(free) Open Source Brewing Program (win & Mac?)

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t2000kw

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(Supposedly a Mac version is available, too)

It's "Beersmith compatible" but it's not Beersmith by any stretch of the imagination. If you have Brewsmith, don't waste your time. If you don't use any brewing program yet, this might be worth a look. And if it lives up to its promises, the recipes you save should be able to be used with Beersmith if and when you decide to go with that (much more full-featured) program.

However, it's free, and for those of you who don't have the money to get Beersmith (it's been a cash-strapped year for me, too!), this might be enough for you. It prints out brewing instructions and I guess from the description it has timers that go off to tell you when to add this or that, etc. To use those, however, you'll need your computer nearby, or take a laptop to your brewing area. Be careful that you don't get wort on your keyboard or you might kiss your laptop goodbye!!! There is a *possible* fix using distilled or RO water to rinse it off, but it's best to avoid this scenario in the first place. :)

If you don't like it, you didn't pay anything for it, and it has very few features and options so you didn't waste much of your time trying to figure out how to use it.

Most of you who try it out will first want to go to Tools, Options, and deselect "use US units."


<http://sourceforge.net/projects/brewtarget/>


(There's supposed to be a MAC version there, but I don't see it at the Sourceforge web site--look around and you might find it if you have a Mac. You will need the QT library installed for it to work on a Mac.)


from the developer--see first message in the post:


<http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f84/brewtarget-1-1-free-open-source-brewing-software-123353/>


"After using it to completely nail my volumes, OG, mash temps, etc. on my last batch, I think brewtarget 1.1 is ready for the public. It is completely free, compatible with Beersmith, and open source. I have provided a windows version, mac version, and the source code at the download page: Download here."


Main Features


* Brewday mode: generates a set of instructions and timers so that you're not running around like crazy on brew day.
* Automatic mash temperature/volume calculations: nail your mash temps and pre-boil volume so that you always end up with the right amount of beer at the end.
* Style checking: make sure you're recipe will meet guidelines.
* Automatic unit conversion: enter and display measurements in whatever units you like. Enter 1.0 gal, 3.785 L, 4 qt, or 768 tsp (for example).


When you download it, please go to About->Manual and work through the simple example recipe so that you get to play with most of the features.


Common "issues"
Using mac version, and it crashes before starting up: go here and download the Qt 4.5 free framework. (I didn't preserve the link but it's on the forum message linked to above.)


Why are the equipment volumes in teaspoons: they are not. They are in whatever units you want them to be. Enter 1.0 gal for 1 gallon. Enter 1.0 L for one liter. Enter 2088 mL for 2.088 liters. Enter (pretty much) anything you want. See the about->help.
 

Gulf

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Eager to look at it, but there was no 64bit Linux version. Tried to compile my own without success (I usually don't have a problem doing things like that). :(
 

WarmBeer

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beersmith can be free :ph34r:
Dude, I've got to call you out on that!

I'm an advocate for free, as in open-source, software, even though I earn my living consulting in the Microsoft space.

BeerSmith is a great program, it is cheap for what you get, and is basically developed by one man. The more people support Brad Smith's development efforts, the better the software will become as he will be able to devote more time and research into it.

Just man-up, pay your measly $25 (you'll have saved more than that in two months by switching from commercial beers to homebrew) and use the software with a clear conscience.
 

PistolPatch

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[My power just blew in the house so the below is my memory of what I spent about an hour writing :rolleyes:]

+1 WarmBeer

t2000 - Thanks for giving us a heads up on some new brewing software. A better title for your topic would have been, "BrewTarget - Free New Brewing Software." Your original post was a tad hard to follow in it's intention but I have downloaded the program and had a very quick look.

At the end of this post, I'll write my instant likes/dislikes.

Before I get there though, all the brewing software I own or have used has major flaws - very major flaws. This includes BeerSmith. While Brad Smith's dedication is not in question (he has always responded to any email I have written him immediately on lost passwords or article content) there are some very basic errors in the program. For example, try changing your Mash Tun Lauter Deadspace from 1lt to 50lts. You would expect the water required for your brew day to increase by 49lts. It doesn't! There are several other major mathematical errors on the volume side of the program.

ProMash has similiar problems. Because these problems have been known for quite some time and never fixed, I suspect the whole programs have been based on some core circular references which would mean the whole program needs complete re-writing. Certainly for these two programs if you are adjusting recipes, you at least need to muck around in Excel or have a piece of paper handy whilst you play the game of twenty questions until you get the required answer.

BeerAlchemy is the one program I know of that does not require this but it only runs on Mac. (I ended up getting a cheap Mac laptop just so as I could use this program.)

Brewing software can be handy but with the major ones having such basic mathematical errors, they can end up being more confusing than helpful. (If you don't believe me on their basic mistakes, do a search on AHB on brewing software. You won't even see the MLT error I mentioned above as there are bigger errors more focussed on!!!!)

When starting out, you can't beat a good basic spreadsheet and even with more experience, you will still use that same spreadsheet years down the track. Brewing software will just be a checking and playing around with tool (exception BeerAlchemy to some extent.)

Anyway, here are a few instant likes/dislike on BrewTarget...

1. On installation, no desktop icon. Had to re-read your first post and then search my directories for BrewTarget to re-launch it.

2. The batch size is actually correctly described unlike more popular programs.

3. The Manual (Help?) screen cannot be enlarged so very hard to read.

4. The interface is very amateur.

5. The idea of having a brewday timer etc is VERY good and should be in ALL brewing software.

But, to work out how to use this program and see if it actually does not have the same mathematical faults as the other Windows products would take several hours. Finding out whether it has the same design errors (such as not being able to open up 2 recipe screens or program versions at once) would take even longer.

I doubt this program will have solved those errors. Far better off sticking with a spreadsheet.

Last weekend I was shown this spreadsheet written by janh here on AHB. Look for his latest version in that thread. I reckon that spreadsheet, on just a little examination, looks far more promising than most brewing software I have seen.

Donya janh!
Pat
 

katzke

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Brewing software can be handy but with the major ones having such basic mathematical errors, they can end up being more confusing than helpful. (If you don't believe me on their basic mistakes, do a search on AHB on brewing software. You won't even see the MLT error I mentioned above as there are bigger errors more focussed on!!!!)

When starting out, you can't beat a good basic spreadsheet and even with more experience, you will still use that same spreadsheet years down the track. Brewing software will just be a checking and playing around with tool (exception BeerAlchemy to some extent.)

Anyway, here are a few instant likes/dislike on BrewTarget...

2. The batch size is actually correctly described unlike more popular programs.


Last weekend I was shown this spreadsheet written by janh here on AHB. Look for his latest version in that thread. I reckon that spreadsheet, on just a little examination, looks far more promising than most brewing software I have seen.

Donya janh!
Pat

Words mean things and the brewing world seems to mess with words more then any other I have been around.

I am not sure what batch size used to mean but to me it is the beer I will finish with. If a program has a figure for batch size and in the setup has a place for loss to trub then I would expect the batch size to be what I get out of the fermentor. I just found out that the program I have been using calculates water wrong. I only found that out after using the BIAB water spreadsheet. The program is the open source version of straingebrew. I knew it was not perfect but was willing to work around some quirks for the free price.

So now I am off to modify a spreadsheet based program for BIAB that will give the correct figures and water volumes (in the correct gallons and pounds not that litters of kittens like you use). The hops and grain look like they are correct. I just need to work on the water and mash settings. Batch size is not what I think is correct in this one either.
 

Franko

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BeerAlchemy is the one program I know of that does not require this but it only runs on Mac. (I ended up getting a cheap Mac laptop just so as I could use this program.)


Beer Alchemy is the best IMHO.
old iMacs are available for around $30-$50 these days on ebay and are great to have in the beer shed ,garage etc

Franko
 

bigfridge

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... all the brewing software I own or have used has major flaws - very major flaws. ... For example, try changing your Mash Tun Lauter Deadspace from 1lt to 50lts. You would expect the water required for your brew day to increase by 49lts. It doesn't!

Pat

I have heard these claims before but have never bothered to investigate as I find that Beersmith predicts my volumes 'to the drop'. This has been the case whether brewing 60, 600 or 1300 litres.


With my copy of Beersmith (version 1_40 build 028) I get the following values:

Lauter Tun dead space set to 1 litre, Sparge water is 40.7 litres and total water is 77.7 litres.

Lauter Tun dead space set to 51 litre, Sparge water is 90.7 litres and total water is 127.7 litres.


Where is the problem ?

Dave
 

PistolPatch

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Pat

I have heard these claims before but have never bothered to investigate as I find that Beersmith predicts my volumes 'to the drop'. This has been the case whether brewing 60, 600 or 1300 litres.


With my copy of Beersmith (version 1_40 build 028) I get the following values:

Lauter Tun dead space set to 1 litre, Sparge water is 40.7 litres and total water is 77.7 litres.

Lauter Tun dead space set to 51 litre, Sparge water is 90.7 litres and total water is 127.7 litres.


Where is the problem ?

Dave

Dave, I am wrong.

I just checked this again and the figures stack up. A few months ago, I spent a bit of time on this and was getting no change in the liquor to prepare???? I must have been doing something wrong but have no idea what?

Maybe I was drunk :blink:

It'd be nice if Beersnith cleaned up the, "Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller," problem as this causes a heap of confusion.

Thanks for the correction Dave. I was totally convinced of that error.

Scratching my head now....

:wacko:
Pat
 

bigfridge

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Dave, I am wrong.

I just checked this again and the figures stack up. A few months ago, I spent a bit of time on this and was getting no change in the liquor to prepare???? I must have been doing something wrong but have no idea what?

It'd be nice if Beersnith cleaned up the, "Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller," problem as this causes a heap of confusion.

Thanks for the correction Dave. I was totally convinced of that error.

Pat

Pat,

Regardless of what other people say about you - I think that you are a top bloke. Not many would be man enough to admit when they are wrong. :icon_cheers:


But I think that you will be an even bigger man when I finish with you <_<


What "Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller" problem ? I had to Google it as again I don't experience such problems, and this link to the Beersmith forum pretty much explains it all.

You would appear to be confusing the difference between "extract efficiency" and "equipment efficiency". BeerSmith is only concerned with the overall efficiency as it looks at what extract was available in the grains etc compared with the extract that ended up in the fermenter. This figure is indifferent to where the extract was lost - it could be left in the mash tun or at the bottom of the boiler - its calculation does not care.

The linked post gives the example of:

Enter 5.5 gallons as the Final Volume and 0.5 gallons as the Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller. Example OG = 1.058
Enter 6 gallons as the Final Volume and 0 gallons as the Loss to Boil Trub and Chiller. Example OG = 1.053


If you remember that the extract efficency does not change by the amount of extract lost to trub & chiller, the above two examples are identical. If the efficency doesn't change then of course you will get a lower gravity if you have a higher volume into the fermenter.

You can express this mathematically as: 58 x 5.5 / 6 = 53

If you want to get the same gravity and volume into your fermenter, while throwing wort away as trub, then of course you need to either increase your extract efficiency or add more grain. If you don't, then extra volume = lower gravity !

Are there any other Beersmith 'myths & legends' that I can help you with ? :rolleyes:

Dave
 

PistolPatch

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I think that you will be an even bigger man when I finish with you <_<
LOL!!!

Dave, I think the confusing bit of Loss to Trub and Chiller for new brewers is not so much a gravity issue but more a volume issue. When you change the figure, it does not change the final volume. That's the bit that throws people into confusion. There have been many threads on here dealing with this issue so it definitely is a problem. Jayse often answers the question when it comes up.

I think it is easier for new brewers to see the process in a spreadsheet. I wrote one up for BIABrewers recently just to get them under way. (Still have to add some gravity calcs to it.) Here you go...

View attachment BIAB_Equipment_Set_Up_Volumes_140909__1_.xls

I think something like this where you can see everything on the one page can be helpful for the new guys.

A few things that would be nice to see in all the brewing programs would be the ability to open two windows of the program. It gets annoying closing windows all the time. The other thing that would be tops would be the "slider" and automatic adjusting features of BeerAlchemy. For example, in BA if you change your volume, it changes all the ingredient amounts for you. You've gotta love that!

Still very confused on that mash tun liquor thing. I even remember writing to AndrewQLD about it???

I think I am going mad!!!!!!

Spot ya Dave,
Pat
 

bigfridge

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Dave, I think the confusing bit of Loss to Trub and Chiller for new brewers is not so much a gravity issue but more a volume issue. When you change the figure, it does not change the final volume. That's the bit that throws people into confusion. There have been many threads on here dealing with this issue so it definitely is a problem.

Pat

What we have here is a failure to communicate

Brewing calcs are very simple - you take starches and sugars and end up with wort in a fermenter. When you do these calcs, you can either take a given amount of ingredients and calculate the result, or you can reverse the equation and see what ingredients that you need to acheive a given result.

It is a personal preference what way you would like to use the equations. In my experience (I have been writing and using brewing software for about 20 years) I want to brew a given quantity of beer that meets the target specs. One key target is the volume of wort produced.

To my way of thinking Pat, you and all the easily confused new brewers don't have a valid complaint. The instructions in Beersmith clearly say that the Final Volume is 'The batch size or amount of wort intended to go into the fermenter at the end of brewing', but your complaint is that when you use it in a way that it isn't designed to be used, it behaves in a different way to what you wanted :eek: You are required to specify the final volume but complain whenBeersmith won't do it for you.

Put simply it is your job as the brewer to specify what ingredients you want to use, and the volumes you want to make - beersmith will calculate the gravities and bitterness for you. Because it doesn't work the way that you want it to, doesn't make it wrong - you are using it the wrong way. It is a bit like complaining that your car has only 1 forward gear but 4 reverse because you like driving backwards down the road :lol:

A few things that would be nice to see in all the brewing programs would be the ability to open two windows of the program. It gets annoying closing windows all the time.

Can you explain why you need multiple windows open ? Do you work on multiple recipes at the one time ?

I find if you have everything set up to match your equipment and ingredients on hand then you can do everything from the one screen. Even if you do want to look at something else you just select the required menu option and Beersmith automatically saves your work before opening your desired window.

If you want to use another recipe as a base, then you just duplicate it and make your desired changes.

For example, in BA if you change your volume, it changes all the ingredient amounts for you. You've gotta love that!

I do love it - which is why I use Beersmith ! The 'sliders' are actually the 'Scale' button where you can change not only the Volume, but also the equipment parameters including the brewhouse efficiency.

Sounds to me that you many people would be better off asking questions like 'how do I do this in Beersmith/Promash/etc' rather than 'this program is wrong - why doesn't it work the way I think that it should'.

For me, Beersmith gives me what I want plus I am probably one of the few brewers who has had a beersmith recipe checked by a lab analysis which confirmed the predicted and actual gravities and bitterness - exactly.

Dave
 

PistolPatch

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Dave, that's another great post.

I can't believe I haven't seen the bloody scale thing before and to tell you the truth, no one I have used the program with has shown me that either. Can't tell you how many hours I used to spend scaling recipes - grrrrrrr! That is bloody good to know. Thanks!!!!

I think I am starting to see, for the first time, thanks to you that the final volume problem is not a problem at all. I will take a whole fresh look at this when I am not buggered. The standard advice given here on the forum is to set your loss to kettle trub and chiller to zero and set your batch size for how much you want in the kettle at the end of the boil. I suspect from your posts, I am going to find this is incorrect advice.* Thanks again for the fresh look.

Great stuff!

In order to save some dignity :D , I still think it would be nice to be able to have two recipes open or not to have to close a recipe to use one of the calculators etc. I am definiteley right on this :unsure: :lol:

Thanks for your highly informative posts above though I might have to PM you a question or two when I next have time to review some old threads and then play around with some figs. Looking forward to that...

Pat

* Maybe not incorrect but used for the wrong reason.
 

katzke

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I have not used BeerSmtih for quite some time (1.4).

I remember the discussion on dead space and other problems and trying it out. Maybe it was fixed in an update.

For me it does not matter as I have moved on and no longer need the program to brew. I will stop giving my old impressions of the program because they may no longer be valid.
 

bigfridge

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Dave, that's another great post.

I can't believe I haven't seen the bloody scale thing before and to tell you the truth, no one I have used the program with has shown me that either. Can't tell you how many hours I used to spend scaling recipes - grrrrrrr! That is bloody good to know. Thanks!!!!

I think I am starting to see, for the first time, thanks to you that the final volume problem is not a problem at all. I will take a whole fresh look at this when I am not buggered. The standard advice given here on the forum is to set your loss to kettle trub and chiller to zero and set your batch size for how much you want in the kettle at the end of the boil. I suspect from your posts, I am going to find this is incorrect advice.* Thanks again for the fresh look.

Great stuff!

In order to save some dignity :D , I still think it would be nice to be able to have two recipes open or not to have to close a recipe to use one of the calculators etc. I am definiteley right on this :unsure: :lol:

Thanks for your highly informative posts above though I might have to PM you a question or two when I next have time to review some old threads and then play around with some figs. Looking forward to that...

Pat

* Maybe not incorrect but used for the wrong reason.

No probs - I always welcome sensible questions from nice people.

Dave
 

muckanic

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Brewing calcs are very simple - you take starches and sugars and end up with wort in a fermenter. When you do these calcs, you can either take a given amount of ingredients and calculate the result, or you can reverse the equation and see what ingredients that you need to acheive a given result.

So how about colour calculations? I don't know whether it's just that I have just been looking in the wrong places, but none of the common brew books contain an algorithm. This is of more than cosmetic interest, as Palmer for example bases his specialty malt acid buffering technique upon colour. Whether he should be doing it that way or not is another matter ... Then there is the related issue of water treatment. There can be a huge difference between replicating some region's water supply, and simply dumping salts into the mashtun. Given the confusion which reigns amongst brewing authors, I'm not so confident that all the brew software gets it either.
 

bigfridge

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So how about colour calculations? I don't know whether it's just that I have just been looking in the wrong places, but none of the common brew books contain an algorithm. This is of more than cosmetic interest, as Palmer for example bases his specialty malt acid buffering technique upon colour. Whether he should be doing it that way or not is another matter ... Then there is the related issue of water treatment. There can be a huge difference between replicating some region's water supply, and simply dumping salts into the mashtun. Given the confusion which reigns amongst brewing authors, I'm not so confident that all the brew software gets it either.

Colour - there is no algorithm possible for 3 reasons:

1. There is no need because each grain spec gives the colour of the wort obtained during the laboratory mash

2. It is not possible to define the colour of your finished beer as it depends on so many variables present in 'your' brewery. The wort starts out as the product of all the grains in the mash, but then darkens due to the reactions that occur during boiling and lighten due to the conditions present during fermentation. But all the decent brew calcs attempt to estimate this effect for 'normal' worts in a 'normal' brewery.

3. It doesn't really matter anyway - unless you are only concerned with the look of your beer, but I and all the brewers I know, prefer to also drink the beer to experience it's flavour.

I am not familiar with Palmers approach to using colour but a bit of experience with a few brews should allow anyone to understand how things are affected in their brewery.

Now onto salt additions. I agree that there is a bit of difference between 'replicating some region's water supply, and simply dumping salts into the mashtun' - but I would say that you should not do either. :unsure:

Most of the specs quoted for the worlds brewing regions either vary wildly due to the season or actual source of the water or are technically difficient for providing the ideal conditions during mashing and fermentation. Examples of this are the Ca levels of Pilsen being too low for proper yeast and enzyme performance, high carbonate levels leading to pH problems or lack of zinc additions due to an artificial Reinheitsgebot (the "German Beer Purity Law" ).

It is far better to approach it from the point of view of producing the optimum conditions for the desirable reactions that you wish to promote, and then 'manufacturing' a water to suit.

Both Promash and Beersmith have colour and water calculators so I am not sure what your question is.

David
 

MarkBastard

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With regards to the open source programme, I gave it a go, saw the way it handles metric measurements, and then promptly deleted it.
 

muckanic

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Both Promash and Beersmith have colour and water calculators so I am not sure what your question is.

1. How do they compute colour?

2. Do they heed the solubilities of poorly soluble salts when attempting to replicate regional water supplies?
 

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