BeerSmith 2.2 Update for Desktop Quick Preview

by Brad Smith on November 17, 2013 · 15 comments

bs2For several months now I’ve been hard at work on the BeerSmith 2.2 update for the BeerSmith desktop for this year’s brewing season. It is currently in beta testing. The update attempts to clean up some of the clutter in the interface, as well as add a number of the features fellow brewers have most requested over the last year.

My goal is to have this update available on Mac and PC by the end of November 2013, and have it available for Linux shortly after that. It will be a free update for all existing desktop (paid) users.

Key Features

  • I’ve cleaned up the main screen a bit by turning off the ribbon (you can optionally turn it on if desired) and including a simple shortcut tree on the left side to change views. It also has a list of favorites for the views and tools you use most, and you can add any view or tool to the favorites list by right clicking on it and using the add/delete button.
  • The “Search All” command is back – you can search all of your local recipes at once by keywords including ingredient names, style and recipe names. There are options for finding recipes that have any of the terms or must have all of the terms, so you can now look for recipes that contain certain ingredients.
  • A “Cloud Search” tool is now integrated so you can search from thousands of shared BeerSmith recipes on BeerSmithRecipes.com from within the program. This feature, which was introduced in BeerSmith mobile, lets you find great recipes and save them locally so you can scale them to match your equipment.
  • An equipment wizard helps to make the creation of new equipment profiles a bit easier.
  • A “Recipe Archive” is now active which records every change you make on the desktop to your recipes. So you can recover a version you edited had last week, for instance.
  • Reports are now CSS based so they look better and it opens up new options for adding custom reports. Reports also can now have the “beer glass” icon on them.
  • A new adjust gravity tool has been completed for correcting your OG with water or dry malt extract if you miss your target OG
  • The IBU contribution for whirlpool/steeped hops at the end of the boil is now included
  • Lactose and other non fermentables are now allowable – you can mark fermentables as “non fermentable” and it will impact your FG calculation correctly.
  • Print preview and the brew steps report are now displayed in a separate tab for much easier viewing
  • Updates can be downloaded in the background and installed from the program now
  • You can now save profiles from a recipe to make it easier to save profiles you may have created on your mobile device to the desktop version.
  • A large number of bug fixes have been made including error recovery, enhanced stability, printing, etc…

After the desktop update is complete, I intend to update BeerSmith Mobile to take advantage of the new whirlpool hops, non fermentables and bring it up to date. Also I will be focusing on more frequent desktop updates going forward, as there are a number of new water tools and other features I would still like to add.

Thanks for all of your support – I hope BeerSmith has in some way contributed to your brewing experience, and I encourage you to sign up for the podcast or newsletter if you want to get more articles and discussion on home brewing.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Les Heard November 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I have your software and promote it. After all I would like to sell some keys which I have not purchased yet due to lack of interest by customers.

Now for my real message.

I started using ProMash many years ago, understand it, and know how it works. I will mostly likely continue to use it. I am used to having saved recipes that I load for a new brew session and then tweak the hops based on changes in alpha acids. I can then replace the existing recipe, save it as a new recipe, or save it as a unique brew session.

Does Beer Smith work the same way? I do not like selling something I do not understand.

Les Heard

Jack November 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Great to hear about the update Brad. I’ve been using Beersmith for a few years now. One feature that I’d love to see is the use of keyboard shortcuts. Most windows programs have access to keyboard shortcuts via the ALT key. I seldom use my mouse and prefer to use the keyboard. Any chances of that coming down the line?

Thanks for the great product,

Jack

Ken Buck November 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Awesome news about the update. I just recently switched from ProMash and so far it’s been a smooth transition and even some nice surprises/features. There have also been a few things that were in available in Promash that I miss.
1. Ability to have hops storage effects calculated right in the recipe design i.e. when I add the hops to the recipe I could indicate how old they were and it would calculate the reductions in acids.
2. A toggle or filter in the inventory view to only show items in stock. It was nice to just look at my inventory to see what I had overall.
3. Change the list order of the recipe ingredient line items. There is a “#” field/column but I’m not sure what the criteria for it is.

I’ll let you know if I identify more opportunities for enhancements (in my opinion). Thank you for making such a great product and keeping homebrewing fun. Also, thank you so much for the podcasts. I’ve been brewing for 20+ years, but I’ve learned so much from your podcasts. Especially recently on Water! Your sessions with Kai and John Palmer encouraged me to take on my water profiles, and know I’m making good beers so much better!! Thanks again.

Ken

Mike Sutor November 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Thanks again for all the hard work Brad! The new features sound great and I look forward to using them. If you need any additional beta testers just let me know.

Steve Smalenberg November 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Looking forward to it. What approach are you taking to calculating IBU for whirlpool/steep additions? I’m under the impression from comments made by Jamil Z on the BN that this would be very difficult to quantify because there isn’t a strong body of work around it and the variability (concentration of wort, temperature, rate of cooling, etc) involved.

Brad Smith November 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm

There is a limited supply of information here. However I did find one paper that said that the whirlpool utilization at 90 C was approximately half the utilization at boiling, and drops off significantly below that temperature as well. So I calculate the utlization based on half the regular utilization as a default though you can change that factor if needed depending on what your steep/whirlpool temp might be.

James Reedy November 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm

“Lactose and other non fermentables are now allowable – you can mark fermentables as “non fermentable” and it will impact your FG calculation correctly.” – Very nice I like this, I’m assuming the result will be the anticipated OG with consideration for the non-fermentables along with a correct prediction of FG/ABV?

As an aside, either I’m doing something wrong or I simply don’t understand something. I’ve built recipes and I add in the yeast and it doesn’t seem to matter if I add the yeast or not the predicted FG doesn’t change. That seems odd, wouldn’t the attenuation range of the yeast set the predicted FG range and ABV range? Mine isn’t behaving at all like that…heck I can delete the yeast an it still shows an FG, a sensible one at that.

Brad Smith November 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Hi,
Yes the non fermentables will impact both OG and FG. For the yeast, if you have no yeast it assumes a reasonable attenuation of something like 70% (I can’t recall the default off the top of my head). If you have a yeast it will use the average attenuation value for that yeast.

Adam S November 19, 2013 at 9:07 am

There is, I think it is a bug, or at least I find it strange, where the loss to trub and chiller in the equipment profile is seemingly meaningless. For example if 10 pounds of grain gives me an OG of 1.050, and I had one gallon of water as trub/chiller loss, BeerSmith still shows an OG of 1.050 despite my batch size effectively increasing.

As a workaround, I just increase my batch size by that amount.

I’m wondering if you took a look at that feature for this update.

Jason T November 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Great news! Beersmith is awesome. I volunteer to beta test on Mac OS. I hope that you are still going to build the binary for 32-bit since my brewhouse computer is old and runs Snow Leopard, thought I do have Mavericks on some boxes.

David Rosenbaum November 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Thanks for continuing to update Beer Smith, and I’m excited about the new features, particularly the one that allows you to adjust if you undershoot gravity.

One thing I’m concerned about is that the mash efficiency seems to be consistently difficult to get right, and my last recipe BeerSmith estimated 75% and I hit 65%, which is normal considering a 20lb grain bill for a 5 gal batch (at least on my 10gal cooler equipment). There was no way to manually adjust the efficiency expectation downward (as there is in ProMash).

I had a similar problem on a 1 gal BIAB where BeerSmith estimated 91.5% mash efficiency, which was completely off, and I got closer to about 80%. Again, I would never have worked with 91.5%, it is just not a credible number, but there’s no manual editing of this. What are your plans to provide more control of this critical element of recipe formulation?

Thanks!

mdma November 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm

@Ken Buck

I too would like the hops IBUs to be calculated from how long they have been in storage. This presumably means the inventory needs to know not just the quantity, but storage conditions (the same conditions currently input into the hop age tool.) I buy hops in bulk and have them in the freezer for over a year, sometimes two.

Your 2nd request, showing only ingredients in the inventory is already there. E.g. you click “Add grain” and a new window opens. There’s a checkbox with “Show Only Items in Inventory”.

Your 3rd request is also covered – you can sort by any of the fields by clicking on the header. E.g. to sort grain by color, just click on the “Color” header.

(I’m using the Windows version – I assume the other OSs behave the same way.)

Matt D November 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I do all my hop stands/steeps under 180 degrees to impart flavor & aroma ONLY without any bitterness contributions. After upgrading to v 2.2, my IBU’s are off the charts for all my IPA recipes. Is there a way to add steeped hop additions w/o making the Alpha/Beta percents to 0?

Thanks!

Brad Smith November 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Matt- You can go to Options->Bitterness and set the “Steep/Whirlpool Util Factor” to zero, and this will essentially set all steep/whirlpool additions to have zero IBUs like they did before.

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