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Brewing without a computer program
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648
    It seems odd to me that everyone seems to use Beersmith or the like. I've used it, but never felt that it gave me anything useful.
    Strike water temps are nearly impossible to calculate due to factors that are hard to quantify. Just add water that's about the right temp until the mash is the right temp. If it's a little thick or thin it'll still work.
    Color calculations are just unnecessary, and if you really care do the math out by hand. The formula is relativity simple. For general brewing most people can estimate approximate color with out any math, and does it really matter that much?
    IBU's, I do run these in a program sometimes, but I don't get accurate numbers back. Again, there are too many variables to really get the accuracy I can taste let alone the accuracy that people talk of.
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,213
    I use an Android app for strike water and refractometer conversions. I'm never more than a degree off on target mash temp.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    I think this is mostly true. I use beer smith I don't know that it does anything special for me. Mainly I'm too lazy rondo the calculations by hand. I guess I use it more these days as an electronic place to store recipes.

    I do think it helped me understand how to build a recipe in my early stages.
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648
    A lot of why it's not useful to me is my sloppy brew style. I leaned a good deal from playing with the program when I first started. But even then I couldn't hold to a recipe, it was just a way of learning; if I tweak y than x happens, with out having to brew hundreds of times.
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648
    C_B said:

    I use an Android app for strike water and refractometer conversions. I'm never more than a degree off on target mash temp.



    I heat water to about 170-190 and mix it till it's the right temp. I'm never off.
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    Now that I know my system I could probably go without it.
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648
    jlw said:

    Now that I know my system I could probably go without it.



    Do it! It's so much more satisfying.
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    One of thes edays I'm going to get one of those brewing books and bill learn all the calculations.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 45,611
    jlw said:

    One of thes edays I'm going to get one of those brewing books and bill learn all the calculations.



    i do the strike water and decoction calcs by hand occasionally. i find it to be a bit more accurate than most of the programs around. ibu's i just go with whatever beer calculus tells me. close enough.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • BenSBenS
    Posts: 6,248
    I use an android app just to keep track of my random ass recipes. Otherwise I forget
    There's no starting point. It's just a massive sea of shit to wade through until you find the occasional corn kernel. -DrCurly
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 99,286
    BenS said:

    I use an android app just to keep track of my random ass recipes. Otherwise I forget


    that pretty much my approach. i have my spreadsheet, which is the recipe, and the calculations.

    one spreadsheet for each brew.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 46,243

    C_B said:

    I use an Android app for strike water and refractometer conversions. I'm never more than a degree off on target mash temp.



    I heat water to about 170-190 and mix it till it's the right temp. I'm never off.


    Tsk tsk .....
    Do it right lad .... heat up 1.25 quarts per pound of grain until just starts to hit the point you can't stand it when you flick some on your wrist ..... done ... whats this thermometer crap?
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648
    ceannt said:

    C_B said:

    I use an Android app for strike water and refractometer conversions. I'm never more than a degree off on target mash temp.



    I heat water to about 170-190 and mix it till it's the right temp. I'm never off.


    Tsk tsk .....
    Do it right lad .... heat up 1.25 quarts per pound of grain until just starts to hit the point you can't stand it when you flick some on your wrist ..... done ... whats this thermometer crap?


    I didn't say anything about a thermometer.
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    I think I'll start using a Slide rule and abacus
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648
    jlw said:

    I think I'll start using a Slide rule and abacus



    Forget all that and focus on the malt, hop, & water.
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 99,286
    You're all whack.

    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    ceannt said:

    C_B said:

    I use an Android app for strike water and refractometer conversions. I'm never more than a degree off on target mash temp.



    I heat water to about 170-190 and mix it till it's the right temp. I'm never off.


    Tsk tsk .....
    Do it right lad .... heat up 1.25 quarts per pound of grain until just starts to hit the point you can't stand it when you flick some on your wrist ..... done ... whats this thermometer crap?


    i just throw caterpillars in until it dies instantly, but DOESN'T explode.....done....what's all this wrist crap?
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648

    ceannt said:

    C_B said:

    I use an Android app for strike water and refractometer conversions. I'm never more than a degree off on target mash temp.



    I heat water to about 170-190 and mix it till it's the right temp. I'm never off.


    Tsk tsk .....
    Do it right lad .... heat up 1.25 quarts per pound of grain until just starts to hit the point you can't stand it when you flick some on your wrist ..... done ... whats this thermometer crap?


    i just throw caterpillars in until it dies instantly, but DOESN'T explode.....done....what's all this wrist crap?


    What kind of caterpillars are best judge of a highish mash temp?
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    I would thnk k the tent worms.
  • CZsCZs
    Posts: 228
    being obviously late to this one - I can see we're down to sacrificing critters

    anyways - I have Beer Smith 2 and recently have been playing with Brewer's Friend - it seems the latter is a little underestimating but does have a few items that Beer Smith 2 doesn't - I've used it enough that I have all the data I could want, but I'm actually really starting to enjoy the simplicity of Brewer's Friend in conjunction with a boil timer on my Galaxy
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648
    I guess I shouldn't have" eyeballed" my priming sugar....
    IMG_20130523_194325.jpg
    1944 x 2592 - 1M
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 70,648
    CZs said:

    being obviously late to this one - I can see we're down to sacrificing critters

    anyways - I have Beer Smith 2 and recently have been playing with Brewer's Friend - it seems the latter is a little underestimating but does have a few items that Beer Smith 2 doesn't - I've used it enough that I have all the data I could want, but I'm actually really starting to enjoy the simplicity of Brewer's Friend in conjunction with a boil timer on my Galaxy



    I've never heard of brewer's friend. I'm tempted to look into it, but take far more pleasure in doing calculations out in chalk... Or just guessing as I go.
    What really killed the programs for me was IBU calculations. The beer I'm drinking right now has , by taste about 75-90 but a program would put it at 500 or something impossible.
    It's hard to come up with really good formulas for this stuff. There are just too many variables too get it all.
    In bacteria there is wisdom.
    In beer there is water.
    In freedom there is wine.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 99,286
    Is this the beer where you dumped in a bunch of old hops?
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,213

    I guess I shouldn't have" eyeballed" my priming sugar....


    Pour slower.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 46,243
    yeah.... once you get up so high in "calculated" IBUs... you stop perceiving any difference... can't tell say between 200 and 700...
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 46,243
    good ole Tinseth seems to work better to me in predicting IBUs....
    But eveybody's perception is a tad different... so any method of calculating is going to vary from person to person as to accuracy
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.