The Bio Reactor


It’s no secret I am as enormous fan of science and technology. I am also a huge fan of data and experiments. In light of this, I have always had a plan of creating a bio reactor to collect wort parameters and details. Details like: How long it actually takes for yeast to pick up all the oxygen from oxygenation? How long it takes pH to drop from the yeast? How much Dissolved oxygen that hop addition added? How about in relation to gravity? All sorts of fermentation and maturation questions that are either “ASSumed” or not known at all.

Thanks to support from patreon and sponsors, I finally have made that plan come to fruition. I sourced: An optical DO sensor and transmitter, pH probe and transmitter, a dedicated TILT, and a dedicated fermentation area. I took one of my brew buckets and started modifying it to accept all these.


A look at the transmitters:


The Bio Reactor:



Sourcing parts and modifying the brew bucket was the easy part of this. The difficult part is the data collection from the brewing system.

Recent brucontrol updates have allowed for data exchange in and out of the program. I also use a software called node red which allows for data collection (of basically anything and everything) to read and create real-time graphs of all these variables.

I have been using node red for quite some time now, but I added some graph functions to it to collect and organize the data from the bio reactor. After the graph functions it came time to configure both systems for the exchange. First in Brucontrol I had to create global elements. Global elements allow for data exchange in and out of the system. I created these globals using specific elements in the system (temperature, DO, pH, etc).

Next I had to configure node red to read and exchange data with those globals. After that data was gleaned had to be put into chart form.

After data was implemented into graphs, a web page is then published to allow for easy viewing and recording.

After all that was completed, we now have a fully functioning, data collecting (updated every minute) experimental data collection vessel. This now opens possibilities that are not often seen in laboratories and non-existent in the homebrew world. This will allow for nearly endless variables to tested and logged. FUN!

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