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Brewtroller Build Part Four - Volume Sensing

I've been so busy with work/study lately I haven't had a chance to finish off my blog series, so thought I better get back into it.

The goal here is to allow the Brewtroller to calculate how much water is needed to brew a particular batch, then fill the HLT with the correct amount, transfer the mash water to the mash tun, and finally sparge until I have the desired amount of water in the kettle. There is actually a particularly useful feature where by you can set the flow into your BK (with a ball valve) and the sparge in will automatically turn on/off after a predetermined amount has entered the BK. This is quite useful for matching the sparge in flow to the BK in.

I will be using the "Bubbler" system like this:

Full notes can be found on the Brewtroller website here.

The biggest advantage of the bubbler system that I can see, is that the air in the system is being constantly replenished by the aquarium pump, so if a leak was to develop or a hose comes unplugged then all measurements aren't screwed for the day. I bought the cheapest pump available from a pet store for about $10. They actually sell the tubing and valves for just a few bucks as well.

Air Pump:

The volume sensors are made by Freescale - and I got a couple of sample ones direct from Freescale for US$10 shipped (thanks to Dale for the tip.)

Dip Tube (Inside HLT and BK, but not MT due to grain):

I got the tube from www.steelandtube.co.nz the little bracket was from www.anzor.co.nz

Pressure Sensor Box:

The white tee valve you can see here are actually just used as tees - they were about $1 each and tees weren't available. There's no real circuit or anything, I just used the breadboard to make soldering a bit easier and to give me something to screw to the enclosure.

HLT Water Input

This was really one of the best things about the volume sensing, for me anyway. I use a carbon filter to get rid of chlorine which has quite a slow flow rate, and I always seem to forget to monitor the levels. With this I can just walk away and it will turn off the tap and start heating when the desired level is reached.

I use a 1/2" motorised ball valve which cost about US$50 from www.oscsys.com the ball valve is used to set the proper flow rate through the filter (so it is not too quick).

Links to all posts in this series:






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Comment by Stu H on December 12, 2011 at 11:53pm

Dude that is looking awesome, great work!


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