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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: friendofbeer on September 03, 2010, 02:43:13 AM

Title: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: friendofbeer on September 03, 2010, 02:43:13 AM
Hi All!

I am trying to find an elegant solution to keep an inventory of my current bottle list at home.  Ideally I want to scan into and out of inventory via the bottle's bar code.  The only solutions I am able to find are made for bars / pubs.  I've tried a few inventory apps for my Droid phone, but none of them are really geared to what I'm trying to do.

Does any one else keep a list of what they have?  Have you come up with an easy way to keep track of what's left in the house?

Joey
www.wetyourwhistles.com
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: Slowbrew on September 03, 2010, 02:31:17 PM
I use a clipboard and a pencil but that's just me. 

I normally geek out on techie solutions as much as the next guy but tracking bottles by bar code would be beyond my needs.  Using RFIDs might be fun though.   ;D

Paul
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: friendofbeer on September 03, 2010, 04:35:24 PM
Mmm tasty RFIDs.

I'm having a hard time believing that I'm the first one to want this type of solution.  I need a programmer STAT, I smell a new Apple / Android app!
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: kgs on September 03, 2010, 05:40:09 PM
RFID sounds expensive per item, due to the tag and equipment cost (we have an RFID system at work, good for what it is but I'm all too aware of the resource requirements). I would suggest that unless you have a security requirement and/or are doing very long-term inventory management of a large number of items that move from place to place (e.g. books in and out of a library), don't add that kind of cost per item.

What about QR codes? You can print them yourself, and you can embed a lot of info in them, and common devices such as cell phones can read them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code

(Get a librarian started on inventory management...)
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: friendofbeer on September 03, 2010, 06:03:52 PM
I do love the QR code idea, but would much rather not reinvent the wheel.  I've already got the beers barcode, and a barcode scanner (droid phone), and the spreadsheet waiting to be used.  I'm just not sure how to pull it all together.
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: kgs on September 03, 2010, 06:14:09 PM
I do love the QR code idea, but would much rather not reinvent the wheel.  I've already got the beers barcode, and a barcode scanner (droid phone), and the spreadsheet waiting to be used.  I'm just not sure how to pull it all together.

Oh, ok, gotcha. If there is any way you can tie barcode ranges to batches, that would reduce the number of access points you need for your metadata. But if they are like most barcodes that's not going to work. My best advice, from years managing metadata, is to use as many access points as you actually need (name, date brewed, location, etc.) but no more. I wonder if you also should use a separate worksheet for each batch. Or if you should actually be using Access or something like that.

If the Droid barcode scanner turns out to be sketchy, LibraryThing sells a CueCat barcode wand that works fine for home use.

Now wondering if anyone already developed an inventory/cataloging program for beer...
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: weithman5 on September 03, 2010, 07:11:59 PM
sounds like it is time to keg.   ;D
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: dak0415 on September 03, 2010, 07:29:04 PM
That's WAY too anal, even for me, and I'm a programmer!
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: theoman on September 03, 2010, 07:41:48 PM
Coming across a beer you brewed a couple years earlier in some hidden corner of the cellar is kinda fun.
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: friendofbeer on September 03, 2010, 07:46:06 PM
Thanks for the great feedback!

I should clarify that I'm also talking about commercial products, which might honestly be easier.  I'm hoping that to do a barcode scan to find pre-existing product data? Am I dreaming?
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: weithman5 on September 03, 2010, 08:07:15 PM
If you just drink them all you won't need to keep track of how many are left ;D
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: glitterbug on September 03, 2010, 08:14:56 PM
All of this can easily be done with some programming. I've done some work writing inventory systems. Here are the quick plans. You could probably do all of this in excel and a pos scanner.

1. Create a form with an incoming and outgoing text box
2. When you put beer into the fridge, you put the cursor into the incoming text field and scan the label. The scanner will convert the barcode to a unique number (upc).
3. Your query your database\spreadsheet for the barcode number
3a. Barcode found- You enter how many beers are going in
3b. A form pops up for you to create a "beer profile" (name, company, product, abv, etc..). You will enter the details so you do not need to deal with the UPC database. You enter the number of beers going in
4. A "lot" is created with the inventory amount
5. When a beer is removed, you put the cursor into the outgoing text box and scan
6. You enter the number being removed and this number is subtracted from the "lot" quantity based on the barcode number you entered earlier
7. A report will list the lots with quantities and other info
8. Homebrew can be inventoried by printing "3of9" barcodes on suitable media (round cap stickers?)

Good luck :)
 
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: IHBHS on September 03, 2010, 08:19:03 PM
a desso plug and play barcode scanner and beer smith using the inventory tracker on it and put the number of the upc as the alternative lookup number for the item
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: kgs on September 03, 2010, 09:00:29 PM
Thanks for the great feedback!

I should clarify that I'm also talking about commercial products, which might honestly be easier.  I'm hoping that to do a barcode scan to find pre-existing product data? Am I dreaming?

It would be great if there were a web-scale app that had metadata for known beer styles preloaded so that brewers could at least inventory/share at the batch if not the bottle level. Librarything for homebrewers, basically.
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on September 03, 2010, 09:37:57 PM
Coming across a beer you brewed a couple years earlier in some hidden corner of the cellar is kinda fun.
Could never happen in my household.. ;D
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: dhacker on September 03, 2010, 10:07:09 PM
Isn't that the truth!
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: majorvices on September 03, 2010, 10:12:18 PM
Coming across a beer you brewed a couple years earlier in some hidden corner of the cellar is kinda fun.

I came across a forgotten keg in the shed two summers after a party. It wasn't fun.
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: dhacker on September 03, 2010, 10:19:40 PM
Coming across a beer you brewed a couple years earlier in some hidden corner of the cellar is kinda fun.

I came across a forgotten keg in the shed two summers after a party. It wasn't fun.

I have about a fourth of a cornie of Denny's BVIP that's a scoash over a year old now and has been sitting idle outside the kegerator.

Fun or no?

 :D
 
Title: Re: Beer Bottle Inventory via Input by Barcode
Post by: BrewArk on September 04, 2010, 03:04:03 PM
If you just drink them all you won't need to keep track of how many are left ;D

A few years ago my wife came home from work and asked me "How many beers have you had?"  I came up with the often repeated phrase "I don't count them, I just drink them!"