Author Topic: Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid  (Read 7932 times)

Offline ScottKinD

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Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid
« on: January 19, 2012, 08:46:57 AM »
The inventory items for hops don't let you change the alpha acid???  Since every new purchase is going to have a different Alpha Acid % this seems really wrong.  It means that every time I add hops I have to go to a sheet of paper where I wrote down the AA's of what I have and change them in the recipe.  Kind of defeats the whole Idea of having an inventory in the application.

Maybe I'm missing something.  But it seems the only way to get it to sort of work is to change it in the ingredients section, but then it changes it for all.  Unless you add a new ingredient for every hop purchase.  At that point the paper is simpler.

Offline graymoment

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Re: Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 09:43:49 PM »
I have the exact same issue. I'm adding in all of my hop inventory into BeerSmith right now, and as I do it I cannot for the life of me figure out how to add in the profile of each specific addition. I am new to the software, so I could be missing something. It seems like we either need to:

(A) Go with the default alpha/beta acid profile of the hop variety, or
(B) Change the default alpha/beta acid profile of the hop variety to the new inventory addition (and therefore change it for all previous additions currently in inventory)

It would seem like there could be a default hop profile for a specific hop (the "typical" profile of that hop), as well as a profile of each specific hop addition into the inventory.

Additionally, it would be good to know not only the alpha/beta profile of each addition in my inventory, but also the year of the harvest and when I purchased it so that the HSI can be properly calculated.

Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 02:31:04 PM »
Hi Guys,

I don't mean to stick my nose in, but you may looking to make the alpha changes in the wrong place. If you go to the "Ingredients" database and open Hops, you can make any characteristic changes required, even the inventory quantity.

I use this trick to track changes. I NEVER change the original values. I copy the hop, say "Amarillo", and then paste it back. Then I open the duplicate and change the name to "Amarillo 12/10 buy". While in there I update all characteristic values (even inventory quantity). Now I have a record of just this "buy" of hops. Since I buy in bulk, it is important to keep this record of characteristic values and purchase date so I can use the "Hop Age Tool" as I work my way through this "buy" of hops.

Then I make another copy/paste from this and rename it "Amarillo - Current". This is the one I select for a recipe. It is also the one to which I make the ageing changes. I update "Amarillo - current" alpha acid % value every three months. Since I have made no changes to Amarillo - 12/10 buy. I have all of the information to give to the Hop Age tool even a year later.

Since I usually only  have 3 to 4 hop varieties in inventory, I often prefix the name with "A - ". So my working value would appear as "A - Amarillo - current". The prefix floats my working hops to the top of the list so they are easier to find when building a recipe.

This all may sound more complicated than it really is. If you were to open my Hop data base, you would typically see something like this:

At the top you would see:

A - Amarillo - current
A - Centennial - current
A- Northern Brewer - Current

Further down you would see:

Amarillo (the original database entry)
Amarillo - 12/10 buy

Further down you would see:

Centennial (the original database entry)
Centennial - 12/10 buy

Hope some of this helps :)

Preston
 
In Fall and Winter, we burn wood in the fireplace and brew beer.
In Spring & Summer, we're on the water or walking the beach!
 Then back at the dock we create a reason to brew!

Offline ScottKinD

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Re: Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 12:35:27 AM »
That would work but it seems the wrong place to be doing it.  Over time you will have a new "ingredient" for every single hop purchase?  I'm also buying in bulk so for me it's not too bad but for those that buy in small quantities your talking a mountain of entries.

THere are some serious minuses to Beer Alchemy but the inventory is done pretty well.  The "ingredient" data base supplies your base info but if you use the inventory tracking then when you buy something all that is pasted and you set purchase dates and the specifics like AA%, who you bought it from etc.  Once you have used up all of a purchase it either goes away or stays as an item with no inventory ( so if you buy again from the same source a lot is already entered).

Your way will work but it's a workaround for a poorly (well at least not well) implemented feature IMHO.

Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 03:28:04 AM »
ScoyyKinD,

Wow it sounds like I can learn something here to improve my process and that Beer Alchemy is the program for you! I hope you don't mind a couple of questions;

That would work but it seems the wrong place to be doing it.  Over time you will have a new "ingredient" for every single hop purchase? 
Isn't that what you want to do? Each bulk hop purchase even if it is the same variety usually has a different AA and probably a different harvest date so it needs a different entry. If you are just buying small ounce quantities from the LHBS, then you don't need the additional entry or that piece of paper, you just click the default database value into the recipe and edit the "AA" value there as you won't have to age something that you only have around for 1 or 2 brews.

I'm also buying in bulk so for me it's not too bad but for those that buy in small quantities your talking a mountain of entries.
Wow - how many varieties of hops do you keep on hand if you have a "Mountain" of entries? Do you keep all that information on a sheet of paper or a notebook?
If you don't make the entry in Beer Alchemy, how do you keep track of so many different characteristic and harvest date values? I'd be lost with just a few varieties.

There are some serious minuses to Beer Alchemy but the inventory is done pretty well.  The "ingredient" data base supplies your base info but if you use the inventory tracking then when you buy something all that is pasted and you set purchase dates and the specifics like AA%, who you bought it from etc.  Once you have used up all of a purchase it either goes away or stays as an item with no inventory ( so if you buy again from the same source a lot is already entered).

I know absolutely nothing about Beer Alchemy but aren't you doing the same thing?? You create an item entry and set the purchase date, AA value, and inventory quantity. As you use it, if you implement the inventory feature, the inventory works its way to zero. At that point you decide to leave it in the database until you purchase again or you use the delete key and make it go away. Are you saying that Beer Alchemy deletes the database entry automatically when the inventory goes to zero?? I'm not sure that's a good thing or a bad thing. For me, I want to make that decision, and I do with the delete key.

Hops are a far more complex database issue than most other ingredients, because each time you buy them, they have a different value, and even if you (like me) keep them vacuum packed in an oxygen barrier bag in the freezer, the AA value changes over time.  Let's take a look at a typical real world case using "Amarillo".

The typical Average database value for Amarillo is around 8.5% AA. In a bulk purchase of freshly harvested whole hops, the harvest value was 10.7% AA. As you are using them over the year, they age down to 9.05% AA. When you get low, you make another purchase and they come in at 9.9%. Most other database items don't have this complexity. Since hops play such a key role in the character of your beer, to brew it repeatably, they need to be carefully tracked. For me, when I get near the end of my supply it seems like I always end up needing say 41.5 IBU for bittering which requires about 1 1/2 oz of say Amarillo @ 9.05% AA. I only have 1/2 oz left that has aged to 9.05%. That's only going to give 13.8 of the needed 41.5 IBU. I need the additional 27.7 IBU from a new buy that is 10.7%. It's not a problem having handled it in the database. I merely add 1/2 oz of "Amarillo-Current" at 9.05% and 1 oz of "Amarillo 11/11 buy at 10.7%. This overshoots my required IBU so I just decrement the quantity of "Amarillo 11/11 buy" until my total IBU equals 41.5. The Inventory value for Amarilllo-current goes to zero and the inventory value for Amarillo 11/11 buy decrements by about .840 oz. No problems. Then I just copy the new values from Amarillo 11/11 buy to Amarillo-current. As I brew, I use the values/inventory from Amarillo-current and preserve the values from Amarillo 11/11 buy to be looked up when I'm ready to age "Amarillo-current".

Please help me understand how If and How Beer Alchemy handles all of this automatically. Also if you have an easier pencil and paper method I'm ready to learn because if you are juggling all of that for 4 or 5 varieties of hops I'm all ears (well eyes anyway) :)

Looking forward to learn,

Preston

In Fall and Winter, we burn wood in the fireplace and brew beer.
In Spring & Summer, we're on the water or walking the beach!
 Then back at the dock we create a reason to brew!

Offline ghwren

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Re: Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 07:13:45 AM »
I use this trick to track changes. I NEVER change the original values. I copy the hop, say "Amarillo", and then paste it back. Then I open the duplicate and change the name to "Amarillo 12/10 buy". While in there I update all characteristic values (even inventory quantity). Now I have a record of just this "buy" of hops. Since I buy in bulk, it is important to keep this record of characteristic values and purchase date so I can use the "Hop Age Tool" as I work my way through this "buy" of hops.

I use Preston's technique when I buy my bulk hops. I wish there was a way to link the calendar brewlog day to automatically integrate the hop age tool on brew day.

Offline ScottKinD

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Re: Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 10:21:52 AM »
Mountain might be an exaggeration, but say you like Cascade a lot and your buying an once or two at a time from your LHBS.  If you brew say fifty batches a year you could end up with over a hundred cascade entries in the database after a year or two.

It's not so much that BA requires less entry info but that you don't have a huge list of hops you don't own cluttering up the list every time you go to create a recipe.

It may be more of a perspective thing.  I think of the ingredient databases as references, places where info that is "constant"(ish) should be placed.  Your using it as an inventory list.  If I can get my head around it I guess that might not be so bad.  But I have done some programing and db's that change a lot are much more vulnerable, so I (personally) balk at writing transient info into a reference db.

But other than that the BA inventory entries have purchase specific info like vender purchase date etc.

I believe I asked a similar question about grains.  I stock a variety and there again is not a good way to track inventory info.  I suppose that the solution (work around) would be the same.

I actually have ended up using paper to track the hops but it's not what I want to use.

I generally stock about six hop varieties and have ten or so grains.   Not a huge number.

I'm assuming (maybe answering an above objection) that you "recycle" duplicate hop entries so that you don't build up this huge list of duplicates.

So how does that affect recipes?  If this is working for you then I'm assuming that BS copies info into the recipe and then doesn't need or reference the db entry after that.

I'm new to BS (is there a better abbreviation commonly used, it always sounds like I'm insulting the app?) but some recipe programs dynamically connect to the ingredient db.  In that case messing with the reference db could cause problems with existing recopies.

You seem to be doing this with out problems so I'm guessing this isn't a problem.

Anyway didn't mean to come off argumentative.  I'll try your method and see how it goes.  Maybe my resistance is more "culture shock" over doing something a different way?

Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: Inventory Hops don't have alpha acid
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2012, 03:33:40 PM »
ScottKinD,

I don't think of this as an argument!  I think its two enthusiastic hobbyists sharing thoughts and ideas!   ::)
There is no "wrong" way, we each find our own way! ;D
A few final thoughts and I'll leave the topic to rest.

To me, there is no such thing as too much data in a database, as long as you can easily search, sort, and select what you use because you never know just what you might want to try next. To this end I am very careful to preserve all of the original data given or offered as and update or add-on. This is true for all, hops, grains, yeast, water profiles and even "Misc".

I use similar techniques in each "Ingredient". I use the copy/paste/edit to create separate "Working" copies of any given item that I work with frequently. I edit the ingredient "Name" by adding the prefix "A-" to the item (Hop / Grain / Yeast). This way I don't have to search through my (hopefully huge) reference data. The prefix automatically floats (alphabetically sorts) my "working copies" to the top. As an example, if I have 200 hop varieties in my hop database, my working and changeable copy, "A-Zebra" is the second from the top of the data if I'm only working with "A-Cascade" and "A-Zebra". In my "Grains" I might have "A-Brewers Malt 2-row (Briess)" and in"Yeast" I have "A-SafAle US 05" which is a copy of the original but has a changed package date, inventory quantity, cost per package including sales tax and shipping. It also has "A-SafAle US 05 - Current Slurry" entry where I use the package date to show the last harvest date and to show that it has 60.5 billion cells per ounce as the "Cells per package" entry (cells/oz estimate from mr. malty). Since the "Package" is 1 ounce @ 60.5 Billion cells. When I select it for my next recipe, If I repitch 8 ozs of harvested yeast, I indicate to the recipe I'm using 8 packages. Now my recipe knows I have at least 484 Billion viable cells and since I used the package date, it will automatically "Age" the slurry and lower the cell count based on the date.

So you see, to me, a database is to be used. I know darn near to the penny what each batch costs so I know the cost of each glass. I even have working items in the "Misc" database for "Crown Top 12 oz Bottles", "Crown Top Bottle Caps", and "Bottling Corn Sugar". For the bottles and caps, I indicate to the recipe that I use 52 bottles for a 5.5 gal batch, and I have an assigned cost for each. I use the carbonation calculations to tell me how many ounces of bottling sugar I need so I know that cost also. Of course the inventory quantity is also handled by the database.  Since the "A-Working Copy"  is truly a working copy, I edit the notes to show vendor information etc. Poor Brad .... I make BeerSmth do all of the heavy lifting!! ;D

To end the point, I use the "A-Anything Name" prefix to do similar work, but not nearly as much work, with ProMash and Beer Tools. I even use this type of prefix in my cell phone "Contact" database to organize my contacts long before "Smart Phones". By grouping contacts with an alphabetic prefix, I can get to the needed contact in fewer keystrokes than an IPhone. 8) Ouch ... I hurt my arm patting myself on the back :)

Brad has done a great job of integrateing the databases to the recipe etc. Its far better than  the current day version ProMash or ??  I can't say Ber Alchemy as I don't use it.  The techniques I'm pointg out are just my ideas of how to get the maximum work from the program. This time next year, I hope you'll share with me the many many more possible that I didn't of!!!!

Best of Luck!  You will do fine!

Preston
In Fall and Winter, we burn wood in the fireplace and brew beer.
In Spring & Summer, we're on the water or walking the beach!
 Then back at the dock we create a reason to brew!