There’s nothing like an ice-cold drink on a hot summer day, is there? Especially if you’re a beer-loving dude with some free time and some hardware skills.
A fairly simple and fun project, the “Digital Thermostatic Beer Refreshment Regulator” (as entitled by its author) is based on an Arduino and a temperature sensor that control the temperature of the liquid inside the refrigerator (i.e. beer). The Arduino is actually a Freeduino SB and the temperature sensor is a LM35DZ. The beer regulator also possesses a NTE RS1-1D4-21 solid state relay to trigger 5v voltage to manage the amperage of the refrigerator.
The temperature is displayed on a SLCD162 MeLabs serial LCD Display which only uses 1 pin of the Arduino microcontroller. Other parts include some 10k and 100k resistores, pins, connectors, wires and plex-glass for the LCD stand (you can find a detailed parts list in the link). The code is written in C and it can be easily modified to adjust turning of the whole device ON or OFF to match your desired temperature of the beer. Plans for rewriting some of the code to get a more precise temperature are on the way. Also, a more complex display could be added to the project quite easily, since the current LCD is connected using an ethernet jack with Cat5 cable.
Now, I’m pretty sure you can do all these things with a common refrigerator that has a LCD display on the outside and a front panel to set the temperature, so it’s hardly a world changing project. Further more, you don’t risk getting your fingers burnt with the soldering iron or having your kitchen fill with cold beer (maybe that wouldn’t be such an issue to some, but still). However, if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of guy and want to make your own cold beer apparatus, then you can try this one. Salute!