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Temperature and Fermentation control using Tilt Hydrometer??

Discussion in 'Electronics, Hardware & Software' started by jollster101, 22/5/18.

 

  1. jollster101

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    Posted 22/5/18
    Hi all

    I am looking at purchasing a Tilt hydrometer and am wondering whether anybody knows if it is possible to have the unit control the temperature during the ferment. I know it can output the current temperature of the brew so you can see what the temperature is doing, but I am keen to see whether anybody has created a setup where the device can effectively turn off and on the fridge / heat belt (or mat) to maintain temps in the fermentation chamber.

    I have an STC-1000 but I'm not sure if that can be used with the Tilt to get temperatures right at the heart of the brew and then control accordingly.

    Cheers
     
  2. Uyllii

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    Posted 22/5/18
  3. jollster101

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    Posted 22/5/18
    Thanks.

    The new Tilt's have wireless in as well making them a touch more versatile than the original version.

    I will take a look at the links. If anyone else has an input would be keen to get your view.
     
  4. mashmaniac

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    Posted 22/5/18
    Tilt has no control. However there are some DIY projects on HBT that will, and also integrate Tilt info all on one screen. (note I haven't followed the threads there for some months so they may well have advanced further).
    My fave is Brewpiless, but it don't work with tilt, one of it's sister projects does they're all in the same sub forum.
    Note this is an 7/10 on the difficultly DIY scale, you'll need some soldering skills, some knowledge of basic electrics or a friendly sparky to help out. The software side is medium to easy if you follow the directions.
    The Ispindle above I'd call an 8/10.

    This is where your hobby starts a whole nother hobby for ya!!

    ED: Fermentrack the project that links Tilt or Ispindle to brewpi, including multi chamber support all on one screen. Had to go do a bit of searching said it had been a bit.
     
    Last edited: 22/5/18
  5. jollster101

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    Posted 22/5/18
    Thanks for the reply.

    I suppose the question should be do I actually need to really bother about this level of complexity. I am interested in a Tilt and am likely to go down that path and I have a spare Pi or two so that's not an issue.

    Should I just stick with my STC-1000 for controlling temperature (heat belt wrapped around my Fermentasaurus and inside the fridge) and have the Tilt there to just provide gravity readings and more detailed temperature info?

    Thoughts welcome?
     
  6. mashmaniac

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    Posted 23/5/18
    The guy who wrote fermentrack also designed serveral PCB's for brewpiESP8266, these were fairly simple to solder up. The one I have has I2c for LCD, pin out for double relay board, and an RJ12 for sensor output. It uses a 5v wall wart and is wifi. Maybe an hour of soldering all up. stick it all in a box and you the most accurate ferment control out there. Installing fermentrack is a single command, flashing any brewpi is done with the click of a button in fermentracks control panel(the brewpi plugged into usb).
    Note the Tilt costs around $200, for that money you could build 10 Ispindles.

    STC1000 will hold a temp within a deg or two, brewpi uses a predictive algorithm and will hold with in 0.2 c actually if you follow the graph of beer temp, there will be a spike (down) when active fermentation stops. Obviously you have to go to your ferment fridge to check or adjust your STC1000, fermentrack you can check and adjust (with correct network settings) from anywhere in the world. Is it something you NEED to do, you will still make good beer with an STC. However if your going to get a Tilt anyway having SG and temp on one graph is way more intuitive and meaningful.
     
  7. Don

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    Posted 28/7/18
    Hi Mate

    I myself am looking at a couple of smart pid's, there a wifi pid controller and might be an idea for your setup.
    My project is to control 2 brewtech unitank fermenters using there heat pad and pump that will live in a glycol chiller.
    here is a link for what I'm looking at, I've made contact and these will be available around September.

    http://smartpid.com/

    matching the input temp sensor on the pid with that of the tilt bluetooth output via hardware and/or software, could ?? be a thing, just need more research.

    Also Im thinking for myself, I might not really have to link them if using the smart pid. I work away so my ideals here are, I can check the tilt for finished fermentation and then crash chill the fermenter to preserve via the smart pid, all while miles from home.

    Cheers
    Don
     
    Last edited: 28/7/18
  8. Dubzie

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    Posted 14/8/18
  9. mashmaniac

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    Posted 14/8/18
  10. Ballaratguy

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    Posted 15/8/18
    Brewfather is a program like beer smith and a few others but Brewfather will integrate with tilt to log the info
    There are Facebook pages for both tilt and Brewfather that would be well worth looking at
     
  11. Dubzie

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    Posted 16/8/18
    I'm planning on hooking mine up with CraftBeerPi
     
  12. Jawknee

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    Posted 19/9/18
    Planning to do as the original poster is until I get more familiar with PID programming.

    Stage 1. My intention is to use a ESP32 to capture bluetooth from the tilt and use the temperature received to operate two 10A mechanical relays the same as STC. I would also display gravity reading and temp on a display, battery voltage as well. This would run in parallel with the tilt process of updating an app on the smartphone and writing to a google spreadsheet.

    Stage 2. The next stage would then be to broadcast this info over wifi to a raspberry pi. I will then run a node red interface that would allow me to remotely set temperature profiles and also monitor from the internet if away from home.

    Stage 3. Implement PID control with a temperature sensor within the fermentation fridge. The two relays would be replaced with SSRs and the code would need updated on the ESP32.
     
  13. brewinski

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    Posted 8/10/18
    Hey there,

    I have a brewpi (legacy) and Arduino UNO (no soldering, use jumpers and terminal strips). I have added the Tilt integration, but after 4 or 5 brews with it I am not sure what I am getting out of it that I wasn't before ... outside of not using the refractometer or hydrometer any more (actually that's a good thing during ferment).

    I can see now that most of the ferments I have done finish out in 3 to 4 days (ex. drops from 1.049 to 1.003), and then just cleans up for the next 10. So for the $200 I now still wait 2 weeks minimum, and listen to the air bubbles.

    It makes advice like "... when SG has been stable for 48 hrs, you're done" ... seem incorrect.

    The temp is logged by the Brewpi, but is not used in any calculations, just for display only.

    To qualify, I have used US-05 dry yeast in 3 of the 4 ferments, and Mangrove Jacks Dry Abbey Yeast in the other .... so more info could be gathered from using different yeasts, wet/reuse/natural etc.

    So to answer some of your question, complexity is not really needed, as I mentioned I have hardly changed my process at all from owning the Tilt (less Beer spilling when random SG testing)... I will continue to use it as it is nice to know, but you could also save yourself the trouble of integrating it and just look at the phone app that comes with the Tilt, at random intervals, and it would be equivalent and less waste than normal SG checks.

    while I am espousing simplicity, I went down a reasonably complex route to arrive there ... I couldn't be told to stay in the shallow, so it's understandable if you do go all in :)
     
  14. nathanvonbeerenstein

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    Posted 9/10/18
    Valid points! For me, I’m getting a digital hydrometer to closely monitor and log my sg, and more importantly my temperature, for review of my processes and recipes/yeast after, not just to know when fermentation’s done.

    Knowing constantly what your SG is at also allows you to accurately make temperature changes at critical times - like with fast ferment lagers or with diacetyl rests.

    I toyed with the idea of using the digital hydrometer to control my fermentation temperature controller but for me wasn’t necessary and would be over complicating for very little return. I am always hovering about near the beer when manual changes need to be made anyway. The only thing important to me is to know when I need to make those changes, and a digital hydrometer allows this without interfering with fermentation, introducing oxygen/bacteria and wasting beer.

    Plus, who doesn’t like brewing gadgets? Haha
     
  15. FarsideOfCrazy

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    Posted 10/10/18
    I've seen some tests done in relation to temperature of the wort in the middle of the fermenter and the temp probe taped and insulated to the outside of the fermenter and difference was negligible.
     

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