Author Topic: Flow meter  (Read 1194 times)

Offline weazletoe

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Flow meter
« on: July 14, 2016, 04:32:04 AM »
 As I'm building the control box for my electric brew system, I'm thinking of adding a flow meter. My plan is to use a couple of wifi thermostats and series of relays and contactors so that I can begin brewing from my phone an hour or two before I even get home from work. Once I get it wired in, with a couple of taps on my phone and the solenoid wired into the flow meter opens to allow my strike water to fill my HLT. I have not sourced it yet, but I know it has to exist somewhere, I'll a wet switch set just and inch or so above my heating element. as soon as that trips, the element turns on and begins heating the strike water and then when the preset amount has passed the flow meter, the solenoid closes. So, by the time I get home, my strike water will be heated and ready for doe in.
 depending how long it takes to heat, I will have the same set up wired into another kettle set to come on a half hour or so after my strike water. So, by the time I get home, doe in, and do a 60 min mash, my sparge water will be ready. All from just a few taps on my phone.
  Questions? Comments? Rude remarks?
 This is the flow meter I'm looking at.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YPA6XBG/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1VFZTH2M8W67T&coliid=I1NXDMOLV0A3JO
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 04:41:19 AM »
Take a look at the raspberry pints project. They support flow meters for draft, and it might be simple to use their existing code.

It sounds cool, but what happens if it fails? Dry fire an element might not be that big of a deal, but a floor covered in water could be a bit upsetting.

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 04:54:16 AM »
I'll have to check out that project. Got a link or anything?

As for the overflow, I'll have a wet switch placed 3/4 up my kettles to kill the power to the solenoid. As a fail safe I will have a wet switch mounted 3/4 the up my kettle to kill the solenoid. And, for redundancy I will have a second one to kill the pump. And, for my third fail safe I'm going to invest in a good wet vac and mop.  ;D
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 04:59:03 AM »

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2016, 05:31:47 AM »
Sweet! I'll check that out.
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Offline metron-brewer

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2016, 07:08:41 PM »
I'll have to check out that project. Got a link or anything?

As for the overflow, I'll have a wet switch placed 3/4 up my kettles to kill the power to the solenoid. As a fail safe I will have a wet switch mounted 3/4 the up my kettle to kill the solenoid. And, for redundancy I will have a second one to kill the pump. And, for my third fail safe I'm going to invest in a good wet vac and mop.  ;D

Fail safe 2-1/2, add in a web cam to keep an eye on things as the fill progresses.
Ron B.
White Bear Lake, MN

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 03:12:19 AM »
Good call, Metron.

Was cleaning out my car today, when I found these  beauties. Forgot I even had them. When our rep companies come around, they give me stuff to demo to my customers. These are wet switches designed to shut down a rooftop heating/cooling unit should the drain ever back up. I threw them in my car and forgot about them till today. I got to looking at them an they can be wired NC or NO. So, I got my switch to turn the element on and my overflow switches covered. Best part, two $100 worth of controls that didn't cost me a dime. I emailed one of my thermostat reps a while back and sked him to send me a WiFi Stat that I will be using to remotely start the system. Add that to the wet switches and $350 of my rig didn't cost me a dime! Also, all the relays, transformers, etc... I get at cost.  8)



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Offline NaiveTurtle

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 10:46:51 PM »
As someone who sells flow meters (both Micro Motion and Rosemount) on the industrial scale, I can tell you that the $65 dollar flow meter you are looking at on Amazon is going to be wildly inaccurate. They don't even have the courage to state it's accuracy online. Granted, you don't need a meter that will have amazing accuracy (like 0.1% or 0.25% of rate, which is what I sell) but you'll want something fairly accurate. Unfortunately in the instrument world, you get what you pay for. And I would think you are going to want something fairly accurate especially if you aren't going to be around while it heats up.

Another thing to watch out for is what outputs your flow meter has. You will need something that your PLC/DCS is capable of taking as an input. Whether it is frequency/pulses, milliamp, or digital.

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 12:56:54 AM »
Good points made.  I do know you get what you pay for.  I sell HVAC equipment and supplies, myself. It's one of those cases where I'll waste the $65. If it works,  great if not no huget loss.
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Offline NaiveTurtle

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2016, 04:21:26 AM »
You might want to look at something like an Omega Paddle Flow Meter. I think they may even make one specific to the brewing/distilling world. They're under $200 I think. I met a distiller recently that was using one and looking to upgrade to something more accurate.

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Flow meter
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2016, 04:02:58 AM »
Thanks, Turtle. I'll look into that. I would not mind to spend a few more for a proven product. And really, I don't need a flow meter to make good beer. I just think it's kinda cool.  8)
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