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Old 06-12-2009, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Keeping Records

I am just curious what you guys keep track of for each brew. I am only doing extracts right now, so I am sure you need to track a lot more. So what should I put into my journal?

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Old 06-12-2009, 05:03 PM   #2
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Everything!

Times, temps, quants, measurements, moon phase, pee breaks, etc.....

So that when you decide you want to duplicate a particular brew you can get really upset that you can't find your notes, especially when you took such good ones.

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Old 06-12-2009, 05:06 PM   #3
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Prime, I am not being flippant, but everything.

Maybe I overdue it, but I right out all this instructions in a journal and then I take notes during the process. I record temps, times, gravities, everything I can. I am only about 10 batches in, but this has helped my brewing tremendously. My first few brews, something seemed to always happen that would really worry me. I was able to eliminate those things everytime I brewed again.

Another option is to use a brewing worksheet. I found some very good ones on this site:
Brewer's Lair

Under the make beer section, go to worksheets. They have ones specifically for extract, extract with steeping grains, partial mash and all grain.

This is a really good start to the minimum stuff you should recording.

Hope this helped and good luck!

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Old 06-12-2009, 05:30 PM   #4
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Thanks.

The notes from my first brew are very sparse. I didn't keep track of things as well as I know I can. I have an idea of some things I can do differently next time. Just want to make sure I am not leaving anything out.

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Old 06-12-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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When I started I kept track of absolutely everything. Now I only keep track of things which vary from brew to brew (which isn't much once you have a consistent process going) or when something deviated from my typical procedure.

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Old 06-12-2009, 06:11 PM   #6
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I only keep track of my numbers. 98% of brewing is repetition, and after a while, it is like clockwork. I just make sure I hit the right numbers.

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Old 06-12-2009, 06:31 PM   #7
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I generally speaking can keep track of what I did for long enough to taste the final product before I forget. If it's worth making again, I write down everything: ingredients, procedure, temperatures, etc. If it's not, I don't bother with it. It helps that I usually am using a recipe and procedure I found online, so if my memory is fuzzy (as it sometimes is after trying the final product) I can go back to that and double check.

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Old 06-12-2009, 06:44 PM   #8
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I use BeerSmith to keep track of my recipes, and print out a "brew day sheet" each time I brew. This gives me a sheet to write on, and then stick in the brew binder. I record the following metrics that are not provided by BeerSmith:

  • 1st Runnings Gravity
  • Final Runnings Gravity
  • Pre-Boil Gravity
  • Gravity into the Fermenter
  • Total volume into the fermenter
  • Start/End times for boil, mash, sparge, etc.
  • Gravity for samples along the fermenation process
  • Date and Gravity when racking to keg
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:31 PM   #9
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Just looked up Beersmith. Looks like a nice program. I will have to keep that in mind for when I start to ramp up my operation.

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Old 06-12-2009, 08:59 PM   #10
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+1 to beersmith. I used to write notes on my printed recipe sheets to keep track of gravities and boil times and any changes I made. Now I just set up the recipe in BS and keep notes about mash temp, gravity readings for runnings, boil volumes and in the file. I open my laptop while I brew and make changes on the fly if something changes or i have too much volume or whatever. Anything not included in the software forms I just put into the note field.

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