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Hi all, was just wondering if anyone has anything to report back about their experiences with the various brewing softwares available these days?
Personally I've only ever used BeerSmith (and only version one at that), I have found it to be pretty useful, but I'm sure that there must be many other decent options out there.
I'm currently ramping up the scale of my brewing so I'm looking to buy some software (or get some freeware) that not only has accurate formula calculations, but also has a user friendly inventory system so I can keep track of my ingredient stocks using the software.
If anyone has any experiences to share or programs to recommend (or criticise), chime on in!
Not too sure about the inventory part but I remember Brewmate being the best piece of software I used when I had a PC. On the Apple I use BeerSmith2 and I am sure the numbers are not as acurate...
I probably tried about five or six a wee while ago with varying degrees of success. If you're happy to pay then beersmith2 is the way to go, both in terms of features, support, and popularity for help/advice etc. I usually try and support free and open source stuff though and found brewtarget (http://www.brewtarget.org/) to be the best of the bunch. It still has development support (only recently been updated) and has pretty much all of the basic features you'd be used to in beersmith, aside from inventory which apparently is going to be added. Unfortunately, as it's an open source project, updates aren't all that frequent. It supports beerxml too so transferring all of your database/custom fermentables/recipes etc over from beersmith or the like is a fairly simple process.
Brewmate wasn't bad, but lacked a couple of features I'd grown used to, and the combination of weird glitzy splash screen and poorly laid out/cartoony interface seemed oddly similar to what I'd imagine it to be like if you walked into a D-grade Vegas casino only to find a creche inside.
Id pay the $30 odd bucks and get Beersmith. Its great value for money and really improved my recipes/ brewing
BrewMate is easier to use.. but it sounds like you need to stay with BeerSmith.
There is no inventory control in BrewMate.
Personally, I hate beersmith 2. I was with Hopville then shelled out the $25 for beersmith and went back to Hopville after about four weeks - it is not as accurate or easy to use as hopville but the inventory thing is better than Hopville cos HVille has none. I've just acquired an Iphone and went with beeralchemy2 - I'm regretting that too on first impressions.
I also use brewtoad, but it is not nearly as controllable as Beersmith.
Another Vote for BeerSmith2, however I have not used any others.... Beersmith hit the mark for me and has been great for the past two years, even while scaling my brewing up from 23 litres to 65L - all good.
BIAB calculator excel file works for me. I like to keep things as simple as possible.