KEGLINK FEATURE SPOTLIGHT: Orientation
The metrics our KegLink sensors monitor are not randomly chosen. Each is individually important to the storage and delivery of great beer, and combined they provide a multitude of measures that are useful to brewers, sellers and drinkers alike. Orientation may seem a little odd to include in our metrics, but it is a powerful measure that can indicate so much more than “this way up”.
Unlike filtered and pasteurised lagers, some beers are meant to contain a bit of yeast in the keg. In some cases, a light dusting of yeast is added during the kegging process, allowing beers to carbonate and “condition” inside the keg. Furthermore, some beer styles are meant to be served with a nice visible dose of yeast in suspension, adding to their appearance and flavour profile. The process of flipping a keg throughout its journey can keep yeast distributed evenly, and prevent unsightly clumps forming that could otherwise make it into the glass.
Sometimes the orientation of a keg has nothing to do with preserving the beer inside. In some supply chains, upside-down kegs signify a keg that is empty and ready for collection. This is a simple way to separate ingoing vs outgoing kegs making life easier for delivery drivers.
Another situation where kegs are typically flipped upside down is inside the brewery when they’re loaded onto a cleaning machine, or an automated filling line.
Whatever the reason behind it, Binary Beer’s KegLink is able to tell you when a keg is upright or upside down, along with a multitude of other indicators.
How does KegLink determine upside down?
KegLink sensors are equipped with a 3-axis MEMS accelerometer to determine orientation. Easy right? Just plug it into the circuit board and away you go. Not quite. Typically kegs don’t have a level top plane on which you can neatly secure a device. There’s also around a dozen different styles of kegs, each with their own special profile.
A MEMS (micro-electro mechanical system) accelerometer can measure line motion across any set number of axes without a fixed reference point. KegLink’s axes are set up to compensate for the angles of both the device and the installation atop a keg.
Currently KegLinks are built to indicate an upright or upside down orientation, but there is no reason we couldn’t flag 90 degree turns, or 45. If you need it, Binary Beer is up for the challenge.