Homebrewing craft beer is a popular past time in the United States, and though it may not actually save you any money, it is immensely rewarding. The first taste of a beer you successfully brewed yourself is very satisfying. If you are a tech geek, your natural inclination will be to combine your two hobbies. That’s exactly what Brandon Satrom did with his Brew Buddy system a few years ago, and now he has updated it to run on the new Particle Argon development board.
Satrom’s original Brew Buddy system was built on the Particle Photon, which is a popular development board designed specifically for IoT applications. That original Brew Buddy was made solely to monitor the temperature of wort, which is the mixture of hops, malt, grains, and water used in the first stage of the homebrewing process. It could display the temperature on a TFT screen, and also provide statistics through the Particle IoT platform.
But, Particle recently released the new Argon, along with the Boron and Xenon, and Satrom wanted to find out how easy it would be to update Brew Buddy to use the new board. It was also a good excuse to add new features to the system. As Satrom happily explains, porting his Brew Buddy code from the Photon to the Argon was extremely easy, and really only required that he change the pin assignments used for the temperature-monitoring thermistor sensor.
With the original functionality working on the new Argon board, Satrom went ahead and added the new features. Those are a piezo sensor that is used to detect the knocking that occurs when fermentation begins, and bitmap support for the TFT display that adds a little bit of graphical flair to the readout. Brew Buddy is definitely a useful system for homebrewers, but it also proves how well thought out Particle’s lineup is and how easy it is to update.