Home > BrewzNET, Miscellaneous > Not Dead, Just Distracted

Not Dead, Just Distracted

Wow. It appears I fell off the planet for quite a number of months – With my last update in September 2011 and it now being 8 months later, any rational person would wonder what happened. I could probably waste several hundred words elaborating, but it boils down to the following simple facts:

  • I haven’t been brewing very much recently
  • I’ve been somewhat in statis switching over to new stainless steel vessels in place of my igloo coolers (leading to bullet #1)
  • I have been considering redesigning my electronics to utilize the Netduino
    platform, but have been unwilling to make the time commitment to do so
  • I haven’t done much programming recently on BrewzNET due to lack of motivation stemming from the previous items
  • We’ve had a few home renovations projects that easily chewed through 2-4 weeks of spare time
  • I picked up yet another hobby obsession (pistols & shooting) that has been chewing through my time and funding
  • … oh hell, I’ve got a hundred more excuses.

In other words, life happens. I am thinking that many of these issues are behind me now, and hopefully you’ll see more updates from me in the near future. A recent post on the Brewtroller forum prompted me to go back and check out what I had done with BrewzNET and quite honestly – I’m astounded with how much cool stuff I accomplished and yet never went anywhere with. I think at some point I “burned out” and just walked away for a while… but it really is amazing.

Screen Editor

BrewzNET Screen Editor

  • At risk of being immodest – I am a bad-@$$ pixel-slinger. The component rendering classes are really good and provide a solid foundation for displaying brewing type information in a graphical format.
  • The rendering classes are easily imported into any .NET application through the DLL making them basically a drop-in
  • I proved out the rendering classes can also be used in an ASP.NET application for web display of information / setup. (!!!)
  • The Screen Designer application is reasonably easy to use and has quite a few features, making the displays very easy to assemble.
  • The main BrewzNET application, while having some issues, is still 75% better than most of the things I’ve seen on the web for homebrewing setups.

So that said I’ve got a few short-term goals to start working on beginning with my homebrew setup:

  • Complete the plastic cooler to stainless conversion. This pretty much just requires getting the insulation jackets for the kettles finished.
  • Create some documentation for the BrewzNET foundation. I see this as some pages here on the blog with screenshots, new example applications, and maybe some new YouTube videos showing it in action.

I have longer-term goals too, including reworking my grant / pump control electronics so they are wireless (XBee) and use the Netduino, compartmentalizing my data historian as a Windows Service, and a few others.

I sincerely hope that during this next iteration / evolution I finally strike that balance between technology and simplicity I’ve been looking for in my brewing setup. The technology should be an aide and not an obstacle during batches – If you have to fiddle with the electronics for 20 minutes to get them to work the way you want instead of just going old-school, that is a big issue. If the quality of the beer suffers because the electronics aren’t doing the job as well as you could manually, that is a big issue. If the electronics actually IMPROVE the quality of the beer and IMPROVE the brewing experience – Then that is how I measure success.

See you all back here soon with more frequent updates.

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Categories: BrewzNET, Miscellaneous
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