Parts List Edit
This list contains all the parts required to build a BrewPi. There are other parts that can be used to make the BrewPi your own and based on things you already have, but this reflects my cheap DIY option.
Arduino Uno Edit
- You can pick up an Uno on Amazon for $11, cheapest I've found it not buying a knockoff from China.
- If money is a main concern and every dollar matters and you don't mind waiting a long time, order from Dx.com for $13 with free shipping from China. It will take a minimum of 3-4 weeks to arrive in the US. So be prepared to wait. I think the Sainsmart is a better option for only $5 you get it in a few days, but this is the next best thing.
Webserver Host (Pick One) - Raspberry Pi or PC With Debian
RaspPi - $50 Edit
This is where a majority of the above mentioned $100 cost is if you go the RaspPi route.
You can get a [RPI 2 Kit] including a MicroSD card on Amazon.
Another option is to just buy the RPI for $40 and use a power cord and or MicroSD card you already have.
Any PC with USB Edit
This is where you can save a ton of money, if you are like me and have any old spare PC’s laying around with old drives, you can install Debian Wheezy and run the web server on it. Linux based OS's are great because they can run on low-end PC's.
Another option is to run Debian in a VirtualBox instance on your Windows PC. I won't cover the VM setup, but if you know how it will work.
The automatic setup scripts should work here, if you are going to use a PC though make sure that after you install Debian that you create a user named pi by becoming root and typing the command "adduser pi" without quotes. Then run the script and follow the instructions here
If you need to, there is also the manual option. Going this route makes the software install a bit more manual but it's all very well documented line by line on the BrewPi Wiki. Instructions here:
SainSmart 2 Channel Relay Board - $10 Edit
- Simple relay board that's capable of switching 10A (same as a STC1000) is perfect for this application. You can order from here.
4.7k Resistor x1 Edit
- This is necessary to wire between the Data and VCC pins on your Arduino, and is a requirement of the DS18B20's to be used on the OneWire bus. You can get a pack of 25 from Amazon for pretty cheap if you dont have any.
DS18B20 Temperature Sensors x2 Edit
- There are a lot of options here so shop around to find the cheapest one that fit your criteria. You can buy premade ones, if you only need 1 Meter cables ive bought and used these from VTech, if you need 3 meter cables i have used these from RioRand with success. It's not a horrible idea to get 5 for $15 instead of 1 ea. for $5, that way if one doesn't work or over time one dies for some reason you have backups. You can optionally wire in a 3rd temperature probe to measure the room temperature.
- Make sure if you get premade sensors that any sheathing is not greater than .305 inches or it won't fit in the listed thermowell.
- You can buy just the sensors themselves and wire cables yourself. You can get 4 wire cable by the foot at Lowes/HD for ~44c per foot. If you think 1 Meter of cable is long enough for your implementation, then the above are good. If you need a long run, you may want to make your own or splice some longer cable onto the premade one. I think you can get 10 DS18B20 sensors on Amazon for about 8 bucks. Hooking them up is straight forward- just follow the schematic. Once I have a sensor up and running, I typically just put a thin layer of aquarium silicone on its contacts to keep them in place and from shorting together when I shove it down the thermowell. Hot glue works as well just try to keep it off the top of the sensor where it takes its readings.
- Things to think about when ordering premade wires is if their length is long enough to fit into your setup from where you will externally mount your BrewPi, and if the sheathing is too wide to fit in a thermowell. Honestly pretty much every one you see with a metal tip covering it will be identical, because they're all the same thing just mass produced in China and resold here at various prices. But do check these things.
Thermowell (Optional but Recommended) - $12 Edit
- Brewers Hardware sells the one that I use. The width is wide enough to fit the premade sensors. You also need to figure out a way to get said thermowell in your fermenter. For me using a bucket, i simply drilled another hole in my lid, bought another cheap rubber stopper with a hole drilled in it to fit that hole and the thermowell fits very snuggly in a standard drilled stopper.
- You can alternatively just insulate it properly on the side of the fermenter, but you need to be VERY good with your insulation...I would highly recommend a thermowell as measuring the temp inside is going to be the most accurate, and that's what we are going for with this project over a standard STC1000...external mounting will get you close, but when your talking +-.1F accuracy you will want it in the heart of your wort where the heat is, not externally measuring heat through the somewhat insulating plastic of your fermenter.
Power Socket - $3? Edit
- Any 10-15A outlet from HD/Lowes should work. his is where you plug in your fridge/freezer for cold and your heater for warming. If your buying other things from Amazon you can get this Leviton for cheap as an addon product.
Power Cord - $5 Edit
- The easiest thing to do is to harvest a used PC power cord, cut off the receptacle end and keep the plug end (see picture). Many people have these lying around from old PCs. The nice thing is you can harvest the cut end for good 14-16 gauge wire to use for this project. If you must, buy the shortest and cheapest 16 gauge extension cord you can find. You may be able to find something to harvest at a store like GoodWill/Salvation Army. They often have piles of cables near their electronics for a few dollars each. In the case of PC power cords you can cut the receptacle end off, then cut some 6-12 inch sections off as needed and pull the individual White/Green/Black cables out of the outer black sheathing. These make great connections for the Relay side going to the Wall socket, which should use 14-16 gauge wire to be safe. Use thinner wire if possible for the arduino connections as it will make it easier to solder onto the pads Another option is to use header pins and just plug directly into the arduino from the top. If your buying, heres another addon item from Amazon.
Assorted Bag of Twist on Wire Nut connectors Edit
- These can be used to make the connections more quickly and easy, optionally instead of using these you could twist the wires in the diagram together and solder them, but this makes it harder to disassemble if you hook something up wrong. You can find these at Home Depot or your local store fairly cheap. Pick up an assortment of sizes as you will have some large gauge wires and some small you need to connect together. Here is an assorted box for a reasonable price on Amazon if you do not have a local hardware store to get smaller quantities.
Lasko Personal Heater - $15-40 Depending on Season Edit
- This is my recommended heater from Amazon if you need one for your climate. It is a 200W ceramic heater with a built in fan, and a built in safety feature that will automatically turn it off and force you to manually turn it off and on before restarting. Its meant to be a tiny desk heater, and its more than powerful enough to heat up such a small enclosed space as a fridge or freezer, and the fan helps keep the air moving around. The shutoff also gives me peace of mind when leaving the house that if somehow a relay goes out or the software goes haywire and the heater gets stuck on it won't start a fire. BrewPi has built in maximum temps it allows before it shuts off, so it should never get to that point but its nice to know it's there. It's very cheap during the US summer season, and of course goes back up during winter when it is more in demand.
SD Card Reader Edit
You will need some sort of way to read/write to SD Cards. If your PC already has a built in SD card reader your fine. There are many cheap USB SD card readers that work for Windows. I bought mine at Walmart for $10, but you could probably even get cheaper on Amazon, and end up with a better product.