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Old 12-30-2013, 03:35 AM   #11
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Very nice display. I can see a commercial version of this in small tap houses and brew pubs.

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Old 12-30-2013, 03:36 AM   #12
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Every thread I've read indicates load cells and strain gauges are inaccurate at this weight. Also, they don't work if you cram your kegs in for a tight fit (which I do).

I'll gladly be proven wrong. Have plenty of Arduinos around to play with, and the GPIO is pretty simple to hook up with a few pieces in-line.

Let me know if you have spare load cells on hand.
Sorry, never actually done it... I'm strictly an armchair digital logic designer!

I've thought about a similar thing, though, and I've seen people having done it with plastic flow meters from Adafruit (10 bucks each; http://www.adafruit.com/products/828 - example keg flow majigger is in the Tutorials)) - they don't SAY they're food grade, but it seems like they're made of polypropylene which should be fine. That said, I'm not sure they would be any more accurate than a properly calibrated load cell as they rely on an internal pinwheel (like the inverse of the impeller from an impeller pump) to send pulses to the GPIO of the microcontroller. You will start stacking up error margins pretty quickly IMHO (even if you found a "food grade certified" version of the same).

If you wanted to be really fancy you could mount liquid level sensors (40 bucks a pop) inside each of your kegs - maybe the gas post could also function as a coaxial electrical connector for the level sensor? I don't have Cornys so I'm not sure if the poppet is isolated from the outside of the post (or the whole post from the main surface of the keg - could also be another way to get the signal out)
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:39 AM   #13
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Very nice display. I can see a commercial version of this in small tap houses and brew pubs.
I have seen a similar thing at a pub in Portland - I think it was Bailey's Taproom? It had video screens with every thing on tap and a "level bar" for each keg. Not sure what mechanism they used for it, though.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:45 AM   #14
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Oh, and the benefit of the load cell approach is that nothing touches your beer so you don't have to worry about it being food grade.

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Old 12-30-2013, 03:53 AM   #15
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Sorry, never actually done it... I'm strictly an armchair digital logic designer!

I've thought about a similar thing, though, and I've seen people having done it with plastic flow meters from Adafruit (10 bucks each; http://www.adafruit.com/products/828 - example keg flow majigger is in the Tutorials)) - they don't SAY they're food grade, but it seems like they're made of polypropylene which should be fine. That said, I'm not sure they would be any more accurate than a properly calibrated load cell as they rely on an internal pinwheel (like the inverse of the impeller from an impeller pump) to send pulses to the GPIO of the microcontroller. You will start stacking up error margins pretty quickly IMHO (even if you found a "food grade certified" version of the same).

If you wanted to be really fancy you could mount liquid level sensors (40 bucks a pop) inside each of your kegs - maybe the gas post could also function as a coaxial electrical connector for the level sensor? I don't have Cornys so I'm not sure if the poppet is isolated from the outside of the post (or the whole post from the main surface of the keg - could also be another way to get the signal out)
Liquid tiptubes, gas diptubes, poppets, posts, and the keg body are all connected for electrical purposes. The only exception would be the plastic versions of gas diptubes, but I've drilled out my kegs that had them to accept the metal ones instead.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:56 AM   #16
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Hmmm... I have a display sitting around.

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Old 12-30-2013, 05:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by chocotaco View Post
Sorry, never actually done it... I'm strictly an armchair digital logic designer!

I've thought about a similar thing, though, and I've seen people having done it with plastic flow meters from Adafruit (10 bucks each; http://www.adafruit.com/products/828 - example keg flow majigger is in the Tutorials)) - they don't SAY they're food grade, but it seems like they're made of polypropylene which should be fine. That said, I'm not sure they would be any more accurate than a properly calibrated load cell as they rely on an internal pinwheel (like the inverse of the impeller from an impeller pump) to send pulses to the GPIO of the microcontroller. You will start stacking up error margins pretty quickly IMHO (even if you found a "food grade certified" version of the same).

If you wanted to be really fancy you could mount liquid level sensors (40 bucks a pop) inside each of your kegs - maybe the gas post could also function as a coaxial electrical connector for the level sensor? I don't have Cornys so I'm not sure if the poppet is isolated from the outside of the post (or the whole post from the main surface of the keg - could also be another way to get the signal out)
The flow sensors I have pulse 6000 times per liter. I found that they stayed incredibly accurate through the pouring of a full keg. I poured nearly a full keg of 12oz beakers, and the reported numbers were all accurate to a few tenths of an ounce (I'll see if can dig up my dataset). Remember that all you need is accuracy down to the average glass size you pour (or maybe half of that). That's a lot of wiggle room.

Still, I've also played around with load cells as I didn't like resetting the volume of the kegs every time I added a new one. Cheap load cells are pretty inaccurate, but the bigger problem is temperature and creep.

Temperature can be solved by using a loaded and an unloaded cell to form the bridge, so that the unloaded cell cancels out some voltage from the loaded cell kept at the same temperature.

Creep is a bigger problem, even the most expensive cells require re-zeroing periodically. When left under constant load, the value will creep over time. I've got them wired up, I just haven't done any long term testing with keg weights, I'll probably get around to it in the next month or so. Though I may skip it and just go back to the flow sensors.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA_Mouse View Post
Very nice display. I can see a commercial version of this in small tap houses and brew pubs.
It already exists, its called Digital Pour

http://digitalpour.com/

Many breweries and tap houses in Oregon use it if they have a lot on tap. As mentioned Baileys Taproom in Portland uses it, as well as Orenco Taphouse in Hillsboro. For example both of those places use it on a big probably 55-60" LCD TV mounted above the bar.

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Old 12-30-2013, 06:23 AM   #19
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I would definitely build this if I could get some instructions. It's not quite like anything I've DIY'ed before.

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Old 12-30-2013, 06:29 AM   #20
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absolutely! i love this

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