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Old 12-18-2009, 08:11 AM   #1
Apr 2009
Posts: 3

Looking around the discussions here it seems like a lot of brewers are head over heals for brewing software. Personally, half the fun for me is doing the math on paper. Granted, I'm not making back-to-back brews, so I understand the possible time saving advantage. There's something meditative about sitting down with my TI-83 and working out the target gravity and IBUs.

Does this make me a masochist? Anyone else like scrawling formulas in their brew notebook?

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Old 12-18-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
eriktlupus's Avatar
Jan 2007
Cereal City, USA
Posts: 2,618
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts

what do you think most of us do in our spare time? where do you think the formula in my sig showed up from? btw i did that

yeah i know i use a scratch pad and a simple calculator to work up new recipes grain bills and strike volumes/temps no need for the ti-83 whatever, never could use them worth a damn and i still have one from my college days.
primary1 :UTOPIA BABY(still searching for it)
secondary:middling bastard ipa
kegged:simcoe blonde, crystal pale ale, yellow jacket golden ale, lemon shandy blonde

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Old 12-18-2009, 10:12 AM   #3
Zen_Brew's Avatar
May 2009
Posts: 1,864
Liked 23 Times on 23 Posts

I dunno. Sitting down and running the occaisional formula in a calculator or on paper is one thing, but brewing software can provide so many valuable tools in one place. You can track your inventory, save your recipes, refer to past recipes, run your refractometer/hydrometer/carbonation corrections, figure your strike water temps, etc etc. It is just a handy one stop for so much brewing and tracking information. Hard to fault so strong a tool for $20 or so.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:51 PM   #4
Dec 2008
Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 279
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

For me its not so much about the hassle of crunching number, but the security of knowing that I didn't make some stupid mistake. Software that has been tested and used by a lot of people weeds out a lot of the errors - which is really to your benefit.

Even the people that do the math themselves eventually end up using a spreadsheet, which is basically the same as using software anyway.

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Old 12-19-2009, 12:13 AM   #5
BillyBeer's Avatar
May 2009
Vancouver, WA
Posts: 169
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Different strokes for different folks. I am not the engineering type and find no real satisfaction from doing by hand - never really trusted my math anyway

Do what makes you feel good - that is what this hobby is all about.

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Jubelale Clone, Dirty Dog IIPA

Primary: Empty
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:15 AM   #6
Aug 2009
Atwater, OH
Posts: 4,317
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I'm a computer geek (as I think many brewers are) and just like shiny new toys, that includes software.

Also, brewing is a hobby and should be fun, for me math is not fun at all the various brewing software's out there take the headache out of it for me.
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)

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Old 12-19-2009, 06:54 AM   #7
Apr 2009
Posts: 3

good points. I think I'm also partially driven by the thought that in 1000 years, after the zombie apocalypse and humanity is rebuilding, my extensive, handwritten notebook will be found and the basis of a future brewing renaissance :-D

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Old 12-19-2009, 06:57 AM   #8
Sep 2009
North Dakota
Posts: 2,959
Liked 55 Times on 48 Posts

Personally I go for the software. I have a background in acoustics and I used to design speakers, specifically subwoofer enclosures, doing the math the hard way on paper. Powerfull software has revolutionized this process and I find it very similar to the designing of craft beers. Go ahead and use the software.....I am a huge proponent of beersmith....

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Old 12-19-2009, 07:50 AM   #9
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 14,296
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Nope. I never wrote a recursive algorithm approximating an integral over time to estimate IBUs, based on Tinseth's data.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:54 AM   #10
Scut_Monkey's Avatar
Jan 2009
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,656
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I just find it easy, organized and about 30 times more efficient and faster to use software. Like others have mentioned I also wouldn't trust my math after all the handwritten calculations are done.

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