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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: Nick Garrod on April 27, 2021, 10:08:18 pm

Title: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: Nick Garrod on April 27, 2021, 10:08:18 pm
I've been running BeerSmith for a handful of years, and while I like the computer version, I feel like the app is clumsy. I also don't like having to make sure I save everything to the cloud and not my computer so I will have the my ingredient list when I get to the home-brew shop.
I am wondering if anyone has made the switch from BeerSmith to Brewfather. I you did, what do you like about Brewfather, and is there anything you miss? I will also take any opinion on if there is a better software/app out there.

Thanks
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: BrewBama on April 27, 2021, 10:17:12 pm
I like BeerSmith better just because it’s so familiar and i can get a recipe input in very few minutes because i have my profiles set up. ...but I have looked under the hood of BrewFather. I like the water tab in BrewFather and the recipes from around the world.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: denny on April 27, 2021, 10:31:56 pm
I've tried both and decided I'm gonna stick with the Grainfather app.  You don't need to have a Grainfather to use it, and I think the m-IBU calculation in it gives me more accurate results.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: Bob357 on April 28, 2021, 01:32:52 am
I've been using BeerSmith since version 1.xx. I have test hopped BrewFather and various other brewing software, and still prefer BeerSmith. I find creating recipes in BrewFather to be a slow and clunky process, even more so than other software. There is a certain amount of bias and familiarity involved, but even without that, I think BeerSmith is just a superior product. Being able to easily customize almost every function to fit your individual system and process is one of my favorite features. It's enabled me to switch systems and processes almost seamlessly several times.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: Kevin on April 28, 2021, 01:12:34 pm
I agree with Bob357. Beersmith has a larger learning curve than most but once you commit yourself to that it fits like a glove.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 28, 2021, 05:11:09 pm
Anybody on Brewers' Friend as their choice of software?  I may give Grainfather a try, just to check it out.  I used Beersmith for the longest time, then switched to BF a few years back.  The autofill function and having profiles of both of my systems is nice on BF, since I bounce from one to the other based on batch size....I assume those would be available on GF and BS, too, right? 
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: BrewBama on April 28, 2021, 05:16:29 pm
Yes, I have several profiles I’ve developed in BS for different batch sizes, mashes, sparge/no sparge, ferment profiles, etc.



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Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: Megary on April 28, 2021, 05:52:09 pm
Anybody on Brewers' Friend as their choice of software?  I may give Grainfather a try, just to check it out.  I used Beersmith for the longest time, then switched to BF a few years back.  The autofill function and having profiles of both of my systems is nice on BF, since I bounce from one to the other based on batch size....I assume those would be available on GF and BS, too, right?

I use Brewer's Friend and I like it.  I can't say it's better or worse than anything else because I don't know, but BF is what I know and it works.  I can't see anything else being so much better that I would put myself through another learning curve.

That said, I mainly use BF for water adjustments.  I have my own Excel spreadsheet that I can do everything else on...so I could see a time where I either get fed up with water or so used to adding a bit of this and a bit of that - that I  just use my own calculator.  ;D
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: Wilbur on April 28, 2021, 06:59:06 pm
I've only used the Beersmith app, and switched to brewfather last year. I vastly prefer Brewfather. Beersmith didn't seem very intuitive to me and always seemed a little clunky. I like how Brewfather has recipes and a batch recipe, in case you need to make last minute adjustments. The water section seems to work well is the best non-bru n water tool I've used. It seems like Brewfather is updated more frequently than Beersmith, adding malts, additional funcitonality, etc.

mIBU looks pretty nifty, I might have to check that out.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: Kevin on April 28, 2021, 09:45:33 pm
Quote
and having profiles of both of my systems is nice on BF

You need to customize the equipment profiles in Beersmith. You can't just accept the defaults that are provided and expect accurate results.


Quote
Beersmith didn't seem very intuitive to me and always seemed a little clunky


Beersmith is highly customizable. The intuition comes from the user who needs to take time to learn the software and to set up the profiles to match your brew day process. Do that and it will no longer seem clunky.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: erockrph on April 29, 2021, 02:53:21 am
Anybody on Brewers' Friend as their choice of software?  I may give Grainfather a try, just to check it out.  I used Beersmith for the longest time, then switched to BF a few years back.  The autofill function and having profiles of both of my systems is nice on BF, since I bounce from one to the other based on batch size....I assume those would be available on GF and BS, too, right?
I've been using Brewer's Friend for 9+ years now. I went with BF over BeerSmith because Brad didn't have a web version of BeerSmith available at the time. BF does a really good job of pushing out frequent updates and adding ingredients. I recently tried out a new craft malt house (Riverbend), and I was very pleasantly surprised to see the malts I was using already available natively. At this point I don't think I would even try another piece of software. Brewer's Friend does everything I need and more. The water calculator is excellent, and the recent update to import the salt and acid additions into the main recipe they were linked from was a really nice improvement.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: goose on April 29, 2021, 02:13:11 pm
I like BeerSmith better just because it’s so familiar and i can get a recipe input in very few minutes because i have my profiles set up. ...but I have looked under the hood of BrewFather. I like the water tab in BrewFather and the recipes from around the world.

I have to agree with Brewbama here.  Ironically, I was talking to a fellow club member from the Mansfield Brew Club (Ohio) on the phone yesterday about a mash pH problem and he told me that he is making the switch from BeerSmith to Brewfather.  Since I respect his opinion, I gave some thought about doing the same and did some reading on the software.  I had planned to start a thread on this yesterday to gauge opinions on which was better and saw that Nick had already done so.  I came to the conclusion that since I have everything dialed in on BeerSmith, I really didn't want to have to start a learning curve for a new piece of brewing software. 

Yes there was a learning curve for BeerSmith after making the switch from the venerable ProMash years ago, but I am very comfortable with BeerSmith and will stay where I am.

My 0.02
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: Wilbur on April 29, 2021, 06:15:26 pm
Quote
and having profiles of both of my systems is nice on BF

You need to customize the equipment profiles in Beersmith. You can't just accept the defaults that are provided and expect accurate results.


Quote
Beersmith didn't seem very intuitive to me and always seemed a little clunky


Beersmith is highly customizable. The intuition comes from the user who needs to take time to learn the software and to set up the profiles to match your brew day process. Do that and it will no longer seem clunky.

I've spent some time messing around with it, and even got it to work just fine. There's nothing wrong with Beersmith, and Brads done a great job with support and writing posts about brewing in general. For my experience, Brewfather is just laid out in a manner that makes more sense. I think of it more like when my wife was buying a DSLR, she preferred the Nikon because how the controls were laid out made more sense to her than the Canon. You can make great beer with a handful of programs, but why retrain my brain to use Beersmith when Brewfather works great?
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: Drewch on April 30, 2021, 01:29:59 am
I went with BrewFather over BeerSmith mobile pretty much solely because BrewFather has a try-before-you model and BeerSmith Mobile wants you pay up front (maybe there's a mobile demo, but if so, it didn't come up when I was searching).
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: 69franx on April 30, 2021, 02:40:11 am
I've been using BS for almost 8 years now. I downloaded whatever was available for promash when I started but had a tough time getting it to work. BS makes my brew day so simple as long as i spend the time on the front side to get my profiles and recipes in line. The only issue I have had so far has been an IT problem when switching to new laptops. That's not a software issue that's my tech issue, back ups and recovery and all that

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: ttash on April 30, 2021, 03:10:35 pm
 I must be a dinosaur. I'm still using ProMash. I've customized it so that it gives me reliable, repeatable results. On the other hand, I just upped my water game by buying the latest version of BrunWater. One foot in both worlds I guess.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: denny on April 30, 2021, 03:13:18 pm
I must be a dinosaur. I'm still using ProMash. I've customized it so that it gives me reliable, repeatable results. On the other hand, I just upped my water game by buying the latest version of BrunWater. One foot in both worlds I guess.

You're not the only one still on Promash,  although I'm gradually switching over to the GF app to use mIBUs.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: ttash on April 30, 2021, 03:29:21 pm
I must be a dinosaur. I'm still using ProMash. I've customized it so that it gives me reliable, repeatable results. On the other hand, I just upped my water game by buying the latest version of BrunWater. One foot in both worlds I guess.

You're not the only one still on Promash,  although I'm gradually switching over to the GF app to use mIBUs.
What are mIBUs?
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 30, 2021, 03:52:25 pm
MIBUs are a new way of calculating IBUs that is taking more things into account.  Denny and Drew interviewed the developers recently - very interesting and complicated -  my expression above is about as technical as I will get on the subject!
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: ttash on April 30, 2021, 04:16:07 pm
MIBUs are a new way of calculating IBUs that is taking more things into account.  Denny and Drew interviewed the developers recently - very interesting and complicated -  my expression above is about as technical as I will get on the subject!
Modern hop calcs are the one place where ProMash comes up short. I have several recipes where there are no boil additions whatsoever, but multiple heavy whirlpool additions, and I'm getting 30 to 40 IBUs easily (when compared to a  commercial example of known value). ProMash calculates any addition after flame out as zero, and we all know that alpha acids continue to isomerize at temps as low as 190F (or lower).
Did Denny and Drew include this interview in one of their podcasts?
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 30, 2021, 04:22:55 pm
Yes, the guys are technical techies for GF.  Very intelligent and articulate.  I followed what they said but it was like a calculus class and I am decades removed from such, so my head spun a bit.
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: ttash on April 30, 2021, 04:39:39 pm
Same here. That's why I love brewing calculators!
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: denny on April 30, 2021, 05:28:36 pm
Yes, the guys are technical techies for GF.  Very intelligent and articulate.  I followed what they said but it was like a calculus class and I am decades removed from such, so my head spun a bit.

Yeah, me, too.  As I said in the interview, I'm glad I don't have to understand it to use it.  It actually came from a homebrewer in PDX, J.P. Hosom.

https://www.experimentalbrew.com/podcast/episode-130-new-way-figure-out-hops

https://grainfather.com/maximum-international-bitterness-units-in-beer/

https://alchemyoverlord.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/an-on-line-calculator-for-the-mibu-technique/

https://jphosom.github.io/alchemyoverlord/ibu_mIBU.html
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: ttash on April 30, 2021, 06:08:44 pm
Thanks Denny!
Title: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: BrewBama on April 30, 2021, 06:22:43 pm
..., I'm glad I don't have to understand it to use it.  ...

That’s the way I feel about most things in brewing ...and life for that matter. 
Title: Re: BeerSmith vs Brewfather
Post by: denny on April 30, 2021, 07:08:01 pm
..., I'm glad I don't have to understand it to use it.  ...

That’s the way I feel about most things in brewing ...and life for that matter. 

Amen, brother!