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Beersmith good ,bad, indifferent?

I’m looking at getting some kind of software. I downloaded a 15 day free trial of Beersmith 2.0. Does anybody have any experience with this, because I am feeling that this is really hard to navigate? let me know what you use and why? Thanks.

I use it and find it helpful. It was just a whim as between other choices, but I had been using Beer Calculus for free and I liked the additional features and the tab approach to the layout onscreen. It has had its glitches and tweaks, but I think it is operating pretty well. Others talk of ProMash, but I haven’t used that one.

I picked it up about 6 months ago and am pretty happy with it. There are things they could improve on, but on the whole it has made things pretty easy and fun for me.

There are a few minor issues like their color spectrum within styles etc that seem a little off, but nothing major.

I have not tried other programs, but when looking into it originally, no program is perfect. And for the homebrewer this one seemed to be the most popular. For the pricetag it is not a major risk to try it for a year or two and see if you like it. Down the road I might try something else for fun.

After being a Promash user for 15 years, I started trying to learn Beersmith about a year ago. I still haven’t mastered it and switched over. I’m not sure I ever will. Between familiarity with Promash and the fact that it seems more straightforward I may not switch. Also, because it’s so comprehensive, I find too many people look at Beersmith as “brewing instructions” and blindly do whatever it tell them to do. If you do use it, be sure to use it as a tool and think for yourself.

+1 for Denny’s comment. I mainly use it for creating recipes, water volume, etc. But I’ve learned to not trust it implicitly. I’ve found that a lot of my recipes looked like they were perfectly balanced, only to come out under hopped. Beyond that I like Beersmith a lot. I can be a little cumbersome, but I find it pretty easy to navigate. Plus you’ve got a lot of add ons, including NB’s recipe catalog.

I love it myself. Its a great tool for designing and tweaking recipes, because you can see the immediate impact a change has on gravity, color, ibu, etc.

I long ago converted to Denny’s method of mashing and batch sparging in a rectangular cooler (thank you sir!), and I find beersmith’s built in mash profiles still don’t do the batch sparge process quite right. It also doesn’t help much for complex mashes like cereal mash. So like Denny said, don’t look at it as a substitute for thinking for yourself. Could all just be operator error on my part.

I also think the 2.0 interface is a little clunky compared to the older version, and it looks particularly crappy on older non-widescreen monitors.

These are all minor gripes though, I think its a great tool and I use it every time I brew.

+3 with Denny. I actually love all the different aspects of brewing the program provides and can spend hours on there playing with the fetures etc. But after 3 or 4 brews I know it is not the be all and end all of brewing. If you don’t know what you are doing going into it, you won’t be that much better with it.

I do find the brewery management aspects quite usefull

I like Beersmith. I have the first version, just haven’t felt I need to upgrade to the new version just yet. It’s suiting me fine.

I really like the tabs in version 2. You can have multiple recipes open, which makes comparing things a lot easier.

Overall, I’m happy with Beersmith, but as others have said, it’s another tool. Knowing what an ingredient brings to the table is just as important as calculating the numbers.

Overall, 2.0 added a lot of important features, but also added a lot of unneeded complexity. i think the later versions of v1 were better than 2.
I think it is great software though.

How does one get NB’s recipe catalog?

It’s probably great if you’re smart. I got it a year ago, and couldn’t figure it out, so I quit.

If you’re dumb like me, it’s not good.

In Beersmith 2: File > Add-ons > Add

I’ve been using it for 5 years or so and think it’s a pretty useful tool for the money. I mainly use it to create and catalog recipes, some of the tools are useful but I don’t bother with most of them.

I love Beersmith, but haven’t seriously tried anything else. I considered Promash initially, but ruled it out because it is no longer in development.

Very robust software.

The thing that has impressed me most about Beersmith is how accurate the mash infusion temp estimate is for my system. I normally end up hitting my target mash temp on the money. Surprises me every time. But I imagine other free apps can do this too with the right input values.

The new cloud feature is interesting, but won’t be terribly useful IMHO until smartphone/tablet apps are available.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]
The new cloud feature is interesting, but won’t be terribly useful IMHO until smartphone/tablet apps are available.[/quote]

I like Beersmith a lot too. I actually really like the cloud feature but mostly because I do all my dreaming and recipe concocting on my desktop computer. I then save those recipes on cloud and when I’m outside brewing with my old POS laptop I can just hit the cloud button and there is all the recipes I’ve made on desktop inside.

I’ve never really used anything else but the other function I love about Brewsmith is the timer. My first couple brew days revolved around me looking at my crappy phone timer to keep everything straight. Now I just hit the timer tab while looking at the recipe and it’s all laid out with multiple alarms and everything. It’s really just a tool that frees me up to do other stuff in the yard as I’m brewing ha… Plus it doesn’t hurt if you’re enjoying adult beverage to have a backup plan/alarm in case your mind wanders at the wrong time.

Lastly, while using the timer on brew day I really like the fact I can go back into the recipe and change it on the fly and have those changes immediately go into effect in the already running timer tab. For example, I sometimes to forget to add whirlfloc in my recipes (as well as while brewing sometimes) and halfway through the boil I’ll remember, add it to the recipe and voila, it’s entered into the timer schedule at 15 min to remind me to throw the tablet in. Those changes could be anything.

I also like to jam out with itunes or pandora while brewing. hiding Brewsmith in the background but all the timer functions are still working etc.

Yeah, good point. I do the same with my desktop/laptop, but before the cloud service existed I started storing my Beersmith data files on a server where I can access them from either device–and save tweaks for free, unlike the cloud service.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]
Yeah, good point. I do the same with my desktop/laptop, but before the cloud service existed I started storing my Beersmith data files on a server where I can access them from either device–and save tweaks for free, unlike the cloud service.[/quote]

When you say ’ save tweaks for free, unlike the cloud service’, what does that mean? I’m not paying anything extra for Cloud service. Maybe I’m not using the whole she-bang or something, but I just use it to access my recipes from any of my computers. That’s it really, although I know it has other functions. Maybe I’m only using the free or trial version (of cloud) or something, I’ll have to go look.

eta. Maybe you’re talking about using something different from Brewsmith//Cloud altogether…

[quote=“SolomonsCommune”]
When you say ’ save tweaks for free, unlike the cloud service’, what does that mean? I’m not paying anything extra for Cloud service. Maybe I’m not using the whole she-bang or something, but I just use it to access my recipes from any of my computers. That’s it really, although I know it has other functions. Maybe I’m only using the free or trial version (of cloud) or something, I’ll have to go look.

eta. Maybe you’re talking about using something different from Brewsmith//Cloud altogether…[/quote]
It sounds like he stores all of his Beersmith data on a network drive, so each computer is using the same data files. The Beersmith Cloud gives you 10 recipes for free, but you can pay for more storage. 10 has been fine for me, as I use it like you do to swap to my netbook.

[quote=“BrewingRover”]
It sounds like he stores all of his Beersmith data on a network drive, so each computer is using the same data files. The Beersmith Cloud gives you 10 recipes for free, but you can pay for more storage. 10 has been fine for me, as I use it like you do to swap to my netbook.[/quote]
Yep, exactly. You can delete and re-upload recipes to the cloud service with the free account, but you can’t open them, edit and save back up to the server unless you upgrade to a paid account.

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