The Computer board doesn't do a whole lot without software. The Advantec board came with some basic software and a 'lite' version of their automation software. I decided to use the lite software as a base to experiment with some of the automation.
The main temperature display:
The display has built into it limits which can be set for sound alarms or to trigger events. In particular, I wanted to make sure that the HLT couldn't get to boiling, the mash insides never get so hot to get tannins from the hushs, the sparge water limited for the same reason, and the chiller to not get above 20 C.
The Mash display. The whole idea in the mash screen is to easily make step mashes by simply dialing it in. Most of the logic was developed by trial an error using a model I developed and a lot of theory. Once I get the brewery running, I'm sure I will have to change it.
Some of the features include:
Readouts of the Mash tun from the grain and the reservoir. I know its already on the top display but its nice to have it were your monitoring the mash. The temperatures your trying to get to and the duration are dialing in on the left. The yellow digits next to the dialed in time is the actual time at the temperature so you can record what the actual was.
For the Pump and Heat delta, heres whats up. The Pump delta is the temperature at which the pump stops recirculating. The heat delta is similar but is the temperature above the set temperature that the bottom of the mash can get before the heat is turned off and the puymp turned on. What happens during the temperature boost is that the reservoir is heated until it heats the heat delta. At that temp, the pump turns on to recirculate the mash liquor from the bottom to the top and continues until the temperature of the reservoir gets to the pump delta at which it cylces off and the heater turns on if it hasnt hit the temp.
The Mash Temperature and Recirc Pump are the indicator lights that tell if the elements are active or not. Complicated? I hope not.
This little display is just an indication of what mash step your on. THe number at the bottom represents the PID readout of how much heat is applied to the mash. I hope to use this number to cycle the heat on and off in a pulse width fashion so I dont overshoot the temperature I'm trying to reach.
Still in the building stages. The main thing here is to monitor the temperature of the sparge and keep it steedy through the sparging process. Temperature is monitored at the sparge drip over the grain bed and at the HLT. There is also an dial for setting the rate at which you want to sparge at. In actuality, its controlled by the float valve and the mash tun valve to the boil kettle but at least this way you can only activate the pump from the HLT to the mash to a minimum.
HLT water inlet.
In the building stages also. It just going to open the HLT water inlet valve for so many second at a regulated pressure to get a predialed water level. I'll have to measure the rate and then use it as a rough gauge when I'm filling the HLT. For safety, I may install a kill switch if the level gets too high.
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