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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brewing Software > WhoBrew.com -- Free Online Recipe and Brew Session Management -- Beta Release!
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:02 AM   #1
Dougan
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Default WhoBrew.com -- Free Online Recipe and Brew Session Management -- Beta Release!

Hello everybody,

I am excited to introduce everybody to a project I have been working on in the world of brewing software: WhoBrew.com.

Computer software is huge in the brewing community. If you all are like me, you have a bunch of different software suites that you use to locate new recipes, build recipes, assist in brewing sessions, and store brews and recipes. There are a number of great, free solutions out there that do one or two of these things. But I have been unable to find a decent solution that allows me to do all of these things without a charge. That's why I created WhoBrew-- to allow brewers to accomplish all of these tasks (and more) at one place, for free.

Run-down of Features
You can use WhoBrew to formulate your recipes by selecting ingredients and examining the IBUs, color, etc. You can then use it to assist you in brewing your recipe, by helping you with your efficiency, final IBU and gravity calculations, etc. You can use WhoBrew as a brewing journal, and save this information so you can refer back to it later. you can also look up other users' recipes, and if you find something you like, you can use WhoBrew to help you brew that very recipe. You can also ask questions for other users, whether it be general or specifically tied to one of their recipes or brew sessions. You can use a list of personal ingredients to help you in building recipes restricted to ingredients you already have. That's a basic run-down of what is available in this Beta release, but more features are coming fast!

Again, none of the features listed above are features you've never seen before. But what makes WhoBrew a great tool is that you can do all of this in the same place. And it's free.

Here are some of the advantages to using WhoBrew.com for your brewing needs:

  • It's Free - You don't have to pay anything to use this website. There is no "free" account and "paid" account where you are second-class. It's all free. No hoops. I'm not trying to make any money here.
  • It's Cloud-Based - Using WhoBrew allows you to store your recipes and brew sessions online which means you can easily share recipes with friends, or access your brews from multiple locations. Ever have a recipe idea while at work and have to write it down so you can enter it into your software at home? Ever have a fellow brewer ask you to share parts of your brewing log? Just point them to your recipe on WhoBrew!
  • See who has brewed your recipes - Find a recipe you like on WhoBrew? Brew it. WhoBrew will relate your brew session to the recipe you brewed. If you've ever posted a recipe online and wondered if anybody else brewed it, or what they thought of it, you are going to like this.

Beta Release
When I started this project, my goal was to provide the features listed above. Now that I am at that point, I am ready to release this to the world. I have spent a solid amount of time testing WhoBrew for problems, and I have used my development version to help me brew many recipes over the last few months. So I feel that it's definitely ready for use. You should be able to use it just fine-- if I was worried that you weren't able to use it, I would have waited to release it.

However, in my experience programming, you always have a few kinks to work out when you release a brand new product, which is why I'm referring to it as "Beta" at this point. Please keep an eye out for any of these "kinks", and if you happen to come across any problems let me know. If you have any ideas for improvement, those are also very much appreciated. There is more information on the site itself on the best way to address those. You are welcome to post feedback in this thread, of course.

The main thing I ask of you with this Beta release is for your patience. If you choose to check out WhoBrew, you will see that it is a great utility. If you do come across a problem or two, please just keep in mind that the reason I am releasing it now as a beta product is so we can find those problems and fix them. Fixing bugs is my #1 priority with this site right now. Above everything, I want this site to be stable and easy to use going forward.

Thank you all in advance for checking it out! Please make sure that any feedback you have makes its way to me. This site is still young and I want to make sure that it becomes the best it can be for all of you!

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:22 AM   #2
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Here are some screen shots.:

What a recipe looks like

What editing or creating a recipe looks like

What setting up a brew session looks like

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Reason: removed huge thumbnails
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:21 AM   #3
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Dougan, congrats on the site.

Couple of thoughts:
1. Instead of a popup screen to select a hop from the templates, how about a selectbox?
2. An option to make a recipe private vs. public? This might help keep out the clutter for recipes that are new/being fine-tuned.
3. Are the Est. IBU values off? I'm getting 7 figures for the line items.
4. Can you make the esc key hide the "add window" for line items?
5. Question: are template items site-wide? so as users add items they become available to other users?

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Old 04-21-2011, 05:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by specsman View Post
Dougan, congrats on the site.

Couple of thoughts:
1. Instead of a popup screen to select a hop from the templates, how about a selectbox?
2. An option to make a recipe private vs. public? This might help keep out the clutter for recipes that are new/being fine-tuned.
3. Are the Est. IBU values off? I'm getting 7 figures for the line items.
4. Can you make the esc key hide the "add window" for line items?
5. Question: are template items site-wide? so as users add items they become available to other users?
Thanks for trying it out! I will definitely take your input into consideration in planning my move forward.

1) I was a little weary about the popup screen. I did it as a time saver and the template selection is the only popup in the whole program. My plan is to phase that one popup out if people seem to not like it (as seems to be the case ). So yes, I will make removing this popup a plan.
2) This is a future update I have on my list already, actually, and it has a high priority. While I would encourage everybody to make their recipes public for the world to see, I know everybody (myself included) has recipes they want to keep secret. Honestly, I have some recipes I don't want to share because they are awful, but still want to keep track of so I can refer to them when I improve them later. So this is definitely in the works. I'm also planning to add an option to make the recipe "secret" (ie nobody but you can ever see it) or just "hidden" so it won't show up on search results, but if you link it to a brew session you want to share, then people can see it there. So, that "hidden" level of privacy would allow users to hide bad recipes from search results without removing them from their brew session information.
3) I took a look at your recipe and it appears the reason your IBUs are calculating weird is because your recipe has zeroes in the "Potential" property of the grain. Did you enter it this way, or do you think an error zeroed out your values? I just now added a warning message to let users know why their IBUs aren't being calculated. But if those zeroes weren't intentional, let me know, and I will have to explore what caused that.
4) I don't see why not. I'll work on this when I get a chance tomorrow or Friday.
5) Not at this very moment, but that is the plan. I plan to have a site-wide base list of templates that I will create for everyone, and then each user can have his/her own list. I intend to allow users to use other peoples' lists. This is something I want to accomplish before I remove the "beta" tag, so it should happen soon.

I also want to build upon the ingredient templates to allow users to add quantities to their inventories, because I know some people use that. That might occur a little later, but if you guys want it sooner, let me know.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougan View Post
3) I took a look at your recipe and it appears the reason your IBUs are calculating weird is because your recipe has zeroes in the "Potential" property of the grain. Did you enter it this way, or do you think an error zeroed out your values? I just now added a warning message to let users know why their IBUs aren't being calculated. But if those zeroes weren't intentional, let me know, and I will have to explore what caused that.
Ah, ok. No it didn't zero it out, I put in a zero because I didn't have the information on my netbook. Which is one reason I asked about the private/public since I'd prefer to keep it private at least until I finish updating all the data.

While you are taking suggestions, how about an "export" option. To get all your recipes emailed to you at once? Or exported as a .csv?
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:16 AM   #6
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Dougan - I tried using this with Chrome, but to no avail. So I switched over to Firefox and the grain and hop popout menus were blank - no public grains listed. Am I doing something wrong?

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Old 04-21-2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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Dougan - I tried using this with Chrome, but to no avail. So I switched over to Firefox and the grain and hop popout menus were blank - no public grains listed. Am I doing something wrong?
I've done a couple once-overs with Chrome but no extensive testing. I will have to go more in-depth. Thanks for the heads up.

As far as the hop/grain popout screens go, they are blank because they don't have any data yet. I haven't added any "site-wide" ingredients yet, and you also don't have any of your own yet.. So you aren't doing anything wrong. For now, if you just enter in the data about your ingredient and click "Save as Template" it will create a new ingredient in your inventory.

I think tonight or tomorrow I will go find some datasheets and fill up the master list of ingredients. I think this would also address specsman's issue of not knowing the potential of his ingredients because they could have been based off of a template.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by specsman View Post
While you are taking suggestions, how about an "export" option. To get all your recipes emailed to you at once? Or exported as a .csv?
Sure. I have plans for the BeerXML format in the works, but I had not thought about CSV. Would CSV exporting be more useful for spreadsheet brewing?
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:53 PM   #9
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Warning: mysql_connect() [function.mysql-connect]: Unknown MySQL server host 'whobrewdb.db.7757799.hostedresource.com' (2) in /home/content/99/7757799/html/index.php on line 7
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:58 PM   #10
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Problem
I just got that too. It seems to have gone away now, though.

That problem is actually caused by my web host's database server going down. Hopefully that doesn't happen often... I am using a mainstream host so you would think it wouldn't happen often. Hopefully this was just a fluke. Otherwise I will have to switch hosts. I have enough stuff to worry about without having to worry about my host going down. Thanks for the heads up.
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Primary: Lagunitas IPA Clone
Kegged: German Pilsner, Clydesdale (Spotted Cow Clone)

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