Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I figured this thread would be good as any for this. About two years ago when I first started all grain brewing, I used Beersmith. I thought it was pretty easy to use and intuitive. However, for the past year and a half, I've been using BTP and despite the learning curve and lack of preset mash/sparge schedules, it's running like a rolex for me. In my quest for understanding, I downloaded Beersmith again to see why it has 60% penetration at HBT. I think the GUI is a total clusterf$@%& with a bazzilion things to click. What's with the tiny catalog of ingredients also? I'm sure it's just resistance to change more than anything else, but it looks like I'll be sticking with BTP for at the least the near future.
Can someone do a video screen capture walk through showing how you'd craft a recipe, enter equipment stats and design the mash schedule?
I paid for both BS and BTP back when I first started brewing. I really liked how BTP looked (especially compared to BS which I agree being an absolute total clusterf$@%&). I just never fell in love with using it. I think for whatever reason the whole website subscription model was a turn off for me. Nevermind the fact that there really is no way to know if a recipe is any good, since anyone can really post a recipe and anyone can rate it for whatever garbage reason.
After I started collecting a quantity of ingredients I started entering them into BeerSmith's inventory and really just kept using it from there.
I still find BS lacking in ways, and I'm not sure how it compares to what BTP has to offer, since I stopped using it. I don't hate BS, but I wish things were different. Off the top of my head, without being in front of it, these are the things that stick in my mind...
It doesn't really give you the ability to "plan" a recipe. It's automatically got a date associated with it. You can keep this off your brew calendar by only putting the brews you do in your "brew log" folder (which you can change to another folder, rather than the default Brew Log).
I just don't like how that whole object model works, er lack there of one.
You should have a "Recipe" Object, which is independent of whenever it was brewed. When you brew, there should be a "Brew Session" object that contains the objects and properties of your brew day. So you would have a Brew Session Object that contains a Planned Recipe object (of the Recipe type) and an Actual Recipe (of the Recipe type), etc etc etc (This was all off the top of my head, so, I'm sure there are better ways to do this).
Something like this allows me to keep my base recipe in one place and then I can select it when I want to have a brew day and update the Brew Session object once everything is done. Mom bakes chocolate chip cookies. She's been using the same recipe for over 30 years, she doesn't print out a separate recipe card every time she makes them...
Taking this even further, it could be neat to have some sort of CVS system for recipe revisions (I used to brew this recipe with 4oz of Carapils, now I use 8oz, or whatever)
BS also doesn't give me the ability to "multitask". If I'm in a recipe and I need to go do the strike water calculations based on how warm my crushed grains are, I need to go select it from the tools menu, and then after I'm done I need to go back and find my recipe.
Inventory tracking needs to be handled better too. I need to confirm this by looking a little harder than I already have, but what I had to do was name my recently purchased bulk hops and my harvested yeast differently than what I already had. I did this so I knew that I had 3 ounces of some old ass Cascades (with diminished AA%) compared to the new 2lbs of it that I just bought. So I copied my old ass Cascade inventory item and renamed it to 2008 Cascades with the correct %. What would be nice is if I could have left the name as Cascades, but had additional fields for harvest year and source (whether it was hopsdirect, my LHBS or my back yard). Have it treat it as separate entities, but not screw up my recipe. If I added my APA recipe to BS 2 years ago, and it's my tried and true Haus recipe, I need to use the substitute button each time I want to brew it from a new source. It would be nice if I could say it needs 5.4% Cascades and then let me know with a check, an X or a switcharoo icon that will guide me to what I can use from my inventory. This also goes back to the "Planned Recipe" vs "Actual Recipe" for brew day.
I've set up my equipment as best as I think it is set (Sacc gave me suggestions for the same Coleman Xtreme cooler we both use), but BS is definitely broke for the Mash Profiles (or at least the sparging section). I actually don't even use it to calculate my sparge sizes and numbers. I collect my first runnings and then subtract it from my brew volume and then divide it in half and go for it.
I could go on and on, but I've already spent enough of screen here... I'm hoping a 2.0 will emerge, but as is, it is more than sufficient for doing what I'm doing, so for as much as I complain, I'm not losing sleep over it...