“Brewing beer has become a worldwide phenomenon. Beer and wine is being crafted in ordinary kitchens in every corner of the world. One phrase that you may hear from your fellow homebrewer is “From Grain to Glass”, which refers to the process of making beer from raw ingredients.
There are several different ways of making beer. The more advanced way of creating beer, called “all grain” brewing, refers to the “From Grain to Glass”. Malted grain is steeped (or “mashed” as it is referred to commonly) with hot water inside a vessel such as a cooler or pot. During this “steep” (or “mash”), enzymes in the grain convert the starches in the grain of choice into sugars, which subsequently dissolve into the water. After the conversion process is complete, the sweet water (or “wort” as it is officially referred to) is drawn off and boiled with hops prior to being fermented with different strains of yeast.
After brewing beer using a 40qt cooler and a turkey fryer stock pot on a propane burner stand, I found myself longing for a more sophisticated and efficient way to brew beer. I kept asking myself: How could I brew beer in the warmth of my kitchen during cold winter months or on late evening brews after a long day at the office?
My research led me down an endless rabbit hole, of which I have yet to find an end to. The result of several years of research has led me to write this article on Instructables. The outcome of my research was a custom built electric brewing system that resembles a sous vide cooker. If you find yourself interested in building a brewing system or sous vide cooker, you found yourself in the right spot.
I have broken up this Instructable into three parts:
The Muscle - the brewing system itself;
The Hearth - a Bluetooth enabled Arduino Uno controller; and
The Brain - a custom Universal Windows Platform App (UWP), created in C#.net, which runs on a Lumia 635 Windows 10 smartphone (or any other device).
The above sections will illustrate how I created a stainless steel behemoth of a brewing pot using a single vessel brewing philosophy (also known as “brew-in-a-bag”). The brewing system is powered by an Arduino control board that regulates the temperature of whatever might be in the pot to a degree using internal temperature probes and a solid state relay controlled electric heating element. I will outline how I progressed from an initial concept idea to a fully functioning layout on a breadboard to soldering a custom circuit board on a piece of perf board (a PCB with copper lined holes that can be soldered).
The final part of the brewing system and the future basis for endless development is my custom app called BrewLogic, which can be run on any windows 10 machine. This app speaks to the Arduino controller via Bluetooth and can be run on any Windows 10 device equipped with Bluetooth. Although Windows 10 is readily available, I have also created a generic Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application.”