Author Topic: Keeping brewing records and such ...  (Read 9995 times)

Offline SkyFlyer

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Keeping brewing records and such ...
« on: June 13, 2009, 07:05:55 PM »
Hello all ...
Just curious how some of you are keeping your beer records and whatever else you collect during the course a one batch of beer.
I use BeerSmith, but am disappointed in the small area to do the notes.  It is not conducive (at least for me) to do much writing.
I am hoping the new version will open up a larger area to do my typing.
I like to see more of what I am typing up.
I usually use MS Word to document as I go.  Then I can copy it into the .bsm file for future reference.
I have my laptop downstairs and that way I can write a line or two as something happens!
I have also used MS Access to have a little database and keep my records.  It is all evolving!
Do you just write stuff down on paper?  Do you use some other software?  What other methods are there?
I admit that I am just learning BeerSmith and that there is a calendar and other features within. 
Perhaps I should explore that more.  And will.
Anyway, just wondering how others are recording. 

Thanks, Bob

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Keeping brewing records and such ...
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2009, 10:43:34 PM »
Good notes are very helpful -- I do print out the BeerSmith brewing sheet to make notes on prior to brewing -- and to scribble notes onto while brewing. I also have a brewing spiral notebook -- every brewing gets recorded (post brew) in gory detail while its still fresh in my mind. And I continue by keeping rough notes about the fermentation (temperatures - issues - SGs) -- also record notes through the to the bottling.

Where my system is weak is I'm not feeding all of this back into BeerSmith - but I do have the notes. Have to work on that. As to getting the recipe into MS Word etc.  ... yeah once a recipe is tweaked to perfection (and I like the brew) - I'll compile the notes and BeerSmith into into a recipe document.
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Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Keeping brewing records and such ...
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2009, 06:31:31 PM »
I modified the standard text report into the below custom report to put more of the brewing process onto one page.  I finalize the grains and water chemicals the night before and print a final brewsheet on paper and record brew-day notes, errors, changes, etc., in pencil, and then enter that feedback into BeerSmith afterwards.  Then I add transferring/carbonation/tasting notes, comp results, etc., later.  The Notes section does get busy, but I've not filled one up yet.   The key for me was to get as much as possible to print automatically. 

Style: Kolsch
Recipe: 6C Kolsch   TYPE: All Grain
---RECIPE SPECIFICATIONS-----------------------------------------------
SRM: 3.7 SRM      SRM RANGE: 3.5-5.0 SRM
IBU: 18.1 IBU Rager   IBU RANGE: 20.0-30.0 IBU
OG: 1.052 SG      OG RANGE: 1.044-1.050 SG
FG: 1.013 SG      FG RANGE: 1.007-1.011 SG
BU:GU: 0.348      Calories: 230 cal/pint   Est ABV: 5.14 %      
EE%: 68.00 %   Batch: 4.00 gal      Boil: 6.00 gal   BT: 90 Mins
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
1 Pkgs        Kolsch Yeast (Wyeast Labs #2565)          Yeast-Ale                 

Gyp 1.0; CalChlr 1.5; Espom 1.5; Soda 1.0

Prepare 7.23 gal Water for Brewing

Ingredients for Mashing
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
3.62 lb       Pilsen (Dingemans) (1.6 SRM)              Grain        44.36 %       
3.62 lb       Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM)             Grain        44.36 %       
0.50 lb       Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM)         Grain        6.13 %       
0.18 lb       Munich I (Weyermann) (7.1 SRM)            Grain        2.21 %       
0.12 lb       Acidulated (Weyermann) (1.8 SRM)          Grain        1.47 %       
0.12 lb       Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)                 Grain        1.47 %       

Total Grain Weight: 8.16 lb   Total Hops: 1.00 oz.
---MASH PROCESS------MASH PH:5.4 ------
Decoction Mash, Single
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp     
15 min        Protein Rest       Add 10.20 qt of water at 128.1 F    120.0 F       
20 min        Saccharification   Decoct 4.10 qt of mash and boil it  149.0 F       
10 min        Mash Out           Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min         168.0 F       

Add first wort hops during sparge
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
1.00 oz       Select Spalt [3.80 %]  (90 min) (First WorHops         18.1 IBU     
Sparge with 4.43 gal of 168.0 F water.

---BOIL PROCESS-----------------------------
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.043   Est OG: 1.052 SG
Boil Ingredients
Boil         Amount       Item                                      Type         
25 min       1.13 items   Preheat Chiller Outside (Boil 25.0 min)   Misc         
13 min       1.10 items   Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 13.0 min)          Misc         
10 min       2.41 gm      Wyeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 min)           Misc         
9 min        0.80 items   Wort Chiller (Boil 9.0 min)               Misc         

---FERM PROCESS-----------------------------
Primary Start: 2/24/2009 - 16 Days at 60.0 F
Secondary Start: 3/12/2009 - 29 Days at 37.0 F
Style Carb Range: 2.4-2.8 vols
Bottling Date: 4/10/2009 with 2.8 Volumes CO2:
fermed b/t 59 and 62F.  XFER 3/12/09 at SG 1.011 nice fruity tang.  3/15 started dropping temp 3F per day.  4/10/09 bottled w/ 3.9 oz CS @ 1.010 FG.  Very clear, nice flavor.

Offline SkyFlyer

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Re: Keeping brewing records and such ...
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2009, 07:01:04 PM »
I'll be the first to admit that I don't know or use BeerSmith to its full capability.
I don't think I am alone in having difficulty understanding it.
It is complex and will take time!
I never thought about the reports.  I have not explored that at all.
I tend to be too wordy in my freehand notes and would like to cut that down.
Having BeerSmith keep record and print out makes sense.
I'll work on it and thanks for the thoughts ...
Thanks, Bob

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Keeping brewing records and such ...
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 06:55:08 AM »
When I first got BeerSmith I downloaded all the help files and then sat there over the course of a couple of days (and several homebrews) and read them one at a time.  I went through each thing making sure I understood what the tool was and what it was used for before I ever brewed a batch of beer with it. 

I believe my efforts in learning the software actually made me a better brewer as there were a lot of things I either didn't realize I needed to care about or even realized was apart of the brewing process.  I would recommend taking the time to sit and learn the software before you apply it to your brewing.  You don't have to obviously but I believe you'll find your process changing in way to that more fully utilizes the software which will help develop your process as well which will result in better beer.


Also, I take plenty of notes and have never filled up the notes section at the bottom of a recipe page.  I usually just put "See Notes Below" in the tasting notes section at the top since that is somewhat limited


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Re: Keeping brewing records and such ...
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2009, 10:48:46 PM »
I use very detailed brew logs. Check it out.


Offline kgs

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Re: Keeping brewing records and such ...
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 05:37:05 AM »
I agree on the limited log functionality, but I see this as more of an issue with BeerXML. While Beersmith can (and I am guessing does) extend this schema, in my opinion (just speaking as someone who has a little XML experience in another walk of life) BeerXML needs review and updating. This is now getting a little out of my realm but I'm wondering if this wouldn't call for a record set specific to the needs of logging time-related data. (I'd also like to see recipe author, short identifier, and a few other things.)

Long-range, it's really valuable to have a standard language for encoding beer recipes, and the standard could use a little more love. I know everyone who worked on it initially is very busy (including Brad Smith :-) )... it's not necessarily up to them to have to do this work.

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Keeping brewing records and such ...
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2009, 08:18:38 AM »
I use the brewsheets for game time notes and eventually put it back in my brew journal.  Then I can drag it to the lhbs or club meeting.  I like to keep hop substitution charts in there too. Seems like something is always out of stock.
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline radamson

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Re: Keeping brewing records and such ...
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 06:40:17 PM »
Just to add another $.02, I use BrewBlogger in conjunction with BeerSmith; Smithy is my toolbox and Blogger allows me to post on web.  Its new version allows importing of BEERXML into recipes and blogs, and has a large notes area.  I use BeerSmith in the brewery, fine tune the results and then export to BeerXml. Then I'll be able to import the majority of the brew data onto the blog (I'm using for free hosting) and I have my recipes, etc. anywhere I go; and, the new web version will be mobile friendly.  Just a satisfied customer of both tools.