Friday, February 20, 2009

Equipment upgrades

I'm brewing this weekend, on Sunday, and will be doing the initial run with a new sparge-arm. This one is much more elegant than the drilled copper hoop I had been using; I was inspired by a sparger I saw in the most recent Zymurgy. It's made of PVC, with a bolt and some washers providing the 'spray' aspect. I've extended it a bit so that the hose from the pump won't get any kinks, and I think it'll work like a champ. We'll see on Sunday, I suppose. (Photos to follow; I'll try to take some during the brew day.)

I'm also deep in the planning stages for conversion of my rig to a HERMS-style system. I've got the process flow mapped, and know what I need (in broad strokes) to make it work. I'm looking into various possibilities for automating the recirculating/heat-exchanging. I'm leaning towards something either based on the Arduino platform, or something that looks innovative (and, more important, simple) called "PICAXE". At this point, only time will tell. I am not, unfortunately, an electrical engineer, nor have I been a computer programmer for decades, so there's absolutely no telling how half-assed this will turn out. All the same, I'm optimistic.


vincent said...

PICAXE is a great microcontroller. Because it's damn cheap and easy to use. You can learn how to use the PICAXE and how the circuit work by just referring the pdf files that comes with the PICAXE programming editor.

I'm not a electrical engineer myself too :)

Mikhail Novgorodets said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm sure that, given enough time, I can make this thing work.

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