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!