Linux Voice has this awesome tutorial up on making your home brew even better by adding in a Raspberry Pi. They write, “The BrewPi isn’t an easier way of making of making beer. It’s an easier way to make it perfect.” We’re sold!
Beer is lovely. But when you’re making it at home, the biggest challenge (after discovering a way to boil vast quantities of water) is always finding somewhere to leave your brew to ferment. It’s this stage of beer-making magic that turns what’s known as wort into beer, creating alcohol and oodles of flavour. And for this stage to work well, you ideally need to be able to manage the temperature of the environment your beer is sitting in. In the UK, many amateur brewers resort to using an ‘airing cupboard’, normally situated next to the hot water tank and used for drying clothes. This isn’t a bad place, because it’s warmish – many beer kits like to ferment at around 20 degree centigrade – and the temperature doesn’t fluctuate massively. But it still fluctuates, and it may even prove too warm. Many yeasts, especially for ale, prefer things a little cooler (18–20 degrees, ideally, but this depends on the beer). And lifting 25 litres of wort into a first-floor cupboard could break your back, and you’ve got a hygiene nightmare if it falls over, or falls through the flimsy shelf its sitting on.
BrewPi is the answer to this conundrum. It’s a brilliant project that brings together a love of Linux, a little hardware hacking and plenty of beer into one fermenting barrel of hoppy goodness. It’s essentially a device that controls the environment surrounding the fermenting bucket of beer, enabling you to make perfect beer every time, regardless of climate and house heating cycles. Many people use an old fridge or freezer as the surrounding container and connect the BrewPi to a cooling and heating mechanism to enable its clever algorithms to create the perfect environment for your beer. The BrewPi itself is a mixture of hardware, software and initiative. Not only has its creator, Elco Jacobs, built an incredibly effective system for fermenting beer, he’s created an extremely helpful community of BrewPi enthusiasts, an online shop and an assembly system for easy access to all of the bits and pieces you’ll need.
Read more and see the full tutorial here.