Getting Started – Brewing with Raspberry Pi

SD CARD Preperation:

First, make sure your SD card is formatted. The easy method of doing this is from Windows startmenu, search for: diskpart This will give you a small cmd window where we can manually clean and format our SD card. Why not the old fashion way? Because SD cards that have been used before are really difficult to format to their full size using the traditional Windows format option. Why? -i have no idea.. 🙂

From the cmd line, type;

 list disk

You will now see the available disks on your system.

#Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt

#  ——–  ————-  ——-  ——-  —  —

#  Disk 0    Online          931 GB  5120 KB        *

#  Disk 1    Online           28 GB  3072 KB 

Find the one matching your SD card. In this case, its Disk 1. So we need to select it by typing;

 select disk 1

# Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

To whipe everything on the SD card, type;


# DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

We are now left with a completely wiped SD card. To make use of our available space, we need to make a partition;

 create partition primary

# DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

And finally, we format the new partition;

 format quick

#   100 percent completed

# DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.



Installing Raspberry Pi operating system (Raspbian Jessie)

Download ISO: If your SD has sufficient space, and you are running a Raspberry Pi 3, choose full version (with PIXEL). When downloaded, extract the zipfile to find your rasbian iso file.

(On Windows) Install Win32 DiskImager: Select the ISO from the folder you just unzipped and click «WRITE»

Once this is complete (approximately after a small glass of beer) you will be presented with the succession message. Remove your SD card, install in your Raspberry Pi and power it up.

 (note: Raspbian Jessie doesnt have SSH enabled by default. So you wont be able to access your Pi remotely. The first time you boot up make sure you are connected to a monitor and have a keyboard available. There are a few steps needed to be made before your Pi is accessible anywhere on your network)

When you boot it up on the version with PIXEL, you will be presented with a dashboard. You need to get to your MENU – ACCESSORIES – TERMINAL. Inside the terminal you type;

 sudo raspi-config

If you are running Jessie Lite version, you will boot directly to command line and you will need to login using the default username: pi / password: raspberry

Here you will need to do a few things, and maybe a few optionals as well.

You NEED to go; 7 Advanced OptionsA1 Expand Filesystem

Remember the SSH being disabled, you need to go; 5 Interfacing OptionsP2 SSH and enable SSH access. If you are using shields or PiFace as your interface (if you dont know what this is, you are probably not using this:) you should enable from 5 Interfacing Options  the P4 SPI module.

We also recommend that you change your password for the pi user. To to this, go; 1 Change User Password and make your own unique password. This is because we are both opening the Raspberry Pi`s SSH access and we are running it on our network for long periods at the time.

These are all the necessarry steps, you can also do; 2 Hostname – and change your hostname to example craftbeerpi or brewcontroller or etc.. and change your Locale options (timezones and languages)

Make sure you click finish and YES to Reboot your Pi.

Technically you can now just plug your pi wherever you want and make sure its connected to the internet via ethernet cable. (we cover the WIFI setup further down) You dont need a screen or keyboard for the rest of this tutorial as we are just connecting to it via SSH 😊


(On Windows) use a software called «Putty» to access your devices. You can get that here:

When you fist start putty, you are asked to enter your device`s IP and port. Finding your devices IP can be done through a network scanner phone app, e.g. «Fing» Once you scan your network and find your raspberry pi`s IP, enter this in putty with the default port of 22. Your computer will now tell you that: «The Servers host key is not cached in the registry» Thats a standard message letting you know that you are opening a connecting with another device not before accessed. Click yes to continue.

When asked for a username, enter pi

When asked for password, enter the password you changed in the above steps. If you didnt change it, its raspberry

First things first. Ensure the raspberry pi is updated with all the latest software updates. Even though we just downladed the OS online, there are updates that have been released since it was put there.

 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

If you are on an older raspberry pi and it finds a few new updates, get yourself a beer, your in for a little wait 😊


If you are on a raspberry pi 3 or you are using a wifi dongle, you need to set up your pi to connect to it. We need to enter our wifi network details in the configuration file. From the terminal, we go;

 sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Go to the bottom of that file and add (paste) this in it;





When you edit files using «nano» you need to hold ctrl and o to save your changes. Hold ctrl and x to exit. If you have issues with how to paste text into the terminal, this is done with «right click» on the mouse.

You can test that you are connected to your network by typing; ifconfig wlan0 If you can see an address beside the line inet addr you are connected!

Your Raspberry Pi can now run by only connecting it to power and nothing else. Sweet!

Before unplugging the ethernet cable, exit the SSH connection in Putty by typing; exit

When you boot on your wifi network, you will most likely end up with a new IP address. So repeat the steps above to find your IP again, enter this into in Putty and answer YES to the «Servers host key is not cached..» message.

Booting into your brewery controller

If you want to boot the Raspberry Pi straight into a fullscreen CraftBeerPi, and you are using the Raspberry Pi`s HDMI or the official 7in touch screen, then you need to configure your boot configuration.

Install Chromium:using the command; sudo apt-get install chromium-browser If that doesnt work, please follow this guide

To configure chromium to auto start in fullscreen mode, edit the autostart file with this command;

 sudo nano ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

And edit the file so it looks like this:

#@lxpanel –profile LXDE

#@pcmanfm –desktop –profile LXDE


@xset s off

@xset -dpms

@xset s noblank

@chromium-browser –-noerrdialogs –-kiosk http://localhost:5000 –incognito 

When you reboot, you are booting straight into the CraftBeerPi application in full screen. If you at some point want to revert back and boot into your desktop, just edit this file and put a # before the lines we just added and remove the # from the first two lines.

If you want to hide the mouse cursor when your not using it, you can add a command to remove it. First you need to install «Unclutter» by running:

 sudo apt-get install unclutter

In the same config as above, you add the command;

@unclutter -idle 0.1 -root 

This removes cursor when its not in use for more than one second, it will be visible again as long as you move it.

The Brew Controller

Please follow our «Automated Brewery» guide to setup your craftbeerpi installation.

To use the Raspberry Pi as a fermenter controller, see our «Automated Fermenter» guide.


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