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Old 06-26-2007, 01:55 PM   #1
talleymonster
 
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I keep seeing references to bre software, such as Qbrew, ProMash, Beersmith, etc.., Are any of these programs any good? Or are you better off with a notebook and a pen? do any of you use them, and with what amount of success?

I found this page here with a bunch of brew programs

http://www.brew-monkey.com/links/softwarelinks.php
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:00 PM   #2
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I use ProMash. It roxxorz. Some people prefer Beersmith. You can just download limited trials for each one, and buy the one you like more.

It's MUCH better than pen and paper. It has the BJCP guidelines built in, don't have to do any long calcs, as it updates your IBU, SRM and OG in real time as you change the variables...and you can keep track of your inventory, which is just awesome. Once you complete a "brew session", you click "finalize inventory", and it takes those ingredients out of your inventory. It also tells you things like strike water amount and temp, helps you formulate your mash profile, tells you ABV, attenuation and efficiency, and allows you to keep track of your original and final gravities for each session (as well as when it was bottled, etc.) Download the trial and you'll see what I mean. I couldn't brew without promash...well, I could, but it would take me ten times as long to work out the recipes. I'd gladly pay twice what they're asking for it.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:04 PM   #3
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Thanks! Is one better than the other as far as brewing AG or Extract?
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:05 PM   #4
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ProMash, BeerSmith, and BeerTools Pro seem to be the biggest favorites. ProMash and BeerSmith have free trial versions available for download, and BeerTools has a "light" online version (not Pro). TastyBrew.com also has a pretty simple (and free) online recipe tool.

I fiddled with all of them, and finally got ProMash. I basically just use it to help with recipe formulation, and for some of the standalone tools (hydrometer adjustment, strike temp, etc.). I still log everything from my brewing sessions in a good old paper notebook.

If you're brewing kits, or other people's recipes, I wouldn't bother (my two cents). But when you start creating your own recipes, the software can be helpful.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:09 PM   #5
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For brewing AG, I highly recommend some kind of software. It helps with calculations for mash schedules and water temps, volume calculations, color estimation, efficiency, IBUs, etc. They also have extensive lists of grains, hops, adjuncts, yeasts to choose from.

I suppose it would still help with extract/PM, but some of its functionality would go unused.

The thing I like the most is that all of your recipes and your brew log are kept in one place. I used to use a homegrown template with spreadsheets and calculations, but the s/w is soooo much better.

BTW - I use Beersmith. I much prefer its interface over Pro Mash. Much more modern, integrated, and intuitive to me.

 
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:12 PM   #6
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I think I like beersmith best. It has an inventory feature if you like keeping quantities on hand and it also has batch sparging as one of the built in defaults. After my free trial ran out, I was romanced by the newness of beertoolspro and bought that instead, sight unseen. It is actively being updated with user requested features but it's slow going. We've been promised an inventory feature soon. It's certainly the prettiest program as far as the gui is concerned, but I'd have to recommend beersmith at this point. It is super intuitive and you'll be brewing with it in no time. Big learning curve on beertoolspro and it's frustrating the hell out of me. Qbrew is still my favorite handy utility for quick calculations. It's free.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:49 PM   #7
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I'll put in a plug for Beersmith, too. I have used it, ProMash, Qbrew, and the online version of BeerTools. I think Beersmith is the easiest and most intuitive to use. ProMash is probably my second choice, but it hasn't been updated in years and is getting dated (e.g., hard to do batch sparge calculations with it by comparison to Beersmith).

And yes, it is equally handy for both AG and PM brewing, less so for extract.

 
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:03 PM   #8
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I would download them all and see which one you like the best.

 
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:09 PM   #9
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I have Promash and Beer tools Pro, I like beer tools pro better.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-boy
I have Promash and Beer tools Pro, I like beer tools pro better.
Why do you pref beer tools pro over promash?

 
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