From Idea to Prototype

Photo by Adam Wilson / Unsplash

For the last several months, I've been working on a project I'm calling the "Brew Buddy." It's a simple electronics setup that helps manage the homebrewing process from first boil to wort cooldown. The rig contains a Particle Photon, a 2.2in TFT from Adafruit and, in the latest iteration, a Type-K Thermocouple and breakout board from SparkFun. The thermocouple monitors wort temperature throughout the process, and the TFT display shows the current temp, current phase, total time and a rudimentary "dot chart" of the last several temperature readings.

I designed the PCB for the Brew Buddy in Eagle and milled it on the Othermill, an amazing desktop CNC mill.

Brew Buddy is still very much a work in progress, but I wanted to share a video I put together (with my GoPro and the help of Adobe Premiere Pro) that covers some of my latest design changes, milling on the Othermill and final soldering and assembly. Check it out below, feel free to throw a comment here or over at YouTube and, if you like it, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Next up for the Brew Buddy, I plan to design and 3D print a custom enclosure. Stay tuned here for a follow-up video on that process, as well as some additional info about the mobile app I'm creating to control the setup.

Brandon Satrom

Brandon Satrom