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Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Craft Malting with Andrea Stanley – BeerSmith Podcast #222

Tue, 09/29/2020 - 1:07pm

Andrea Stanley from Valley Malt joins me this week to discuss Craft Malting and heirloom malt varieties.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or Spotify or Google Play

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:15)
  • This week my guest is Andrea Stanley, co-owner and founder of Valley Malt, a Craft malt house in Massachusetts. She joins me this week to discuss craft malting and malt varieties.
  • We start with a short discussion of Valley Malt and how they are doing currently.
  • We dive into barley varieties and how a relatively small number are grown at large scale commercially.
  • Andrea next explains how some craft malt houses and farmers are beginning to work with heirloom and newer barley varieties to expand local barley growing.
  • We talk about her experiments with a barley called Hanna, which is a Moravian Landrace Barley
  • She tells us where she is with Hanna and we also discuss GMO products and how malts are non-DMO.
  • We cover the “Brew Local” trend and also how many breweries are trying hard to source local ingredients for their beer.
  • Andrea has a new supply chain group she’s been working with and we discuss that.
  • We talk about sustainable packaging for malts.
  • We end with a short discussion of Valley Malt, their new efforts in producing baking flour and their 10 year anniversary.
Sponsors

Thanks to Andrea Stanley 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.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Hop Breeding and New Varieties with Stan Hieronymus – BeerSmith Podcast #221

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 4:18pm

Stan Hieronymus joins me this week to discuss hop breeding programs and some of the new hop varieties hitting the brewing market.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or Spotify or Google Play

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (49:48)
  • This week my guest is Stan Hieronymus. Stan is the author of For the love of Hops and has authored a number of other books as well including Brewing Local, Brew Like a Monk and Brewing with Wheat (Amazon affiliate links)  Stan has also penned hundreds of periodicals and is a certified beer judge.
  • We start with a discussion of some of Stan’s recent work researching hops, and the history of hop breeding programs.
  • Stan tells us how the hop breeding programs evolved over the years including finding high alpha hops as well as hops resistant to disease.
  • We discuss how hop breeding has been transformed by the Craft Beer revolution here in the US.
  • Stan explains why it takes so long (15-20 years) to get a new hop tested and into production.
  • We discuss the difference between public and privately funded hops research as well as licensed hops.
  • Stan tells us about the major hop breeding programs around the world.
  • We discuss some of the top hop varieties right now and why they are so hard to get.
  • Stan goes over many of the new hop varieties just hitting the market right now.
  • We discuss where brewers can learn more about hop breeding.
Sponsors

Thanks to Stan Hieronymus 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.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

BeerSmith 3.1+ Storage and Backup Improvements

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 9:15am

Starting with the BeerSmith 3.1 update we’ve added improved data storage security as well as backup options to the BeerSmith platform. I strongly recommend upgrading to 3.1 or higher by going to the main download page at BeerSmith.com if you are using an older version of BeerSmith.

Improved Storage

In earlier versions of BeerSmith the data was stored under the Documents/BeerSmith3 directory. As computers have evolved this created more and more problems with shared drives, antivirus programs, cleanup and backup programs. For example many antivirus programs block programs from reading/writing a lot of data to the Documents folder. To correct this, V3.1 now recommends you store data in the AppData (Windows) or user Library (Mac) folder which is far less likely to be blocked or tampered with.

BeerSmith also previously stored changes made in memory and then wrote the data when you closed the program. This caused issues if the program crashed or if the program was left running when the computer shut down, which can happen on many laptops. The new version stores data changes incrementally as they are made, which means you won’t lose data in a crash or unexpected computer shutdown.

New Backup Features

BeerSmith 3.1 adds two new menu items on the File menu. The first one called Full Backup to Zip can be used to create a single zip archive file containing all of your current BeerSmith data and settings. This makes it very easy to make a periodic backup of your data for archival or make a copy of your data to move to another computer.

There is also a File->Full Recovery from Zip which takes the above zip file and recovers all of your data. Since recovering from a zip file replaces all of your existing data, the program will first ask you if you want to backup your existing data to a zip file, which you can do, and then it will do the recovery.

Transferring to a New Computer

Using the new backup and recover from zip commands it is now much easier to move to a new computer when you upgrade. Just install BeerSmith and activate it on the new computer, then use the File->Full Backup to Zip on the old computer to back it up. Next transfer that zip file to the new computer and use the File->Full Recovery from Zip on the new computer to restore all of your data and settings.

Automatic Backups of Files and Recipe Edits

In addition to the above changes, BeerSmith 3 makes periodic full backups of your key data files and stores them by date. You can access these from the File->Recover from Auto Backup command. Here there are 5 backups for each major data type, and you can select a file and click the button Open File in a New Tab to view the backup data for that date.

If you want to recover only a few items, you can then copy/paste the data from the open file tab back to your My Recipes or other view. If you need to restore the entire file, you can use the Recover from Backup Selected on the recover dialog.

In addition to the bulk automatic backups, the Recipe->Recipe Archive keeps a record of all major recipe edits. This lets you recover the last version or recent versions of any recipe even if you deleted or made substantial changes. From this view it will show recipes by date along with the name, action and folder they were stored in. In addition you can use the search box on the title bar to find all versions of a single recipe. Open a recipe by double clicking to view it and use the Save a Copy button on the ribbon to save a copy of the open recipe back to your folders.

That is a quick overview of some of the backup and recover options available 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

Beer Brewing Q&A with Jamil Zainasheff – BeerSmith Podcast #220

Sun, 08/30/2020 - 3:23pm

Jamil Zainasheff from Heretic Brewing joins me this week for a beer brewing question and answer session.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or Spotify or Google Play

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (53:10)
  • This week my guest is Jamil Zainasheff. Jamil is the founder and owner of Heretic Brewing near San Francisco as well as an award winning professional and home brewer. Jamil is also the author of the books “Brewing Classic Styles” and “The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation” (Amazon affiliate links) as well as co-host of the “Brew Strong” podcast on the Brewing Network.
  • We briefly discuss Heretic Brewing before moving on to a beer brewing Question and Answer session
  • Jamil tells us how to get the haze into a “Hazy IPA”.
  • We talk about “Brewing Classic Styles” and what Jamil’s favorite beer styles are
  • Jamil gives his thoughts on using a multi-step mash versus a single step infusion mash.
  • I ask Jamil how much water adjustment he does on his professionally brewed beers at Heretic Brewing
  • We talk about how to go about selecting hops as well as whether hop blends are appropriate for some beers.
  • I ask Jamil his opinion on the IPA craze in craft brewing and whether he thinks something else could replace it.
  • We talk about the mash-out step and whether it is important or even useful anymore
  • I ask Jamil about his “Mr Malty” yeast calculator and the use of yeast starters
  • We discuss what he thinks are some of the most overused and underused malts in brewing.
  • We talk about how Craft breweries are adjusting to the current pandemic as well as what we can do to support them.
  • Jamil shares his closing thoughts.
Sponsors

Thanks to Jamil Zainasheff 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.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Vienna Lager with Andreas Krennmair- BeerSmith Podcast #219

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 1:09pm

Andreas Krennmair joins me this week to discuss his new book on the history of Vienna Lagers.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or Spotify or Google Play

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (47:38)
  • This week my guest is Andreas Krennmair. Andreas is the author of a new book on the history of Vienna Lagers (Amazon affiliate link).
  • We discuss how Andreas got interested in homebrewing, the history of beer and eventually the Vienna Lager style.
  • We discuss the origin of Vienna Lager which can be traced back to a single brewer named Anton Dreher in the 1830’s-1840’s.
  • We discuss how Vienna Lager influenced both Czech and German styles including Marzen.
  • Andreas shares how the beer also jumped across the Atlantic to influence beers in the US and Mexico.
  • We discuss some of the differences between the Vienna Lager styles made today and the historic style.
  • Andreas explains some of the details of making a Vienna lager including the grain bill, hops and yeast to use.
  • We discuss how Vienna lager was traditionally brewed including a decoction mash and aging.
  • Andreas provides his closing tips on making a Vienna lager and describes where to find his blog and book.
Sponsors

Thanks to Andreas Krennmairfor 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.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Fruity IPAs with Randy Mosher – BeerSmith Podcast #218

Mon, 07/20/2020 - 9:26am

Randy Mosher joins me this week to discuss brewing fruity IPAs and using fruit in your IPAs.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or Spotify or Google Play

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (52:20)
  • This week my guest is Randy Mosher. Randy is the author of Mastering Homebrew, Radical Brewing, and Tasting Beer.  He’s also partner in two breweries near Chicago Five Rabbit and Forbidden Root.
  • We start with a short discussion of the new book Randy’s working on as well as the re-opening of his two breweries Five Rabbit and Forbidden Root.
  • Randy starts with a discussion of hops and how hops itself can be used to promote fruity flavors and aromas in an IPA.
  • We talk about the recent research into hops thiols, geraniol and linalool and how they can be used when dry hopping to promote tropical fruit flavors in IPAs.
  • Randy provides some advice on fruity IPA hop selection as it is critical for getting the flavor profile.
  • We next switch to the use of fruit in an IPA and how you can approach the correct flavor balance with an IPA. Randy also mentions citric fruits which do well with IPAs.
  • We discuss how fruit flavors change dramatically during fermentation which drives your fruit selection and also the level of sweetness needed in a beer to achieve balance.
  • Randy talks about acidity and how it can provide structure but can also easily upset the flavor balance especially in an IPA
  • We talk about backsweetening and the use of ingredients like lactose to sweeten a beer to replace sugars lost during fermentation.
  • Randy provides advice on using fruit in the primary vs secondary and also his preference for fruit juice versus whole fruit or puree.
  • Randy gives his closing thoughts on fruit beers.
Sponsors

Thanks to Randy Mosher 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.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

BeerSmith Yeast and Hop Updates 2020 Available

Sat, 07/18/2020 - 10:38am

I recently posted both yeast and hops updates for BeerSmith 3 and BeerSmith 2 to the add-ons server in BeerSmith. These are recommended downloads for BeerSmith users.

These add-ons update the core yeast and hops listings to include new yeasts such as Kveik as well as some 63 new hop varieties. To download these updates, open BeerSmith and go to File->Add-ons. The yeast update is listed as Yeast Update 2020 and the hops update is Hops Update 2020.

Also if you have not downloaded the BeerSmith 3.1 update for BeerSmith desktop I highly recommend downloading that as well.

In addition a number of other add-ons have been posted over the last several months – these include: Omega and Imperial Yeast updates, Spike equipment, official Grainfather equipment profiles, Crisp Malts, Agraria malts, Deer Creek Malts, Yeast Bay yeasts, Escarpment yeasts, Proximity malts, Blichmann equipment profiles, Coopers Extracts, Propagate Yeast, Muntons Malts, Brewzilla profiles, Admiral malts, Briess and more.

If you have an older add-on you can uninstall and then reinstall it to pick up new data.

Thanks again for your continued support of BeerSmith!

Brad Smith, BeerSmith LLC

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

New Dry Hop Features in BeerSmith 3.1

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 5:47pm

Today I’m going to highlight some of the new dry hop features in BeerSmith 3.1. BeerSmith 3.1 was released in mid-2020.

Dry hopping is one of the best ways to preserve aroma oils in your hops. Because it is done at low temperature, you don’t risk boiling off volatile aroma oils. Also the long contact time lets you infuse your beer with hop aroma over a period of days.

While previous versions of BeerSmith have always supported dry hops, the program simply let you specify the dry hop time. About 10 years ago most dry hops were added at the end of fermentation and aging, usually shortly before bottling.

With the Craft Beer IPA revolution, brewers started using dry hops in much larger quantities and often for shorter periods of time. In addition, many IPAs are double or triple dry hopped which means they add more than one dry hop addition, often spaced across different stages of the fermentation and aging.

In addition, the push for “fruity” flavored IPAs and New England IPAs has driven many brewers to experiment with hopping in the primary fermentation as a method for promoting biotransformations. American and Australia/New Zealand hops high in Gerianol and Thiols can often develop tropical fruit flavor and aroma if used late in the primary.

BeerSmith 3.1 Dry Hops

To support the newer utilization of dry hops, I added both a dry hop start time and start phase to the program. So for example you can now specify a traditional dry hop that is 3 days before bottling, but you can also specify a dry hop 4 days into the primary fermentation.

This gives you a lot more flexibility to record your dry hop additions, and you can better specify double and triple dry hopped beers. To use this feature, just add a new hop to your recipe and then select “Dry Hop” for the use field. The extra fields for start of dry hop and phase of the dry hop will be shown so you can specify the starting point and duration.

A lot of brewers also asked that dry hops be added to the calendar view, which has also been done. So now you can view a recipe from the calendar view (under Recipes->Calendar – and don’t forget to set the brew date for the recipe first), and it will also show when to add your dry hops.

I hope you enjoy some of the features in BeerSmith 3.1 – if you want to learn more about dry hopping, check out my two part series here. Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Please sign up for the newsletter or subscribe to my podcast for more beer brewing goodness.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Tilt Hydrometer and Fermentation Import Features in BeerSmith 3.1

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

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

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.

Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or Spotify or Google Play

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.
Sponsors

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.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

BeerSmith 3.1 Released

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

BeerSmith 3.1 New Update Features

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 12:46pm

Buy BeerSmith 3 Download BeerSmith 3

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.
Summary

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