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-   -   BeerSmith - BeerTools - Promash. - Which is best? What do you have? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f84/beersmith-beertools-promash-best-what-do-you-have-43687/)

Orfy 11-04-2007 08:26 AM

BeerSmith - BeerTools - Promash. - Which is best? What do you have?
Trying to get a view to allow brews trying to make a decision of which of the big three is right for them. (If any)

What do you like about the program you use?
What is it missing?
What does it do really well?
Why did you go for the one you did?

I know we did one previously but there have been major updates.

FlyGuy 11-04-2007 01:39 PM

I own both Beersmith and ProMash. But I only use Beersmith now. The top three packages all have most of the same basic features (e.g., recipe calculation, brew day scheduling, inventory management, etc.), but there are a few things about Beersmith that make it stand out for me. First, it is also the only one that seems to be under ongoing development (ProMash hasn't been updated in years, and BeerTools Pro still isn't 'finished' yet by its developers). For example, it is the best software out there for calculating batch sparge infusion schedules, it does a great job of recipe calculation for late-extract additions, it can handle bitterness calculations for first wort hopping, etc. Furthermore, the developer of Beersmith, Brad Smith runs a great support forum and he is ALWAYS on that thing answering questions, taking advice for future features in the software, etc. Finally, I personally think that Beersmith has an intuitive and very user-friendly interface (unlike ProMash -- but I believe BeerTools Pro is good in this respect too).

Far and away, buying Beersmith was the best $20 I spent for my home brewery. Very highly recommended.

bradsul 11-04-2007 02:11 PM

Promash for me. I have also tried Beersmith. Honestly I'm not sure why I picked one over the other. :D I also tried qbrew but it's lacking a ton of features. Promash and Beersmith both have things I don't like about them. Promash does handle first wort hopping calculations but as Flyguy said, I don't like that it is not in development anymore.

ScubaSteve 11-04-2007 02:22 PM

BeerSmith gets the ScubaSteve Stamp of Approval. (It's got real bits of panther in it....so you know it's good).

Really intuitive, simple, and powerful. I have promash, but had several difficulties with saving/recalling recipes that I had done, and I just couldn't get over the interface. I like how BeerSmith has it all in the "windows explorer" style, so all your tools are right there in front of you. I had to tweak a few calculations for sparging, i.e. mashout/double sparge...but figured it out pretty quickly. My only gripes are that I wish you could open more than one window at a time, and I would like to see the GUI get a little bit more awesome...like the one BTP uses.

Yooper 11-04-2007 02:24 PM

I've only ever used Beersmith, so maybe I just like it because it's familiar. I like the interface, though, and the convenient screens.

I wish it had a wine section, though. That would really make it rock, and I would pay extra for it. I like to use a thing called winecalc to calculate my sugar additions and sg and it would be great if I could do it in Beersmith and save my recipes. But I guess the name would have to change to Fermentsmith or something.

Fogareu Br 11-04-2007 02:36 PM

My vote is for Promash, in the beginning I had difficulty but with the use it became easy, I like the presentation and of the division of the screens allowing a friendly navigation, their possibilities are big, but I still need to deepen me a little more in some details. I already tried other softwares and spreadsheets that I also believe be good, but I always returned for Promash.

attitude 11-04-2007 03:17 PM

i have promash and beer tools pro. i like the look and feel of beer tools but Promash has a refratometer tools and allows you to keep inventory. i wish beer tools would come out with these. i use beer tools mostly.

Yuri_Rage 11-04-2007 03:48 PM

I've tried all three. I have a paid copy of BeerSmith and BTP. I like BeerSmith best. BTP is nice looking, but it's clunky and the interface isn't very intuitive. I hate starting a new "session" for every recipe. Perhaps BTP will get better with time, but for now, I don't like it. ProMash has some great features, but I don't think it's supported anymore. I also thought the interface for ProMash was a bit clunky and dated. BeerSmith is easiest to use and has all of the tools I need. The menu on the left allows quick switching between recipes and brew tools. The developers just released an update, so I know they're interested in making improvements.

mrkristofo 11-04-2007 04:10 PM

The results might be skewed by Mac users, because only one of our software options (BTP) is up on that list.

FatDuc 11-04-2007 04:12 PM


Originally Posted by mrkristofo
The results might be skewed by Mac users, because only one of our software options (BTP) is up on that list.

Exactly. I just downloaded the Beer Alchemy demo yesterday. It's the first piece of homebrew software I'll be trying out, so I don't really have a baseline established for functionality.

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