?

    • Justin
      June 22, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Hey Rick! I’m actually in the process of building a new control panel and a new brewery. The control panel, anyway you go about doing it really, will be a bit tedious I would say. Not hard, but definitely a bit tedious. OBK now carries some of the key parts for going electric which makes putting a system together a bit easier. Still for my new brewery I’ve had to order a bunch of parts from the US and China (though this is at least partially due to my new brewery being all sanitary fittings…)

      Anyways, to budget for my new brewery I’ve been keeping pretty good track of the various parts, their sources, and their cost. Would be happy to discuss with you some evening… and you’d be able to check out however far along I am with my control panel at the same time.

      • Rick Hutfloetz
        July 26, 2016 at 8:44 am

        Sounds good Justin, I’ll get in touch when I can drop by. I’d love to see the new set up. Did you get away from using the counter flow chiller for both a HERMS and chilling the wort? I’m debating on what to do with mine.

  4. Shawn Mason
    September 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    How is the new build going? Can you share your wiring diagram?

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