Two weeks ago we installed our control panels in the brewery. This was the culmination of several months work. First I researched for days before I settled on a design and the functions I wanted in the control system. Then weeks of waiting for the bare panels and parts to arrive. I then set to work machining the stainless steel panels for the control cutouts, plug cutouts and so on. Stainless steel is a beast to cut and drill through.You have to use Cobalt drill bits, special saw blades and stainless steel hole saws, but even then if you let the surface area you are working on build up heat the steel becomes harder to cut.
Once I was finished with 3 separate panels and so many cutouts, I then passed the panels over to my friend Jason with a electrical engineering background to complete all the wiring. Jason and I worked together at the same IT consulting company a couple years ago.
Many spools of wire later they ended up looking like this on the wall of the brewery.
Yes, lot of colored lights and buttons and toggle switches, but what you don’t see is the computer controller behind everything. I can program recipes into the system and automate just about any part of the brewing process. There are temperature probes to measure temperature at different stages of the brewing process. The controller can kick off actions based on those temps or time frames, etc. The nice thing is I can run it manually as well. but it is always nice to think I can see what is going on from my iPhone.