Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Beer Monger on March 29, 2011, 01:42:09 PM

Title: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Beer Monger on March 29, 2011, 01:42:09 PM
I've never used any, but I'm thinking about checking out brewing software to see what it can offer me.

Suggestions for a good program/good place to start?

Are the paid programs worth it or are the free ones just as good?

Thanks!  :) 
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: bluesman on March 29, 2011, 01:48:18 PM
There a few really good ones. I finally settled with beersmith. I have to say that it works well and gives me everything I need to get through my brew sessions.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: timberati on March 29, 2011, 02:34:47 PM
If you run straight Mac OS X (no Boot Camp), there is currently only one choice: BeerAlchemy. BeerSmith is developing a Mac version but it wasn't out as of a few days ago.

I run BeerAlchemy ($30 registration) and like it (though I can't compare it to others). It has a sync feature so that I can have my recipes, batches, ingredient lists, and calculators on my iPhone (I don't know if they have a version that runs on Android OS). On the down side, BA doesn't load xml recipe files (it claims it does but every xml file I've attempted failed). It does import .rec recipes, with some tweaking.


For smart phones, Sparge Pal is free and has some nice features.

Good luck with the search.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Beer Monger on March 29, 2011, 02:40:06 PM
I'm PC, but thanks for the info. 
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on March 29, 2011, 02:42:35 PM
I've been using BeerTools Pro exclusively for the past several years. There are both Mac and PC versions.

ProMash, BeerSmith, BeerTools, etc. are all powerful apps. It really comes down to which one is most intuitive to you. These programs all have free demos. Check em out and decide for yourself.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: BarleynYeast on March 29, 2011, 02:44:47 PM
I have 50 + batches with Beersmith with no complaints.
It also has a 21 day free trial. http://www.beersmith.com/
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: a10t2 on March 29, 2011, 02:45:30 PM
If you run straight Mac OS X (no Boot Camp), there is currently only one choice: BeerAlchemy.

What about BeerTools Pro, QBrew, Brew Target? Granted that was from memory, so I'm probably forgetting some.

beer_monger, did you try a search? This has been covered many times:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=406.0
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=6413.0
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4825.0
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Beer Monger on March 29, 2011, 02:46:05 PM
OK.  Time to go get a few trial versions & see which I like.  Thanks guys.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Tim McManus on March 29, 2011, 03:02:01 PM
On the down side, BA doesn't load xml recipe files (it claims it does but every xml file I've attempted failed).

It can but you have to export one recipe per XML file or else it'll fail.  I tried to batch export from Beersmith to BeerAlchemy and it only worked when I exported one recipe at a time.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: theDarkSide on March 29, 2011, 03:07:39 PM
Another Beersmith ( and former Promash ) user here.  If you do go with Beersmith, you may want to ask them what the policy is on upgrading.  He is due to release a new version soon ( I hope ) and it would suck if you had to pay to upgrade shortly after paying for the current version.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: denny on March 29, 2011, 03:11:35 PM
I've been a Promash user for 13 years.  I absolutely love it.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Beer Monger on March 29, 2011, 03:11:46 PM
Another Beersmith ( and former Promash ) user here.  If you do go with Beersmith, you may want to ask them what the policy is on upgrading.  He is due to release a new version soon ( I hope ) and it would suck if you had to pay to upgrade shortly after paying for the current version.

Thanks for that info!  I'll definitely check.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: colinhayes on March 29, 2011, 04:50:27 PM
Another Beersmith ( and former Promash ) user here.  If you do go with Beersmith, you may want to ask them what the policy is on upgrading.  He is due to release a new version soon ( I hope ) and it would suck if you had to pay to upgrade shortly after paying for the current version.

I emailed Brad earlier this month, and he confirmed that if you purchase now, the upgrade price will be reduced... didn't specify by how much, though.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Beer Monger on March 29, 2011, 04:54:06 PM
Another Beersmith ( and former Promash ) user here.  If you do go with Beersmith, you may want to ask them what the policy is on upgrading.  He is due to release a new version soon ( I hope ) and it would suck if you had to pay to upgrade shortly after paying for the current version.

I emailed Brad earlier this month, and he confirmed that if you purchase now, the upgrade price will be reduced... didn't specify by how much, though.
I emailed Jeffrey Donovan about it (listed on the software's website) - so I'll post back when I get a response...
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: gordonstrong on March 29, 2011, 04:57:14 PM
Another Beersmith ( and former Promash ) user here.  If you do go with Beersmith, you may want to ask them what the policy is on upgrading.  He is due to release a new version soon ( I hope ) and it would suck if you had to pay to upgrade shortly after paying for the current version.

I emailed Brad earlier this month, and he confirmed that if you purchase now, the upgrade price will be reduced... didn't specify by how much, though.
I emailed Jeffrey Donovan about it (listed on the software's website) - so I'll post back when I get a response...

Good luck with that...
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Beer Monger on March 29, 2011, 05:19:14 PM
Another Beersmith ( and former Promash ) user here.  If you do go with Beersmith, you may want to ask them what the policy is on upgrading.  He is due to release a new version soon ( I hope ) and it would suck if you had to pay to upgrade shortly after paying for the current version.

I emailed Brad earlier this month, and he confirmed that if you purchase now, the upgrade price will be reduced... didn't specify by how much, though.
I emailed Jeffrey Donovan about it (listed on the software's website) - so I'll post back when I get a response...

Good luck with that...

Lol.  Oh.  OK.  He's listed as the software 'Author' on the site, is he bad about emailing back? 
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: timberati on March 29, 2011, 05:25:04 PM
On the down side, BA doesn't load xml recipe files (it claims it does but every xml file I've attempted failed).

It can but you have to export one recipe per XML file or else it'll fail.  I tried to batch export from Beersmith to BeerAlchemy and it only worked when I exported one recipe at a time.
Tim, you must know the magic incantations! Or, you're holding your tongue in just the right place.  :P Teach me. I've never tried to import more than one xml file. I did a quick search engine (okay I Googled) and found that Kent Software said that many of the xml files were not really "beerxml" files. So I just typed in the recipe. It took only a few minutes longer.

If you can send some links to places where the xml files do import, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Tim McManus on March 29, 2011, 06:01:38 PM
If you can send some links to places where the xml files do import, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

I am using BeerSmith 1.4 to do the export.

You need to navigate to the recipe you want to export.  Select it (highlight it), and right click on it.  A menu will appear and you want to select Export As...

The Export Wizard window will appear.  You want to make sure that you have selected "Only the Items that are Selected" and use the BeerXML File Format listed under Use the Following Format.  Click OK to save the file.

Launch BeerAlchemy and click on the Import icon.  Import recipes.  Click Import.  Find your BeerXML file and import it.  The next thing that will appear is the XML import Wizard.  This is where you reconcile the data from the XML recipe to the data contained in BeerAlchemy (things like yeast names, ingredient names, water chemistry, etc.).

I just did an export/import of a doppelbock recipe and it worked perfectly.

Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: denny on March 29, 2011, 06:49:09 PM
Good luck with that...

Lol.  Oh.  OK.  He's listed as the software 'Author' on the site, is he bad about emailing back?  
[/quote]

Jeff's life has been turned upside down taking care of a very ill wife.  He sometimes takes a long time to answer emails.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Beer Monger on March 29, 2011, 06:51:20 PM
Good luck with that...

Lol.  Oh.  OK.  He's listed as the software 'Author' on the site, is he bad about emailing back?  

Jeff's life has been turned upside down taking care of a very ill wife.  He sometimes takes a long time to answer emails.
[/quote]

Ooh.  That's not good.  Of course, I had no way to know that. 
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: spikedhelmet on March 29, 2011, 07:33:18 PM
I'm with Denny.  I started with Promash many years ago and will use no other.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: timberati on March 29, 2011, 08:59:03 PM
If you can send some links to places where the xml files do import, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
You need to navigate to the recipe you want to export.  Select it (highlight it), and right click on it.  A menu will appear and you want to select Export As...
For my Mac after right clicking I used the "Save link as..." option and hot darn, I was able to import an xml file.
Thanks for the help, Tim. This makes copying recipes a great deal easier.

To the Brew Cave, Robin!
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: weithman5 on March 29, 2011, 09:47:34 PM
i tend to do all my stuff by hand. i have been playing with some things that help with recipe design.   brew pal for my iphone. also have been playing with brewsmarts on line and iphone link.  i like the tastybrew web site and the brewery.org web site. nothing gives me a good print out with everything i like so i will print something then mark it up withmy own notes.
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: Beer Monger on April 06, 2011, 05:16:53 PM
After trying both, I think I like the look/feel of Beersmith a bit better. 

I'll probably work up my next few recipes using the trial versions of both, but right now, I'm thinking I'll be buying Beersmith.   8)
Title: Re: Favorite brewing software?
Post by: SoPHiSTo on April 07, 2011, 07:43:11 PM

I'll probably work up my next few recipes using the trial versions of both, but right now, I'm thinking I'll be buying Beersmith.   8)

Good choice