BeerSmith™ Home Brewing Forum

Brewing Topics => Equipment => Topic started by: BalticBrewer on June 01, 2017, 11:58:07 AM

Title: Electronic Gas Burner controller
Post by: BalticBrewer on June 01, 2017, 11:58:07 AM

Has anyone experience of controlling their gas burners with an electronic controller/solenoid?  I am looking to control the gas flow with temperature sensors and Raspberry Pi, re the CraftBeerPi scenario.

Any pointers much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Title: Re: Electronic Gas Burner controller
Post by: KellerBrauer on June 01, 2017, 01:49:14 PM
Greetings BalticBrewer - I assume you're referring to a home brewing application.  If so, yes, it can be done rather simply.  However, using a solenoid, you would have only a two-stage burner.  If you're looking for a variable BTU output from your burner, say from 20% to 100%, it would take a modulating drive style valve and either a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) solid state controller or you can go with a resistive controller at a lesser cost and no programming involved, but less accurate.

In either case, being you're dealing with natural or propane gase, I highly recommend the system is an engineered system.  I have not seen anything on the market that will accomplish modulation on a burner for a home brewing application.  That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I have simply never seen one for a home brewing application.

Lastly, I'm not familiar with a Raspberry Pi or a Craft Beer Pi scenario.  Perhaps you can elaborate?
Title: Re: Electronic Gas Burner controller
Post by: BalticBrewer on June 03, 2017, 03:38:23 AM
Hi KellerBrauer,

Thank you for the reply.

Yes, home brew setup with a friend (200 liter kettles).  We like the look of the CraftBeerPi solution for brewing automation (see here: (  The setup up they show is for an electrically heated brewing system but we are wondering whether or not we can use it to control a gas fired system.  With the electric setup the SSR's are either in a state of open or closed, that got me thinking about the solenoid idea I mentioned in the first post.

Given that the Mash Tun is insulated we are wondering whether we need to have a system based on modulation.  The idea being, heat the strike water to needed temp, transfer to MT, run through the HERMS system and light the gas when we need to raise the HLT temperature a few degrees (assumes there is a gas pilot light constantly burning to ignite the gas when the valve opens).  With the insulation jacket on the MT the temperature should hold with little extra heat-up necessary.  For the boil phase the SSR would be in a constantly closed state until the timer ended the boil.

Definitely will take your advice and go for an engineered system and also tested by a qualified person before first brew.  So much to think about before we even get the first brew in the fermentation tanks  :)  But as my old Sergeant Major used to drill in to us constantly, use the 6 P's.  Perfect Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.