Archive for the ‘Beer Hacks’ Category

[Mikey Sklar] finds himself in need of a temperature regulated refrigerator for fermenting foods like yogurt, kimchi, bread, and beer. After some testing he found that by building his own controller he can get a chest freezer to outperform an upright refrigerator at this task by 2-to-1.

The controller is based around an ATmega48. It includes a remote temperature sensors which you can see connected to the lower left header in the image above. On the back of the board there’s a relay used to switch the freezer’s power on and off. [Mikey] is selling a kit but the hardware and software for the project are both open source so build it yourself if you have the know-how.

A chest freezer is a great place to store Cornelius kegs… we’ll keep our eyes open for one.

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Monitor Keg volume, CO2, and temp

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Beer Hacks

[Jean-Michel] tipped us off about his beer keg monitoring setup. It can tell you how much beer is left in each keg, how much carbon dioxide remains in the canister, and it can monitor and regulate temperature.

An Arduino mega is the brain of the system. A shield was built to interface force sensors, measuring the weight of the keg to estimate how much beer remains. Analog temperature sensors allow for temperature monitoring and control of the compressor for regulation. Information can be displayed on a graphic LCD or a computer via XBee wireless communications.

This is along the lines of the SparkFun kegerator but we like the added functionality. Does this need to Twitter? Probably not but if you want that, it’s only a bit of a software hack away.

 

Interactive beer pong table

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Beer Hacks

Do you find that beer pong is too dull on its own to keep your attention? Do you require flashing lights to accentuate your imbibing?  Here’s the perfect solution. Make an interactive beer pong table. It didn’t take much to sell us on the idea. We think everything needs a few more lights.

The idea is that as the game progresses, you get different feedback from the lights visible in the picture above.  [rohitk] is using an Arduino and some pressure sensors to tell when each cup is removed. Based on this the LEDs change color.

 

Drink Making Unit

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Beer Hacks

3 breast pumps, a Meggy jr RGB (slightly modified) and copious amounts of alcohol. This sounds like a typical weekend at HAD headquarters, but it is in fact the parts list for the Drink Making Unit by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. Created for the upcomingBarbot 2010 event, this unit is a cocktail mixer. Load 3 liquids in, program the Meggy and you can push a button to dispense. We are pleased to see how much they modified off the shelf components to make this happen. Yes, there could be major improvements like mixing, more liquid reservoirs, and a better cooling system, but we think this thing is pretty slick.

Thanks to craigslist [Chris] got his hands on a soda vending machine circa 1977. It still worked just fine (because things were still built to last back then) but he wanted to add some super-secret upgrades to the beverage dispensary. Two capacitive touch sensors were added to override the need for coins for those who know where to caress the beast, and iPhone support means that frothy beer is just a touch away.

The capacitive switches are using the same QT100 chip we saw in the game of lifefrom last year. The whole thing runs off of a Phidgets board which we’ve seen in the past using iPhone control to launch rockets. See a demonstration of the features in the clip after the break. We’d love to do a hack like this but the problem is once you’re done, you’ve got a vending machine sitting in your house.

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We have arrived once more at the time of year when penniless (or bored) hackers try to figure out how to keep the place cool without buying an air conditioner. [Paul Stacey] sent us his solution of pairing up a CPU cooler kit with a beer fridge. The CPU heat sink is cut out of a liquid cooling kit and discarded. In its place a loop of plastic tubing enters the freezer of the beer fridge where it exchanges salt water from a reservoir. The cold liquid circulates through the radiator of the fan kit and gives up it’s cool goodness through the fan unit seen above. This method puts a cold-air fan right in front of you with a digital temp and fan speed readout on the LCD.

Our biggest concern here is that this might heat up the beer in the fridge. Still, it’s more automatic than using a homebrew swamp cooler. Then again, we’ve always had a soft spot in our hearts for our favorite gravity fed cooling method. Anyway, check out [Paul’s] build methods after the break where he makes it look quick and easy.

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Baxter the ButlerBot and RoboFridge

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Beer Hacks

[Steve Norris] has been devoting his time, effort, and knowledge to the most noble of causes; cool beverage acquisition. Baxter the ButlerBot and RoboFridge work in tandem to deliver cold ones when needed. As you can see in the video, this possibly over engineered system works quite smooth. Though the details on his site are pretty limited, browsing his Flickr stream will get you all those delicious construction photos you crave.

[via Flickr]