Check out the build process I went through when building my homebrewery with a beaglebone. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section.
- Dual 120V 20A Mains supply
- Three (max 2 active simultaneously) 1500W elements
- 5-7 gallon brew capacity
You can find links to some of the products I used in the description. I have also made a more comprehensive list of everything.
Disclaimer: I’m not in any way trained as an electrician. This build was done after doing months of research online. When dealing with mains power, know what you’re doing!
NEMA 12 Enclosure
I chose a 12″ x 10″ x 6″ sized enclosure. This is smaller than many other builds you will see online, but because I am not using the bulky mechanical switches, I saved a lot of space. Using the Beaglebone really simplified things.
Painting & Heatsink Mounting
I used a similar product to what most are using:
Rust-Oleum Hammered Burnished Spray Paint. As the name implies, it leaves a nice, irregular hammered finish.
There are a few different colors to choose from.
In order for the spray paint to adhere properly, you really need to sand off the enclosure’s pre existing paint and apply some type of primer. I did not do this and my paint comes off incredibly easy. I wouldn’t bother painting it again if I was not going to do some surface treatment beforehand.
My enclosure already had a removable panel, but it was not deep enough for the solid state relays. I would suggest using a dremel for this because if you use a hand saw like I did, it takes forever and looks bad (though it isn’t visible anyways once completed).
Sand down the sharp edges and get your heatsink ready. I used a 300mm x 120mm x 20mm sized heatsink I found on eBay. The size was absolutely perfect for my enclosure and has plenty of room for the relays to mount on the underside. To mount to the enclosure, apply a generous amount of JB Weld around the hole. You really can be generous here- you want a seal between the heatsink and the opening.
DS18B20 and the Beaglebone Black
Making Holes for Connectors and Indicators
The thickness of my NEMA enclosure was not that significant, so using the step bit really was not an issue. You will have a bit of filing to do afterwards, but if you take your time, you can have nice, clean holes in your enclosure using a step bit.
Neutrik PowerCON Connectors
Neutrik is most known for producing A/V connectors for speakers and microphones. While looking for cheaper alternatives to the expensive mains power connectors, I discovered they also make connectors for mains power!
I found several advantages by using these: I saved a lot of money, the connectors are all locking, and I also saved a significant amount of space on my control panel because these connectors are about half the size of their typical counterparts.
They a few different types meant to serve different purposes:
Don’t forget the female receptacle.
I repurposed another power supply I found laying around. You shouldn’t have trouble finding one that is 12V- look for old modems, routers, cordless phone bases, etc. They are fairly ubiquitous. Most of these will not have difficulty powering the smaller pump, but still check the amperage.