Author Topic: Brewing Software - Recommendations?  (Read 3255 times)

Offline desi

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Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« on: April 19, 2016, 12:10:10 PM »
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?

Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 01:34:17 PM »
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.

RPIScotty

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2016, 02:54:45 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.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2016, 02:56:03 PM »
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.


Offline Stevie

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2016, 02:57:45 PM »
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.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2016, 03:02:54 PM »
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.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

RPIScotty

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 03:07:20 PM »
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

Offline Bob357

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 04:19:05 PM »
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.



Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline denny

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 04:35:03 PM »
I have been using Promash for 18 years.  I've tried others and always gone back to Promash.
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RPIScotty

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2016, 04:37:35 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.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 04:42:00 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.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline stpug

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 07:19:51 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?

RPIScotty

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 07:53:16 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.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 12:02:18 PM by RPIScotty »

Offline case thrower

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2016, 08:35:26 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
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Offline stpug

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Re: Brewing Software - Recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2016, 09:05:27 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!