Back Up Your BeerSmith Data!

by Brad Smith on December 22, 2022 · 0 comments

Rarely does a week go by where I don’t receive an email from a user who has had a computer failure, lost laptop or lost phone resulting in BeerSmith data loss. While the BeerSmith Web version and cloud based data is automatically backed up on the sever nightly, your local data is not.

Local (My Recipe) Data vs Cloud (Web) Data

Our flagship BeerSmith desktop program stores all of your data in My Recipes locally on your hard drive by default. This is done in part for legacy reasons, but also because many home and commercial users are concerned about their data and don’t want it stored online. So if your recipes are in ‘My Recipes’ then they are stored on your computers hard drive, and you should back them up periodically (see below).

Similarly the local recipe data on our mobile phone app is stored on the phone. Since your phone can be lost or broken, you may want to back it up by coping important recipes to your cloud folder.

Anything stored in the Cloud folder on any version of BeerSmith (including the web version) is stored online as part of your account. This data is kept on the server database and backed up nightly, so it is relatively secure.

Craft Brewing and Commercial Concerns

It should be obvious, but your Craft beer recipes are critical data for your business that should be backed up periodically. Unfortunately I regularly receive emails from commercial brewers who have had a hard drive failure. Even more heartbreaking are those breweries who may have fired or removed a brewer only to find that the brewer took their recipe data with them. In some cases disgruntled employees have even deleted their cloud data.

If you are running a commercial brewery, I strongly recommend backing up both your local and cloud recipe data periodically and storing it offsite where it can’t be compromised.

Backing Up Local Desktop Data

For the desktop version, your data is stored in the hidden AppData\Roaming\BeerSmith3 directory on Windows or the user’s Library/BeerSmith3 directory (%APPDATA%/BeerSmith3 also hidden) on the Mac. In an ideal world those directories should be included in your regular backups.

However not everyone uses an automated backup program. Fortunately you can backup all of your locally stored data including profiles and ingredients by simply going to File->Full Backup to Zip on the desktop. This will make a full backup and put it in a separate zip file you can store on a thumb drive or external hard drive separate from your computer. There are more details on this process here.

Backing Up Your Cloud and Web Based Data

While the cloud based recipes for BeerSmith Web and your cloud folder are stored on our server and backed up nightly, I still recommend backing them up periodically. The reason for this is that your account login and password could still be compromised, and also a disgruntled employee could delete data if they have access to the account.

To back up your cloud based data from the desktop, go to Cloud view and then select File->Export All which will write a single BSMX file containing all of your cloud based data. Store this file on a backup or thumb drive offsite.

Backing Up Your Mobile Application

Currently the only method for backing up your BeerSmith mobile app is to copy important recipes to your cloud folder from within the app. Alternately, a lot of users have been using the new web based version of BeerSmith instead by just logging into their cloud account from their mobile browser at The web based version is full featured and can be accessed from any device even without the mobile app.

Recovering Data From a Backup

You can do a full recovery from a zip file using the File->Recover from Zip command on the desktop version. This will replace your existing data, so be sure to make another backup if you need to before proceeding.

Since the backup file is a standard zip file you can also unpack the file and open individual BSMX files if needed to recover a smaller amount of data. There is a detailed article here on working with BSMX files.

Automated Desktop Backups

In addition to the manual backups which I recommend above, BeerSmith makes automated backups of the major data files every time you use the program. The first of these is the File->Recover From Auto Backup command. Select the data type you wish to recover, and then I recommend clicking the Open File in a New Tab command which will let you view the backup file in a separate tab. From here you can selectively recover items by copy/pasting back to My Recipes from the open file tab. Alternately you can do a full Recover from Backup Selected which will restore a single backup file but it will overwrite existing data.

Also there is a Recipe Archive on the desktop version that stores major changes to all recipes. This can be used to recover recent changes to individual cloud and local recipes. To access it, go to Recipe->Recipe Archive. From here you can view old recipes and recover a copy as outlined in this video.

Note that since both the recipe archive and auto backups are stored on your hard drive they are not a replacement for offsite/cloud based data storage since you can still lose your computer or hard drive.

I also have additional information on backing up and recovering data here. hope you enjoyed this week’s article from the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Please subscribe for regular weekly delivery, and don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send this article to a friend.

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