Last updated: (05-01-2017)
I enjoy brewing my own beer and I have had this idea for a project kicking around for quite a while to make the plans for a mostly automated brewing system like the pico brew but using industrial automation and 5-15gallon batch. Unfortunately at this stage in my life I will not be able to go beyond planning and specifications, due to lack of space and funds so lets call it a thought experiment for the time being. (note: some of the documents are linked at the end)
So the Idea is this:
- a 3 pot/vessel system first the HLT (hot liquor tun), the Mash tun, and finally the boil kettle.
- all liquid movement and temperature will be controlled by PLC which will send data to temperature PID controllers via Modbus
- temperatures and time will be set at an HMI
- tanks will begin heating once heating element is submerged to reduce dead time.
- grain and hops will be added manually mostly to reduce some complexity (haha… ok might be a later project)
- there will be full manual control as well (jog switch)
- all pipes will be connected with cam lock fittings (this may change)
To Do List:
- front panel layout(currently hand drawn)
- internal panel layout
- control power supply sizing
- BOM’s (90% complete)
- IO sheet (partially complete; need PLC selected for finalization)
- HMI design
- pressure transmitter selection
General brewing process:
- Sanitize everything
- fill the hot water tank
- heat the tank to striking temperature 160-180F (depending on the mash temperature you require 150F-168F and grain temp)
- fill mash tun with grains
- slowly transfer the hot liquid to the mash tun (doing it slowly prevents dough balls from forming that and stirring)
- refill the HLT and heat it to your mash temperature
- recirculate the wert through a heat exchanger coil in the HLT (see the PFD)
- let the tank recirculate for about an hour-90 minutes to convert as much of the starch as possible to sugars
- begin transferring wort to the kettle
- transfer the HLT sparge water to the mash tun as the mash tun is very slowly transferring to the boil kettle
- once complete bring the kettle to a boil for 60-90 minutes (depends on recipe)
- add your hops at recipe specified intervals (for bittering and flavoring) and other additives (Irish moss, sugars, spices, etc.)
- recirculate the cooked wert through a heat exchanger to cool it down to ~70F
- oxygenate the wert since boiling brings the dissolved oxygen to 0 ppm yeast needs it for early stage fermentation
- transfer to fermentation vessel like a carboy and add yeast.
- clean and sanitize everything (except the HLT)
First my HandCAD™ PFD.
and my more detailed P&ID:
note: I am missing the hand shutoff valves that will be attached at each flange.
PLC Wiring Diagram:
my IO sheet:
|TC1||pd540 alrm (HLT)||D||I07|
|TC2||pd540 alrm (kettle)||D||I08|
|LS104||level float switch||D||y01|
|LS105||level float switch||D||y02|
|LS204||level float switch||D||y03|
|LS205||level float switch||D||y04|
|LS304||level float switch||D||y05|
|LS305||level float switch||D||y06|
|LT121||HLT level transmitter||A/4-20||A1||0-1bar|
|LT221||Mash level transmitter||A/4-20||A2||0-1bar|
|Name||Description||direct/ relay||PLC register||note|
|PL5||hops addition||d||Q4||White (flashing)|
|cv202||mash/ recerc select||r||Q7||1/2″npt|
Hardware selection (update):
Complete brew hardware BOM (everything directly attached to the tanks)
At this point I have selected most of my control hardware.
(note the following section is out of date)
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Next were my motorized control valves which I managed to find a 10pack of 1/2″ NPT 3-way T valves I need 6 but hey 4 spares for other projects can’t hurt.
Food grade stainless should be used for this but since price is an object and $100+ per valve before shipping is a little out of budget so brass body and stainless ball it is. Each valve will be controlled via a DPDT din-mounted relay so PLC outputs can be conserved.
The transfer pumps are going to be 2 of these chugger 7gpm @4 ft of head centrifugal pumps they are rated food safe at 250F which should be just fine since I should mostly be working with sub 212F liquids and considering initially I will only be working with 15 Gal and less, 7gpm will mostly be too much so I will be throttling the flow rate with hand valves(which is why I chose a centrifugal pump) one of the benefits is they are magnetically coupled so bearing seals wont be a concern if it gets run dry.
as for my shutoff solenoid valves I will most likely use these 12v valves no special reason other than they should fit the need
I also haven’t decided on how I will be measuring liquid levels but I am leaning towards a low pressure transmitter since my tanks will most likely be around 20″ tall so that equates to ~0.8 psi or ~ 58mbar
I have partially written the ladder logic in Teco’s LAD IDE just to get a feel for it since my prior experience revolves around the old Siemens simatic S7 IDE and RSlogix (I do miss some of the features that the S7 logic blocks provided).