Homebrew Fermentation Chamber with Lynx

Just wanted to let you know I’m happy with my new Lynx.

I have written a purely managed control software for my new homebrew fermentation chamber. I am only using digital I/O currently, 2 Temp/Humidity sensors and a RelayX1. I plan to have this running as a windows service and have an OWIN webserver for viewing the temperature graphs.

I intend to post a video here next week when I get it all buttoned up and get the camcorder out. I also intend to publish the majority of the code on my github account.

Updates soon.


Need beta tasters? :wink:

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Can’t wait to see the video.

This project sounds like a much better idea than the environmental control for my tortoises (which I am hard-wiring this week). Well, at least more fun anyway. Although, my wife would kill me if she came home and Gibbs and Ted were missing and in their place was a fermentation chamber. She would not care how good the beer or wine would be :wink:

I as well can’t wait to see the video!

You’ve got tortoises? What kind? I’ve got 3, and 4 turtles, and have wired up some relays to control temp and lighting. Ping me on the private forum messaging with details.

@ eddie_garmon - I’m curious why you chose Lynx for this project? Considering this will need to run continuously for months sometimes, it seems a much better candidate for an MCU than a PC.

@ ianlee74 lynx for a few reasons.

This will be in my office next to my workstation so I have a machine right next to it anyway. Also I’m exploring this type of board for other prototyping experiments and demos. Finally, and most importantly, I want to leverage C# features that are not available in the micro framework (generics, anonymous methods, and Tasks).

This is also the case with my project, however I personally chose FEZLynx for the following reasons:

  1. I don’t need a Windows machine to program (I don’t have access to Windows at home in a dedicated fashion)
  2. C++
  3. I use Qt for GUI design, and using the Lynx allows me to have a full graphics framework with complete transitional animations, real time plotting, can style UI controls using a slightly modified version of CSS3. Works on all platforms with the same code base (and isn’t that the spirit of Lynx? :wink: )

here is a short video of the first complete test run with my custom cables and power wiring harness, including pot for fan speed control.


any suggestions for the next part?

also, I have noticed a lot of humidity nacks with the Temp/Humidity sensor.

Interesting. In my area, mostly we use wine coolers or old refrigerators for cooling lager fermentations since our homes are usually kept about the right temp for ales. Is your chamber actually for warming? How will you heat/cool it? I assume that’s what the “next part” is but you don’t specify if you need to heat or cool. Heating is easy. Cooling is another story depending on your ambient temp.

heating and cooling are taken care of. I was more thinking more about camera/led lights in the chamber watching the bubbler?

attached is a graph of the current cider that’s in there:

I noticed in the chart that you’re plotting “Ice”. Is that how you’re doing the cooling?

yeah, currently. frozen aluminum bottles about 90% full.

I want it to be as simple as possible to reproduce, I have several people that want one now, so i’ll go nuts, as long as I can keep it easy for others too.

How often do you have to change the ice bottles?

In my first 3 days of use, I was getting about 36 hours on a gallon of ice. I loaded it up with 3 gallons before I left for thanksgiving travels. We will see how long this batch lasts. I won’t be there to keep opening it and play, so I’m hoping for 3 days on this load. If so, I’ll be extremely happy because I will not be back before then.

Thermal efficiency is better than expected, and the board, sensors, and relay have been solid.

I have a few more control algo tweaks I have devised, but here is the data for a week. The last 4 days have been on one load of ice, and I still have not opened the container.

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better image

I’m curious what measuring the humidity tells you. Is that simply because the sensor is there or does it actually make some sort of impact on brewing?

I’m collecting it this run just because it is there.
It is a closed airtight system, so any additional humidity would be ferm byproduct.
that may be interesting in a big beer, this is a theoretically simple cider.