BeerSmith 3.1 New Update Features

by Brad Smith on June 11, 2020 · 0 comments

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Here is a summary of the new features coming in the BeerSmith 3.1 desktop update. I have posted the open beta version on the main download page at BeerSmith.com, and plan to publish the formal release in the next week or two. You can find additional details for all updates in the formal BeerSmith 3.1 release notes here. Also the earlier BeerSmith 3.0 release notes are here.

BeerSmith 3.1 Overview

BeerSmith 3.1 is another great step forward in the long term development of the BeerSmith suite of products. The focus in BeerSmith 3.1 was to lay the groundwork for an upcoming web based version of BeerSmith, as well as add some critical new features and updates to BeerSmith desktop.

Data Storage and Future Sync

One of the largest changes in 3.1 is the underlying data storage, which has moved to an incremental transaction based system. Older versions of BeerSmith read your data in on startup and saved it when you shut down the program. This created problems if the program or computer crashed or was shut down before BeerSmith could save the data. The new system stores data as soon as you press OK, so it should significantly cut down on data loss.

An additional benefit in the new system is that it lays the groundwork for syncing all data including profiles, ingredients and recipes across platforms. While not complete yet, this is my long term goal, and I’ve started work on an online web based version of BeerSmith which will sync with other platforms. In fact last Fall I released the Tools portion of this on BeerSmithRecipes.com and also made it mobile friendly. In fact, Gold+ mobile users of BeerSmithRecipes.com have basically the same functionality as the older BeerSmith lite mobile app now.

I’ve also moved the default data location of BeerSmith data to the %APPDATA%/BeerSmith3 on windows or ~Library/Application Support/BeerSmith3 on the Mac to comply with app security recommendations and also reduce issues with Antivirus programs which often block access to Documents. On startup you will be asked if you want to move your data to the new locations, which I do recommend.

To make it easier to backup/recover your data there are now Backup and Recover from Zip file commands on the File menu.

Brewing Features

A large number of people have requested the ability to import TILT data, which you can now do from the Session tab. Near the bottom there is a new Tilt Data Import button that lets you import either Tilt CSV data, or data from a Google Spreadsheet link. The data will be recorded and displayed on the temperature/gravity graph in BeerSmith.

BeerSmith 3.1 adds support for specifying both dry hop phase and days into the phase to support the more complex dry hop schedules that brewers are using now including dry hops in the primary fermenter. Dry hop additions also now show up on the brewing calendar.

I’ve also added support for adding dark grains at the very end of the mash or early in the sparge. This is a popular technique that helps reduce the harsh flavors from very dark grains. In BeerSmith you can now specify these grains as “sparge” additions and they will be excluded from the mash water volume and pH calculations but included in the sparge water calculations, so you can “sparge” your dark grains now.

I’ve added an additional mash pH model based roughly on the popular BNW calculator. The previous BeerSmith mash pH calculator used the MPH model but some brewers preferred an alternate model so now you can select which mash pH model to use on the mash tab. In general the two models are very close with mash pH estimates, but the BW model will result in much less acid needed to adjust the pH than the MPH model.

Other Changes

A large number of bug fixes and feature enhancements are in the program as well as an attempt to reduce some of the on-screen clutter. Again I refer you to the specific release notes for more details on these features.

  • The ability to customize cloud views with most recipe fields including recipe date for better sorting/management of cloud folders
  • Added a new option under Options->Brewing to make it easier to install a Lang.xml file into the program for using BeerSmith in other languages.
  • Added a new “Diastatic Power” value for recipes which estimates the diastatic power for the recipe. Values above 30 are considered good and will self convert, while those below that may not.
  • Simplified the installation of custom reports under Options->Reports
  • Removed the menu icons on the main menu by default to reduce clutter. You can turn these on if you prefer by going to Options->Look and Feel and checking the box “Show Menu Bar Icons”
  • Removed the small circular ball indicators from dialogs by default as they were causing confusion for new users. You can still turn them on if desired by going to Options->Look and Feel and checking the box “Show indicators”
  • A large number of bugs and crashes were fixed to improve stability.

Summary

I hope you enjoy the improved version of BeerSmith desktop. I am working on a companion 3.1 update for BeerSmith mobile as well as a web based version of BeerSmith for the future.

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