BeerSmith Software > Suggestions

First Impressions of 1.1


Lou King:
Originally posted on 23 Aug 2003 on our old message forum

Hey, Brad - Thanks for providing another alternative to ProMash!

My initial impressions:

1. I feel like I have to click around a lot to get done what I want done.
1a. When I add a grain, the program preselects the grain amount, but if it had preselected the grain itself, I could type the first character of the grain immediately to find the grain I want. I don't think anyone would be typing in the amount until the grain is selected.

 1b. Once the grain has been picked and the user is in the recipe window, that grain is not selected if other grains are in the window. So before increase amount / decrease amount, another mouse click is required.

2. Yeast assumes "pkg" quantity, but starter size is more appropriate. Also, at different times people might want to pick different units. I am always doing in OZ now, but there are times I might want to switch back to ML. I don't think the program allows for that.

 3. This is the most serious for me: The program doesn't provide a refractometer conversion for specific gravity measurements. Unfortunately, this will prevent me from using it.

 4. I can't tell if this stores sessions underneath somehow. If I brew the same beer twice, are all the sessions retrievable or only the last one? I think people will tweak their recipes and want to look at different sessions. Maybe there is a way to do this, but I didn't see it.

 5. Help could use a search feature. I was looking for sessions and didn't find it.

 6. I like the calories per 12 oz feature a lot!

 Good luck -- this is a great start!


Thanks for your kind comments!  :)

1. I agree, it might be better if we select the "choose" list first so you can keyboard shortcut - this will be an easy fix to make. I'll also take a look at the "increase/decrease" issue - it will probably be a minor fix.

2. I think it would be easy to display the starter size (the field already exists) on the "Yeast Choose" dialog to fix this problem as well. I choose packages for ease of maintaining an inventory.

3. I'm assuming your refractometer outputs in "Brix" - if you do a little research you will find that Brix is equivalent to degrees Plato or Balling (see the FAQ). Thus if you use the "Plato" units for your "Brix" measurements you will get exactly what you want.

4. BeerSmith does not have a separate "Sessions" database, but it does allow you to write your recipes to a "Brew Log" after you brew. You can then keep multiple version of the recipe in the brew log "as brewed" and then differentiate them by date.

5. Yes, I forgot to add in the "search" page for the help system - my mistake.

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions!


Scott Daymond:
This message originally posted on our old message board on 23 Aug by Scott Daymond

Great start with the program!

One minor item here on refractometers....Yes it's true Brix is the same, but saying that you can take a direct refractometer reading in Brix and plug-it in is not quite accurate. This is because a brix refractometer is designed to read pure sucrose, and wort contains other substances that skew the refractive index.

So, in most cases, a correction factor is needed. Additionally raw Brix will not work for wort that has started/finished fermenting, and some more complex math is needed for this.

Keep up the good work!


Reply originally posted 23 Aug 2003 by BeerSmith on our old message board

I concur on the Refractometer - if you put uncorrected raw Brix readings in you will not get the corrected output.

I will work on the full suite of refractometer correction tools for the next version. New tools are actually pretty easy to implement in BeerSmith.

Right now the Refractometer tools are on the top of the list for Version 1.2 -- I'm researching the equations now.

Thanks - Brad

Follow up post...many features now in 1.2 beta...
 Version 1.2 (now in beta) has the full suite of refractometer calculations in a new refractometer tool.

 It also corrects item 1, 2 and 3 as suggested by the user in the original post.  Item 4 is implemented using the brew log.

 The new version should be released in the first half of October, and it is a free upgrade for all registered users.

 See here for more:



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