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222 comments

Cool (1, Funny)

ikkibr (848955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11369962)

Finally I found an use for my Old Pentium 100!
Now I can make my own beer and spend my money on geek things and not in beer anymore!

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370014)

most geeks dont drink beer,
we would sell it as "Cold Beer, not Windows"

Re:Cool (1)

tomofdarknesss (838172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370346)

you know the wrong geeks.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370213)

I used mine in testing Newtons Laws of Gravity.

Re:Cool (1)

gonzo-wireless (847083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370247)

It's perfect for the 100 mhz pentium I'm about to order: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/01/14/intel_pent ium_death_delay/

Alternative ideas for this system... (2, Interesting)

ZiZ (564727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11369964)

This really sounds like a neat system - not just for beer, but for anything for which a relatively constant temperature is useful or important. Like, say, you could hook it up to (or really, instead of) your classic thermostat, although a mercury switch has the advantage of not needing to reboot if it goes out due to a power outage...

I wonder how feasable it would be to set one of these up to regulate the water temperature in your shower. Set it for something warm and cozy, and it will run at that temperature until the hot water starts to decline, sound a warning, and maintain as high a temperature as possible following that, with a gradual return to the desired temperature if the supply of hot water returns to normal...

A simple thermostat isn't good enough... (5, Informative)

ZombieEngineer (738752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370120)

The purpose from the article was to provide a temperature profile. Biological processes are a tad bit complicated with the desired product sometimes will only be produced under certain circumstances, from memory Penicilin is only formed by a certain fungus during the "death stage" of fermentation at a specific temperature. eg: all the culture is used up and the biomas starts to consume itself)

By controlling the temperature profile during fermentation it is possible to radically change the "taste" of the product. That is why the Australian / South African wine growers can churn out a reasonably good product cheaply (as opposed to the French) as they use large temperature controlled stainless steel vats with scorched oak chips rather than small wooden casks.

Zombie Engineer

Re:Alternative ideas for this system... (2, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370314)

This really sounds like a neat system - not just for beer, but for anything for which a relatively constant temperature is useful or important

There's something more useful or important than beer?

Re:Alternative ideas for this system... (2, Insightful)

groggy-P (206965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370590)

Shower temperature regulation is one of the things I've been thinking
of for decades. It requires much faster responses than beer brewing,
and to do it right you need to understand the differential pressures
of the hot and cold water. It's a lot simpler to buy a thermostatic
valve.

Greg

BSD (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11369968)

BSD: The Beer Service Device.

A good reason to welcome someone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370271)

I, for one, welcome our BSD-controlled, beer-brewing overlords.

how convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11369973)

a dead operating system to produce a substance made by micro-organisms killing themselves.

Accessories? (4, Informative)

Eziril (657544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11369988)

Now to put some in my Peltier Beer cooler http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~arnesen/peltierbeer/ [stud.ntnu.no]

Re:Accessories? (1)

Kargan (250092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370511)

Let your Guinness warm up. You'll find it has much more flavor and aroma that way.* The Guinness Extra Stout is best, I find, when consumed at somewhere between cellar and room temperature.

This is true of virtually all ales that are worth drinking, and a rather high percentage of quality lagers (as in "bottom-fermented beers", not meant in the "fizzy and yellow" sense) as well.

if you think thats cool, check this out (1)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370580)

the barmonkey! [barmonkey.net] uses simlar items such as a relay board and a computer to auto mix various alcohols into new and wonderful drinks.

Site Backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11369991)

In case of slashdotting:

Overview
The control system uses a computer to monitor a number of temperatures inside a fridge and turn on either the fridge motor to cool the surroundings, or a light bulb to warm them:

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index
The equipment I used is:

* An old computer, of course. The size of the one I chose is simple: that's what I had left over. It's an Intel 486-DX2/66 with 16 MB of RAM, something you can probably pick up for free if you know where to look. It's running FreeBSD, of course.
* A temperature logger kit available from from Ozitronics kits. By chance, I had seen this at Linux.conf.au in January 2004, though I already knew about it before. It connects to the system via the serial port.
* A relay board also available from from Ozitronics kits. It connects to the parallel port and controls up to 8 relays with up to 250 VAC and 10 A, though they recommend additional wiring for currents of over 5 A. A fridge typically uses a maximum of 3A, so this is of academic interest only.

The real fun in getting this working wasn't the hardware, which is easy enough to get. It's also not really the software, which I wrote myself, and which I'm still tweaking. The real problem were the little details and connectors and things. I spent a lot of time--see the brewing log--trying to decide how to connect things. Finally I discovered an old computer lying around without a mother board, so all the front panel connectors were hanging loose. That's exactly what I was looking for to mount the temperature sensors:

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index

Other issues in the mounting included the fact that the kits are designed for external mounting (and the relay board needs a 12V power supply). I wanted to mount both inside, which had the added advantage that I could use the computer power supply to power the relay board. The problem was a certain amount of external cabling:

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index
This one shows the temperature probe assembly. There are no mounting holes on the probe board, so I had to mount it by its 9 pin serial connector. I had already connected to probe cables to a 25 pin connector. I wanted it inside the case, so I had to connect the flat cable to the serial port on the outside of the case (the grey cable going out through another cutout just below the probe board). I need to find some kind of plate that I can use to mount it inside the case.

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index
This shows the 12V connection to the relay board. I mounted it from the top of the cabinet, and the 12V input is from the computer power supply.

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index
This one shows the other side of the relay board with the mains power connections.

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index
A view of the back of the computer. This shows a number of things:

* The lower cable goes from the parallel port back inside to the relays. It would be nice to have internal cabling, but I don't know of any parallel ports that connect to a header on the board. They're all connected directly to an external connector.
* Above that is the temperature probe cable, as shown before.
* Higher and to the right, the flat band cable mentioned previously.
* At the top are the relay power outputs (white) and the computer power cable (black). The power supply is in at an angle because it was originally designed for a smaller case, and the internal cables are too short to allow normal mounting. Some time I must buy a proper power supply.

Installation
The next step was installation in the laundry:

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index

Note the position of the temperature sensors:

* The external ("room") sensor is on the side of the fridge, not an ideal place, especially when I replace the power supply, when it'll be in the exhaust area. To be relocated.
* The internal ("ambient") temperature sensor is barely visible in front of the 25 pin connector. It's fastened to one of the bars of the grille.
* The wort temperature sensor is taped to the outside of the fermenter. It's covered with some bubble foil to minimize the effects of the ambient air.
* The fourth sensor is intended for a second fermenter. It's hanging down in front of the light.

Sample output
The software produces output in a number of formats. The most obvious one is a text display of the temperatures on a screen. Linux sucks by the way. You can also get up-to-date information about the current temperatures by contacting my machine:

=== root@quartet (/dev/ttyp3) /home/grog 22 -> telnet brewer.lemis.com 4135
Trying 192.109.197.147...
Connected to brewer.lemis.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
Time Brew Brew Base Ambient Goal Offset Room
43 44
18:23:39 19.06 18.93 18.99 18.12 19.00 -0.01 23.31
Status: Idle
Connection closed by foreign host.

It's possible that somebody will try to compromise this system via telnet. They won't succeed, but if they bombard me with enough traffic, it'll be expensive anyway. If this happens, I'll remove the facility.

The other representation is a graph. A recent graph (typically less than a day old) is shown on my brewing home page. A typical graph looks like this:

Fermentation temperature graph

Watch this space: it will start to look prettier. The information is:

1. X axis: temperature.
2. Y axis: Time. This should be the local time (Australian CST, 9½ hours ahead of UTC in winter, 10½ hours ahead in summer), but currently it's still showing UTC.
3. Red line: Temperature of first brew (Brew 43 in the example, but this will change).
4. Green line: Temperature of second brew (Brew 44 in the example, but this will change).
5. Dark blue line: Ambient temperature in the fridge. This is the temperature of the air that cools or warms the beer.
6. Base: The temperature that is being controlled. This is somewhere between the temperature of the first and the second brews, depending on what I have told the program. In the example it's fairly clearly the temperature of the first brew, but this will change depending on what I'm brewing. It's very often the average of the two. This information is supplied in the text version only.
7. Purple line: Goal: The temperature that the wort should achieve.
8. Offset: The difference between the base temperature and the room temperature. This information is supplied in the text version only.
9. Cyan line: Room: The temperature outside the fridge. This is purely informational; it (currently) isn't processed in any way.
10. Brown line: Indicates whether the system heats (line up from centre) or cools (line down from centre).

Current status
I have released the first version of the software, but the documentation is pretty primitive. Since release I've found some minor bugs, but they're not worth fixing yet; when I have the documentation, I'll put up a new version. Download the tarball, extract with tar and read the file README

If anyone knows the capital of Thailand please reply. Thanks.

I got (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11369993)

I got ... first drunk post!

Summer? (3, Funny)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11369998)

Summer's just around the corner, so get to work gang!

Being the 15th of January, it is exactly half way through Melbourne's 3 month summer season now. You self centered US folk :p

Re:Summer? (1)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370048)

And Jan 14th is the dead of winter in most northern latitudes. My home town is suffering temperatures of -40 right now, which makes it very very difficult to see summer as being "just around the corner".

Re:Summer? (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370076)

Psst... Dont use the word "dead" in a story about BSD. You will probably be modded down. [ducks]

Re:Summer? (1)

ChairmanMeow (787164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370429)

Just yesterday it was 70F here, while it is normally closer to 0...

Re:Summer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370095)

Being the 15th of January, it is exactly half way through Melbourne's 3 month summer season now. You self centered US folk :p

It's supposed to be, "I'll have you know I live in Australia, you insensitive clod!"

Re:Summer? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370216)

besides.. don't they drink during winter?

and damn snobs! you can brew without fancy computers!

Re:Summer? (2, Interesting)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370329)

Not just US centered. Face it most of the Earth's land mass -- and therefore most of the human population, live in the Northern hemisphere where it is the dead of winter right now. Not that being in the Southern hemisphere, and therefore being different is a bad thing; IMO being different is good!

Re:Summer? (1)

ElderKorean (49299) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370522)

But what of the new theory that both hemispheres have similar levels of intelligence?

The total intelligence of the northern hemisphere is roughly equalled by the total of the southern hemisphere.
Therefore as there are many fewer people down south, they must be of a (much) higher average intelligence.

I agree with that statement.

Well I would, I made it.

But it is a good premise to start from hey?

Anyone?

Re:Summer? (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370570)

Providing a link to this theory would be appropriate - most of us have probably never heard of it.

Despite descending from convicts, Australians are intelligent. Allow me to demonstrate:

1
+1
----
= 11

Hey... (2, Funny)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370007)

The first time I read that headline, I thought it said "BSD Beer Brewing System."

Oh, wait...

Re:Hey... (2, Funny)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370060)

The first time I read your post, I thought it was an overused joke that was lame to begain with.

Oh wait...

Re:Hey... (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370102)

Im still waiting...

Re:Hey... (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370390)

The first time I read your post, I thought it was a self-referential joke that was lame to begin with.

Oh wait...

Free, as in? (5, Funny)

Ghostgate (800445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370030)

This brings new meaning to the phrase: "Free(BSD) as in beer."

Re:Licensing problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370124)

Berkeley Software Design is the not the most appropriate license for this sort of system. Linux Software Design (LSD beer brewing kit) seems to make more sense to me.

Re:Licensing problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370191)

Yeah, I love that d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide Beer.

An aussie who got his priorities right.... (1)

ZombieEngineer (738752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370045)

... up there with the first commercial use of refridgeration by another Australian, keeping the beer cold of course!!.

Zombie Engineer

Let me see if I've got this straight.... (5, Funny)

trs9000 (73898) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370046)

So, now, I can make beer that's free as in speech? I'm confused.

Have a beer. You'll get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370250)

Heck, have a six-pack. You won't notice if you're confused.

Re:Let me see if I've got this straight.... (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370277)

Or free as in slurred speach.

BSD users brew lagers and faggy beers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370051)

Real men kill them and brew ale in their skulls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370083)

Great for work (3, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370053)

The fun part is explaining to your boss why you need a fridge for the new computer "disk pack".

nova (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370061)

HERE [schnits.org] ! is a torrent of all the torrents from the supernova website!

Time to remove (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370072)

The software produces output in a number of formats. The most obvious one is a text display of the temperatures on a screen. You can also get up-to-date information about the current temperatures by contacting my machine.

[...]

It's possible that somebody will try to compromise this system via telnet. They won't succeed, but if they bombard me with enough traffic, it'll be expensive anyway. If this happens, I'll remove the facility.

bombard with traffic? why we would never!

YOu know what goes great wtih beer (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370075)

Another Steelers victory.
Go Steelers!

Open Source Beer? (3, Funny)

kingjosh (792336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370079)

As with any open source project . . . we'll need a lot of testing. Any volunteers?

Re:Open Source Beer? (1)

dabigpaybackski (772131) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370117)

I'm in, as long as there's no coding involved.

Coincidence? (2, Funny)

nuxx (10153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370084)

Wow, what a weird post to read right now... I'm actually brewing beer as I type this. There's about 52 minutes left in the boil. Unfortunately I'm doing it the old analog method.

If anyone is interested in reading the recipe for the beer I'm making, look here [nuxx.net] .

Re:Coincidence? (1)

kingjosh (792336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370099)

What license does your beer have? Hoping its the FreeBSD license, that GPL one has too many restrictions, it's easier if I can just slap another label on your beer and call it my own . . .

Re:Coincidence? (1)

nuxx (10153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370179)

Creative Commons. Help yourself. :)

Re:Coincidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370475)

Yeah, with BSD licensed beer you can drink it, and piss it out as you please.

With GPL licensed beer, you drink it but have to piss it back into the brewer's pot so everyone can share.

Re:Coincidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370145)

Wow, what a weird post to read right now... I'm actually brewing beer as I type this. There's about 52 minutes left in the boil. Unfortunately I'm doing it the old analog method.

You must use Windows or at best, Debian. Real OSS people brew all-grain.

Re:Coincidence? (1)

conform (55925) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370581)

there's nothing in his post that indicates that he's an extract brewer... everybody boils.

Re:Coincidence? (1)

belgar (254293) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370152)

And you're reading slashdot instead of stirring? Methinks your wort runneth over....:P

Re:Coincidence? (1)

nuxx (10153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370159)

Hehe... Actually, I'd just taken care of the foam from the first hop addition and there's 15 minutes left before the toasted coriander and Mt. Hood hops go in. :D

Re:Coincidence? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370188)

here's 15 minutes left before the toasted coriander

GODDAMNIT! CORIANDER HAS NO PLACE IN BEER!!!!!!

Re:Coincidence? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370224)

I'm actually brewing beer as I type this
Technology and beer go together. My first use of USENET or really the internet at all was to get hold of part of "The Jolly Brewer", written by plenty of people on alt.rec.brewing.

About Time !!! (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370107)

About time someone brought such a coool use for BSD...

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those....

Re:About Time !!! (1)

sugar and acid (88555) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370611)

"Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those...."

That would be a brewery.

Beer recipe English version anyone? (1)

urbieta (212354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370111)

Excuse me but I have not seen the recipe in english, someone please translate, thanks :)

I need an open source drink heh

Re:Beer recipe English version anyone? (1)

kingjosh (792336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370135)

That's the beauty of Open Source beer, you can translate it, submit your changes, get it approved and whalla . . . Open Source beer the english version :-)

Re:Beer recipe English version anyone? (1)

thhamm (764787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370244)

GPBL? general public beer license?! i welcome ... nah. good night.

Re:Beer recipe English version anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370334)

English version:

http://www.voresoel.dk/main.php?id=71 [voresoel.dk]

Re:Beer recipe English version anyone? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370376)

Use konqueror, goto the tools menu=>Translate Web Page => German to English. Voila, problem solved.

How long until... (1)

Krankheit (830769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370114)

How long until Coors brewing sues all of the open source beer users?

Re:How long until... (2, Funny)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370190)

What does the Coors brewing company have to do with beer?

Toldja FreeBSD wasn't dead!!!... (5, Insightful)

cepler (21753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370118)

See, FreeBSD isn't dead! Just drunk!

BSD eh? (2, Funny)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370123)

Beer Software Distribution

Should have known.

A distro dedicated to beer...how wonderful.

So when will we see Windows XP "Hard Lemonade" Edition?

Re:BSD eh? (1)

kingjosh (792336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370150)

. . . I thought we were already using that version!

Slashdot Sucks Worse Everyday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370140)

"Stuff that matters"??? This story matters about as much as the shit on Oprah.

Re:Slashdot Sucks Worse Everyday (1, Insightful)

thhamm (764787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370182)

beer matters anytime. coward.

So will this be free? (2, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370144)

As in beer?

hmm. beeer. (1)

thhamm (764787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370153)

YES.

hmm. beer.
i for one, welcome my new beerbrewing overlord. because at my place, the beer brews me.

wait a sec ...

Too Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370175)

This seems kind of like a waste of time in that regular thermostat kits for kegorators are only $25 at brew supply shops, and require almost 0 setup time. Its cool for its geek factor but not econmical compared to existing products.

Anonymous HomeBrewer

Too Expensive (1)

macz (797860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370245)

That is true, but I like the temperature graphing for tracking fermentation. You can really get some good data and avoid the alkaloids that give you "skunky beer"

Re:Too Expensive (1)

zymurgy_cat (627260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370378)

Skunky beer comes from light exposure. The isohumulones react with light at a specific wavelength (exact on escapes me at this moment) to form the compounds that smell and taste skunky.

My beer tastes better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370208)

Because the system is run by Linux. Oh Yeah!!!!

Don't slashdot the telnet server (1)

siskbc (598067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370236)

They won't succeed, but if they bombard me with enough traffic, it'll be expensive anyway.

Let's not nuke the guy's interactive telnet temp server, OK?

Not the first open source beer recipe (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370240)

The beer recipe does not follow the first open source brewing requirements as published in the German Beer Purity Law [brewery.org]

Loves it. (1)

certel (849946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370246)

Oh! The BSD beer brewing kit. Great find. Hope it doesn't have minumum system requirements!

yuo sad, sad geeks (1)

scenestar (828656) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370266)

since i live in holland there is no need whatsoever to brew my own beer. a tall can(0,5L) of heineken is only $0.60.
and even better the drinking age out here is 16 years. I pity you poor american who have to be wait till theyre 21 in order to pay too much money for beer that tastes like wee

Re:yuo sad, sad geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370489)

Yeah, but heineken sucks! I prefer a nice ale or hefeweisen.

BSD beer brewing, where the only dying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370270)

....happens the morning after a six-pack.

Recipes excluded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370297)

I Am Not A Lawyer as they say, but if I recall correctly a recipe is not able to be protected by copyright. If that is the case, then their attempt to keep their beer "open" falls flat (no pun intended) because you need a copyright to enforce a GPL type arrangement.

Of course a collection of recipes does fall under copyright, so don't go thinking you can pass off the Betty Crocker collection as your own.

Of course, if I'm wrong, then please enlighten me.

Now i just have to order... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370308)

http://www.thinkgeek.com/cubegoodies/mugs/27f9/

This is not a "Brewing" device, it is a Fermenter (1)

macz (797860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370324)

I would like to see some something like this earlier in brew cycle. Temperature controls on relay assisted valves in a 3 or 4 pot brewing system would be a great addition. You could go from raw materials to chilled wort in a short time, and your brewing results would be more consistent. Add a USB capable pycnometer for measuring the specific gravity and then ferment in the refrigerator described.

Of course you might as well pony up the dough for a real microbrewery at that point, but if we are going to dream about these sorts of systems, we might as well dream big...

Can I use something similar for coffee roasting? (1)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370349)

I roast my own coffee at home, currently using an iRoast which allows me to input temperatures to form a roast curve. Now I'm wondering if it would be possible to modify what the article mentions (or similar) with a thermocouple rated for 500F+ ?

Some coffee geeks even modify espresso machines & coffee roasters with a PID (a type of temperature controller). This kind of data logger would be very useful. There are thermometers that do this, but they are expensive.

Oh and btw, coffee made from beans roasted less than 1 week ago is amazing! :)

Woohoo Kegstands errrr.... (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370359)

maybe Casestands?

how about a networked hydrometer/refractometer (1)

mo (2873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370366)

Temperature sensors are good and all, but what would really rule would be a networked hydrometer or refractometer inside the fermentation tank giving you gravity readings. For non-homebrewers, the hydrometer reading shows the amount of dissolved sugars in your beer. This value decreases as the beer ferments (yeast eats sugar and turns it into alcohol), thus showing you when the beer is done fermenting. Normally it's a royal pain to measure [winemakeri.com] because you have to extract small amounts of beer from the tank without contaminating the contents [allaboutbeer.com] with airborne bacteria. However, with a hydrometer floating in the tank the whole time with some kind of sensors attached to it, you would know the instant your beer is ready to drink. Not only that, but correlating the slope of the hydrometer graph (fermentation velocity) with fermentation temperature would be a homebrewers wet dream. This is because certain yeast have ideal temperatures to ferment at. Too hot and the fermentation goes too quick [byo.com] , generating weird tastes and esters. Too slow and the yeast falls asleep. Armed with an rrdtool graph of temp and gravity though and your beer would always be juuuusst right.

One word (1)

peggus (749983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370377)

Overkill

Interesting, I'm glad someone has done this... (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370389)


I've been trying to design a computer controlled distiller. The worst part is trying to come up with the temperature sensors and the interface.

The sensors have to be able to go a bit over 100C, and I'm still not sure how to interface them with the PC. Too many temperature interfaces will only accept one or two probes.

That's an awful lot of work... (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370396)

Instead, just build this Son of Fermentation Chiller [rr.com] . Probably a bit less effort.

Re:That's an awful lot of work... (1)

macz (797860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370492)

This is a great idea! Use that 2nd law of thermodynamics baby!

His top rate==US$180/hr. What a shame (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370408)

The creator of this project, Lehey, is apparently world-renowned in his field. He is an author of an OReilly BSD book, a lecturer at world BSD conventions. ANd yet his top rate for corporate BSD work is 180 bucks an hour as an independent consultant. He charges less for working for edu or private personal projects and less for long term work.

Yet as a fairly green patent agent, I was hired out at about 100/hr. And almost ANY and EVERY lawyer in America charges somewhere between $US125-250/hr. Any schmoe lawyer, green or whatever. Some for even more. Some for much more....

And lehey here seems to have over 20 years experience as a systems level hacker.

You tell me where the money is.....

And why? Because computer hackers have failed to organize, as lawyers have. Social groups compete for dominance, and organized action is the major tool of extending their dominance.

Hackers are the unwitting victims of Darwin's Law.

Now go back to your picayune trolling...and mod me down, too....

FREE! as in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370427)

...BSD? Hmph.

*BSD is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11370463)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

No math skills (1)

shadowsurfr1 (746027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370477)

How much has he drank already? He says the X axis is temperature and the Y axis is time. It's the other way around. Last time I looked at a graph, the X axis was across the bottom and the Y one was going up and down.

Instead of:

X axis: temperature.
Y axis: Time. This should be the local time (Australian CST, 9½ hours ahead of UTC in winter, 10½ hours ahead in summer), but currently it's still showing UTC.


It should read:

X axis: Time. This should be the local time (Australian CST, 9½ hours ahead of UTC in winter, 10½ hours ahead in summer), but currently it's still showing UTC.
Y axis: temperature.

Wait until summer!? PSHAW it's LAGERING TIME! (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370507)

Lagering time!!!! Find a cave, or a nice cool spot(but not freezing), and brew yourself some lager. It's the perfect time for it, and we've been having lovely weather for it in some parts of the US.

umm...he's in Australia (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370591)

down under,,,

Wait 'til Homeland Security sees this (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 9 years ago | (#11370569)

To them it will resemble a bioterror lab setup. If you can grow yeast, you can grow quite a lot of other things as well.
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