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Separate a recipe from a brew

jimboeri

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My suggestion is to have recipes separate from the brewing process. While versions help a bit the brewing process is intertwined into the recipe at the moment.

I would like to see a list of my recipes, probably with the favorites on the top. Much the way it is at the moment.

But when I want to make a brew, I select a recipe and then record all aspects of the brew in a separate record.

So the Recipe 'record' contains ingredients, steps, estimated values etc.
The brew 'record' contains dates, readings, actual values etc.

Possible comparisons between brews too, does my efficiency change with the season / external temp, is my brewing improving?
 

Oginme

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This is what the 'brew log' does.  If you highlight a recipe and click on 'copy to log' the program creates a new folder titled 'brew log' and places an exact copy of the recipe in that folder.  You can then make any needed changes (such as updating the %AA for your hops or potential for your new lot of grain, etc.)  This not only provides a place to store your brew day and fermentation data, but also serves as a historical record of that brew.  Since each recipe is a self-contained archive, making changes to your equipment or mash profile in future brews will not affect the data in your completed brews.
 

MartinFa

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One potential gotcha with that  (it got me!), is that the equipment profile is saved. So that next time you come to do the same brew from the recipe, it uses that same equipment profile. Unfortunately, between times, I reduced my batch size by 2 litres, from 24 to 22 the 2nd time round: Whilst I reduced the batch size in the recipe, the equipment profile was still set to 24 litres, so the calcs for mash & sparge water were wrong. It took me a couple of hours of head scratching to figure out what was going on!
 

Kevin58

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You will need to change the equipment profile in your recipe and/or brew log. Really not a big problem.
 

BOB357

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Unfortunately, software cannot read your mind. BeerSmith does a great job of doing all of the calculations needed , but requires your inputs in order to properly calculate results.  When you change a piece of equipment or something in your process, you need to alter your equipment profile and/or mash profile to reflect the change(s). Existing recipes will maintain the profiles that were used when they were designed unless you change them.
 

Oginme

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MartinFa said:
One potential gotcha with that  (it got me!), is that the equipment profile is saved. So that next time you come to do the same brew from the recipe, it uses that same equipment profile. Unfortunately, between times, I reduced my batch size by 2 litres, from 24 to 22 the 2nd time round: Whilst I reduced the batch size in the recipe, the equipment profile was still set to 24 litres, so the calcs for mash & sparge water were wrong. It took me a couple of hours of head scratching to figure out what was going on!

The issues with having the program automatically update the equipment profile within a recipe are manifold.  First, how does the update affect the rest of the recipe.  The program can just replace the equipment profile, but then all the ingredients are static and the targets will change when the recipe is opened and the calculations produce new values.  Take your example from above, your change in the batch size from 24L to 22L would not have changed any of the ingredients thus when you opened your recipe and went to brew it without any checking or updating, you would potentially have the wrong target numbers.

Second, if it replaces the equipment profile in recipes which have already been brewed, then there is no archival feature within the software for past recipes. 

There is an easy way to ensure you have the latest version of your equipment profile.  When you update it next time, append (or start the name) with the date you made the change.  It is easy to tell at a glance at the equipment profile whether or not you have the latest version.  It also provides a nice way to dial-back your equipment profile if you find a change you made was incorrect or lead to other issues.  This is one of the first things I do when I move a recipe into the brew log, in addition to updating all the ingredients to match the potentials, moisture content, %AA of the latest lots of ingredients which are at hand.

 

EddyB

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IMHO it is not necessary to go such far as to influence the recipe- neither the current one nor previous recipes or sessions. Just introduce something like a sparge-water or dilution calculator to be opened together with a particular recipe like e.g. the already existing "Water Needed Tool? - just with a direct link to the actual recipe. Such a tool can be used and feed with actual data during the brew. I do use such an approach successfully since quite a while and recently converted all needed calculations into one EXCEL file.

This recommendation is justified because the process capability of homebrewing cannot be compared to a commercial brewery where equal recipes are brewed repeatedly and the uniformity of ingredients and the process is well maintained.

I figured out deviations in the water balance of about 0.6gal just from varying grain absorption because of the time you allow for draining (5gal all-in-one system) or variations in the grain bed.
 

Oginme

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EddyB said:
This recommendation is justified because the process capability of homebrewing cannot be compared to a commercial brewery where equal recipes are brewed repeatedly and the uniformity of ingredients and the process is well maintained.

I figured out deviations in the water balance of about 0.6gal just from varying grain absorption because of the time you allow for draining (5gal all-in-one system) or variations in the grain bed.

I did not see anyone comparing it to a commercial process.  That said, many of us who home brew enjoy being able to replicate our recipes and results within predictable measures.  The software cannot predict a result with any reasonable accuracy if you do not hold your own process consistent.  Having identified in your own process a source of variability related to operator behavior and not raw materials or environmental influences, your approach is to set in place an additional tool or spreadsheet to make up for your own variability in managing how you brew?  Since you have defined the variable, why not fix that operation and minimize the reliance on another tool to make up the difference caused by not keeping to a better defined regimen in managing your process? 

Likewise, I know many brewers who like to brew and really look at such variations as part of the discovery of how that will affect their beer.  More power to them and I don't see them taking advantage of either the original recommendation or your suggestion.  But this is just my opinion, and if others chime in to support your view and get the attention of Brad to implement it; more power to you.

 
 

EddyB

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Well- I did compare homebrewing to commercial brewing without offending BeerSmith software! The opposite is the case: I do know that commercial breweries are using BS for their recipe development and I am a huge fan of BeerSmith and the whole environment Brad created.

Regarding the process consistency: you might remember our discussion about utilizing BS for Statistical Process Control (SPC) and the results for both of our all-in-one systems- the report is still available in the forum. From this analysis we do know that efficiency can vary from 70 to 77% even in a well mastered system.

Two more arguments:

- Why do we see so many wort dilution and DME adding tools in the internet and even Brad was sending a newsletter about this issue recently (Low Original Gravity in All Grain Brewing)?

- All-in-one systems do not allow a conventional water management to begin with. In case of the 5gal Braumeister you do need approx. 6,6 gallons of strike water for the system to work properly- this corresponds to a water to grist ration of approx. 2.4qt/lb which results in a rather thin mash. So, at a certain moment in my brew process, I do need to make some calculations anyway. I do use these calculations to best match the target gravity. In addition- if the deviation from the predicted volume is too much, I even adjust hop doses at this point.

You are right about that anyone can create his own tool or use one available online. Advantage of such a tool integrated into BS: you could see all influences regarding the overall outcome (bitterness, volume, gravity) and still decide if you are going to discover something new or follow the rule.
 
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