Invention: Understanding Beer Keg Density via Vibration Motor

I used to work for a start-up called BREWPUBLIK. The company primarily manages kegerators and delivers kegs for enterprise clients in San Francisco, Charlotte NC, Raleigh NC, and Charleston SC.

One of the biggest problems the company dealt with is understanding keg levels. We needed to know how fast kegs were being consumed so that we could put in orders so that we could get fresh kegs in a kegerator without any interruption in service.

There are two main methods out there for measuring velocity of keg consumption: (1) you can attach a flow meter and have the flow meter transmit the volume of liquid flowing out of the keg or (2) you can put the keg on a wireless scale.

#1 is inconsistent and frequently breaks (or so I’m told ) and costs about $55-70 per unit, #2 is prohibitively expensive at $100 – $200 per unit.

Inspired by the old fashioned method for knocking on a hard surface and listening, I’ve devised a keg density measurement tool that would theoretical run off of a $1.50 vibration motor. With the expense of the rest of the parts, I’m hoping this device can hit the $25-35 price range:

The vibration motor vibrates every hour in an insulated rubber cone sealed on to the metal keg, a recording device “listens” to the tone, passes the audio data through the electronics board (I’m imagining a raspberry pi or an arduino board) and then transmits the data wirelessly to a simple algorithm that matches tone to keg density.

Seems to me to be a viable option. Do you think it would work? Why or why not?

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