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Old 05-26-2012, 03:51 AM   #1
Mar 2012
Southampton, Massachusetts
Posts: 119
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So I want to start monkeying with recipes, trying recipes on this site. I downloaded the 21 day beersmith. I found a Founder's porter clone here that I want to try, it's all grain so I plugged into beersmith and then converted to extract. When looking at whether it's in the "range" of IBUs color etc it's off. It's off as an all grain never mind once I convert. Does it matter? Also -- once I convert I get some real funky measurements for ingredients -- like I don't know how I'm gonna measure out 10.35 oz of LME for example. What do folks do to "standardize"?? Do you just round up/down to quantities normally sold? Beersmith has a sale on the software now so maybe I'll buy but want to know it's useful first.

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:01 AM   #2
Aug 2011
Boise, ID
Posts: 100
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Good ole beer smith. When your subscription runs out there is a free website called It is not as in depth but it is free and you can search for recipes within the community. As far as the IBUs go you can always adjust for your taste as well. Or set the style you are looking to achieve(ex: baltic porter) and match up for SRM,IBU,OG/FG and what not.

As far as ingredients go I would probably round up to the nearest 1/2 oz I dont feel with the extract that it would make to big of a difference. My local brew shop sells it by the ounce instead of the pre-measured 1lb bag. Not sure if you can find something similar.
You could also try DME which is easier to break up a bag and re-seal it. And you only have to use half as much

What were the ibus of the orig and what did it turn out as with the conversion?

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:02 AM   #3
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HopSong's Avatar
Sep 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 1,945
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The folks I know use it and like it... I don't know if they love it. That said, there seems to be quite a learning curve.. especially to an old [email protected] like me. I looked at the videos BS has and didn't take anything away.. probably because it was for all grain and I'm still at extract and extract with grains.

I had questions about setting up my brewery info so I could get good answers.. but, my questions to BS were too terse for me.. no real explanation. I received no help./answers from the BS forum.

For me, unless I can get some help for this tired old mind.. it's wasted money. I'm not giving up hope yet
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Hop Song Brewing

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:37 AM   #4
helibrewer's Avatar
Nov 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,808
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I use BeerSmith and really like it. For the conversions there are settings that determine what kind of extract gets substituted for various type of grain. I'm not sure how well the default settings behave.

It also uses gravity points to do the calculations so you're not going to get nice round ingredient numbers, you'll have to round up/down and tweak the recipe to get the original grain bill percentages as close as possible.

BeerSmith has been an invaluable tool for me especially when increasing batch sizes for loss adjustments, making water chemistry adjustments, printing my brewing steps...and it now incorporates Cloud recipe storing/sharing and built in timers based on your recipe.
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:06 PM   #5
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
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I too use it and really like it, there is a learning curve as with everything and it takes a bit of work to properly set up your equipment profile.

Recipe conversions do take a bit to figure out and my experience is yes, there is some tweaking required if you don't have a scale or just want nice round numbers but with the individual slide tabs it is pretty easy to manipulate a recipe to get it where you need it to be.

Also the database is pretty comprehensive for ingredients and all the conversion tools are great. Also as mentioned there are a lot of ways to change the defaults so as you get more familiar with it recipe creation becomes quite easy.
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
downtown3641's Avatar
Mar 2011
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Posts: 572
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Rounding is fine. I do it quite often. I do enjoy being able to go into the program with an idea of what I want for grain percentages and be able to scale up to a certain original gravity.

It's a wonderful program if you are willing to take the time to tweak it to your needs.
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:31 PM   #7
MichaelBrock's Avatar
Jun 2011
Alachua, FL
Posts: 498
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There is definitely a learning curve when first using Beersmith. The toughest bit is configuring the equipment profile to match your own equipment.

If you're entering someone else's recipe and the numbers aren't matching what is reported for that recipe check to make sure that you are using the same batch size and efficiency. If they report only the batch size, then adjust the efficiency until the numbers match what is expected. You can then use Beersmith's scaling tool to scale the recipe to fit your own efficiency and batch size. For this feature alone I find Beersmith invaluable.

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Old 05-26-2012, 01:37 PM   #8
swerner's Avatar
Jan 2012
Severna Park, MD
Posts: 62
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IMO, Beersmith is probably the most useful program available for formulating recipes. I use it all the time and the newest version includes an internet cloud where you can store and share recipes with other brewers. It'll be the best $20 you'll ever spend beer related. I suggest getting it(especially since it's on sale). You won't be sorry.

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Old 05-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
JLem's Avatar
Jan 2009
Attleboro, MA
Posts: 3,636
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I think beersmith was probably one of my best brewing investments. Does take some time to figure out though - and I probably only need 25% of what it can do.

As for matching specs on recipes, the thing to also keep in mind is that there are various formulas out there for estimating things like IBUs and color. For IBUs, there are 3 main formulas - Rager, Tinseth, and Garetz. You can select which one beersmith uses and, depending on that selection, you will get different IBU estimates. Sometimes the estimates are not even close to each other. This could be why you are getting different IBUs than the original recipe.

Also, the size of you boil and when you add your extract will also impact you IBU estimates.

Color should be more straightforward as long as you have the proper volumes, grain colors, and amounts set.
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