Experimental incubator

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This project is about creating an incubator which will be able to oscillate temperatures in a controlled manner. The idea behind is to create as friendly environment for the microbes as possible with the aim on cultures which are composed from many different microorganisms with different temperature optima. The goal is to keep the cultures like kombucha, kefir etc. as biodiverse as possible aiming to improve the vitality of the culture, it's probiotic qualities and also it's taste. The prototype should be based on arduino control element, temperature sensor and simple heat source like air heater or aquarium heater. I believe that because of the climate conditions in Ireland, this piece of equipment is essential for success of larger fermentation movement.

  • Brew Master/kvasir - proposed Frantisek Apfelbeck - I would like to coordinate this activity because this is really on the top of my list quite for a while already

  • Project structure and schedule

short time goals for prototype (16/6/2011)

- measure temperature through temperature probe (sensor connected to the arduino micro controller) connected to arduino based on proper sketch and data being saved at arduino.

- switching on and off a heating element to keep the culture at a constant temperature

Prototype design

- electronic core: composed from arduino micro controller connected to heat sensors DS18B20 I2C (3x). The prototype was build up by Ciaran for another project and will be slightly adjusted. We will build up a copy as soon as possible. The functional temperature measuring prototype should be ready by Thursday 16/6/2011

- chamber: open plastic container at least of a = 60cm; b = 35cm; c = 25cm (fitting two 19 l fermentation vessels), should be ready for Thursday 16/6/2011

- heating element: 250 w aquarium heater will be used with it's own thermostat, the medium to dissipate the heat will be water

- code and data collection: code will be again used from Ciaran former project and data will be collected and stored first at arduino and later on transferred and posted on line, should be ready for Thursday 16/6/2011

medium term goals

- oscillate the temperature in a controlled manner, with energy efficiency being crucial part of the project

- create well insulated unit where the fermenting cultures will be kept

- make a prototype of a kit which can be easily assembled and used as a central unit for the experimental incubator

long term goals

- to develop a robust incubator which is allowing general public to do various types of fermentations on day to day basis in a simple and repetitive way

- create an experimental incubator which can detect various factors like temperature, pH, level of dissolved oxygen, CO2, turbidity, culture count etc.

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