I use and chose to review Brewtarget. Brewtarget is and open-source (free!) software which is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. It utilizes Beer.xml which allows it to be compatible with many of the other brewing softwares - you can easily import/export recipes with friends!
A really important aspect of producing great beer is knowing your system. Brewtarget is highly configurable to meet the needs of your brewery and help you learn your system through the following configurations:
- Equipment - You are able to setup different equipment profiles which will remember your pot sizes, evaporation rates, mash temp initial losses, grain absorption etc.
- Measurements and Formulas - Easily switch between metric and U.S. measurements as well as color formulas (Mosher/Morey/Daniel) and IBU approximations (Rager/Tinsenth)
- Editable Database - Customizing Grains, Yeast, and Hops is very easy on the front-end interface
- Scale Recipe Calculator - Easily adjust a known recipe (like from Brewing classic Styles) based on volume or efficiency. This comes in handy!
- Brewday Help: Software contains a timer, a correction calculator if you miss your OG, a priming and a pitching rate calculator
Pictured below is a screenshot of the recipe tab in Brewtarget showing a Munich Helles I brewed last weekend. As you can see the low and high ends of the BJCP style guidelines are shown to the left (blue) and right (red) of my recipe. If you are within the style guidelines you values will be green. If you are high or low your predicted numbers will turn blue or red. You are also notified of the hop/malt balance of your beer below the colored pint glass. All ingredients in a recipe can be edited directly from the recipe formulation screen
After using Brewtarget for over a year and seeing the updates that have been made since version 1.2.1 (Currently on 1.2.4) I am really impressed with the software. The developer is always willing to promptly help when bugs are encountered and constantly adds new requested functionality to each software revision. The only thing I wish Brewtarget did better was produce a more styled recipe printout for sharing on the web. It currently outputs recipes to your computers clipboard in a basic text/tab delimited output, and its not the most aesthetically pleasing. Other than that I really love the software and suggestion you check it out!
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