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BeerSmith version 2 is the newest installment by owner Brad Smith. Brad is much more than just the inventor of a great program, he is all over the beer world via his own articles and great podcast. This program is my favorite brewing tool, and the most accurate thing I have ever used to formulate new recipes or to tweak beers I have already made. BeerSmith gives me everything I need to initially set up the program to my specific brewing equipment and practices, while also allowing me to check my brewing numbers to "fine-tune" the program for a perfect fit in my brewery. It starts with equipment setup and goes the whole way through every brewing process, finishing with accurate calculations to carbonate my newly brewed beers. This program will even keep a running inventory of supplies if you enter them.

This program is so intricate that you can add water profiles from geographic brewing locations all over the world, or even add your own water supply and manipulate mineral and chemical additions to create a totally personal profile for yourself. It doesn't stop with water. Grain can be adjusted for potential gravity, yield, color, moisture content, diastatic power, and even the protein level can be adjusted. This is way more than the average brewer might want to get into, but shows just how accurate/powerful the program can be. Hops are also completely adjustable for things such as their use during the boil (ex. Mash, First Wort Hopping, Boil, Steep/Whirlpool, and Dry Hop), the type (ex. Bittering, Aroma, or Both), what form you are using (ex. Pellets, Plugs, or Whole Leaf), the alpha and beta acid levels, and BeerSmith will even adjust things accordingly for the age of the hops you are using.
The information and calculations even go into further additions to your brew for ingredients like water agents, fining agents, spices/herbs, and other additions such as yeast nutrients. Along with the changes you can make, it helps you along the way with notes about the ingredients you are manipulating to give you a more informed decision making process. I find this very helpful if I might be adding to much of a grain that should not typically be used in such a high amount, or a hop that might not work as well as another choice. The sky is the limit!

As well as calculating recipe additions to an endless degree, the program gives you the flexibility to add/change important things such as finished brew-size or boil-size. BeerSmith changes everything else in my recipe relative to the changes I make. For instance, I might see that I am "over style" due to a change I make which allows me to then change something else to fit better. Mash schedules are just as intricate as the ingredients section when making fine-tuned adjustments. I can see what conventional sparges would do versus batch sparging. Water and temperature additions are easy to change, allowing me to get exactly what I want.
I can even set it up for Brew-In-A-Bag if I choose to, now how 'bout that!

Carbonation profiles and fermentation schedules are another easily
accessible, and personalize-able, tool contained in this fine piece of
craftsmanship of a program.
Expanding on what has already been mentioned, the program can be customized to show you predictions of all things important to you while you brew. Estimated gravity, IBU, color, and ABV are right there for observation while you brew and for evaluation after you brew. If the numbers don't fit your situation during a brew, then it's time to go back and tweek accordingly until you are flawlessly producing exactly what you are trying to achieve. Such a powerfully informative, helpful, and fun tool should be in every brewer's toolbox. Take the 21 day trial by clicking here and see why so many of us just can't do without it, or more accurately won't!

John Lowry is Wortmonger, a member of HomeBrewTalk since November 2006 and the newest writer to join our team! I look forward to more reviews and commentary from John as we steadily cover everything in the homebrewing universe. Thanks to John for this great review of BeerSmith!
Love the program, steep learning curve to get your stuff dialed in, but worth the effort.
I love BeerSmith. I feel like my abilities are just a tiny bit of the potential the program has, but the more I play with it, the more I learn.
It took me a while to get used to using version 2, but eventually I warmed up to it. What's great is it just isn't for making beer recipes. I do everything from brix to gravity conversions to figuring out dilution volumes.
I completely agree. This program lets you go to the next level. I started off making some good beer, and now i make great beer. The tools alone are worth it. And lets not forget about the beersmith recipe database. Great article. Thank you.

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