What is BrewPi?

BrewPi is a fermentation temperature controller for brewing beer or wine. It runs on Raspberry Pi and an Arduino. Compared to other temperature controllers, BrewPi offers much better temperature control and a lot more features like data logging, a web interface and graphs.

In our shop you can buy the BrewPi Arduino shield, temperature sensors, SSRs, a casing and more to convert your fridge or freezer into an awesome fermentation chamber.

BrewPi is open source and has an active community. We are working hard to support mash control (BIAB, HERMS or RIMS) in the near future…

BrewPi Case 2.0 with sensors and actuators

 

Raspberry Pi + Arduino

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BrewPi runs on two very popular boards: a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino. The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer that runs Linux. In BrewPi it runs the web server and a python script to log data and manage settings. The Arduino is a microcontroller board that reads the temperature sensors and activates the cooler, heater and other actuators. It also has an LCD and knob to display and change settings.

Stability and flexibility

The Arduino runs the temperature control algorithm autonomously. If you don't care about data logging, it can control your beer without the Rasberry Pi. This makes this combo very stable: if the Raspberry Pi crashes, the Arduino will still keep your beer temperature perfectly under control. And being a simple embedded device, the Arduino just does not crash. If you want to run BrewPi on something else than a Raspberry Pi, you can! Any platform that has USB and can run a web server and Python will be able to run BrewPi.

Web interface

BrewPi runs a local web server that provides a great interface to change settings, view brewing data and to configure your controller. The web interface shows interactive graphs of your current brew and previous brews. You can easily start a new brew, view what the control algorithm is doing, check the logs, load/save temperature profiles, edit the active profile, etc.

Advanced temperature control algorithm

You can view the calculations of the control algorithm in the web interface. The values for Kp, Ki and Kd are configurable.
BrewPi has an advanced temperature control algorithm that can keep your beer temperature stable within 0.1 °C.

Instead of just heating when the beer is too cold and cooling when the beer is too warm, BrewPi calculates what the fridge temperature should be to keep your beer temperature in check. It then controls the fridge temperature. This prevents fluctuations in the beer temperature. More details about the temperature control algorithm in BrewPi can be found here: (coming soon).

Temperature profiles

With BrewPi, you have much more control than just keeping a constant beer temperature: you can define a temperature profile over time.

An example of what you can do with a temperature profile:

  • You start at 20°C for 36 hours, right in the middle of the temperature range for your yeast to make it easy for them to start up and multiply.
  • After 36 hours, when your beer is bubbling well, you want drop the temperature to reduce ester formation. You set the profile to be at 17°C at 3 days.
  • You decide to keep the beer at 17°C for 3 days, but fermentation is slowing down.
  • Yeast is more active at higher temperatures, so you slowly raise to 22°C over 5 days: as the yeast consumes more and more complex sugars, it can do this at a higher temperature.
  • After reaching 22°C, you keep it at that temp for 2 days (diacetyl rest), before cold crashing at 3°C.
Using temperature profiles, you can do gradual changes in temperature. Yeast is sensitive to sudden temperature changes: a sudden drop in temperature can cause them to drop out of suspension because they need time to adapt to a new set point.
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