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Porthos

Brew Notes / Log Program

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Any good programs out there to record the brews you make? So far I've been recording notes on pieces of paper for my first 2 Mr. Beer brews, but would like to transfer them to something more permanent. I think I'm looking for something that records the recipe, notes about how it was brewed, dates for brew and bottling, and taste notes along with anything else important. My next brew will be a cider with my own recipe so I think it will become more important to keep better notes.

Something for iOS would be ideal (especially with iPad support), but if that doesn't exist, a PC program, website, or even a simple Word template will work.

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Take a look at Qbrew. It's a free program that you can not only record your brews it'll help you formulate your own recipies. Our very own ScrewyBrewer has the updates for it on his website that includes the particulars for Mr Beer products.

If you want to pay a little Beer Smith is an excellent program that will record and figure anything and everything about your brew. I think it cost $30 but is a very awesome program.

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"Porthos" post=316454 said:

Any good programs out there to record the brews you make? So far I've been recording notes on pieces of paper for my first 2 Mr. Beer brews, but would like to transfer them to something more permanent. I think I'm looking for something that records the recipe, notes about how it was brewed, dates for brew and bottling, and taste notes along with anything else important. My next brew will be a cider with my own recipe so I think it will become more important to keep better notes.

Something for iOS would be ideal (especially with iPad support), but if that doesn't exist, a PC program, website, or even a simple Word template will work.

I'm using Microsoft OneNote, for brew notes, recipes, good articles and a lot of other things. It has superior indexing and search capabilities.

There might be an iOS version, I'm not sure.

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IMHO, the best shareware out there:

http://www.brewmate.net/

But it will be necessary for you to enter the MB extracts manually if you want to include them in the program. That's a simple matter of using the edit button at the top left, and adding the extract with its characteristics onto the page. Substituting the default Liquid Malt Extract for MB should suffice otherwise, and you can make a note of what you did in the "notes" page. It does not have a function for calculating IBUs for Hopped Malt Extracts though, so you would have to play with the "hops" drop down menu to get the IBUs in your recipe as stated by MB. I believe that the download made available by Vince (ScrewyB) does that automatically for you, so QBrew may be an easier option for you in that event.

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For just a basic brew log, I just made up a spreadsheet in Google Docs, which is nice because I can pull it up on my iPad, iPhone, or any computer. And it's free. I just have columns for all the parameters that are important for me (since I'm basically an extract-only brewer, there aren't a lot of variables). Beer name, what went in to the wort/boil, date brewed, date bottled, date of first pour, comments on color, flavor, etc. You could add columns for OG and FG and put in a calculation for ABV.

There are some really nice computer programs for tracking brews, but my desktop computer is nowhere near where I do my brewing, so having a portable spreadsheet is really ideal for me.

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"evily" post=316466 said:

For just a basic brew log, I just made up a spreadsheet in Google Docs, which is nice because I can pull it up on my iPad, iPhone, or any computer. And it's free. I just have columns for all the parameters that are important for me (since I'm basically an extract-only brewer, there aren't a lot of variables). Beer name, what went in to the wort/boil, date brewed, date bottled, date of first pour, comments on color, flavor, etc. You could add columns for OG and FG and put in a calculation for ABV.

There are some really nice computer programs for tracking brews, but my desktop computer is nowhere near where I do my brewing, so having a portable spreadsheet is really ideal for me.

I do the same exact thing for Tracking - I will post a link to my Google Docs which I believe I got from here when I first started. Keeps me very organized, but I do use qBrew and will use BrewMate from time to time to play around with recipes to see what I can come up with for future ideas.

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For my money, the best one for me is Hopville.

Here is mine:

http://hopville.com/brewer/Christ872

You can go to any made or to-be-made recipe and browse, edit, or whatever.

I will be making my Monica Sweetheart Pils this coming weekend. Come Monday, it will have a Brew Date in that category.

If you look, I have brews dating back to September 2011 recorded.

It's free to the public and very easy to use and navigate. Tis also has a tool to assist you in brewing a beer to style specs. For example you can set up to make a Blonde Ale and it will guide you to the proper specs for that style. Help you build your beer appropriately.

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I vote for QBrew.

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Am I the only old fart that bought a hardcover notebook to keep all my recipes and notes in?

Don't get me wrong, I use qBrew as well and even have an app for my phone, but I use those almost exclusively for formulating recipes and calculating IBUs, OG and FG.

When it comes to keeping detailed notes about my process and anything that happens with the beer, it goes in the old school, handwritten, notebook.

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I use iBrewmaster on my ipad. Cost $16.00, has more recipes than I will ever try, easy to use (important for me, I'm an old technology deprived guy), hundreds of NBrecipes and it's easy to scale down to MB size batches. Keeeps and on hand inventory and when you do a recipe and you don't have the ingredient makes a shopping list. It has a calendar function that keeps track of milestones, i.e. hop, bottle/keg, rack to secndary, etc. And of course has a brew timer, all on my ipad which I can take with me virtually anywhere. In addition, I have an excel file that I use to keep my brews and notes on. I've put some calculations in it for some things, temp conversion for hydrometer, sugar ratios, etc. I also tape an index card next to each fermenter where I jot notes on to later transfer to my excel database.:chug:

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I use qBrew on my computers and BrewR on my Andriod which I like because it not only allows me mobility but it gives the recipe grain additions in percentages, a feature I feel is sorely lacking in qBrew. I keep an old laptop in my brewroom that connects to a shared drive containing all my qBrew recipes, thats' a feature I really like too.

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i have qbrew on an old laptop in my man-cave/brew room also. I use the app on my apply ipad because of the mobility.

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I use a both qBrew and brewers-assistant (www.brewers-assistant.com) and a little bit of Hopville.

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"evily" post=316466 said:

For just a basic brew log, I just made up a spreadsheet in Google Docs, which is nice because I can pull it up on my iPad, iPhone, or any computer. And it's free. I just have columns for all the parameters that are important for me (since I'm basically an extract-only brewer, there aren't a lot of variables). Beer name, what went in to the wort/boil, date brewed, date bottled, date of first pour, comments on color, flavor, etc. You could add columns for OG and FG and put in a calculation for ABV.

There are some really nice computer programs for tracking brews, but my desktop computer is nowhere near where I do my brewing, so having a portable spreadsheet is really ideal for me.

This is more or less what I do, combined with QBrew.

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"evily" post=316466 said:

For just a basic brew log, I just made up a spreadsheet in Google Docs, which is nice because I can pull it up on my iPad, iPhone, or any computer. And it's free. I just have columns for all the parameters that are important for me (since I'm basically an extract-only brewer, there aren't a lot of variables). Beer name, what went in to the wort/boil, date brewed, date bottled, date of first pour, comments on color, flavor, etc. You could add columns for OG and FG and put in a calculation for ABV.

There are some really nice computer programs for tracking brews, but my desktop computer is nowhere near where I do my brewing, so having a portable spreadsheet is really ideal for me.

+1 to this

It keep things nice and simple and works with all platforms. I use a Linux OS for my "home Computer" and can access my information on my smartphone, tablet (android), and Ipod Touch. But also use the google calendar to record my brews, when to bottle, cold crash. When the conditioning might be done.. and it syncs nicely with all my devices..

I've downloaded BrewR for my phone.. Which seems to be a handy app when I start moving away from extract brewing.. But for today, it just sits in the app screen hoping to be used one day.

I also use a notebook for while i'm in the kitchen.. Things get messy while i'm in there so I don't like a lot of digital things in there.. Plus It never hurts to have a backup . - Guess i'm weird that way, but my job requires me to be redundant in this sense as well.

~worm

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Thanks for all the responses. Since qBrew was mentioned a lot I checked it out first. I installed it on my PC along with the Mr. Beer database and played around with it. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for in terms of keeping a log but it seems to be a very useful tool for creating recipes and it will remain on my PC.

I then looked in to BeerSmith since I've seen it mentioned before. However, it gets a bit ridiculous as they expect you to buy the PC version to create recipes, then pay for recipe "cloud storage" on top of that, plus purchase an IOS lite app to use it on the iPad (and again purchase another iOS app when the full version is released). This is the definition of nickel and diming to me so even if it is a great program, I'm looking elsewhere for now. I may check it out again if my other options don't work out, assuming I could get away with just the full iOS version (when it is released) + the recipe cloud, but for now I'll go with...

This brings me to HopVille. It looks great and has most of what I wanted (including a tasting notes section). I could also access it from my iPad using a browser although a dedicated app would be nice.

I think HopVille combined with a notepad (Google docs or MS Onenote) , plus using qBrew to help with recipe creation, will be the ideal combination for now.


P.S. If anyone has a link to the Google spreadsheet mentioned earlier in this thread, I would love to take a look. Thanks!

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"evily" post=316466 said:

For just a basic brew log, I just made up a spreadsheet in Google Docs, which is nice because I can pull it up on my iPad, iPhone, or any computer. And it's free. I just have columns for all the parameters that are important for me (since I'm basically an extract-only brewer, there aren't a lot of variables). Beer name, what went in to the wort/boil, date brewed, date bottled, date of first pour, comments on color, flavor, etc. You could add columns for OG and FG and put in a calculation for ABV.

There are some really nice computer programs for tracking brews, but my desktop computer is nowhere near where I do my brewing, so having a portable spreadsheet is really ideal for me.

+1 I use a spreadsheet in Google Docs and it works great for my needs. Accessible from everywhere, automatically backed up.

http://drive.google.com
i-2rBzf29-X3.jpg

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I don't like hopville as the drop downs don;t have MrBeer HME's anymore - since they went to the 2.0 version update.

Before that, I used it all the time....after the conversion, not so much.

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I use a great system called a Composition Notebook. LOL I just write my recipes down and jot down my notes in there.

I do use QBrew to help formulate my recipes, though.

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"manosteel9423" post=316508 said:

Am I the only old fart that bought a hardcover notebook to keep all my recipes and notes in?

Don't get me wrong, I use qBrew as well and even have an app for my phone, but I use those almost exclusively for formulating recipes and calculating IBUs, OG and FG.

When it comes to keeping detailed notes about my process and anything that happens with the beer, it goes in the old school, handwritten, notebook.

You can add me to the old fart list. I've used a spiral notebook since day one for all my notes and recipes. I have used Hopville as you said for calculating and estimating, but lately I'm using Brewer's Friend. Really love that one a lot. Another old fart, T8r Salad turned me on to that one. It has lots of good tools and I highly recommend it.

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"FedoraDave" post=316674 said:

I use a great system called a Composition Notebook. LOL I just write my recipes down and jot down my notes in there.

I do use QBrew to help formulate my recipes, though.

Baaaah-hahahahahaaaaaaaa!

We are kindred spirits, my friend.

At work, I pull out the "paper" and refer to it as my "High Tech Renewal Tracking System."

The young 'ens just look at me with blank stares.

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"Wings_Fan_In_KC" post=316598 said:

I don't like hopville as the drop downs don;t have MrBeer HME's anymore - since they went to the 2.0 version update.

Before that, I used it all the time....after the conversion, not so much.

Wings Fan is right. However, there are still a couple Mr. Beer products on there. But if you're going to use the Mr. Beer products, make sure you djust appropriately to the scale and other variable. The positive thing is that the program is tweak-able and there is ample room for notes. For example, If you used the new Bavarian Weissbier....Hopville has the Mr. Beer Whispering Wheat Weissbier ingredient. You'd have to set it at 1Lb 12oz as opposed to 1Lb2oz...and it would behoove you to make a note of the ingredient change in the recipe note-taking box at the top.

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"Wings_Fan_In_KC" post=316712 said:

"FedoraDave" post=316674 said:

I use a great system called a Composition Notebook. LOL I just write my recipes down and jot down my notes in there.

I do use QBrew to help formulate my recipes, though.

Baaaah-hahahahahaaaaaaaa!

We are kindred spirits, my friend.

At work, I pull out the "paper" and refer to it as my "High Tech Renewal Tracking System."

The young 'ens just look at me with blank stares.

Wings, my man, when the CyberApocalypse occurs, you and I will still be able to brew terrific beers. We are brewing survivalists.

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"Wings_Fan_In_KC" post=316712 said:

"FedoraDave" post=316674 said:

I use a great system called a Composition Notebook. LOL I just write my recipes down and jot down my notes in there.

I do use QBrew to help formulate my recipes, though.

Baaaah-hahahahahaaaaaaaa!

We are kindred spirits, my friend.

At work, I pull out the "paper" and refer to it as my "High Tech Renewal Tracking System."

The young 'ens just look at me with blank stares.

Do you store this next to the abbacus?
~worm

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Why yes.......next to the ink well and quill.

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Perhaps you also use a slide rule to do your ABV calculations??? :laugh:

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Actually, I just drink 2 litres and run around the room 10 times then stand in one spot with my eyes closed and feel the buzz.

If I'm tipsy, it's the right ABV.

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"manosteel9423" post=316508 said:

Am I the only old fart that bought a hardcover notebook to keep all my recipes and notes in?
When it comes to keeping detailed notes about my process and anything that happens with the beer, it goes in the old school, handwritten, notebook.

No, you are not alone mano. I have BeerSmith and use it to make recipes. Before brew day I'll print out the recipe and put it in a notebook. It prints out on a page and a half, leaving half a page for hand written notes from brew day to bottling. I'll make notes about things like, date, mash temp start to finish(BIAB), pitching temp, hydrated dry yeast or starter/size, batch prime amounts, etc.

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I found that using the qBrew 'Notes' tab is a great way to store your brewing notes along with your recipe's ingredients. I like having everything in one place like brew date, original gravity and final gravity.

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"Wings_Fan_In_KC" post=316876 said:

Actually, I just drink 2 litres and run around the room 10 times then stand in one spot with my eyes closed and feel the buzz.

If I'm tipsy, it's the right ABV.

I like it. Simple, yet effective! And it has the added bonus of being exercise (at least the running part). :banana:

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I am still a NewB but I enjoy using the following combination of apps:

qBrew with the MB ingredients in the database
Brewr app for android
Google Calendar
Dropbox.

How they all come together is quite simple: I input the recipe on the computer and save to my Dropbox. At this point I can grab my phone/tablet and open the recipe in the Brewr app (which has its own database) and now have mobile access.

The Brewr app doesn't have the MB ingredients but, if you create the recipe in qBrew and open in Brewr, you can add the ingredients to the Brewr database simply by touching them.

Google Calendar is simply used to plan out major events such as when the brew is ready to be bottled or tracking when I can finally throw one in the fridge after conditioning!

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I do not trust any "cloud" apps. Internet goes down, you twiddle your thumbs.

Excel spreadsheet on my "Uber-desktop" with a nice big 32" flatscreen monitor.

Qbrew as a tool, and a record, but it won't display everything I've ever done, like Excel.

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"piscator" post=316948 said:

I do not trust any "cloud" apps. Internet goes down, you twiddle your thumbs.

Excel spreadsheet on my "Uber-desktop" with a nice big 32" flatscreen monitor.

Qbrew as a tool, and a record, but it won't display everything I've ever done, like Excel.

Just for argument Sakes.. If your power goes out what does your uber desktop do then?

also, Cloud apps have offline modes that can sync once your online

Really A pencil can write with both internet up and down , power up and down.. And still work when you and your paper have a nice coating of hydraulic oil (probably a useless fact but its true!)
~worm

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Exactly.

I also like the feel of the notebook, and the fact that I can set it nearby as I brew, for reference and for writing notes. What's the alternative? Running to the computer throughout the brew day? Printing a hard copy for reference and notes, and then transcribing to the saved program later? Extra steps, and unnecessary, IMO.

I got a book. I got a pen. I'm set.

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"FedoraDave" post=316977 said:

Exactly.

I also like the feel of the notebook, and the fact that I can set it nearby as I brew, for reference and for writing notes. What's the alternative? Running to the computer throughout the brew day? Printing a hard copy for reference and notes, and then transcribing to the saved program later? Extra steps, and unnecessary, IMO.

I got a book. I got a pen. I'm set.

As do I, but generally do both.. It helps copying things down twice refreshes the memory a little, especially when someone asks something like , "what did you do".. I use the calendars and digital documents because I can access them from anywhere, plus it helps me plan ahead a little on when the brews are ready for the next step...

All in all.. Different strokes for different folks

~worm

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"evily" post=316835 said:

Perhaps you also use a slide rule to do your ABV calculations??? :laugh:

Now that is funny. I actually have a slide rule that I use at work for the simple fact the young'uns have no idea what it is and gives us "old farts" something to laugh about. Almost as funny as loaning people my HP calculator which uses RPN and watching them look for the "=" button.

Sorry for the dorky Engineer humor.

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"Da Yooper" post=317633 said:

"evily" post=316835 said:

Perhaps you also use a slide rule to do your ABV calculations??? :laugh:

Now that is funny. I actually have a slide rule that I use at work for the simple fact the young'uns have no idea what it is and gives us "old farts" something to laugh about. Almost as funny as loaning people my HP calculator which uses RPN and watching them look for the "=" button.

Sorry for the dorky Engineer humor.


I had a boss, salesman, who was a goofy guy and totally non-technical and seemed pretty dim to be honest. One day he pulled out his calculator and was using RPN. I was shocked to say the least.

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"Da Yooper" post=317633 said:

"evily" post=316835 said:

Perhaps you also use a slide rule to do your ABV calculations??? :laugh:

Now that is funny. I actually have a slide rule that I use at work for the simple fact the young'uns have no idea what it is and gives us "old farts" something to laugh about. Almost as funny as loaning people my HP calculator which uses RPN and watching them look for the "=" button.

Sorry for the dorky Engineer humor.

Believe it or not, I actually have a slide rule. Though I admit that I do not fully understand how to use it. My grandfather gave it to me; he used to use it decades ago when he worked for Timex. It's a pretty neat old relic, with a leather pouch and everything.

Nothing wrong with dorky engineer humor... it's the story of my life! B)

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"Bassman" post=317652 said:

"Da Yooper" post=317633 said:

"evily" post=316835 said:

Perhaps you also use a slide rule to do your ABV calculations??? :laugh:

Now that is funny. I actually have a slide rule that I use at work for the simple fact the young'uns have no idea what it is and gives us "old farts" something to laugh about. Almost as funny as loaning people my HP calculator which uses RPN and watching them look for the "=" button.

Sorry for the dorky Engineer humor.


I had a boss, salesman, who was a goofy guy and totally non-technical and seemed pretty dim to be honest. One day he pulled out his calculator and was using RPN. I was shocked to say the least.

+1 for RPN. Means you never have to loan your calculator! HP12C from 30+ years ago sitting in my drawer, still use it.

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Small world. I have a 12C as well........somewhere........I haven't seen it in +5 years.

Left over from the old old old days when I was in college.

The early 80's are a blur!

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"Wings_Fan_In_KC" post=317687 said:

Small world. I have a 12C as well........somewhere........I haven't seen it in +5 years.

Left over from the old old old days when I was in college.

The early 80's are a blur!


With note books and paper based notes it's all fun and games until someone, not mentioning names here spills a beer on it. I'm not sayin' I'm just sayin'.

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+ 1 here on qbrew.

Great program for notes and calculators.

Also has a very strong library of ingredients to select from.

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