Home > BrewzNET 2.0 > BrewzNET 2.0 Menu Screen Details

BrewzNET 2.0 Menu Screen Details

For some weeks now I’ve been meaning to post video or pictures of the menu screens for the pump control box, but time has managed to get away from me. I’ve been busy integrating two new stainless Chugger pumps to replace the March industrial surplus ones I’ve used for the past 8 years, which also necessitated reworking the wiring to use standard 3-prong plugs instead of the monster Molex ones I had for the old pumps. It works… I can’t say it’s the prettiest thing ever, but using super glue on plexiglass always seems to create this milky-white deposit everywhere that is a pain to clean up.

IMG_3278IMG_3280

 I ultimately settled on taking static pictures over video, mostly because recent experience (my previous post) proves that I am not the sort of person that can simultaneously narrate and maintain a steady camera. Thank goodness for YouTube’s enhancement options.

 Bootup / Splash Screen

MenuSplash

When the control box is first turned on, it displays a “splash screen” with a mash paddle and a beer mug (or as close as I could approximate them with 5×7 dot matrix characters). Pushing any of the navigation buttons brings up the first “true” menu screen.

 SCREEN 1 – Main calculations

Menu1

The main calculation screen displays the key information used during the mash stage of brewing, and is what I display 95% of the time. In the upper right corner is a 5 character summary of what current system state. The first character (shown as an M) stands for the current pump control mode. “M” = Manual, “R” = Recirculation / Vorlauf, “S” = Sparge. More on that a little later in screen 4… The next two characters show the wireless device status for the Grant. The question mark means it is currently not connected / turned on, and a small antenna would indicate it is connected. The final two characters are similar to the previous two, except they display the sparge arm connection status.

The second through fourth lines display the three pieces of information I use most frequently during the mash: Total volume connected in gallons, current sparge rate in qt/min, and how much time is left in the sparge to collect the pre-boil batch volume in minutes. The volume collected can be tweaked up or down in 0.1 gal increments as required, which automatically adjusts the remaining time based on the current sparge rate. Adjustment is useful when you reconfigure the hoses to run into the kettle and forget to switch the control box mode, or if something unforeseen happens (like a power blip) and wipes out the system state.

 SCREEN 2 – Secondary Calculations

Menu2

The second menu screen has the same 5 character system status display in the upper right corner, and lines with a couple of additional pieces of useful information – pump rate and remaining volume. There is also a function to reset the system calculations back to an “initial state” if that is required.

 SCREEN 3 – Sparge rate history

Menu3

The third screen displays a history of the past 6 calculated sparge rates. I wasn’t running the system when I took the picture, so there is nothing displayed – but if you watch the video in the previous post, you will see a great example of this starting around the 2:07 mark. This history is useful to determine if your mash is headed towards “stuck” – sparge rates would drop consistently over time. This enables you to rake or cut the top of the grain bed, adjust your flow rates, or take whatever corrective action you feel is appropriate to prevent it.

 SCREEN 4 – Pump control mode

Menu4

The fourth menu screen simply allows you to change the pump control box mode manually.

  • Manual mode prevents the control box from turning pumps on and off based on the level switches in the grant and sparge arm. The two switches on the front of the control box serve as the only means to turn the pumps on or off.
  • Recirc/Vorlauf mode tells the control box to start calculating the runoff/sparge rate and pump rate, but does not change any of the calculated volumes. This allows you to recirculate the wort until it runs relatively clear and dial in the sparge and pump rates you want by adjusting the ball valves. During this mode only the grant pump is turned on and off.
  • Sparge mode performs these same calculations, but also includes collected volume and time remaining calculations. This mode also controls the on/off state of the sparge pump based off the float switch on the sparge arm.

Menu4a

Without the grant float switch position information the control box cannot perform the necessary calculations, so both “Sparge” and “Recirc” modes require that the grant be turned on and transmitting to the control box. If you try to set the modes manually without the grant turned on, the system displays this message.

 SCREEN 5 – System Settings

Menu5

The system has 4 main settings, and 3 of them are shown above.

  • The batch target volume, “V Target”, may be set differently from batch to batch depending on how much wort you wish to collect. I typically brew 10 gallon batches, and with dead space and boil off that requires me to collect 13.5 gallons. For 20 gallon batches, I may increase this value for that single session up to 23.5 gallons, or 18.5 gallons for a 15 gallon batch.
  • The sparge delay setting controls how long the sparge pump remains on after the float switch goes from a “down” to an “up” position. Setting this value to zero will result in the pump being controlled completely by the float switches without any delay, and the pump will turn on/off much more frequently. I try to top up the tun a little more and cycle the pump less frequently, so about 10 seconds seems to work pretty well in that regard.
  • Automode allows the system to automatically progress from Manual to Recirc mode when the Grant power is turned on and communicates with the control box. It also progresses the control mode from Recirc to Sparge when the sparge arm power is turned on and starts communicating. This eliminates the need to go back to the control box and fiddle your way through the menu settings to change the system behavior, and was implemented after my pilot run in response to that experience.

 SCREEN 6 – More system settings

Menu6

The final system setting is the volume of the grant, Vgrant, in the English/Imperial unit of measure “Cups”. It is not the total volume of the grant – it is the volume of liquid as measured between the lower level switch raising up, and the upper level switch raising up. This should be the same as the volume required to drop the top switch down to when the bottom switch drops. This volume allows the system to perform the sparge and pump rate calculations.

Save Settings allows the current values for the grant volume, target volume, sparge delay, and automode to be saved to memory for the next brew session.

 SCREEN 7 – Switch states (for debugging)

Menu7

The final screen, “Switch States”, is a debugging screen that is useful for ensuring that switch logic is correct and all the wires are hooked up the way they should be.

So that is what I have coded for the BrewzNET 2.0 pump control screen menus. I know it’s not chock full of whiz-bang features, but it does precisely what I need it to without a whole bunch of fuss. Next weekend the plan is to brew a 20 gallon batch of Pale ale, so I will put the electronics through the paces once again and hopefully report back how it went.

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Categories: BrewzNET 2.0
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