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Old 02-14-2006, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default How do you document your brewing?

I'm new here so be gentle...

I was wondering about taking notes etc as you bew.... Do most brewer keep notes when brewing? Things like date, gravities, times temps etc. I guess like a brewing journal. Does anyone do that? Just wondering what most people do. Seams like a good idea so you can look back and compare things as you do more batches.

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Old 02-14-2006, 12:42 AM   #2
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A fine idea ! I keep a brewlog and record each brew as I do it. Ingredients, time and temp, smells, flavors, airlock activity, gravity readings, etc. It's way useful to replicate a good brew, or ( I suppose) to find out what might've gone wrong with a bad one. Never made a bad one, but some were better than others. By all means, keep records.

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Old 02-14-2006, 12:48 AM   #3
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I keep an excel spreadsheet with all my recipes as well as a brew notes tab for each batch. I also have my LHBS prices for common ingredients linked in the sheet so that I can price out each batch as I put it together. The notes section is for the brew session info- times, temps, oops, and obsesrvations like time to cool, time to boil, any boilovers, yeast activity after proofing, gravity, etc.

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Old 02-14-2006, 12:51 AM   #4
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I keep an Excel spreadsheet for each brew I do. I have a workbook with a couple of worksheets, one I use when doing partial mashes that accounts for the low efficiency I get to help get a starting gravity. Also this serves a recipe template. I have one worksheet where I enter my SG readings and the temp and it has the formula in it to convert to an accurate reading and the final ABV at the end. There is usually another column, or another worksheet where I keep observations of date yeast pitched, initial flavor observations, lag time to fermentation start, any fermentation observations, date racked to secondary, more flavor observations, date bottled and more flavor observations, and then once fully conditioned date of first beer opened, with more observations of course. If I could ever let a batch mature over a long period I would update those observations as well but they seem to dissappear fairly quickly. Its pretty handy, completely unnecessary, but handy. Most people keep paper and pencil logs I believe, and I think programs like promash and others facillitate bookeeping stuff.

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Old 02-14-2006, 12:55 AM   #5
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I use an Excel spreadsheet as well. It is great for info, notes and comments on each brew session.

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Old 02-14-2006, 01:23 AM   #6
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I think keeping notes seperates the brewers who are just lucky and the brewers who are constantly improving. You cant improve much if you dont know what you have done. Taking good notes is important in this respect.

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Old 02-14-2006, 03:15 AM   #7
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did you guys create the excel spreadsheets yourselves... or do you have some sort of template that you use..?? I am about to start my first brew soon and always like to start out right... hate to find out in a month or so I forgot to record something crucial... hehee... Thanks in advance...

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Old 02-14-2006, 05:59 AM   #8
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I just use a plain old notebook and a pen. Keep things like ingrediants, gravity, step by step instructions and so on. If i do it, then i write it down. I assume it would be easier to do it on the computer but id be pretty upset if my computer crashed and i lost everything...

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Old 02-14-2006, 07:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitay
I just use a plain old notebook and a pen. Keep things like ingrediants, gravity, step by step instructions and so on. If i do it, then i write it down. I assume it would be easier to do it on the computer but id be pretty upset if my computer crashed and i lost everything...
This is how I do it. I have a very large formatt art book I think it is and just write everything I can about it. Man I wish I could find the notebook that I keep many years ago.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:07 AM   #10
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I made a pretty elaborate spreadsheet as well--it has formulas where I can enter in my recipe stats and it will figure how much sparge water I need, BU:GU ratio, it figures my efficiency, and if I enter SG/FG it figures the ABV%.

It has some bugs with some of the formulas that I am slowly working on, but it is pretty cool. A little labor intensive too but I enjoy preparing one for each brew session.

I'll share it with you guys when it is complete but right now some of the formulas are messed up.

Orfy also has a really nice spreadsheet he uses--it might be on the link in his profile. Hopefully he adds to this thread as well.

Here is a screen shot of mine:

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