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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brewing Software > BeerSmith - BeerTools - Promash. - Which is best? What do you have?

View Poll Results: Which of the big three do you use.
BeerSmith 1,119 65.29%
BeerTools Pro 155 9.04%
Promash 220 12.84%
another software 220 12.84%
Voters: 1714. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-25-2011, 04:57 PM   #121
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I likewise think it's a great thread... (plug my sig too while I'm at it )






Value added section: The BTP site membership is actually useless in my opinion. Yes, it lets you pull one of thousands of recipes down off the database but who would trust some random crap anyway? I think the thing you're getting confused about is using Beertools, the online recipe tool vs. Beer Tools Pro, which is an installed application on your computer. The latter doesn't care about the website and you can store as many recipe files on your hard drives as you want.

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Old 01-25-2011, 05:06 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerrepository View Post
You don't need a membership at all to use BTP. If you buy a license, then you are good to go.
Thanks for the feedback.

So if I purchase the basic package I can store more than 1 recipe I create?
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #123
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I'm a Beer Tools Pro user. It's ok, but mash schedules are definitely non-intuitive. Additionally, I never hit my target temps using the values from BTP, so I'm beginning to think there's a calibration constant off somewhere. As mentioned, it would be nice if you could do different sessions for the same recipe, and tweak the sessions independently.

The UI is really good, and very clean-looking. The ability to customize ingredients or tweak a "local" (in-recipe) ingredient is very helpful, as is the ability to create your own customized ingredients.

I downloaded the demo version of Promash before buying, and the UI was a big turn-off for me. I think that and the mashing customizations in BTP are what pushed me that direction.

Reading posts, I may have to download a demo of Beersmith to check it out.

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Old 01-25-2011, 10:09 PM   #124
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They might have gone down the path of creating mash profiles like BS did but then a new user might think they are bound to those schedules. Looking from the other perspective, BTP will calculate parameters for any type of mash/sparge schedule you want it to and once you understand how to build it, it's cake.

Watch these: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=25CB879E3C944388
I never understood the draw to the concept of "sessions" per recipe. I'm sure I'm biased but I might brew the same base recipe maybe 3 times max and even then, the parameters and/or ingredient ratios are different each time. How is that the same base recipe now?

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Old 01-25-2011, 10:29 PM   #125
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Beersmith is my choice. I tried ProMash and didn't like the UI. It felt clunky and 'old'.

I have been hitting my temps from day one as calculated in Beersmith. I used to do that by hand, but that was a long time ago. I have created a custom reports that allow for different formatting of a recipe. This allows for a 'brewday' log that I use on brew day and has spots for writing down all of my readings, temps, etc. I could just have my laptop running, but I am outside and usually have fire and liquids that don't mix well with it. The Brew Log is great for keeping that historical log of brew sessions so I can go back and see what I did and do some comparing.

I have not tried any other software so I have no input as to those.

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Old 01-25-2011, 11:21 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwfishbu View Post
I never hit my target temps using the values from BTP, so I'm beginning to think there's a calibration constant off somewhere.
BTP gets better the more you put into it. So if you take the time calibrate all your equipment and put it all in, then you will get better numbers. Otherwise it is just making a guess without knowing what you are working with.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:06 AM   #127
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Quote:
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BTP gets better the more you put into it. So if you take the time calibrate all your equipment and put it all in, then you will get better numbers. Otherwise it is just making a guess without knowing what you are working with.
I calibrated. I still have problems. I'm going through some hand calcs now to see if I can trace the root cause. The place I really have problems is in the mash schedule. It seems like it should be straightforward, but I struggle with batch sparging every time I make a recipe.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:13 PM   #128
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I have used all 3 of the big ones, but in the end I came back to BTP. in the beginning it can be a struggle, but the more I used it and asked questions in their forum, the more I liked it.
once I began pre-heating my mash tun, making sure I "really"knew my grain temps (pre-mash) and not swagging my strike water temps or volumes, everything started to fall into place perfectly. after that, brewing enough to understand how a super vigorous boil vs a barely rolling boil and time plays its part in recipe calculations/color/caramelization and Final gravity for a specific recipe makes a huge difference as everyones methods are a little different.
I have only batch sparged a couple of times but the water calculations were spot on and everything worked out almost exactly as the program predicted. for more than 2 years, the only time anything screwed up, it was because of me taking shortcuts thinking I had it all figured out and swagging things.
I suggest if you want to be happy with this program, you should use the instruction manual built into it, it really helps.

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:23 PM   #129
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Quote:
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I have used all 3 of the big ones, but in the end I came back to BTP.
Are there limitations in BTP with respect to how many recipes you can save?
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:36 PM   #130
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No, there are no limitations on how many recipes you can save. Think of Beer Tools Pro as Microsoft Word and the recipe files are the .DOC files. It's just a bunch of files you save on your hard drive.

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