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Brewer's Friend software questions

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Which version of the Brewer's Friend recipe generation tool do you prefer? Totally objective ;)

  • 1) The one we're used to, which was awesome, and listed ingredients logically by country of origin?

  • 2) The new version, which totally sucks, and lists ingredients by supplier?


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rhys333

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So, Brewer's Friend is my go-to site for recipe generation. I like how the malts have been categorized by country of origin and then listed below that in logical groupings.

But... now they've done away with the categories and the malts are all jumbled up in nonsensical fashion. I have to comb through the entire list to find what I want. What a frustration.

Brewer's Friend, why are you making me cry?
 

myndflyte

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Can't you just start typing and whittle down the options? Like type "wheat" and you're down to like 10 options.
 

CarolinaMatt

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just start typing and it begins to auto populate -- search in a broad manner to have the different options/maltster
 
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rhys333

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When change makes things worse. For example, it's not possible to type ingredients in the mobile version. You have to scroll through the whole thing.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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As far as I'm concerned this layout defies logic. My search criteria is country of origin before all else, and now I have to wade through a list of generic malts, often without even lovibond to go. As an example, there a multiple groupings of crystal malt without any obvious categories to explain why. It takes me three times as long to find anything, and I'm still not 100% sure I've selected the right one.

Its trying to do the thinking for me, and I just don't care for that.
 

BrewersFriend

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As far as I'm concerned this layout defies logic. My search criteria is country of origin before all else, and now I have to wade through a list of generic malts, often without even lovibond to go. As an example, there a multiple groupings of crystal malt without any obvious categories to explain why. It takes me three times as long to find anything, and I'm still not 100% sure I've selected the right one.

Its trying to do the thinking for me, and I just don't care for that.
This is a work in process- it will be resolved very very soon.

You will be able to search by maltster/brand, or a generic as before like "UK maris otter" if you wish. We have it up on the beta site, if you'd like to take a look.

If you're interested in looking at the beta site, or in helping to test it, we'd love to have your input! If you send us a private message here on this forum, we'll be glad to give you the link. We listen carefully to customer's feedback, both good and bad, in order to keep updating the software with the features and needs of the customers. If you're not happy, we do appreciate your input.
 

Jayjay1976

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I very much enjoy Brewer's Friend and I'm pleased that they continue to innovate. I welcome frequent changes and updates, and while not all will be improvements right off the bat, IMO the general direction of things has been positive in the year that I've been a user and I'm glad to see my subscription fees reflected in the frequent updates.

Oh hey, while I've got the publisher all buttered up, please add Castle Malting's Chateau Cara Ruby to the fermentables list. I luuurv it.

http://www.castlemalting.com/Castle...ficationID=178&CropYear=2012&Language=English
 

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We'll be glad to add it! Keep in mind that our newest update allows the user to add ingredients to the list as well, and then we simply approve (to make sure the data and things like spellings are correct). We allow brands/names/etc but we may edit them to keep them standardized for all users.
 

drgonzo2k2

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I'm glad someone started this thread. I have been struggling with this for days now. The biggest problem is that my inventory lists everything the old way (American - Pale 2-Row), but that is no longer a valid option from the recipe creator. So now I have to just take a guess at which one will match my inventory, create the recipe, click on "brew" and see if I made a match that will deduct from inventory. So far that's not worked at all, and then I have to go back and edit the recipe, try another 2-row, and hope for the best.

Also, not sure if it's related or not, but any recipe I try to brew with Caramel/Crystal 60 tries to deduct Caramel/Crystal 10 from my inventory.
 

BrewersFriend

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I'm sorry about the troubles you've had with the ingredients going with brands as well as unbranded grains.

We are pushing a fix for this today (hopefully). The developer is working on it right now, and we want it to be perfect.

It's working well in beta, and you can choose, say, Briess victory malt, or US victory malt (as an example). Some brewers like being able to name their brand (Rahr vs Briess, instead of "American pale malt, 2-row") while others want the more generic version.

This should happen ASAP.
 

Jayjay1976

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We'll be glad to add it! Keep in mind that our newest update allows the user to add ingredients to the list as well, and then we simply approve (to make sure the data and things like spellings are correct). We allow brands/names/etc but we may edit them to keep them standardized for all users.
Sounds like fun!
 

Jayjay1976

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I'm sorry about the troubles you've had with the ingredients going with brands as well as unbranded grains.

We are pushing a fix for this today (hopefully). The developer is working on it right now, and we want it to be perfect.

It's working well in beta, and you can choose, say, Briess victory malt, or US victory malt (as an example). Some brewers like being able to name their brand (Rahr vs Briess, instead of "American pale malt, 2-row") while others want the more generic version.

This should happen ASAP.
Keep up the good work!
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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This is a work in process- it will be resolved very very soon.

You will be able to search by maltster/brand, or a generic as before like "UK maris otter" if you wish. We have it up on the beta site, if you'd like to take a look.

If you're interested in looking at the beta site, or in helping to test it, we'd love to have your input! If you send us a private message here on this forum, we'll be glad to give you the link. We listen carefully to customer's feedback, both good and bad, in order to keep updating the software with the features and needs of the customers. If you're not happy, we do appreciate your input.

Thank you for your reply, BrewersFriend team. I'm glad to hear I'll still be able to search as before, and appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me. I took a look at the updated recipe builder today, and I have to say you guys did a great job. Still the best!
 

Piperlester

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I've found that my recipes still (as of Saturday) did not match the inventory - has anyone found an easy way to fix this, without re-adding all fermentables and hops? For my last batch, I just manually decremented the inventory, but that's a pain to do.
 

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I've found that my recipes still (as of Saturday) did not match the inventory - has anyone found an easy way to fix this, without re-adding all fermentables and hops? For my last batch, I just manually decremented the inventory, but that's a pain to do.
Try again today- it was fixed as of yesterday from what I can tell.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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I don't know what's happening with the recipe calculator. My efficiency estimates are way off all of a sudden. Also it will stop working at random when I'm inputting values. I don't trust my output numbers. What am I doing wrong?
 

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Why do you keep generic malt which you don't use? I don't use Brewersfriend, but an offline software, and the first thing I do is to delete all malt in the inventory, and add the ones I use with the data from the maltsters.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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Why do you keep generic malt which you don't use? I don't use Brewersfriend, but an offline software, and the first thing I do is to delete all malt in the inventory, and add the ones I use with the data from the maltsters.
I use that software too. Between the two of them, they are usually off by a predictable amount. One high and one low. BF doesn't have preloaded malts, so it's not that.
 

Yooper

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I don't know what's happening with the recipe calculator. My efficiency estimates are way off all of a sudden. Also it will stop working at random when I'm inputting values. I don't trust my output numbers. What am I doing wrong?
Check your settings. If you look at the main page of the recipe builder, you can now choose the volume to be at the end of the boil, or going into the fermenter. If that is checked incorrectly, your volume will be incorrect and that will cause the OG prediction to be incorrect.

upload_2019-8-5_7-38-38.png
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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Check your settings. If you look at the main page of the recipe builder, you can now choose the volume to be at the end of the boil, or going into the fermenter. If that is checked incorrectly, your volume will be incorrect and that will cause the OG prediction to be incorrect.

View attachment 638841
I noticed that Yooper, but it wasn't responding as I anticipate. Yesterday, when I adjusted the volumes, it automatically changed my efficiency as well. Then when I switched between fermenter and kettle, it stopped working.

I think it would work better to leave the post-boil field blank and require the user to input a value before calculations are provided. It's very easy to make a mistake, or question your results as was my case yesterday.
 

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I would expect an efficiency change whenever the volumes are changed. Unless I'm missing something that isn't an issue.

Not sure what the kettle setting stopped working means though. The fermenter efficiency setting should include all brewing losses starting with the mash through to the filling of the fermenter with wort. Where the kettle efficiency setting includes brewing losses starting with the mash through end of boil.

I've found that conveying the difference between kettle and fermenter efficiency settings can be difficult depending on who you talk to.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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I would expect an efficiency change whenever the volumes are changed. Unless I'm missing something that isn't an issue.

Not sure what the kettle setting stopped working means though. The fermenter efficiency setting should include all brewing losses starting with the mash through to the filling of the fermenter with wort. Where the kettle efficiency setting includes brewing losses starting with the mash through end of boil.

I've found that conveying the difference between kettle and fermenter efficiency settings can be difficult depending on who you talk to.
What i meant to say was that the calculator stopped working altogether when I switched between the fermentor and kettle setting. It basically froze when I tried inputting new values. It's not doing that now.

As for fermentor efficiency settings, I have always done as you describe (mash through fermentor losses), however I exclude volume loss due to kettle trub removal. For me, this can be as little as a few ounces of spent hops and debris to a pint or more, depending on the recipe. If I include that loss, my efficiency jumps from my usual 78% to mid-80s.

Now, where the remaining issue occurs (and it is a user mistake but an easy one to make with the recent changes), is the default batch size and post-boil volume numbers. It is preset to 5.5 and 6.5 gallons respectively. A loss of one gallon from post-boil to fermentor is unheard of (at least for me), so my suggestion is to leave the post-boil field blank. I think it is safer to automatically assume zero losses in volume from post-boil to fermentor, unless the user inputs a value.
 

Yooper

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What i meant to say was that the calculator stopped working altogether when I switched between the fermentor and kettle setting. It basically froze when I tried inputting new values. It's not doing that now.

As for fermentor efficiency settings, I have always done as you describe (mash through fermentor losses), however I exclude volume loss due to kettle trub removal. For me, this can be as little as a few ounces of spent hops and debris to a pint or more, depending on the recipe. If I include that loss, my efficiency jumps from my usual 78% to mid-80s.

Now, where the remaining issue occurs (and it is a user mistake but an easy one to make with the recent changes), is the default batch size and post-boil volume numbers. It is preset to 5.5 and 6.5 gallons respectively. A loss of one gallon from post-boil to fermentor is unheard of (at least for me), so my suggestion is to leave the post-boil field blank. I think it is safer to automatically assume zero losses in volume from post-boil to fermentor, unless the user inputs a value.
Those volumes come from your settings, where you put how much you boil off in your profile and equipment settings.

Everyone has different losses, so those are pulled from the settings for all brewers.
 

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I guess I'm a dinosaur because I use the BF phone app for all of my recipe building. I wish it was still supported. I prefer it because it is a cleaner interface than even the mobile browser version and I can use it when I am not online or have no reception, like in my basement.

I was very sad to hear BF not supporting the app anymore. I love it except it needs a clone feature. Like when you want to do a variation of a recipe you've already made, as it is I have to build it up from scratch. I should be able to clone (or copy/paste) the base recipe rather than having to start from nothing to do a slight variation.

But I will continue to use the app until I can't anymore. The lack of ongoing support for the app is why I let my subscription lapse.

Bring back support for the App, BF!

Oh, and the app sorts ingredients by country of origin. I haven't tried the other way because I only use the app.
 
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rhys333

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Those volumes come from your settings, where you put how much you boil off in your profile and equipment settings.

Everyone has different losses, so those are pulled from the settings for all brewers.
This is without being logged in, so it's assuming one gallon loss from post-boil to fermentor by default.

If I'm logged in, how is it possible to select one value for post-boil-to-fermentor losses? That value varies from batch to batch independently of boil-off rate due to ingredients and hopping rates.
 
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Yooper

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This is without being logged in, so it's assuming one gallon loss from post-boil to fermentor by default.

If I'm logged in, how is it possible to select one value for post-boil-to-fermentor losses? That value varies from batch to batch independently of boil-off rate due to ingredients and hopping rates.
That can be trickier. For me, I have a set hops absorption rate set in the profile, and my misc losses don't change.
upload_2019-8-8_17-33-43.png


For me, I boil off far more in the winter than in the summer (1 gallon or so per hour in summer, 1.5 gallon per hour in the winter), so it's easier for me to change it in the new part- just change my recipe builder because it's a variable:
upload_2019-8-8_17-35-15.png
 

Yooper

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I guess I'm a dinosaur because I use the BF phone app for all of my recipe building. I wish it was still supported. I prefer it because it is a cleaner interface than even the mobile browser version and I can use it when I am not online or have no reception, like in my basement.

I was very sad to hear BF not supporting the app anymore. I love it except it needs a clone feature. Like when you want to do a variation of a recipe you've already made, as it is I have to build it up from scratch. I should be able to clone (or copy/paste) the base recipe rather than having to start from nothing to do a slight variation.

But I will continue to use the app until I can't anymore. The lack of ongoing support for the app is why I let my subscription lapse.

Bring back support for the App, BF!

Oh, and the app sorts ingredients by country of origin. I haven't tried the other way because I only use the app.
The outcry has been heard- we need to update and improve the apps for sure. I know that's in the plan, but I don't have any idea of a timeline at all.
 
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rhys333

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That can be trickier. For me, I have a set hops absorption rate set in the profile, and my misc losses don't change.
View attachment 639258

For me, I boil off far more in the winter than in the summer (1 gallon or so per hour in summer, 1.5 gallon per hour in the winter), so it's easier for me to change it in the new part- just change my recipe builder because it's a variable:
View attachment 639259
Thanks Yooper. I'll log in and give that a try.
 

Cavpilot2000

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The outcry has been heard- we need to update and improve the apps for sure. I know that's in the plan, but I don't have any idea of a timeline at all.
That would be awesome. Thanks for listening.
I am going to renew my subscription anyway though, because while I don't use the online recipe builder (I still use the app), I do use the mash calculator and refractometer correction for every batch. I appreciate those tools.
 
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