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Garfield

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After a chat with @nathan2010 at the grain split, I'm tempted to upgrade my brewing IT. Over the years I've used fairly basic phone apps and Scotty's excel sheet for recipe design only. Everything else has been managed the old fashion way.

Can I please welcome some discussion about everyone's brewing/fermenting software:

What are you using?
What can it do?
What are it's limitations?
What is its cost?
Do you recommend it?

I'm very interested in knowing what IBUers have experienced with this.

Cheers
 

Cortez The Killer

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What are you using?
- Promash
What can it do?
- All the beery things I need
What are its limitations?
- No longer developed / downloadable / supported
What is its cost?
- Can't be purchased
Do you recommend it?
- Yes. It has that sweet "Windows 3.11" feel and functionality and will do just about everything you need

In all seriousness - I have a cracked copy here if you wanna have a play. It's all I've ever used and does everything I've ever needed. You can't import grain / hop specs - so these need to entered manually (there are enough in there to get you started anyways)

Cheers
 

koots

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On a serious note - Beersmith got a run for a while but these days it's whatever calculator on the first page of google can tell me whether my grain bill will get me 1030, 1040 or 1050. The rest is based upon what's lying on the floor, and simple measurements.
 

contrarian

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I have the beersmith 3 app on my phone and I sometimes use it to design recipes, normally only if I am doing something out of the ordinary. For simple recipes I just know what my system will produce for a given grain bill and work from there. Same with hop additions.

I am probably the wrong person to be contributing here!
 

shacked

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BrewMate
Free
Good
Only supported on windows; doesn't support step mashing (if that's your thing)
Requires a bit of customising for various yeast, malts etc
 

///

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Koots, I have a quiver of spreadsheets... some with formulas in them and all.

Some may or may not be from various breweries...

Measuring may be for wussies, but calculating and forecasting is where it is at.
 

Markbeer

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Hi

I use brewmate sometimes butf find myself using the brewers friend site more and more.

But I am happy to be within 10 gravity points.......

Mark
 

dblunn

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I have a variety but I tend to use Beersmith. I also have Beer Tools Pro, Brewers friend etc. I also use Bruin water for my water calcs as it gives better results than Beersmith.
 

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Sorry, did not add any value on previous post (nothing new there), my question is the purpose for the software. Aka

* recipe design
* ingredient usage and management
* management suite for PO’s, beer shipments etc

For recipes, I use a few spreadsheets and general ‘know how much to use‘ as well as beer tools and Beersmith. Beersmith is also good for scaling recipes, for eg. most home brew recipes I would get the efficiencies were 65% and thru the mash filter I would get 88%. Also good for colour. Bad for late whirlpool hop additions BU calcs.

Ingredients - shit to run via excel, best is the cloud based Ekos Brewmaster. Ekos will also cover all of question 3, but hard to justify for home use. Also works on all devises such as phones, tablets and desktops. Exports to zero and myob.

A new cloud based software has been released is Beer 30 which is like Ekos on steroids. My problem is that it is too many things you can use and extract, it is almost the case of having to be in front of the screen 90% of the time rather than in the brewery dragging hoses. Also caters for multi device use and API exports for accounting.

Last I have used is Netsuite, fark me run away. It is like Orchestrated Beer from SAP, expect to hire a team of South Asian code monkeys (no racial reference there, serious coders are called, well code monkeys, and Indian/Pakistanis do it better than most from experience) with millions needed before the lights even come on.

Scotty
 
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Garfield

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Thanks lads some great thoughts there. I've tried a few mentioned there but have yet to find something that covers all bases. Ideally the bases would be:

Recipe design - most software I've tried has some limitations here. Examples: no hop stand IBU calculation, incomplete mash report, some ingredients cannot be customised, won't store custom ingredients entered, some general inaccuracies, etc. I might be dreaming to think there's an app that does everything but hence our discussion.

Water report and adjustment - I do this on another app but would be nice to consolidate.

Fermentation monitoring - I don't mind walking into the shed four times a day to check an active ferment but it would be nice to have it in the palm of my hand.

Not so interested in stock management at this point. Dave, it might be a worthwhile solution for your malt management
 

Garfield

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Sounds like beersmith is getting a good wrap from most of you guys. Anyone got a complaint about it?

I just looked at brewersfriend.com recipe generator and I'm very impressed. It has voyager malt in the list and a built in water builder
 

contrarian

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To be honest I find BeerSmith a bit fiddly and to while you can enter custom data in there I have never bothered to spend the time and have just used approximations.

I also don’t think there is any software that handles hops after flame out well or accurately. There are too many variables that aren’t accounted for in anything I have come across. There’s almost an assumption that at flame out a chiller starts and the wort temp instantly drops to below 80C. It’s a bit of a dark art and I just think you need to figure out how to get the flavours you want with the way you brew.

For fermentation there are devices that will track what is happening that you can monitor online but I don’t think any brewing software directly integrates that data at this point.

When I first started out this is all I used for years and it was pretty accurate and helpful in understanding how the process worked https://www.biabrewer.info/download/file.php?id=5347&sid=eea64fc63f015c74c6199e9a6273123a

It doesn’t do water or remember ingredients though.
 

dblunn

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For monitoring fermentation there is the iSpindle which is a open source version of the Tilt. There are apps (as well as plugins for CraftBeerPi) that seem ok, but I have not used one.
 

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I use Beersmith, but agree with Adrian. There is no silver bullet .... you just get used to things.
 

sponge

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Thanks lads some great thoughts there. I've tried a few mentioned there but have yet to find something that covers all bases. Ideally the bases would be:

Recipe design - most software I've tried has some limitations here. Examples: no hop stand IBU calculation, incomplete mash report, some ingredients cannot be customised, won't store custom ingredients entered, some general inaccuracies, etc. I might be dreaming to think there's an app that does everything but hence our discussion.

Water report and adjustment - I do this on another app but would be nice to consolidate.

Fermentation monitoring - I don't mind walking into the shed four times a day to check an active ferment but it would be nice to have it in the palm of my hand.

Not so interested in stock management at this point. Dave, it might be a worthwhile solution for your malt management
Why are you checking the ferment 4 times a day?!?
 

Garfield

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Why are you checking the ferment 4 times a day?!?

Yeah I know I figured this would attract a response. I'm being somewhat hyperbolic, but suppose:

I brew my annual dopplebock with considerably more care than other slap together pales. I'm trying to sustain the lower end of lager temp within a few degrees and I'm not getting along with my thermostat on the first day. Occasionally, I have justified visiting the fridge frequently until things level out. I've had a lager jump into the 20s within half a day when I get slack.

This isn't a common problem but I would consider adding the luxury of mobile monitoring if it was cheap to set up. Not half as important as recipe development though.

Anyone else using fermentation monitoring?
 

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