Brewing beer is a sensitive art, and the more control you have over the process, the better your results are going to be. For that reason, homebrewers in recent years have embraced microcontrollers like Arduinos and single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi to control some, or all, of the brewing process. One of the first commercial breweries to do so was Fuzzy Duck Brewery.
Ben Crostonbegan laying the groundwork for Raspberry Pi-based brewing way back in 2011—before the Raspberry Pi even hit store shelves. That’s because Croston wasn’t just any early adopter, he actually wrote the RPi.GPIO Python module that we all use and love today. As soon as he had a Pi in his hand, Croston started using that fantastic module to aid in the brewing process at Fuzzy Duck.
Specifically, Croston uses his Raspberry Pi to monitor and adjust the temperature of the wort as the yeast goes about its job of converting sugar into alcohol. A sensor is submerged in the tank, and relays cycle to the heaters to maintain the proper temperature—all via the Pi’s GPIO pins. The team at Fuzzy Duck can control that all with either an electronic control panel, a web page, or an application on the Pi. The resulting Irration Ale (get it? Irrational?) is now famous at the Pi Birthday Bash.