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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: desi on April 19, 2016, 06:10:10 am

Title: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: desi on April 19, 2016, 06:10:10 am
Hi all.  I'm a new brewer and have recently moved into all-grain brewing.  I'm looking at some brewing tools for my MacBook.  I've heard of BeerSmith 2.0.  Are there others? Has anyone had good or bad experiences?

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: leejoreilly on April 19, 2016, 07:34:17 am
I started with BeerSmith 1.0 and upgraded to 2.0. I like it a lot, especially for recipe formulation, and the fact that I get a very usable set of instructions in the Brew Steps brew day worksheet. It also has a fairly complete set of additional tools and calculators. I don't recommend its water profile tool - BrunWater is miles better.

On the one hand, BeerSmith is very flexible, and allows you to set up all kinds of profiles, most notably for your equipment and various mashes. The downside is that these profiles require a bit of work to set up and maybe adjust a touch over time. But for me it's been time well spent.

One caveat - any software is just a rough model of the brewing process - some rougher than others. Use it as a guide, not a gospel.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 19, 2016, 08:54:45 am
Try as I may, I am still using my Excel spreadsheet.

I created it, I know it like the back of my hand and it yields great results. I just don't like not knowing how things are calculated.

Now granted, it took some time to write, but now updates and improvements are easy and I can't see any reason to switch.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: blair.streit on April 19, 2016, 08:56:03 am
I tried BeerSmith a few years ago but it was before he made a lot of the improvements around mobile and web syncing.

In the meantime I found Brewer's Friend and it has worked well for me. The thing I like about it is that it's web-based, so I can use my PC at work, my MacBook at home or the iPhone app and keep it all synced up. I think BeerSmith now has similar capabilities, but someone that uses it would need to weigh in.

As Lee states, regardless of which tool you select, it really just creates a framework in which to map and track your process. Spend the time to measure out exactly how much wort is left in your kettle and get that into your equipment profile. Same with temperature drop in mash strike water, trub left in the fermentor, etc.

The software just helps you dial all of these things in and make the process repeatable. Once you get to that point, it also makes it easier to scale and share recipes.

Also in agreement with Lee on Bru'n Water. It's a great water tool. Brewer's Friend has a water calculator as well, but I ended up using both at times.

Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Stevie on April 19, 2016, 08:57:45 am
I have tried many different applications and they all have their limitations and pain points. Fortunately, most offer free trials.

I settled a beersmith and I am only 75% happy with it. I stick with it as it took me too long to migrate my old stuff over. The phone app is total garbage and not worth paying for.

My favorite is BeerAlchemy, but it's Mac only and I needed something multi platform.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Phil_M on April 19, 2016, 09:02:54 am
I use Beersmith, it works. There is a lot of clutter and info that I don't want, use or need though.

If I ever have time, I plan on doing something similar to Derek, and just creating an excel spreadsheet of some sort.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 19, 2016, 09:07:20 am
I use Beersmith, it works. There is a lot of clutter and info that I don't want, use or need though.

If I ever have time, I plan on doing something similar to Derek, and just creating an excel spreadsheet of some sort.

Excel offers one major advantage to all other forms of calculations: you control everything.

That can be a gift or a curse but at least you have control of how your stuff is calculated in a chokehold.

I have tried Brewer's Friend, ProMash and Beersmith. In order of what I found the most useful it's:

Excel -> ProMash -> Brewer's Friend -> Beersmith
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Bob357 on April 19, 2016, 10:19:05 am
Started using BeerSmith1.0 when I switched to all grain several years ago and have upgraded as available. Have been very happy with not only recipe formulation and inventory aspects, but also like being able to customize many features.

Just did my first BIAB yesterday and it was a breeze to set up the new equipment profile. A tweak for grain absorption and one for boil off rate and it should be dialed in for the second batch.



Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: denny on April 19, 2016, 10:35:03 am
I have been using Promash for 18 years.  I've tried others and always gone back to Promash.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 19, 2016, 10:37:35 am
I have been using Promash for 18 years.  I've tried others and always gone back to Promash.

I would have to say the one reason I have not fully committed to ProMash is that I can use Excel on my IPad.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Phil_M on April 19, 2016, 10:42:00 am
I have been using Promash for 18 years.  I've tried others and always gone back to Promash.

I would have to say the one reason I have not fully committed to ProMash is that I can use Excel on my IPad.

That's one of my biggest reasons for wanting to switching to Excel. Between Excel and OneDrive I can have EXACTLY the same spreadsheet on multiple platforms. Beersmith? Drives me nuts going back and forth between the smartphone and desktop versions.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: stpug on April 19, 2016, 01:19:51 pm
Try as I may, I am still using my Excel spreadsheet.

I created it, I know it like the back of my hand and it yields great results. I just don't like not knowing how things are calculated.

Now granted, it took some time to write, but now updates and improvements are easy and I can't see any reason to switch.

I'll bite :D

Do you happen to have a "community" version we/I could peruse?
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 19, 2016, 01:53:16 pm
Try as I may, I am still using my Excel spreadsheet.

I created it, I know it like the back of my hand and it yields great results. I just don't like not knowing how things are calculated.

Now granted, it took some time to write, but now updates and improvements are easy and I can't see any reason to switch.

I'll bite :D

Do you happen to have a "community" version we/I could peruse?

Sure -> EDIT:PM for file

Plus you can grab it from my signature. Remember though: I can;t guarantee you'll love it. I created it for myself.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: case thrower on April 19, 2016, 02:35:26 pm
There is also Brewtarget.  It's a free program for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.  It's not too bad.  I've used it for a couple of years now. 

www.brewtarget.org
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: stpug on April 19, 2016, 03:05:27 pm
Try as I may, I am still using my Excel spreadsheet.

I created it, I know it like the back of my hand and it yields great results. I just don't like not knowing how things are calculated.

Now granted, it took some time to write, but now updates and improvements are easy and I can't see any reason to switch.

I'll bite :D

Do you happen to have a "community" version we/I could peruse?

Sure -> http://tinyurl.com/jhneq5l

Plus you can grab it from my signature. Remember though: I can;t guarantee you'll love it. I created it for myself.

Thanks a lot Derek!

In the words of the late ODB: "I like yo mothafu©kin' style!" :D

Cheers!
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 20, 2016, 12:13:17 pm
Try as I may, I am still using my Excel spreadsheet.

I created it, I know it like the back of my hand and it yields great results. I just don't like not knowing how things are calculated.

Now granted, it took some time to write, but now updates and improvements are easy and I can't see any reason to switch.

I'll bite :D

Do you happen to have a "community" version we/I could peruse?

Sure -> http://tinyurl.com/jhneq5l

Plus you can grab it from my signature. Remember though: I can;t guarantee you'll love it. I created it for myself.

Thanks a lot Derek!

In the words of the late ODB: "I like yo mothafu©kin' style!" :D

Cheers!

NP. New version is in the folder.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: erockrph on April 20, 2016, 03:53:37 pm
I have been using Promash for 18 years.  I've tried others and always gone back to Promash.

I would have to say the one reason I have not fully committed to ProMash is that I can use Excel on my IPad.

That's one of my biggest reasons for wanting to switching to Excel. Between Excel and OneDrive I can have EXACTLY the same spreadsheet on multiple platforms. Beersmith? Drives me nuts going back and forth between the smartphone and desktop versions.
This is why I use Brewer's Friend. I can access it on all my devices, and the integrated water calculator is the icing on the cake for me.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 20, 2016, 05:58:01 pm
I have been using Promash for 18 years.  I've tried others and always gone back to Promash.

I would have to say the one reason I have not fully committed to ProMash is that I can use Excel on my IPad.

That's one of my biggest reasons for wanting to switching to Excel. Between Excel and OneDrive I can have EXACTLY the same spreadsheet on multiple platforms. Beersmith? Drives me nuts going back and forth between the smartphone and desktop versions.
This is why I use Brewer's Friend. I can access it on all my devices, and the integrated water calculator is the icing on the cake for me.

Very good point Eric. Excel is free for me because I already had Office so that's a plus!
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Phil_M on April 20, 2016, 08:47:29 pm
Very good point Eric. Excel is free for me because I already had Office so that's a plus!

By that note, MATLAB is free for me, but that's kinda killing a cockroach with a sledgehammer. Though it's a lot easier working with fomulas in MATLAB vs. Excel.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 21, 2016, 02:21:38 am
Very good point Eric. Excel is free for me because I already had Office so that's a plus!

By that note, MATLAB is free for me, but that's kinda killing a cockroach with a sledgehammer. Though it's a lot easier working with fomulas in MATLAB vs. Excel.

Man did I hate MATLAB in college.

For anyone thinking of using Excel, remember to stay Macro free if you plan on using it on your IPad. Excel for IPad doesn't support Macros. That's why Brun Water doesn't work.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: homoeccentricus on April 21, 2016, 09:52:05 am
NP. New version is in the folder.

If only it were metric! ;)
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: 69franx on April 21, 2016, 10:14:53 am
I'll throw my vote in for beersmith 2. I have played around with the trial version of Promash, but for the most part, I am too new to the hobby to really notice the difference. I know Derek has updated a lot of info in promash, so If I wanted to start again, I might go that route with all the recommendations it gets. The teacher at my beginning and advanced brewing classes at my LHBS (siamesemoose) said that promash is better but not actively changing/updating anymore, so he suggested beersmith and it does everything a newbie like me wants. I know some have issues with the calculations, but my brews mostly end up right where it predicts they will, so I have no complaints with the program. I do also use Bru'nWater for water and some of the free calculators at brewersfriend.com for bottling, priming, and color conversions. In the end though, I am happy with my purchsae of Beersmith
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 21, 2016, 11:08:36 am
NP. New version is in the folder.

If only it were metric! ;)

I can make that happen for you if you'd like.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: pete b on April 21, 2016, 11:21:20 am
I too use Brewer's Friend because of it being web based. I can fiddle with recipes on a tablet while having a beer on the couch and print it using wifi, sit down at the pc and even access it when I get an idea at work. 
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Stevie on April 21, 2016, 11:23:15 am
I have tried Brewers friend a couple of times. I like many of the features, but the workflow of "brewing" irritates me. Too many unnecessary clicks.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: blair.streit on April 21, 2016, 01:42:37 pm
I have tried Brewers friend a couple of times. I like many of the features, but the workflow of "brewing" irritates me. Too many unnecessary clicks.
Yeah, I like it a lot but that particular aspect bothers me a bit too. Like everything else, I guess I just got used to it, and I don't yet know what would annoy me about "the devil I don't know".
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 21, 2016, 02:05:16 pm
For anyone who downloaded my Excel sheet, I found an error in PPG calculation for sugars and corrected it.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: homoeccentricus on April 22, 2016, 02:38:10 am
NP. New version is in the folder.

If only it were metric! ;)

I can make that happen for you if you'd like.
Then that would go into the annals as a clear case of awesomeness.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 22, 2016, 05:29:55 am
NP. New version is in the folder.

If only it were metric! ;)

I can make that happen for you if you'd like.
Then that would go into the annals as a clear case of awesomeness.

I'll take a closer look this week and see what I can do.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: pete b on April 22, 2016, 06:10:17 am
I have tried Brewers friend a couple of times. I like many of the features, but the workflow of "brewing" irritates me. Too many unnecessary clicks.
Yeah, I like it a lot but that particular aspect bothers me a bit too. Like everything else, I guess I just got used to it, and I don't yet know what would annoy me about "the devil I don't know".
I guess I feel the same way in that I haven't tried any others so I don't know what Steve means by the workflow of brewing.
Honestly very often the idea of going on a computer as a step in making beer isn't appealing and I take an envelope out of the recycling bin , figure out a good ratio of malts I have on hand and based on experience figure out how much I need to get a ballpark gravity, add up grain absorption, boil off etc. And start heating the volume of water it calls for while I grind the grain. A, bit of gypsum, an ounce of an appropriate bittering hops for 60 minutes, then depending on style, a lot or a little hops in a whirlpool or maybe 10 minutes and I'm good. It comes out just as good as when I futz around getting the " right" ibus, SRM, gravity, water chemistry etc. Other times I like fooling around with the program, especially if it's a new style I'm excited to try.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Stevie on April 22, 2016, 07:48:43 am
I guess I feel the same way in that I haven't tried any others so I don't know what Steve means by the workflow of brewing.
I feel that once I click the brew button, I should get s page that has all the data presented. Not a page that tells me to clean my gear and mill my grains followed by a mash only page, etc. if I can enter a beer on one screen, let me brew a beer on one screen.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: pete b on April 22, 2016, 07:52:14 am
I guess I feel the same way in that I haven't tried any others so I don't know what Steve means by the workflow of brewing.
I feel that once I click the brew button, I should get s page that has all the data presented. Not a page that tells me to clean my gear and mill my grains followed by a mash only page, etc. if I can enter a beer on one screen, let me brew a beer on one screen.
I see. I just use the recipe calculator and print the recipe.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: stpug on April 22, 2016, 09:02:07 am
For anyone who downloaded my Excel sheet, I found an error in PPG calculation for sugars and corrected it.

Was this PPG fix included in your "new version" post here: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642

I've compared, as best I can, what is currently linked in your signature and the 'new version' I snagged the other day and they seem identical.  So I'm thinking either A) the PPG fix is already in the version you posted on the 20th, or B) you haven't linked to the newest, bug-fixed version yet.

BTW, it might be time to start using some versioning in your spreadsheet just so it's easier to communicate about it at times like these. So far, it would seem you've had:
v1.1c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346456#msg346456
v1.21c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642
v1.22c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346822#msg346822
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 22, 2016, 12:25:37 pm
For anyone who downloaded my Excel sheet, I found an error in PPG calculation for sugars and corrected it.

Was this PPG fix included in your "new version" post here: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642

I've compared, as best I can, what is currently linked in your signature and the 'new version' I snagged the other day and they seem identical.  So I'm thinking either A) the PPG fix is already in the version you posted on the 20th, or B) you haven't linked to the newest, bug-fixed version yet.

BTW, it might be time to start using some versioning in your spreadsheet just so it's easier to communicate about it at times like these. So far, it would seem you've had:
v1.1c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346456#msg346456
v1.21c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642
v1.22c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346822#msg346822

The one in my tag line is current. I won't be tracking improvements on my end. Feel free to change whatever you like or PM me with questions.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: blair.streit on April 22, 2016, 03:50:56 pm
The one in my tag line is current. I won't be tracking improvements on my end. Feel free to change whatever you like or PM me with questions.
See, this is what happened when Palmer put How to Brew online. He unintentionally published a book and then had to revise it.

"Thank you for calling RPIScotty technical support. For English, press 1. Para assistance en espanol, oprima numero dos."
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 22, 2016, 04:22:53 pm
The one in my tag line is current. I won't be tracking improvements on my end. Feel free to change whatever you like or PM me with questions.
See, this is what happened when Palmer put How to Brew online. He unintentionally published a book and then had to revise it.

"Thank you for calling RPIScotty technical support. For English, press 1. Para assistance en espanol, oprima numero dos."

That's funny!

Really though, I'd be happy and humbled to help anyone who wanted to use the sheet and had questions or wanted to contact me about it. Anytime.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: blair.streit on April 22, 2016, 04:24:30 pm
The one in my tag line is current. I won't be tracking improvements on my end. Feel free to change whatever you like or PM me with questions.
See, this is what happened when Palmer put How to Brew online. He unintentionally published a book and then had to revise it.

"Thank you for calling RPIScotty technical support. For English, press 1. Para assistance en espanol, oprima numero dos."

That's funny!

Really though, I'd be happy and humbled to f anyone who wanted to use the sheet had questions and wanted to contact me about it. Anytime.
I'm going to start asking you questions in Spanish just for grins ;)
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 22, 2016, 04:40:07 pm
The one in my tag line is current. I won't be tracking improvements on my end. Feel free to change whatever you like or PM me with questions.
See, this is what happened when Palmer put How to Brew online. He unintentionally published a book and then had to revise it.

"Thank you for calling RPIScotty technical support. For English, press 1. Para assistance en espanol, oprima numero dos."

That's funny!

Really though, I'd be happy and humbled to f anyone who wanted to use the sheet had questions and wanted to contact me about it. Anytime.
I'm going to start asking you questions in Spanish just for grins ;)

"Please see Excel help file en espanol...."
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: westcoastbrew on April 22, 2016, 05:22:42 pm
I am a big fan of BeerSmith v2
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 23, 2016, 06:33:32 am
I am hand writing recipes and doing hand calculations.

Studying for the BJCP written.  ;)
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: erockrph on April 23, 2016, 08:29:35 am
I guess I feel the same way in that I haven't tried any others so I don't know what Steve means by the workflow of brewing.
I feel that once I click the brew button, I should get s page that has all the data presented. Not a page that tells me to clean my gear and mill my grains followed by a mash only page, etc. if I can enter a beer on one screen, let me brew a beer on one screen.
I see. I just use the recipe calculator and print the recipe.
Same here. I write down all my numbers on the recipe sheet and then key it into the brew log later. I'm too much of a slob to trust myself using electronic devices while brewing.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: pete b on April 23, 2016, 09:22:18 am
I guess I feel the same way in that I haven't tried any others so I don't know what Steve means by the workflow of brewing.
I feel that once I click the brew button, I should get s page that has all the data presented. Not a page that tells me to clean my gear and mill my grains followed by a mash only page, etc. if I can enter a beer on one screen, let me brew a beer on one screen.
I see. I just use the recipe calculator and print the recipe.
Same here. I write down all my numbers on the recipe sheet and then key it into the brew log later. I'm too much of a slob to trust myself using electronic devices while brewing.
Or cooking.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Saccharomyces on April 23, 2016, 07:29:29 pm
I am yet another member of the paper brewing log and pencil crowd. It is not like we have to deal with partial differential equations and Laplace transforms. Most of the calculations that are encountered in home brewing are rather simple, even those that involve applied thermodynamics.  I urge new brewers to learn basic brewing mathematics before resorting to using software.  You may decide that it is an unnecessary expense.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: blair.streit on April 23, 2016, 07:37:24 pm
I am yet another member of the paper brewing log and pencil crowd. It is not like we have to deal with partial differential equations and Laplace transforms. Most of the calculations that are encountered in home brewing are rather simple, even those that involve applied thermodynamics.  I urge new brewers to learn basic brewing mathematics before resorting to using software.  You may decide that it is an unnecessary expense.
I find that software is helpful for me to track what happened in the past and compare it to other batches. This is mostly because it does the math for me and I can't lose it.

I find the pen and paper much more utilitarian in the moment....
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Saccharomyces on April 23, 2016, 07:49:10 pm
My brewing log is more than a brewing log.  It is used for everything, including, but not limited to, recipe formulation, brew day logging, media preparation, yeast bank maintenance (plating, subculturing, and propagation events), and collection of fermentation and sensory data.  It is basically a combo brewing/laboratory log.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 24, 2016, 02:33:06 am
I am yet another member of the paper brewing log and pencil crowd. It is not like we have to deal with partial differential equations and Laplace transforms. Most of the calculations that are encountered in home brewing are rather simple, even those that involve applied thermodynamics.  I urge new brewers to learn basic brewing mathematics before resorting to using software.  You may decide that it is an unnecessary expense.

I found Excel supports this statement. In inputting the calculations for your own spreadsheet you are forced to learn the math in real time.

With that said, I long for a paper and pencil log and may have to just bite the bullet and start doing everything by hand or, at the very least, distill my current spreadsheet down to the essentials and streamline it.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: dzlater on April 24, 2016, 06:39:40 am
   When I started doing all grain I bought Designing Great Beers, and made a bunch of recipes using the formulas. I also put stored many of the equations in a programable calculator. So I have a good idea of what's going on when I use the brewing software.
  I tried quite a few and settled on Beersmith. For me it's just the easiest. I don't like it that there is no way to just input mash efficiency. I also don't use all the different mash profiles, I just have one I use for every recipe and change the water to grist ratios and mash temps in each individual recipe. I batch sparge but just leave the sparge settings to continious sparge, because the software kept giving me directions like this  "◯ Batch sparge with 3 steps (0.12gal, 3.16gal, 0.91gal) of 168.0 F water".
  On brew day I write the recipe into a note book, and keep all my notes. I have three recipe folders in Beersmith, unbrewed, brewed, and a Tried and True.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: riceral on April 24, 2016, 07:30:05 am
My brewing log is more than a brewing log.  It is used for everything, including, but not limited to, recipe formulation, brew day logging, media preparation, yeast bank maintenance (plating, subculturing, and propagation events), and collection of fermentation and sensory data.  It is basically a combo brewing/laboratory log.

+1

Mine isn't nearly this extensive but it does what I want it to do. Mine has notes about the brew day, what went wrong, and specifics of the fermentation and bottling.

For a more detailed log, check out this: http://horscategoriebrewing.blogspot.de   Dave Janssen will be speaking at NHC---er, HomebrewCon--this year and I plan on hearing his talk on saisons and grisettes.
   

Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: denny on April 24, 2016, 09:43:36 am
I use both Promash and pencil and paper.  I don't foind either of them alone sufficient.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: hagar on April 24, 2016, 10:25:16 am
I'm currently using a combo of Brewers Friend and pen and paper. I'm too sloppy of a cook to allow anything electronic near my kettle. I'll write down the recipe in my notebook and jot down any notes on the fly as the brew progresses, then add it all in to BF at the end of the day.
I have to say I'm a bit concerned that someday BF might be gone and take all my stuff with it. I'm checking into more permanent options.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 24, 2016, 11:26:15 am
I'm currently using a combo of Brewers Friend and pen and paper. I'm too sloppy of a cook to allow anything electronic near my kettle. I'll write down the recipe in my notebook and jot down any notes on the fly as the brew progresses, then add it all in to BF at the end of the day.
I have to say I'm a bit concerned that someday BF might be gone and take all my stuff with it. I'm checking into more permanent options.

I don't like the idea of any of my stuff being on the "Cloud". At least in Promash, Excel and P&P, all of my stuff is on my computer or handwritten.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Phil_M on April 24, 2016, 01:55:23 pm
I don't like the idea of any of my stuff being on the "Cloud". At least in Promash, Excel and P&P, all of my stuff is on my computer or handwritten.

That's why I'm sold on OneDrive. I've got a 1 TB drive on my computer that's mirrored to OneDrive. Internet goes out? Those files still live on that drive. This is the first cloud solution that I've been happy to use.

I am yet another member of the paper brewing log and pencil crowd. It is not like we have to deal with partial differential equations and Laplace transforms. Most of the calculations that are encountered in home brewing are rather simple, even those that involve applied thermodynamics.  I urge new brewers to learn basic brewing mathematics before resorting to using software.  You may decide that it is an unnecessary expense.

I've got six weeks off from school this summer, I'm hoping to learn some of these equations then. Preferably before NHC, I'd prefer going to the conference with that knowledge in my head. I'll still probably input the equations in Excel or something for normal use, but I'll be much more comfortable brewing once I've worked through the equations that drive it all.

Is it bad I'm looking forward to my diffeq and Laplace/Fourier classes?  :P
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 24, 2016, 02:21:40 pm
Is it bad I'm looking forward to my diffeq and Laplace/Fourier classes?  :P

Yes. You're a savage.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Phil_M on April 24, 2016, 02:32:13 pm
Is it bad I'm looking forward to my diffeq and Laplace/Fourier classes?  :P

Yes. You're a savage.

I'm no fan of math classes, but these courses are going to answer so many questions for me.

There's areal parallel between my work and brewing here. At work, and with my brewing, I'm relying on software to perform operations I don't understand or know how to perform. At the same time, I'm trying to put the pieces together and make sense of that's going on. Without the background math/equations, it'll never make sense the way I need it to and be able to understand it.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 24, 2016, 03:00:04 pm
For anyone who downloaded my Excel sheet, I found an error in PPG calculation for sugars and corrected it.

Was this PPG fix included in your "new version" post here: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642

I've compared, as best I can, what is currently linked in your signature and the 'new version' I snagged the other day and they seem identical.  So I'm thinking either A) the PPG fix is already in the version you posted on the 20th, or B) you haven't linked to the newest, bug-fixed version yet.

BTW, it might be time to start using some versioning in your spreadsheet just so it's easier to communicate about it at times like these. So far, it would seem you've had:
v1.1c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346456#msg346456
v1.21c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642
v1.22c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346822#msg346822

Most recent file here: EDIT: PM for files

Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: stpug on April 25, 2016, 10:17:36 am
For anyone who downloaded my Excel sheet, I found an error in PPG calculation for sugars and corrected it.

Was this PPG fix included in your "new version" post here: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642

I've compared, as best I can, what is currently linked in your signature and the 'new version' I snagged the other day and they seem identical.  So I'm thinking either A) the PPG fix is already in the version you posted on the 20th, or B) you haven't linked to the newest, bug-fixed version yet.

BTW, it might be time to start using some versioning in your spreadsheet just so it's easier to communicate about it at times like these. So far, it would seem you've had:
v1.1c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346456#msg346456
v1.21c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642
v1.22c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346822#msg346822

You were so persuasive that I renamed the file to "AHA Community Calculator" and versioned it starting at v.1.0.

Most recent file here: http://tinyurl.com/jhneq5l (same link as my signature)

I would add versions to the folder if you want to make changes so people who find it of interest can grab the most recent revision. I added a sheet to track revisions.

Nice. Thanks for that. I'm still playing with modifying a version for myself and my process/system. I really like many (most) aspects of your spreadsheet, and could see myself slowing on use of Beersmith for most brewdays.

It very kind of you to share your hard work with all of us for the super-low price of FREE! As I work through the spreadsheet, I'll be certain to provide feedback on any bugs I find. Thanks again for everything!
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on April 25, 2016, 10:29:10 am
For anyone who downloaded my Excel sheet, I found an error in PPG calculation for sugars and corrected it.

Was this PPG fix included in your "new version" post here: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642

I've compared, as best I can, what is currently linked in your signature and the 'new version' I snagged the other day and they seem identical.  So I'm thinking either A) the PPG fix is already in the version you posted on the 20th, or B) you haven't linked to the newest, bug-fixed version yet.

BTW, it might be time to start using some versioning in your spreadsheet just so it's easier to communicate about it at times like these. So far, it would seem you've had:
v1.1c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346456#msg346456
v1.21c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346642#msg346642
v1.22c: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=26654.msg346822#msg346822

You were so persuasive that I renamed the file to "AHA Community Calculator" and versioned it starting at v.1.0.

Most recent file here: http://tinyurl.com/jhneq5l (same link as my signature)

I would add versions to the folder if you want to make changes so people who find it of interest can grab the most recent revision. I added a sheet to track revisions.

Nice. Thanks for that. I'm still playing with modifying a version for myself and my process/system. I really like many (most) aspects of your spreadsheet, and could see myself slowing on use of Beersmith for most brewdays.

It very kind of you to share your hard work with all of us for the super-low price of FREE! As I work through the spreadsheet, I'll be certain to provide feedback on any bugs I find. Thanks again for everything!

I tried to contain most of the system specific stuff in the "System Settings and Losses" sheet. One note on that: changing the Kettle Radius input changes the values in the Volume table located in the summary.

Over the last month or so I tried to simplify the interface as much as possible: going to percentage based input, eliminating a clunky scaling ratio for batch scaling, etc.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: hagar on May 03, 2016, 05:50:50 pm
Hey all, I'm trying to get a copy of this spreadsheet but I'm bumping up against some hurdles.

RPIScotty, I keep seeing references to a link in your sig but I don't see a sig under your posts. I've been trying to send a message to you for a time now but I keep getting a "403 forbidden" error every time I try to send. If you have multiple messages from me in your inbox, I'm very sorry!

Anyhoo, I ended up just asking for the spreadsheet on google via the link you posted above. I hope that's ok. Now I've got to figure out this forbidden thing when I try to send messages and post.  ???
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: PORTERHAUS on May 03, 2016, 07:19:52 pm
I have been using a program called Brew Mate for years. It is a recipe calculator only. As is it has everything that I need to do what I want. It's clean, uncluttered and not full of tabs and menus that I don't need. It's a great recipe calculator, the rest of the stuff I do on paper. It doesn't take me much brain power to do some quick math to find that I need X gals of water for mashing and Y gals of water for my sparge to reach a certain boil volume. Temperatures are also all based on experience and knowing my system. I know I like to mash in about 15* hotter than my mash temp to my pre-heated cooler mashtun. I know I need my sparge water in the 190* range for my batch sparge to get the grain bed up to 168*. That comes with experience on my sytem. Everyone has different needs, wants and likes when it comes to brewing software or programs. I have tried most everything that is out there. I hate the menus, tabs, and clutter of most them. Brew Mate does it for me.

So like a few others have said, I'm also 1/2 Brewmate, 1/2 paper & pencil.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on May 04, 2016, 02:44:08 am
Hey all, I'm trying to get a copy of this spreadsheet but I'm bumping up against some hurdles.

RPIScotty, I keep seeing references to a link in your sig but I don't see a sig under your posts. I've been trying to send a message to you for a time now but I keep getting a "403 forbidden" error every time I try to send. If you have multiple messages from me in your inbox, I'm very sorry!

Anyhoo, I ended up just asking for the spreadsheet on google via the link you posted above. I hope that's ok. Now I've got to figure out this forbidden thing when I try to send messages and post.  ???

Should be in your email. Just sent it to you.

I decided to scrub some of my personal info and links to my Gdrive because I check the forums at work and don't want any issues arising from that. It's definitely nothing against the members here.

Just PM me for the files (ProMash and Excel)
Title: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: ajk on May 04, 2016, 05:47:51 am
I'm one of the people you emailed it to, so thanks for that!

I used applications (both desktop- and web-based) for ages, but 3 batches ago I switched to my own spreadsheet. I use Numbers and sync to all my devices using iCloud, but I'll likely find some tidbits in yours to steal. :)

Although mine is still a work in progress, I agree with all the sentiment here. I like being fully aware of what formulae I'm using, being able to tweak every constant easily, and most of all, being able to add calculations as needed. For example, the other day I needed to know the mass of the cast-out wort. Adding that to the spreadsheet was trivial, and now it's there for future batches should I ever need it.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: RPIScotty on May 04, 2016, 08:07:00 am
I'm one of the people you emailed it to, so thanks for that!

I used applications (both desktop- and web-based) for ages, but 3 batches ago I switched to my own spreadsheet. I use Numbers and sync to all my devices using iCloud, but I'll likely find some tidbits in yours to steal. :)

Although mine is still a work in progress, I agree with all the sentiment here. I like being fully aware of what formulae I'm using, being able to tweak every constant easily, and most of all, being able to add calculations as needed. For example, the other day I needed to know the mass of the cast-out wort. Adding that to the spreadsheet was trivial, and now it's there for future batches should I ever need it.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Mass produced software is designed in a way so that it captures a compromise of what ALL Brewers may want based on the designers opinions of what they need.

Excel allows me to design what I need in my sheet. It means no compromises and its educational to boot.
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: Saccharomyces on May 04, 2016, 06:24:53 pm
Is it bad I'm looking forward to my diffeq and Laplace/Fourier classes?  :P

Yes, you are not well.  :)
Title: Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
Post by: brewfreeordie603 on May 16, 2016, 05:56:18 pm
Been using Brewers Friend lately but it seems like Beersmith is getting a lot of love.  I will try the free trial for my next brew, but I don't like that it isn't web based and you have to download the software to your computer.