Homeserver update: The ultimate backup-system

A couple of months my primary harddisk of my Homeserver crashed. As a result I lost the main system which was Windows Home Server. I didn’t want to set up everything again because I thought there will be the same case again – harddrives are born to die sooner or later. So I decided I to set up a more agile system that I can back up easy. A system that can boot up from an attached USB flash drive. So I switched over to Ubuntu Server. Continue reading Homeserver update: The ultimate backup-system

WIP: Brewery Part 2

After about 10 months of thinking, planing and construction work, we made it to day X, where we finally get the chance to test and evaluate the prototype capabilities of our „Reaktor“.

Facing a lot of diffuculties to get every part in place &  all circuits connected we want to launch our first mashing project tomorrow in the afternoon.

So what is the perspective?
We want you provide with some reasonable documentation & information about the brewing process with its corresponding problems supported by photography & text.
You’ll have the chance to get the latest news out of our ‘Kommandozentrale’ on how we’re progressing and doing. Due to its complexity and the shortage of time this mash has to be considered as a rather unstable condition with a large possibilty of error and epic fail.


When getting up in the morning it felt like our project is not even going to start due to missing conversion of force from our VW scirocco motor to the stirrer shaft (which basically didn’t have any paddles attached to it.), the non existence of a perforated metal plate for lautering and more severly the non arrival of our malt order from 5 weeks ago. Just some of the practical problems we had to face, I was also working to get the microcontroller and it’s interface set up.
But with the friendly help of Stefan from, my father and Stefan II we managed to get everything back on track.


At the moment last preparations for tomorrow are being made to make our Yeasts (Saflager S-23) even more happy! Sterilisation of our two 500 mL Erlenmeyer flasks and subsequent inocculation is undertaken right now. Happy Mating my friends!

WIP: Brewery

You already noticed that I’m brewing beer with my friend Hannes. In the last couple of weeks I found some time to continue working on our ‘Reaktor’.


This is our work-in-progress boiler and it will be able to handle 30 l mash. A heating element boils ~16l of water that we use to heat up our mash indirectly. Two PT1000 heating sensor (I want to use 3 in the future) measure the temperature of the water and the mash, while a regulation (implemented in Processing) controls the process of brewing. Sensor data is been read by an Arduino that also controls the relay of our heating element. Currently we’re using 230V, 1.6 A to heat up water, but we also have plans to change the system to high voltage current, if we have to wait to long to heat up everything.

Primary data can be controlled via the Processing console and patch-window, while essential data is been logged every second to a MySQL-database, so that we can visualize data (D3 JavaScript library) of all brewing processes to make results repeatable.

We are going to test our reactor this weekend and I will let you know what will happen!

Isn’t that cool? : )

Strukt: MINT Framework

At Strukt, when I currnetly didn’t develop new fancy cool vvvv-visuals or playing around with the Struktable, I was testing  their new MINT-Framework (for multi-touch interactions) and developing test & bug-patches and first applications like MINTmory for the Struktable.

See its full documentation online, check out a posting on vvvv’s blog that Thomas wrote


Also checkout regulary MINT’s own Vimeo-Channel:

Work in progress: Arduino powered Beer brewing machine

Well some of you already realized that every few months I am brewing beer by my own with my high school-mate Hannes. We’re changing our mixture every time because we want to test new sorts of beer and improve our own mixtures. While we were really surprised that even our first attempt was ‘drinkable’, our last one was even better.

Hannes used all his knowledge to build our own boiler which will be able to brew 30 L beer. While brewing beer it is important to stay at certain levels of temperature that we had to do manually in the past. In our boiler we attached temperature- & fluid-level sensors. Their data is being used by an Arduino to control the heating element which consumes up to 3.3k Watt (!) so we’re using a remote controlled electrical jack to control it.

Our prototype-interface has been implemented in Max/MSP which is used to send temperature & timing data to the Arduino, so that the brewing process can be run without an attached computer or any other interface. Sensor-data will be stored in a database for further analyses.

This project is still work in progress and we want to use our brewing machine (we call it ‘Reaktor’ …) in the end of September.
Below I attached one of my first Arduino-tests 😉

More infos soon & you can ask me for any further details 😉