Homebrewing blogs

Tilt Hydrometer and Fermentation Import Features in BeerSmith 3.1

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Wed, 07/08/2020 - 7:29am

This week I’m going to cover the new Tilt import features added in BeerSmith 3.1, as well as general features for importing and exporting CSV fermentation data from other sources.

Tilt Data Import

The Tilt wireless hydrometer has become a popular tool for home brewers. One of the top features many brewers asked for was a simple way to import their fermentation data into BeerSmith.

BeerSmith 3 added support for graphic fermentation readings including time, temperature and gravity. BeerSmith 3.1 adds a new Tilt Data Import button to the Fermentation Readings section of the session tab that lets you directly import your data. Click that button to get started.

From here you will be prompted to either import a CSV file or import directly from a Tilt Google Spreadsheet link. If you pick the google spreadsheet option, simply copy/paste your spreadsheet link into the field provided, and set your filtering interval as described below.

For the Tilt CSV import you can select the sensor color since Tilt CSV files can support multiple sensors, and you have the choice of importing the temperature in Celsius if needed. By default all Tilt apps output temperatures in Fahrenheit, but some third party apps do use Celsius. After that you can simply pick the CSV file to import.

Both methods also allow you to set a Filter Interval. Because these sensors can record a large amount of data – sampling every minute or more – you can filter the data in BeerSmith to only record samples separated by a certain amount of time. That time is known as the filter interval. For example if I set my filter interval to 60 minutes, the program will filter out samples that are not at least one hour apart.

Generic CSV Fermentation Import/Export

You can also now import and export your fermentation data to generic CSV files. This is supported by many additional devices and programs. The import and export of CSV files is very straightforward – just use the Import CSV or Export CSV buttons below the Fermentation Readings section on the session tab and then select the file to export or import from.

It is important to note, however, that the import/export of CSV is done in the current unit settings, so you do need to make sure your current units, which are set under Options->Units match the units of the temperature and gravities you are trying to import or export.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips on importing/exporting fermentation data in BeerSmith 3.1. Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter or my podcast (also on itunes…and youtube) for more great tips on homebrewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

English Yeast Comparison – Three Different Ones

Brew Dudes - Wed, 07/01/2020 - 1:15pm

We said we would get to yeast experiments this year and we finally did. Here’s a comparison of three different well known English ale yeasts. Mike brewed a big batch of English Brown Ale wort and split it between three different fermentors. He pitched one yeast strain into each of them and he got three […]

The post English Yeast Comparison – Three Different Ones appeared first on Brew Dudes.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Short and Shoddy Brewing with Marshall Schott – BeerSmith Podcast #217

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Thu, 06/25/2020 - 2:19pm

This week Marshall Schott joins me to discuss how many “short and shoddy” shortcuts you can take when brewing beer and still produce good beer.

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Download the MP3 File– Right Click and Save As to download this mp3 file.

Topics in This Week’s Episode (45:41)
  • This week my guest is Marshall Schott from Brulosophy. Marshall runs the Brulosophy.com web site which features a wide variety of interesting Beer Experiments where common brewing beliefs are tested experimentally.  In addition Marshall has a number of projects we’ll be talking about including the Brulosophy podcast, and “Short & Shoddy”.
  • We talk about Brulosophy and some of the challenges they’ve had getting experiments done during the current pandemic.
  • Marshall introduces the concept of “Short and Shoddy” brewing which involves taking as many shortcuts as possible while still making good beer.
  • We talk about an abbrevitated mash and how modern malts actually convert the sugars/starches in grains very quickly due to high levels of modification/enzymes.
  • Marshall also tells us about experiments using an abbreviated boil and how he has not had significant issues with DMS.
  • We discuss the direct pitch of yeast and how it can work even without using a starter.
  • Marshall explains how he sometimes gets away with pitching yeast slightly warm and without added oxygen.
  • We discuss brewing lagers at ale temperatures which can actually be successful if you choose the correct lager yeast strain.
  • We talk about gelatin from the grocery store and how it is a great clarity aid that is inexpensive and easy to use.
  • We talk about burst carbonation and he provides his closing thoughts.

Thanks to Marshall Schott for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

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Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Kettle Soured Berliner Weiss

Brew Dudes - Wed, 06/24/2020 - 6:05am

If you have read our blog before, you know we like beers for the summer time. This summer, Mike brewed up a Berliner Weiss in which he used a kettle souring technique to bring to the beer a nice lactic acid flavoring. Watch this tasting video! Berliner Weiss Tasting Notes If you have ever tasted […]

The post Kettle Soured Berliner Weiss appeared first on Brew Dudes.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

BeerSmith 3.1 Released

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Mon, 06/22/2020 - 11:06am

I’m happy to announce the official release of the BeerSmith 3.1 update. This update includes some significant updates to the BeerSmith data storage model, TILT data import, new brewing features and a large number of bug fixes.

This release is also a very important foundational step towards establishing both an online version of BeerSmith and my long term goal of having profiles/ingredients and inventory shared across platforms.

This is a free update for all BeerSmith 3 license holders, and of course anyone can try the free 21 day trial. You can download it from the BeerSmith download page now.

NOTE: Due to the large number of foreign language users of BeerSmith, I’ve delayed posting this to the automatic update server until we can get additional translation files published. At this time you will need to manually download/update the program.

BeerSmith 3.1 Highlights

A complete list of features are here and the release notes can be found here.

  • An improved storage system that saves data as soon as you press Ok (transactional) which should significantly improve the reliability in the event your computer or program shuts down.
  • Tilt data import for use with Tilt hydrometers – you can import fermentation data via Tilt CSV or Tilt Google Spreadsheets. Also generic CSV import which can be used with other devices.
  • Support for alternate mash pH models – the MPH model or BW model can be selected via dropdown on the mash tab depending on your preferences.
  • Support for “late dark grain additions” to the mash. If you specify a dark grain as “sparge” in the use field, it will not be included in the mash calculations but will be listed to be added right before the sparge. This is consistent with many brewers who now add harsher dark malts right before the sparge to reduce harshness.
  • New hop fields to specify which phase and which day to add your dry hops along with the duration. This supports new techniques like dry hopping during fermentation or double-dry hopping. The dry hops also now show up on the brew calendar.
  • The ability to sort by most fields including date in the cloud folder.
  • A new storage location (recommended) – which moves data to the %APPDATA% or Library folder. This prevents a variety of issues we had with programs and storage backup systems altering the old Documents directory.
  • New commands to backup and restore your data from a zip file makes backups easy and fast.
  • An effort so streamline and simplify some interface elements by removing stray icons and the small “ball” indicators. These can be enabled if desired from the Options->Look and Feel menu.
  • A huge number of bug fixes.

Again you can download the BeerSmith 3.1 update and try it here. Those are some of the highlights – you can find a complete list of features are here and the release notes can be found here.

Thanks again for your continued support!

Brad Smith, PhD, BeerSmith LLC

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Hop Aroma Standards Kit Review

Brew Dudes - Wed, 06/17/2020 - 1:48pm

I saw this kit on the Yakima Valley Hops site and thought it would be good to buy since These Brew Dudes post a bunch of reviews of hops. It seemed like an interesting tool to connect aromas with descriptors that we try to use when evaluating SMaSH beers. I bought this kit and we […]

The post Hop Aroma Standards Kit Review appeared first on Brew Dudes.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

BeerSmith 3.1 New Update Features

Homebrewing from Beersmith - Thu, 06/11/2020 - 12:46pm

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Here is a summary of the new features coming in the BeerSmith 3.1 desktop update. I have posted the open beta version on the main download page at BeerSmith.com, and plan to publish the formal release in the next week or two. You can find additional details for all updates in the formal BeerSmith 3.1 release notes here. Also the earlier BeerSmith 3.0 release notes are here.

BeerSmith 3.1 Overview

BeerSmith 3.1 is another great step forward in the long term development of the BeerSmith suite of products. The focus in BeerSmith 3.1 was to lay the groundwork for an upcoming web based version of BeerSmith, as well as add some critical new features and updates to BeerSmith desktop.

Data Storage and Future Sync

One of the largest changes in 3.1 is the underlying data storage, which has moved to an incremental transaction based system. Older versions of BeerSmith read your data in on startup and saved it when you shut down the program. This created problems if the program or computer crashed or was shut down before BeerSmith could save the data. The new system stores data as soon as you press OK, so it should significantly cut down on data loss.

An additional benefit in the new system is that it lays the groundwork for syncing all data including profiles, ingredients and recipes across platforms. While not complete yet, this is my long term goal, and I’ve started work on an online web based version of BeerSmith which will sync with other platforms. In fact last Fall I released the Tools portion of this on BeerSmithRecipes.com and also made it mobile friendly. In fact, Gold+ mobile users of BeerSmithRecipes.com have basically the same functionality as the older BeerSmith lite mobile app now.

I’ve also moved the default data location of BeerSmith data to the %APPDATA%/BeerSmith3 on windows or ~Library/Application Support/BeerSmith3 on the Mac to comply with app security recommendations and also reduce issues with Antivirus programs which often block access to Documents. On startup you will be asked if you want to move your data to the new locations, which I do recommend.

To make it easier to backup/recover your data there are now Backup and Recover from Zip file commands on the File menu.

Brewing Features

A large number of people have requested the ability to import TILT data, which you can now do from the Session tab. Near the bottom there is a new Tilt Data Import button that lets you import either Tilt CSV data, or data from a Google Spreadsheet link. The data will be recorded and displayed on the temperature/gravity graph in BeerSmith.

BeerSmith 3.1 adds support for specifying both dry hop phase and days into the phase to support the more complex dry hop schedules that brewers are using now including dry hops in the primary fermenter. Dry hop additions also now show up on the brewing calendar.

I’ve also added support for adding dark grains at the very end of the mash or early in the sparge. This is a popular technique that helps reduce the harsh flavors from very dark grains. In BeerSmith you can now specify these grains as “sparge” additions and they will be excluded from the mash water volume and pH calculations but included in the sparge water calculations, so you can “sparge” your dark grains now.

I’ve added an additional mash pH model based roughly on the popular BNW calculator. The previous BeerSmith mash pH calculator used the MPH model but some brewers preferred an alternate model so now you can select which mash pH model to use on the mash tab. In general the two models are very close with mash pH estimates, but the BW model will result in much less acid needed to adjust the pH than the MPH model.

Other Changes

A large number of bug fixes and feature enhancements are in the program as well as an attempt to reduce some of the on-screen clutter. Again I refer you to the specific release notes for more details on these features.

  • The ability to customize cloud views with most recipe fields including recipe date for better sorting/management of cloud folders
  • Added a new option under Options->Brewing to make it easier to install a Lang.xml file into the program for using BeerSmith in other languages.
  • Added a new “Diastatic Power” value for recipes which estimates the diastatic power for the recipe. Values above 30 are considered good and will self convert, while those below that may not.
  • Simplified the installation of custom reports under Options->Reports
  • Removed the menu icons on the main menu by default to reduce clutter. You can turn these on if you prefer by going to Options->Look and Feel and checking the box “Show Menu Bar Icons”
  • Removed the small circular ball indicators from dialogs by default as they were causing confusion for new users. You can still turn them on if desired by going to Options->Look and Feel and checking the box “Show indicators”
  • A large number of bugs and crashes were fixed to improve stability.

I hope you enjoy the improved version of BeerSmith desktop. I am working on a companion 3.1 update for BeerSmith mobile as well as a web based version of BeerSmith for the future.

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Categories: Homebrewing blogs