I decided that rather than spend money on canned brewing software (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it would be fun to develop a recipe builder on my own. I know my way around Excel, and all of the critical brewing formulas are readily available to anyone who has an internet connection, so I thought, “why not?” About ten months later, here is my creation in its current form. It is far from perfect. The dry hopping and fermentation areas in particular are inefficient in their usage of space, poorly designed, and overall lack the “bang for your buck” that the other areas of the sheet achieve. That said, I don’t tend to dry hop much, so that hasn’t become much of a problem for me. I really like the builder and use it for all of my brews. I generally build the recipe, print it, and take notes on it throughout the brew day, then punch some holes in it and throw it in a binder.
Though it is far from perfect, it works very well for me and I thought it might work for others as well. Also, I am confident that there are other spreadsheet nerds out there who also love home brewing who can take what I’ve done here and improve on it. I like the idea of it being sort of like an open source document in spreadsheet form, rather than a software program. I am quite limited in the programming area. Of course, if any of you programmers out there want to give it a whirl by all means go crazy. If enough people like the builder and get involved it could be a living, breathing recipe builder that evolves over time into something way better than I would do on my own. I have no financial interest in this. So, feel free to download it and check it out. Any feedback is welcome. Suggestions for improvements, improvements you make, criticisms (be nice ), whatever – all are welcome and in fact, encouraged! Though I like and use the builder in its current form, I see this as a beginning. Also, I’m sure there are things I have left out – please ask any questions that come to mind and I’ll be happy to answer them as quickly as I can. I plan on editing the original post as questions come in that highlight missing information, typos, etc.
I would like to acknowledge and thank the following people for making available the brewing formulas I used in the making of this builder, and for their generous gift of homebrewing knowledge and experience through their websites and various forum contributions. I owe you and many others a huge tip ‘o the cap and a thank you. Without your efforts I could not create this builder.
Credit also to the Beer Judge Certification Program for the 2008 BJCP Style Guidelines, and BYO.com for their grain, hop, and yeast charts.
Here is a link to the download: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/75330431/Bretz … ilder.xlsx
Specifics on the builder to follow…