The brewbot project aims to automate small scale hobby brewing of all-grain beer (23L batches). Typically without automation, the brewing process is very manual taking around 5 hours to complete. Most of this time is waiting for water or wort to heat up to a particular temperature or transfer between vessels. The brewbot was designed to reduce or eliminate tedious hands-on parts of the process, while being completely open, needing no expensive commercial PID controllers, or PLCs, or proprietary software.

The idea for it came about when I was called away for 45 minutes during the final stages of the boil of a beer. I left a friend in charge of doing the final hop additions and turning off the boil at designated times. Unfortunately he was not familiar with the equipment (poor instruction from me) and only turned off one of the heating elements. The beer boiled for an extra 30 minutes making it much more bitter than expected.

The aim is an automated, unattended brew.


  • self contained: no PC hardware
  • all electric (i.e. not LPG for heat)
  • tight budget - recycle old junk

The use case is:

  • Night before: crack the grain & put it in brewbot's mash tun.
  • Weigh hop additions and add to brew bot
  • Punch in desired final volume and mash/boil times.
  • Punch in start time
  • Wake up in the morning to a finished brew and run it into a cube for no chill.

Project Status

Design and construction began in early June 2007. As of September 2007 the current incarnation of brewbot automates the process and largely meets the requirements. However, it has not had sufficient testing for it to be left unattended.




Valves & plumbing


Hop dropper


Copyright 2007, Matt Pratt