Originally Posted by jingleheimer76
Hey so I've never used Beersmith or anything like that but http://beercalculus.hopville.com/
seems pretty good.
My question is: what am I missing by using the free online software?
From what I've seen, there are a few programs out there that are in a league of their own (like Promash or Beersmith). Of course, you have to pay for these. I think it all really depends on what you are looking for in your software... some people here absolutely love the functionality these programs give you... others find these extra features to be unneeded. I believe both Promash and Beersmith have free trials-- you definitely should try them, just to see.
I don't need my software to be this involved, but I can easily see why a lot of people here love these programs. I'll second BrewTarget as a great desktop program, it has all the features I look for, without being too much.
I'm partial to online-based brewing, because you can use it at home, work, etc. without having to download stuff.