Keg Scale and Digital Tap List project

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megabyte

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I think The Lonely Island made a song about that :)

Sorry for the lull, we've joined with an accelerator program and we've been flat out learning all sorts of business stuff that will help us to launch well. Lately we've been pushing forward under the name POuRTAL.

Pourtal Logo.png

Rationale:
It's like a portal letting you see inside your kegs.
It's like a digital chalk board (hence a chalk themed logo).
It pours beer and (my wife pointed this one out) it's a "pour tool" - a tool that helps with pouring beer.

We've been very active working on this concept. Here are some diagrams from our pitch deck as a sneak peek of the idea:
Pourtal App.png Bluetooth Sensors.png
 

Drew

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Pourtal is a cool name and will relate to a fair chunk of your target demographic I'm sure.

I'd like to see built in leak monitoring. (Says the person who just lost 10 litres to the floor!).

Might be hard to differentiate between 10 litres leaking onto the floor vs a normal Friday night though - but I do usually have a brief break between each 500ml! Slow leaks might be tricky to detect too - but surely possible.
 

contrarian

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I think I know the song you're talking about Michael! Good to hear the idea is still being worked on and pourtal is much classier than anything I could have come up with!

I also like the idea of a leak alarm as I'm sure anyone else who has had to clean 10 litres of beer out of the bottom of a chesty with no drain plug would!
 

megabyte

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Great idea with the leak alarm! I think it might be do-able without taxing the battery too much or increasing the bill of materials cost significantly. It's still a shame that CO2 sensing isn't as feasible on this product due to cost and battery life. I lose CO2 bottles all the time :( Haven't lost a keg of beer yet, but man that would be a nightmare to clean up inside the house!
 

contrarian

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Just need to sit one of your weighing devices under your has bottle too! Might take a bit longer to pick up the change but could save you losing the whole bottle!
 

megabyte

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contrarian said:
Just need to sit one of your weighing devices under your gas bottle too! Might take a bit longer to pick up the change but could save you losing the whole bottle!
Very true. The same could go for the beer leak detection. While we could incorporate an electronic probe into the scale to detect fluids, it may be easier to simply let the software sort it out. E.g. when it detects that over a certain volume has been poured at a constant rate it's highly likely there's a leak. We're also playing around with various methods to make the scale resilient to said leaks.

As an update, we're still running full steam ahead, currently refining the design for the injection moulding and researching the patents that are out there. People have been weighing kegs in various ways since the 70's so it pays to be prudent and make sure we don't step on anyone's toes.

Also, we're heading off to Boston in February so it's going to be great "researching" their craft beer scene :)
 

contrarian

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Any progress on this mate? I had a keg blow unexpectedly yesterday and it reminded me of how handy something like this would be! Luckily on this occasion I had a back up ready to go but that isn't always the case!
 

Tex083

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Boston is one of my favourite places to go. Make sure you catch a Bruins game (ice hockey) and have plenty of room for beer and burgers!
 

DJ_L3ThAL

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Great work Michael, I've bought some in my mind already! One thing to consider on the software side is the ability to enter a 'maintenance' or 'cleaning' mode as when I clean my lines as I have a stand up all fridge kegerator I lose shite loads of cold air whilst the door it open and I'm flushing my lines. Therefore a large amount of condensation builds up on the kegs and could drip down onto the scales. So would be nice to be able to trip out nuisance leak alarms. Still think the leak detection function is essential though :)
 

megabyte

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Cool, I'll see what we can do to handle leak detection economically. I really want to try and keep the scales cheap since some of us have a LOT of kegs :)
 

DJ_L3ThAL

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On tap or filled and in fridge at once??? YES.
 

XaxisYcross

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I would love an update on this project! I have just read the thread from start to finish and I am ready to put down some cash money.

One thought I had was, using the Tilt hydrometer, you can link it to BrewStat.us which allows you to upload a beer .xml file which then provides all the information from the beer recipe to the logging page of the beer that that Tilt is assigned to. I imagine this wouldn't be too hard to implement into the Pourtal app?
 

megabyte

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It's still chugging along. We're planning a China trip in the coming weeks to meet a manufacturer who can do injection moulding. With the samples underway we'll be pressing ahead with a launch on Kickstarter. So many projects launch too soon with no concrete plan for production, we really want to have all our ducks in a row before making promises and taking people's hard earned.

Xaxis I like the way you think. The Pourtal app can bridge Bluetooth to the cloud - no worries, but it would require a device (phone, iPad etc.) to be in range all the time to have access to live monitoring. Should be fine in many cases!
 

MattSR

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Can't wait to see how this one pans out - It's something that could be very neat and handy!!

Cheers,
Matt
 

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