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alestateyall 03-20-2012 03:35 PM

Things I don't like about iBrewMaster
 
5 Attachment(s)

I have seen iBrewMaster described as the BeerSmith of iPhone apps. This is not true.

IMHO iBrewMaster is not worth the $10 price tag. I recommend avoiding it.

I bought iBrewmaster with great anticipation after reading so many positive reviews on itunes and positive reviews here. I admit I may not have searched hard enough here before buying it.

I am writing this thread to offer my impressions of the tool now that I spent $10 on and can't get a refund for.

I find iBrewMaster to be poorly designed and incomplete in as much as it lack obvious features.

Here are some issues I found:

1) Navigation within the app is terrible.
When brewing, after setting up a recipe, you work from the batch screen. Before I mashin I measure the grain temperature. To change this value you have to navigate through 6 screens to get from the batch view to the screen where you edit your mash profile. Here is a tour:

Attachment 53350
Start in the batch display. Press batches to get to the list of batches.

Attachment 53351
From the list of batches, press setup on the bottom row to get to the setup screen. Please note, I edited the bottom row to avoid having to go through the "more" list. That would have added one more screen.

Attachment 53353
Now on the setup screen scroll down and press the to mash profile option.

Attachment 53354
Now select your preferred mash profile.

Attachment 53355
Finally we can edit the grain temperature. To get back we repeat the same multi screen process in reverse.

When setting up recipes and getting the tool optimized I was constantly walking through pages. It got old and made the app a chore.

2) Entering numbers for values requires endless use of numeric sliders rather than just typing.

Attachment 53355
The photo above is an example of the numeric sliders. These are all over. They really slow down number entry. This has been pointed out to the developer (by other users) through the in app feature request tool.
The developer responds: Status: Under Review, comment from Joe "See the sync feature request notes...considering the dozens of places pickers exist and the thousands of lines of code behind them...this would be part of the rewrite to support iCloud syncing"

Under synching Joe comments, "We really want this feature, unfortunately, it will require an entire rewrite of the apps...This will be an extremely large under taking and is under consideration...we may implement this with more advanced features, elimination of pickers, and expanded functionality. We'll first complete the inventory model, Mac fixes, and release the Android version, at which time we'll take a closer look at this".

Sorry for all the quotes, but, bottom line the pickers will be there for a while.

By the way, the in app feature request tool is a good idea.

3) The app requires users to enter efficiency when designing an all grain recipe, but, the app doesn't bother to calculate efficiency from your measured volumes and original gravity.

This drives me crazy. Calculating efficiency is easy. Probably an oversight, but, to me it is a big one. If they get around to efficiency I hope they add the ability to add measured pre-boil and post boil volumes so you can calculate accurate mash and kettle/brewhouse efficiencies.


alestateyall 03-20-2012 03:35 PM

Things I don't like about iBrewMaster
 
5 Attachment(s)

I have seen iBrewMaster described as the BeerSmith of iPhone apps. This is not true.

IMHO iBrewMaster is not worth the $10 price tag. I recommend avoiding it.

I bought iBrewmaster with great anticipation after reading so many positive reviews on itunes and positive reviews here. I admit I may not have searched hard enough here before buying it.

I am writing this thread to offer my impressions of the tool now that I spent $10 on and can't get a refund for.

I find iBrewMaster to be poorly designed and incomplete in as much as it lack obvious features.

Here are some issues I found:

1) Navigation within the app is terrible.
When brewing, after setting up a recipe, you work from the batch screen. Before I mashin I measure the grain temperature. To change this value you have to navigate through 6 screens to get from the batch view to the screen where you edit your mash profile. Here is a tour:

Attachment 53350
Start in the batch display. Press batches to get to the list of batches.

Attachment 53351
From the list of batches, press setup on the bottom row to get to the setup screen. Please note, I edited the bottom row to avoid having to go through the "more" list. That would have added one more screen.

Attachment 53353
Now on the setup screen scroll down and press the to mash profile option.

Attachment 53354
Now select your preferred mash profile.

Attachment 53355
Finally we can edit the grain temperature. To get back we repeat the same multi screen process in reverse.

When setting up recipes and getting the tool optimized I was constantly walking through pages. It got old and made the app a chore.

2) Entering numbers for values requires endless use of numeric sliders rather than just typing.

Attachment 53355
The photo above is an example of the numeric sliders. These are all over. They really slow down number entry. This has been pointed out to the developer (by other users) through the in app feature request tool.
The developer responds: Status: Under Review, comment from Joe "See the sync feature request notes...considering the dozens of places pickers exist and the thousands of lines of code behind them...this would be part of the rewrite to support iCloud syncing"

Under synching Joe comments, "We really want this feature, unfortunately, it will require an entire rewrite of the apps...This will be an extremely large under taking and is under consideration...we may implement this with more advanced features, elimination of pickers, and expanded functionality. We'll first complete the inventory model, Mac fixes, and release the Android version, at which time we'll take a closer look at this".

Sorry for all the quotes, but, bottom line the pickers will be there for a while.

By the way, the in app feature request tool is a good idea.

3) The app requires users to enter efficiency when designing an all grain recipe, but, the app doesn't bother to calculate efficiency from your measured volumes and original gravity.

This drives me crazy. Calculating efficiency is easy. Probably an oversight, but, to me it is a big one. If they get around to efficiency I hope they add the ability to add measured pre-boil and post boil volumes so you can calculate accurate mash and kettle/brewhouse efficiencies.


alestateyall 03-20-2012 03:35 PM

Things I don't like about iBrewMaster
 
5 Attachment(s)

I have seen iBrewMaster described as the BeerSmith of iPhone apps. This is not true.

IMHO iBrewMaster is not worth the $10 price tag. I recommend avoiding it.

I bought iBrewmaster with great anticipation after reading so many positive reviews on itunes and positive reviews here. I admit I may not have searched hard enough here before buying it.

I am writing this thread to offer my impressions of the tool now that I spent $10 on and can't get a refund for.

I find iBrewMaster to be poorly designed and incomplete in as much as it lack obvious features.

Here are some issues I found:

1) Navigation within the app is terrible.
When brewing, after setting up a recipe, you work from the batch screen. Before I mashin I measure the grain temperature. To change this value you have to navigate through 6 screens to get from the batch view to the screen where you edit your mash profile. Here is a tour:

Attachment 53350
Start in the batch display. Press batches to get to the list of batches.

Attachment 53351
From the list of batches, press setup on the bottom row to get to the setup screen. Please note, I edited the bottom row to avoid having to go through the "more" list. That would have added one more screen.

Attachment 53353
Now on the setup screen scroll down and press the to mash profile option.

Attachment 53354
Now select your preferred mash profile.

Attachment 53355
Finally we can edit the grain temperature. To get back we repeat the same multi screen process in reverse.

When setting up recipes and getting the tool optimized I was constantly walking through pages. It got old and made the app a chore.

2) Entering numbers for values requires endless use of numeric sliders rather than just typing.

Attachment 53355
The photo above is an example of the numeric sliders. These are all over. They really slow down number entry. This has been pointed out to the developer (by other users) through the in app feature request tool.
The developer responds: Status: Under Review, comment from Joe "See the sync feature request notes...considering the dozens of places pickers exist and the thousands of lines of code behind them...this would be part of the rewrite to support iCloud syncing"

Under synching Joe comments, "We really want this feature, unfortunately, it will require an entire rewrite of the apps...This will be an extremely large under taking and is under consideration...we may implement this with more advanced features, elimination of pickers, and expanded functionality. We'll first complete the inventory model, Mac fixes, and release the Android version, at which time we'll take a closer look at this".

Sorry for all the quotes, but, bottom line the pickers will be there for a while.

By the way, the in app feature request tool is a good idea.

3) The app requires users to enter efficiency when designing an all grain recipe, but, the app doesn't bother to calculate efficiency from your measured volumes and original gravity.

This drives me crazy. Calculating efficiency is easy. Probably an oversight, but, to me it is a big one. If they get around to efficiency I hope they add the ability to add measured pre-boil and post boil volumes so you can calculate accurate mash and kettle/brewhouse efficiencies.


alestateyall 03-20-2012 03:35 PM

Things I don't like about iBrewMaster
 
5 Attachment(s)

I have seen iBrewMaster described as the BeerSmith of iPhone apps. This is not true.

IMHO iBrewMaster is not worth the $10 price tag. I recommend avoiding it.

I bought iBrewmaster with great anticipation after reading so many positive reviews on itunes and positive reviews here. I admit I may not have searched hard enough here before buying it.

I am writing this thread to offer my impressions of the tool now that I spent $10 on and can't get a refund for.

I find iBrewMaster to be poorly designed and incomplete in as much as it lack obvious features.

Here are some issues I found:

1) Navigation within the app is terrible.
When brewing, after setting up a recipe, you work from the batch screen. Before I mashin I measure the grain temperature. To change this value you have to navigate through 6 screens to get from the batch view to the screen where you edit your mash profile. Here is a tour:

Attachment 53350
Start in the batch display. Press batches to get to the list of batches.

Attachment 53351
From the list of batches, press setup on the bottom row to get to the setup screen. Please note, I edited the bottom row to avoid having to go through the "more" list. That would have added one more screen.

Attachment 53353
Now on the setup screen scroll down and press the to mash profile option.

Attachment 53354
Now select your preferred mash profile.

Attachment 53355
Finally we can edit the grain temperature. To get back we repeat the same multi screen process in reverse.

When setting up recipes and getting the tool optimized I was constantly walking through pages. It got old and made the app a chore.

2) Entering numbers for values requires endless use of numeric sliders rather than just typing.

Attachment 53355
The photo above is an example of the numeric sliders. These are all over. They really slow down number entry. This has been pointed out to the developer (by other users) through the in app feature request tool.
The developer responds: Status: Under Review, comment from Joe "See the sync feature request notes...considering the dozens of places pickers exist and the thousands of lines of code behind them...this would be part of the rewrite to support iCloud syncing"

Under synching Joe comments, "We really want this feature, unfortunately, it will require an entire rewrite of the apps...This will be an extremely large under taking and is under consideration...we may implement this with more advanced features, elimination of pickers, and expanded functionality. We'll first complete the inventory model, Mac fixes, and release the Android version, at which time we'll take a closer look at this".

Sorry for all the quotes, but, bottom line the pickers will be there for a while.

By the way, the in app feature request tool is a good idea.

3) The app requires users to enter efficiency when designing an all grain recipe, but, the app doesn't bother to calculate efficiency from your measured volumes and original gravity.

This drives me crazy. Calculating efficiency is easy. Probably an oversight, but, to me it is a big one. If they get around to efficiency I hope they add the ability to add measured pre-boil and post boil volumes so you can calculate accurate mash and kettle/brewhouse efficiencies.


alestateyall 03-20-2012 03:35 PM

Things I don't like about iBrewMaster
 
5 Attachment(s)

I have seen iBrewMaster described as the BeerSmith of iPhone apps. This is not true.

IMHO iBrewMaster is not worth the $10 price tag. I recommend avoiding it.

I bought iBrewmaster with great anticipation after reading so many positive reviews on itunes and positive reviews here. I admit I may not have searched hard enough here before buying it.

I am writing this thread to offer my impressions of the tool now that I spent $10 on and can't get a refund for.

I find iBrewMaster to be poorly designed and incomplete in as much as it lack obvious features.

Here are some issues I found:

1) Navigation within the app is terrible.
When brewing, after setting up a recipe, you work from the batch screen. Before I mashin I measure the grain temperature. To change this value you have to navigate through 6 screens to get from the batch view to the screen where you edit your mash profile. Here is a tour:

Attachment 53350
Start in the batch display. Press batches to get to the list of batches.

Attachment 53351
From the list of batches, press setup on the bottom row to get to the setup screen. Please note, I edited the bottom row to avoid having to go through the "more" list. That would have added one more screen.

Attachment 53353
Now on the setup screen scroll down and press the to mash profile option.

Attachment 53354
Now select your preferred mash profile.

Attachment 53355
Finally we can edit the grain temperature. To get back we repeat the same multi screen process in reverse.

When setting up recipes and getting the tool optimized I was constantly walking through pages. It got old and made the app a chore.

2) Entering numbers for values requires endless use of numeric sliders rather than just typing.

Attachment 53355
The photo above is an example of the numeric sliders. These are all over. They really slow down number entry. This has been pointed out to the developer (by other users) through the in app feature request tool.
The developer responds: Status: Under Review, comment from Joe "See the sync feature request notes...considering the dozens of places pickers exist and the thousands of lines of code behind them...this would be part of the rewrite to support iCloud syncing"

Under synching Joe comments, "We really want this feature, unfortunately, it will require an entire rewrite of the apps...This will be an extremely large under taking and is under consideration...we may implement this with more advanced features, elimination of pickers, and expanded functionality. We'll first complete the inventory model, Mac fixes, and release the Android version, at which time we'll take a closer look at this".

Sorry for all the quotes, but, bottom line the pickers will be there for a while.

By the way, the in app feature request tool is a good idea.

3) The app requires users to enter efficiency when designing an all grain recipe, but, the app doesn't bother to calculate efficiency from your measured volumes and original gravity.

This drives me crazy. Calculating efficiency is easy. Probably an oversight, but, to me it is a big one. If they get around to efficiency I hope they add the ability to add measured pre-boil and post boil volumes so you can calculate accurate mash and kettle/brewhouse efficiencies.


alestateyall 03-20-2012 03:50 PM

2 Attachment(s)

4) The mash water calculations are confusing and difficult to use.
Setting up the mash calculations is confusing. Initial infusions and infusion steps seem fairly straight forward. This part of the tool sometimes has an "auto calc" button to press and sometimes does not. I am not sure why and it is not obvious to tell which fields are are auto calculated and which are not since all boxes are the same color.

My favorite is adding a batch sparge. First, I didn't find a batch sparge option so I created my own. I came up with a totally blank screen in mash setup! What?!

Attachment 53361
Here is the blank screen, renamed "Batch Sparge". I selected "auto calc." and "sparge". Notice I did not set a Target Mash temp or water temp. Setting those has no effect.

Attachment 53362
This is a screen showing the resulting batch sparge step. Notice it calculated I need 13.53 quarts at 175F. Changing the water temp or target mash temp on the setup screen has no effect on the 175F output. That is odd and not confidence inspiring.

5) The water volumes are displayed at different relative temperatures in different places.
The water volumes for mash steps are measured at room temp (I think). The boil size output seems to be at 212F. I think these numbers should be consistent.

I figured this out because the tool tells me I have 6.87g boil size and 5.2g batch. If I subtract 1.3g for boil off in 60 minutes and 0.15g kettle trub loss I get 5.42g. It took me a long time to realize I need to multiply the 5.42g by 0.96 (5.42*0.96=5.2) to account for 4% shrinkage. I like to check the math.

6) There is a setting for kettle trub loss. Instructions tell you to set this to 0 if you pour all the trub in the fermenter. That seems wrong to me. I still loose volume to trub. It is just that I keep the trub volume around longer. I bring this up because the developer just put out a bug fix talking about how this setting affects OG prediction. I don't think it should.

7) There is no setting for volume lost to yeast. I think this should exist to accurately predict final batch size and to accurately calculate brewhouse efficiency. Yeast reproduction will absorb some water which results in less beer (final batch size) which in turn affects brewhouse efficiency.

8) You can't get a refund. I know this is Apple's fault, but it is still annoying and a $10 price tag for the app makes this harder to stomach.

I got this response to my refund request from the developer: "In either case, we are unable to provide refunds as Apple handles all the financial transactions. They do not even let developers know who has purchased their apps, let alone allow them a means of providing refunds. You would have to contact Apple to request a refund under their refund policies as they are the reseller. Please understand that we would certainly provide a refund if possible, however, it would be like going to Sony to refund a TV that you bought at Best Buy. We simply do not have the physical capability."

He is right of course he can't give me the refund. He was also quick to respond and polite.

When I contacted Apple for a refund through the "report a problem" link in my emailed receipt, iTunes told me to contact the developer about my problems and deactivated the "report a problem" link. Now when I click "report a problem" it tells me I have already reported a problem and can't do so again!


alestateyall 03-20-2012 03:50 PM

2 Attachment(s)

4) The mash water calculations are confusing and difficult to use.
Setting up the mash calculations is confusing. Initial infusions and infusion steps seem fairly straight forward. This part of the tool sometimes has an "auto calc" button to press and sometimes does not. I am not sure why and it is not obvious to tell which fields are are auto calculated and which are not since all boxes are the same color.

My favorite is adding a batch sparge. First, I didn't find a batch sparge option so I created my own. I came up with a totally blank screen in mash setup! What?!

Attachment 53361
Here is the blank screen, renamed "Batch Sparge". I selected "auto calc." and "sparge". Notice I did not set a Target Mash temp or water temp. Setting those has no effect.

Attachment 53362
This is a screen showing the resulting batch sparge step. Notice it calculated I need 13.53 quarts at 175F. Changing the water temp or target mash temp on the setup screen has no effect on the 175F output. That is odd and not confidence inspiring.

5) The water volumes are displayed at different relative temperatures in different places.
The water volumes for mash steps are measured at room temp (I think). The boil size output seems to be at 212F. I think these numbers should be consistent.

I figured this out because the tool tells me I have 6.87g boil size and 5.2g batch. If I subtract 1.3g for boil off in 60 minutes and 0.15g kettle trub loss I get 5.42g. It took me a long time to realize I need to multiply the 5.42g by 0.96 (5.42*0.96=5.2) to account for 4% shrinkage. I like to check the math.

6) There is a setting for kettle trub loss. Instructions tell you to set this to 0 if you pour all the trub in the fermenter. That seems wrong to me. I still loose volume to trub. It is just that I keep the trub volume around longer. I bring this up because the developer just put out a bug fix talking about how this setting affects OG prediction. I don't think it should.

7) There is no setting for volume lost to yeast. I think this should exist to accurately predict final batch size and to accurately calculate brewhouse efficiency. Yeast reproduction will absorb some water which results in less beer (final batch size) which in turn affects brewhouse efficiency.

8) You can't get a refund. I know this is Apple's fault, but it is still annoying and a $10 price tag for the app makes this harder to stomach.

I got this response to my refund request from the developer: "In either case, we are unable to provide refunds as Apple handles all the financial transactions. They do not even let developers know who has purchased their apps, let alone allow them a means of providing refunds. You would have to contact Apple to request a refund under their refund policies as they are the reseller. Please understand that we would certainly provide a refund if possible, however, it would be like going to Sony to refund a TV that you bought at Best Buy. We simply do not have the physical capability."

He is right of course he can't give me the refund. He was also quick to respond and polite.

When I contacted Apple for a refund through the "report a problem" link in my emailed receipt, iTunes told me to contact the developer about my problems and deactivated the "report a problem" link. Now when I click "report a problem" it tells me I have already reported a problem and can't do so again!


alestateyall 05-09-2012 02:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopRodGR
To simplify this to the greatest extent possible, I doubled checked my equipment profiles again in both Beersmith and iBrewMaster, which are the same. Just as an example, I entered one grain and one hop to see what would happen. I chose:

10lb Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt, Potential SG of 1.037, 1.8L
1oz Centennial 10% AA at 60 minutes
5.5 gallon batch, 75% efficiency

For comparison:
SRM: nearly equal, only 0.2 difference, so not material
IBU: nearly equal, only 0.9 difference using Tinseth, again, not material
Pre-Boil volume: equal, 7.25 for both
Estimated Original Gravity: Beersmith = 1.050, iBrewMaster = 1.046

Minor difference like 0.2 SRM and 1 IBU are really undetectable, so no big deal there. But the differences in OG from the same single grain is hard to figure out. Just for the hell of it I also punched this into BrewPal and got 1.050, 3.0SRM and 31 IBU.

Beersmith has always done me well so I always use it for my final recipes. I like iBrewMaster just to throw down a recipe when I'm not at my computer, but the difference in OG is really keeping me from using it to put together a final recipe, as I always adjust it in Beersmith before brewing. It's a nice program with some good features, but definitely, in my mind at least, far from a single solution if you are going to choose one piece of brewing software.
I got OG 1.050 with iBrewmaster with those ingredients. See below.



Attachment 60663

HopRodGR 05-09-2012 03:01 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kehaar View Post
I got OG 1.050 with iBrewmaster with those ingredients. See below.



Attachment 60663
Very interesting. Only thing I can see that is different is the pre-boil volume. Mine is 7.25, but that includes a 0.50 gallon kettle trub loss, 1.00 gallon boil-off, and 0.25% cooling shrinkage to get to 5.50 gallons into the fermenter.

Somehow I can see this heading in the direction of me inputting something wrong, but I honestly can find what that is at the moment...


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