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Old 11-23-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
dennydeaton
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Default Interest in Online Home Brewing Software?

I've been using Beersmith for a while and overall like it. It has its quirks but all of the other home brewing software I've tried does too. I've tried Promash, Beer Alchemy, BeerTools and a few iPhone-based apps. I've also played around with hopville and a few other online recipe tools but each left something to be desired.

Beyond the desire for an overall interface improvement and a more streamlined recipe creation process, I'd like to be able to manage my recipes and information from any computer or device, not just the one I have the software installed on. This could be solved by a web-based application which would only require a browser.

I'm an application developer and also I have a bit of experience with UI design. I've also been home brewing for over 9 years and have a good understanding of the underlying calculations/conversions and overall needs for such a tool.

I'm considering building a site that would serve as an all-in-one recipe and brew day tool. I'm still in the brainstorming process, but here are the core features I have in mind.

- Recipe creation tool (with a preloaded ingredients based, which would also configurable). I'd also like i to have a place to keep general notes for each recipe.
- Recipe Manager
- Brew Day (a page that you could load your recipes up in a "brew day" style, listing out the important information in order of need throughout the brewing process).
- Common Tools
- Conversion/Unit Tools
- Base profile (brewhouse setup, water configuration, batch size, etc)

I'd like to keep the feature list short and sweet at first. Another problem I have with other tools I've used is that they have features and data that I never use. I want to revisit every single function and data point before including it in the tool.

I'm interested to know if this is something that more brewers are seeking or would use? If so, is it something you'd pay for, and how much (annually)? What other features would you like to see, if any?

It's a big endeavor and there are associated hosting costs for such an application, but I think it might greatly benefit the home brewing community.

Thanks in advance for the feedback. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

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Old 11-23-2011, 06:56 PM   #2
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Sure! I'm always interested in better software, but the devil will always be in the implementation. It's all about a clear and intuitive UI.

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Old 11-24-2011, 12:22 AM   #3
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I have not begun brewing yet but have been researching and a software solution is def a factor i am considering. Cost would have to depend alot on number of subscribers and cost of space. From what i have seen thus far and from what you.are describing i would think that $10-25/yr would be a good theoretical starting spot... Sounds like an interesting project, goodluck!

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Old 11-24-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
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I've always wanted to use an app that transitions seamlessly from my smartphone to my laptop or desktop. I like designing my recipes on my desktop; viewing recipes on my laptop; and doing brew-day calculations on my phone. Right now I have to use a weird combo of a spreadsheet, a notebook, pro-mash, and a homebrew calculator app to record/manage/execute my recipes.

I also dislike extra parameters to record on brew-day. When I'm troubleshooting I'll go the extra mile but most days I just want to track the basics.

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Old 11-24-2011, 09:58 PM   #5
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I'd pay $25 per year for this but it would have to be a decent improvement over the software I already own (Beersmith 2.0) to make me switch.

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Old 11-25-2011, 04:50 PM   #6
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I think tastybrew.com is working in the same vein.

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Old 11-25-2011, 07:10 PM   #7
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This is all great feedback. Keep it coming!

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Old 11-26-2011, 01:01 AM   #8
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Does every software product operate exactly as you'd want? No way.

So what do I do, adapt. No matter how many suggestions you take from how many people, ultimately it is going to require most people to adapt to what you put out as a product. What exactly will separate you from the rest?

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Old 11-26-2011, 01:22 AM   #9
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Thanks samc.

Better accessibility - online application available from any device with a browser, including mobile. Create on one device, modify and access on others.

Improved Interface - cutting the fat, functionality-wise of what's in existing brewing software. There are a lot of functions and data points I never use. I bet it's distracting for many. Also, I'd like to offer a better design and make it easier to create recipes.

Brew day - timers, note taking tools, etc.

I'm still brainstorming but those are features I'd enjoy!

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