Brewbot: Kickstarting an Arduino-based automated brewing system


That’s definitely a pretty neat setup. Not what I would choose to spend $1500 if I were decking out my brewery, but I can see the appeal.

That’s £1,500 = about $2,400 US. To brew 20 L batches.

I don’t know about this. Judging by the video it looks like a fancy beer coffee pot. You can still screw up the mixture by adding the wrong amounts or by missing the timer.

Now if it had on-board scales and chambers that it self dispensed DME/LME, malted grains, hops, yeast, anything else you could think of and you just loaded up hoppers then it might be worth the price point.

As it stands, it looks like and overpriced boiler/chiller/timer tied to a phone interface. Still a neat idea though.

All I really want as a home brewer is the ability to have a computer measure the specific gravity of my wort as it ferments. I just want to know when the wort has hit it’s final gravity so I do not have to continually take gravity samples.

Every sample taken is another opportunity for infection.

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THIS. Seriously, this is the thing I want. I may have to roll up my sleeves and do it myself.

I have looked into how specific gravity can be turned into a digital signal and it seems like this is the limiting factor. Even the large breweries still use hydrometers.

some people have tried to measure CO2 output from the fermenter and others have tried to use the weight of the liquid. Neither of these are accurate.

The makers of this thing and I have very different ideas on what constitutes “simple.”

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Where is the ‘craft’ in a craftbrew brewed from this thing? Saying you made the beer would be like saying you cooked the cassoulet by punching the buttons in the galley of the USS Enterprise.

I don’t about the goal of allowing the brewer to focus on the recipe – so much of a beer’s quality is dependent on accurate, careful process in the brewing, hitting temps/volumes/times/etc. very precisely. I wouldn’t want to trust an apparatus to do everything for me, I’d still need to verify each step manually. The recipe matters for the style of the outcome, but not necessarily the quality.

You used to be able to buy these things called “BrewBalls” that would be added directly to the carboy. Each has a specific gravity and would drop as the ferment continues. However, I don’t think that they sell them anymore. It was a low tech solution, but I know people who love them…

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Groundman nails it, where is the craft? And as wascostreet points out, there is so much more to it than just the recipe. I’ve been having a lot of fun over the past couple of years playing around with constructing recipes for an all-grain Pilsner lager and then experimenting with different step profiles in the infusion mash. How does the BrewBot facilitate that sort of thing? Yep, as previously suggested it seems to me it’s just an overpriced coffee pot.

but does it implement RFC 2324


This is a previous kickstarter that does what you’re talking about. It is pricey and I’ve no idea whether they are ever going to bring it out to the general public, but there it is. I thought about doing the kickstarter but it seemed kind of expensive at the time.

Brewers Control System has been around for some time and has full control via phone/tablet.‎

Or by making bread in a bread machine. And bread machine bread can still be delicious.

I got the early adopter release of the pre-prod bug from their kickstarter. The strain gauge they’re using isn’t as reliable as I’d hoped. It’s a novelty, but pretty much didn’t live up to the promise for me. The data is all over the place and the complexity of using a weighted bobber in the secondary fermenter is a sanitation hassle.

Found the brew balls, thinking that might be a much more elegant idea less prone to dead batteries, sanitation problems, and data output variances.

Not that the whole glass hygrometer thing is all that complicated in the first place.

Well, my problem is, generally, that by the time I’m getting around to getting a good specific gravity reading from the wort, I’ve already finished the sixer I purchased to ‘help’ during the brew process. I consider my hydrometer success by the number of times I haven’t broken the measurement device.

This reminds me of the egg theory of cake mixes – that cake mixes require you to add an egg because otherwise it doesn’t seem like you’ve done enough for it to count as you “making” a cake yourself.

But at the end of the day, there are people who enjoy the process of crafting a handmade product, and people who simply want the end result – a bespoke product produced to their specifications that’s relatively cost effective and easy. Supposing that an automated home brewery is senseless because it removes the craft misses the point in the same way as supposing that a 3D printer is senseless because it takes the craftsmanship out of sculpting.

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