Grainfather has a switch labelled as “normal/mash”. When the switch is at “Normal” position, the heating element runs at maximum power. When it is at “Mash” position, smaller power is used. Therefore, that switch is put on “Mash” only when mashing. I have forgotten to switch for serval times, so I have thought of using the additional actuator(relay control) to control it. By supporting dual elements, the controller can be configured to run at lower power when mashing and at maximum by using both elements during heating striking water and boiling stage
The setting should be able to config the usage of elements for
- Pre-mash (mash-in)
- Mashing (mash rest through mash out)
- Post Boil
To provide maximum flexibility, the setting will be Primary, Secondary, and Both.
How about 3-kettle system? BrewManiaxEx is designed for E-BIAB, right? Yes, but after reading the Electric Brewery, I found that by providing this new dual elements support, BrewManaicEx can be used to control a 3-kettle system.
Hardware Setup: (Please check the Electric Brewery for detail)
- three kettle: HLT/MLT/BK with E-HERMS
- Two elements in HLT and BK. (Additional mechanical switch is highly recommended.)
- Two pump: water pump and wort pump.
- BrewManiacEx setup
- Three temperature sensors in three kettles
- Control the two elements of HLT and BK. (Let HLT be primary and BK be secondary)
- One pump can be controlled by BrewManiacEx, but the other must be controlled by a mechanical switch.
- Sensor setting (the primary sensor is the sensor used in PID algorithm.)
- Pre-Mash primary sensor: HLT sensor
- Mashing Primary sensor: HLT (or MLT)
- Boil primary sensor: BK
- Post Boil primary sensor: BK
- Elements Setting
- Pre-Mash: Primary(HLT):on, Secondary(BK):off
- Mashing: Primary(HLT):on, Secondary(BK):off
- Boil: Primary(HLT):off, Secondary(BK):on
- Post Boil: Primary(HLT):off, Secondary(BK):on
- Other related Setting
- PID doughing-in: ON
- PID remove malt: OFF (Currently this setting is call PID pipe, active or passive
- Pump setting, if BrewManiacEx controls water pump
- pre-Mash ON
- Mashing ON
- Boil Off
- Pump setting, if BrewManiacEx controls wort pump
- pre-Mash OFF
- Mashing ON
- Boil Off
The pump can be controlled manually during the whole process, so it’s like a software switch.
Let’s go through the brew step by step:
I am not going to say that BrewManiacEx supports 3-kettle system, but it seems applicable.
Adding one more relay control for the pump is not difficult, but it complicated the user interface. Moreover, the user still need to manually control it because there is no sensor to detect the level of water/wort. I don’t see the advantages over mechanical button, except wireless control( which I really don’t recommend).