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Brew Brain Homebrew system

Project Summary

Also being my multimedia senior design project, Brew Brain is a working prototype that creates an intuitive and fun experience for the novice home brewer. Focusing heavily on straightforward, elementary design, my aim was to simplify the process of brewing (more specifically, recipe creation) and make it appealing even to those who would otherwise have no interest in beer.

The system itself works with a custom-designed interface that is controlled by tangible objects called Brew Pucks. Each representing a different ingredient category (malt, hops, yeast, etc.), the user places the pucks onto the table, where they are seen by a webcamera and added to the interface. By simply rotating any given Brew Puck, the user is able to cycle through a library of ingredients exclusive to that puck, and make a selection. They continue to be added to the table until a complete recipe is built, during which the interface constantly updates current information about the brew being created i.e. total ingredients, bitterness levels, flavor profiles, etc.

The idea for the project was inspired greatly by my own experiences (and struggles) with home brewing. While the ingredient list of any given brew itself is quite modest, I quickly discovered how many variables there are when it comes to combining them to create a recipe. By allowing the user to intuitively add, remove, and cycle through the different ingredients, Brew Brain provides a simple, amusing way to learn about brewing, and aims to eliminate the undesired complications that might discourage some from trying it.

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programs and Skills

  • Processing
  • Reactivision
  • Illustrator



Brew brain system

Magazine Article

Featured in the latest issue of Weave, a German interactive magazine (06. 2011, page 15). Photos of full article still to come.

The Interface

The interface allowed the user to both browse and add ingredients, making it easy to see the role each plays and how they affect the overall brew.

Puck Spectrum

Using descriptive words like "caramel" ,"roasty", or "herbal" my goal was to tell the user what was being added to the recipe in a language that didn't require years of brewing to understand.

Brew Pucks

Puck with Fiducial ID

Each puck had a unique ID tag on the bottom that was recognized by a webcamera.