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New Developments in IPAs with Mitch Steele – BeerSmith Podcast #194

Sat, 06/15/2019 - 2:27pm

This week Mitch Steele, author of the IPA book and brewmaster at New Realm Brewing joins me to discuss new India Pale Ale beer styles.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:32)
  • This week my guest is Mitch Steele. Mitch is author of the book IPAs: Brewing Techniques, and the Evolution of India Pale Ale (Amazon affiliate link) and also the COO and Brewmaster at New Realm Brewing Company. He was formerly the brewmaster at Stone.
  • Mitch briefly describes some of the new things happening at New Realm Brewing.
  • Mitch wrote the book on IPAs back in 2012 but a lot of things have changed – he describes some of the changes and new styles.
  • We discuss some sub-styles and trends that have taken over the IPA market.
  • Mich starts with a discussion of Brut IPAs and what makes them different from your average IPA.
  • We talk about how a Brut IPA is made including key ingredients and enzymes.
  • He explains some of the challenges in brewing a beer that comes down to nearly a zero finishing gravity.
  • Next we discuss the style of Hazy/Juicy IPAs (i.e. New England IPAs).
  • Mitch provides his thoughts on how to add the haze, as well as how to best enhance the fruity/juicy flavors.
  • We talk about achieving the proper balance in the IPA without creating vegetal/lawnmower flavors.
  • Mitch shares his closing thoughts on IPAs and where they are going next.
Sponsors

Thanks to Mitch Steele 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

Homebrewcon and the AHA with Gary Glass – BeerSmith Podcast #193

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 12:24pm

This week Gary Glass, Director of the American Homebrewers Association, joins me to discuss HomebrewCon and the state of home brewing.

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (44:29)
  • This week my guest is Gary Glass. Gary is Director of the American Homebrewer’s Association which has approximately 45,000 members.
  • Gary is here to discuss the state of homebrewing and also the 2019 Homebrewcon coming up in late June.
  • We start with a discussion of some of the new things happening at the AHA.
  • Next we move to Homebrewcon which will be held this year in Providence, Rhode Island from 27-29 June 2019.
  • Gary tells us about this year’s keynote speaker as well as some of the 68 seminars that will be presented.
  • We discuss the National Homebrew Competition which is the world’s largest beer competition including over 9000 entries and how the final round of judging is done at Homebrewcon
  • Gary talks about the industry exhibition and social club that run throughout the conference.
  • We talk about the kickoff party with Craft breweries on Thursday night as well as my favorite event which is Club Night.
  • Gary wraps up the Homebrewcon discussion with a bit more about the final National Homebrew Awards presentation on Saturday.
  • We switch gears to discuss the state of US homebrewing and AHA, including the decline that started around 2014 and seems to be leveling out.
  • We talk about how the average homebrewer has changed a bit and also how we can all work to promote homebrewing as a hobby.
  • Gary shares his closing thoughts.
Sponsors

Thanks to Gary Glass 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 Memorial Day Sale – 48 Hours Only – Great Chance to Upgrade!

Sun, 05/26/2019 - 10:20am

In honor of my fellow veterans who served and sacrificed so much, I’m running a 48 hour sale on BeerSmith 3 brewing software with a 20% discount on all desktop software levels

A Great Chance to Upgrade to BeerSmith 3

Many of you have not had a chance to upgrade from BeerSmith 2 to BeerSmith 3. I have some announcements about new online tools and features coming out next week, but now is a good time to get BeerSmith 3 Gold starting at $11.95/year.

Some very good reasons to Upgrade To (or Renew) BeerSmith 3:
Act Now – Sale Ends in 48 Hours (Tuesday Evening)!

The BeerSmith sale only runs through Monday and Tuesday and will end at midnight Eastern time on Tuesday 28 May. Get 20% off on your BeerSmith plan. If you are coming up for renewal (not on autorenew already) you can go to this link, log in and click on the renew button for your license.

Thank you again for your continued support!

Brad Smith, PhD
BeerSmith.com

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Viking Age Brew with Mika Laitinen – BeerSmith Podcast #192

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 3:52pm

Mika Laitinen joins me this week to discuss his new book Viking Age Brew about ancient farmhouse brewing techniques including Sahti 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 (43:53)
  • This week my guest is Mika Laitinen, author of the new book Viking Age Brew (Amazon affiliate link) about Nordic and Sahti Farmhouse Ales.
  • We first discuss the tradition of farmhouse ales, which were traditionally brewed throughout Europe using local ingredients going back 1000 years.
  • Next Mika explains the Sahti farmhouse beer style which is native to Finland and Nordic countries, and has survived in Finland due to its association with certain festivals and ceremonies.
  • We explore the handful of commercial breweries that still brew Sahti.
  • We discuss some of the unique aspects of Sahti including its lack of hops, no boil during the brewing process, and use of herbs and rye malt.
  • Mika explains how Sahti was traditionally brewed in wooden vessels using hot stones. He also shares typical ingredients used including juniper.
  • We talk about the use of herbs, particularly juniper in the mash.
  • He shares with us techniques for brewing ancient farmhouse ales at home, along with a sample recipe.
  • Mika shares some resources where you can learn more on this topic.
Sponsors

Thanks to Mika Laitinen 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

How Much Beer is Left in my Keg?

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 12:50pm

This week I look at a simple way to determine how much beer you have left in your kegs using the weight-to-volume tool in BeerSmith.

Many brewers, myself included, like to keep one or two regular beers on tap at all times. Eventually this becomes an inventory management issue, as you need to have some idea how much of a particular beer you have left to decide when you need to brew to restock.

Ignoring for a moment the problems of lead time to get the beer brewed and mature, a key piece of information is having a solid measure of exactly how much beer you have in inventory. If you keg this can be a challenge as lifting the keg will tell you roughly how much beer is in it but won’t give you an exact volume.

The BeerSmith Weight to Volume Tool

To solve this problem, some years ago I added the Weight to Volume Tool to BeerSmith. This tool lets you weigh your kegs (or other vessels) and calculate the volume remaining based on the weight and empty weight of the keg.

To use the tool you do need to know the empty weight of the keg so you may want to weigh a keg before filling it. In my case, I primarily use standard ball lock Corney kegs (5 gal/19 l size) which weigh 9.29 lb (4.21 kg) empty and I also use the newer ball lock Slimline Torpedo kegs which weight 8.5 lb (3.86 kg). If you have a different keg type, just weigh an empty one using your grain scale and record the weight in your notes for future use.

To determine how much beer is left in your partially filled keg, simply weigh it with your grain scale. Next enter that weight into the Current Container Weight field. Enter the Empty Container Weight you recorded earlier along with the Specific (final) gravity of the beer if known. If you are not sure about the final gravity of the beer, you can use 1.015 as a reasonable value as the gravity will not affect the calculation much. Once you have entered these values into the tool the Estimated Volume of the beer will be shown at the bottom.

This tool is available under Tools->Weight-Vol on the menu for both BeerSmith 3 desktop and BeerSmith mobile. It will also shortly be available as an online tool on BeerSmithRecipes.com for Gold+ users.

Leave a comment blow if you have other books you have enjoyed. Thank you for joining me this week on the BeersSmith blog – please subscribe to the newsletter or listen to my video podcast for more great material on homebrewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Launching Sapwood Cellars Brewery with Michael Tonsmeire – BeerSmith Podcast #191

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 9:23am

Michael Tonsmeire joins me to discuss his experience starting a new brewery called Sapwood Cellars.

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

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:39)
  • This week my guest is Michael Tonsmeire. Michael is the author of the book American Sour Beers (Amazon affiliate link) and also partner in a new brewery called Sapwood Cellars in Columbia, Maryland.
  • Today he joins us to discuss some of the challenges and decisions to be made in opening a new brewery.
  • Michael gives us a quick overview of the size and scope of the brewery where he primarily sells out of the taproom.
  • We discuss his opening lineup of beers and how he decided which beers to brew.
  • Michael explains how his lineup has evolved over time and which beers are now the top cellers.
  • We talk about direct (taproom) sales versus distrubuting through other channels and also some models for growth.
  • Michael explains some of the challenges in marketing and driving traffic to a new brewery, including things like social media and promotions.
  • He shares some of the marketing and business lessons he learned.
  • We discuss how he raised funding for the new brewery and also some of the surprises he ran into along the way.
  • Michael explains the difference between brewing on a 10 barrel system and a 10 gallon brewing system
  • He shares his closing thoughts for those looking to open a small brewery.
Sponsors

Thanks to Michael Tonsmeire 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

The Yeast Life Cycle with Chris White – BeerSmith Podcast #190

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 8:14am

This week Dr Chris White from White labs joins me to discuss the yeast life cycle and fermentation in beer.

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

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:39)
  • This week my guest is Dr Chris White, President and CEO of White Labs, a premiere provider of yeast for home brewers and Craft breweries. He is also the author of Yeast (Amazon link) the definitive book on beer brewing yeast.
  • We discuss some of Chris’ recent travels.
  • Chris provides his advice on yeast preparation for both dry and liquid yeasts.
  • We begin discussing the yeast life cycle starting with the lag phase which occurs immediately after pitching the yeast into wort.
  • Chris tells us why oxygen is so important for the lag phase of fermentation.
  • We talk about the next phase which is rapid growth. This is also the phase where alcohol, CO2 and most of the flavors associated with yeast are produced.
  • He explains the third stage which is the “stationary” phase where maturation and flocculation of the yeast takes place.
  • We briefly discuss off flavors as well as the importance of completing maturation before rushing to cold crash or filter your beer.
  • Chris gives his closing advice on fermentation as well as discusses some of the new projects ongoing at White labs.
Sponsors

Thanks to Chris White 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

The Best Home Brewing Books – Four of my Favorites

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 6:54am

This week I’ll give you my picks for top home brewing books. As you might expect I have a pretty extensive library of brewing books, and I also know many of the top authors well.

I’ve included Amazon associate links for each book which you can use if you want to support this site. Many of these books are also available in your local brew shop or book store.

1. How to Brew – Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time

This substantial book by my friend John Palmer is considered by many to be “the book” for home brewing. Updated in 2017 to its 4th edition, and weighing in at 582 pages this in-depth book covers almost every possible brewing topic. It is a more technical read than some other brewing books, and can be a bit overwhelming at first read if you don’t have a technical background.

Nevertheless John does walk you through everything from basic brewing to more advanced topics like brewing at altitude or managing your mash pH. There is a reason you will find this book in just about every serious home brewer’s library.

2. Mastering Homebrew – The Complete Guide to Brewing Delicious Beer

Though not as popular or well known as Palmer’s How to Brew, this book by graphic artist and brewer Randy Mosher is lavishly illustrated and very approachable even for a first time brewer. It is not quite as technical as Palmer’s book, but it does an amazing job of covering the vast majority of brewing techniques, terminology and equipment used by home brewers. I also like how Randy approaches beer from a flavor perspective rather than simply looking at it as a technical endeavor.

Even as an experienced brewer, I found Randy’s insights into topics like “harsh zone malts” and flavors of various ingredients to be both unique and valuable and they gave me further insight that has helped me improve my own recipes.

3. Designing Great Beers – The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles

An older book by Ray Daniels who now runs the Cicerone program. This book walks you through a number of classic beer styles and attempts to analyze the ingredients used in award winning recipes for each style. I found this book very useful early in my brewing career as it gave me a reasonable place to start when building my own recipes for many of my favorite styles.

While I don’t often directly use the book these days, the methodology of dissecting and comparing the ingredients used in top beer recipes for a particular style is something I do extensively to this day. In fact I usually start the development of a new beer recipe by first looking up related recipes.

The book can be criticized because it has not been updated to reflect newer beer styles, or new brewing techniques and it only contains a limited number of styles. However I feel the content is solid and the technique can be carried over to newer recipes and styles with ease once you understand the book’s approach to recipe design.

4. Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass

Randy Mosher has a second book in my top five list, again in no small part because of his artistic approach to beer. What I like most about Radical Brewing is that it gets you thinking in new and unique ways. Randy goes well beyond the traditional four brewing ingredients and conventional techniques to explore the sublime.

While Palmer’s How to Brew provides an in depth technical approach to brewing, Randy’s Radical Brewing dives deep into the artistic side. The book is packed with ideas and examples of brewing outside the box to create beer with unique flavor combinations. If you need inspiration or a way to expand your brewing horizons I do recommend Radical Brewing.

While those are my four personal favorites, I want to also mention the Brewer’s Association series on ingredients. This four book series consists of the books: Yeast, Water, Malt and Hops (Amazon links) and each one is written by an expert in the series. These four books are excellent if you want to do an in-depth dive into brewing ingredients.

Leave a comment blow if you have other books you have enjoyed. Thank you for joining me this week on the BeersSmith blog – please subscribe to the newsletter or listen to my video podcast for more great material on homebrewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Dry Hop Creep, Over-Carbonation and Diacetyl in Beer

Sun, 03/31/2019 - 1:50pm

This week I take a close look at the effects of Dry Hop Creep in highly hopped beer styles like IPAs and what can be done to limit the problem.

For some time now, brewers of IPAs using very high levels of dry hopping have been aware of stability issues with their finished beer including diacetyl, over attenuation and even carbonation issues.

However not until 2018 were researchers able to explain the problem in some detail. Oregon State University published a paper in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry and also presentations were made by Caolan Vaughan at Brewcon 2018 in Sydney and another was done at the Oregon Beer Summit.

The term “Hop Creep” or “Dry Hop Creep” was coined to describe the problem which occurs when high levels of dry hops are used. Ironically, the problem was described by Brown and Morris way back in 1893 including the cause, but that knowledge was largely lost over the last 126 years.

What is Hop Creep

At its core, hop creep is continued fermentation in the bottle or keg after the finished beer has been packaged for distribution. Symptoms include overcarbonation of bottles and kegs, over-attenuation of packaged beer, and diacetyl off flavors. It can occur in any unpasteurized or unfiltered packaged beer. Warm storage of the packaged beer can make the situation worse.

The root cause of hop creep is high levels of dry hopping. Hops actually contain trace amounts of both alpha and beta amylase as well as limit dextrinase enzymes. After dry hopping these enzymes can continue to convert a small amount of starch into sugars even at room temperature. If yeast is still present the sugars will ferment, lowering the final gravity of the beer and also creating carbonation.

The net effect can be as much as a 1-2 Plato drop in final gravity over a period of 40 days, which leads to a 5% increase in carbonation levels and 1.3% increase in alcohol (Kirkpatrick and Shellhammer). There tests were done at 20 C, and higher storage temperatures can result in even more attenuation. This means the bottles and kegs will be overcarbonated, and the increased attenuation can also affect the malt-hop balance and body of the finished beer – big problems for commercial breweries.

In addition the fermentation will raise the diacetyl levels of the beer, and there will likely not be enough yeast to clean that diacetyl up resulting in a buttery off flavor in the finished beer.

Preventing Hop Creep

There are a variety of techniques that may reduce the effects of hop creep though they may not completely eliminate it. Some of these also have limited hard experimental data behind them:

  • Filter or Pasteurize the Finished Beer – Really the only way to completely eliminate hop creep, filtering or pasteurizing will remove live yeast from the equation, stopping further fermentation.
  • Reduce Dry Hop Levels – Shift some dry hops to the whirlpool (before fermentation) where they are less likely to create enzyme problems.
  • Cold Store you Beer – Hop creep is temperature dependent, and if you can ensure that the finished beer is stored cold, it will significantly reduce the enzyme and fermentation activity.
  • Design “Creep” into the Recipe/Process – Some brewers purposely under-attenuate and also under-carbonate their beers, assuming hop creep will occur in finished bottles/kegs. While this won’t solve potential diacetyl issues, it can help with over-carbonated/over-attenuated beers. It can be difficult to determine how much “creep” to expect however.
  • Dry Hop Earlier – Though not much reasearch has been done on this, some brewers believe dry hopping closer to fermentation will give the hop enzymes and yeast time to act before the beer is packaged, reducing the scope of the hop creep problem.
  • Use Sulfites/Sulfates to Reduce Yeast Activity – While not an option for naturally conditioned bottles, you can consider adding potassium metabisulfite (and possibly potassium sorbate) to kegs to inhibit further fermentation. These additives are widely used in the wine/mead industry as a preservative and also to inhibit further fermentation.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s article on hop creep. Thank you for joining me this week on the BeersSmith blog – please subscribe to the newsletter or listen to my video podcast for more great material on homebrewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs

Hops and IPAs with Stan Hieronymus – BeerSmith Podcast #189

Sat, 03/16/2019 - 2:20pm

Stan Hieronymus joins me to discuss cutting edge hop research, hop creep, New England IPAs and unique farmhouse ales.

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

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

Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:39)
  • Brad had a slight cold today – I apologize if my voice sounds a bit scratchy.
  • Today my guest is Stan Hieronymus. Stan is the author of For the Love of Hops, Brewing Local and Brew Like a Monk (Amazon affiliate links).
  • Stan shares some of the recent research done on hazy IPAs including the New England IPA style.
  • We discuss where the haze comes from as well as new findings about extensive dry hopping and active fermentation hopping.
  • We discuss Thiols and the role they play in hopping. We also covered this topic earlier in Episode #172.
  • Stan introduces the problem of “Hop Creep” and how excessive dry hopping can lead to diacetyl and also carbonation issues in finished beer.
  • We discuss some possible solutions to “Hop Creep”
  • Stan provides his advice for the best hop schedule for a New England IPA.
  • Stan talks about his recent travels to meet Lars Gershol as well as the new book Lars is writing for the Brewer’s Association.
  • He talks briefly about some of the unique “farmhouse” techniques and yeast strains Lars has been exploring.
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

Creating an Ingredient or Profile Add-on in BeerSmith 3

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 11:25am

I often get emails from BeerSmith 3 users and companies asking how to create an add-on for BeerSmith. It turns out it is relatively easy to create your own ingredients or profiles and export them to a BSMX file for use as an add-on.

Add-ons in BeerSmith 3

The add-on feature lets you download specific sets of additional ingredients or profiles to use in the program. Literally thousands of hops, malts, equipment profiles, even styles are available as addons. The add-on dialog was updated in BeerSmith 3 to make it easier to tell which add-ons are available

Add-ons are stored online on a BeerSmith server, but can be easily accessed from File->Add-ons from the desktop or the main Add-ons button near the bottom of the mobile version. The desktop version also lets you organize them by type so you can display a list of just hop add-ons using the drop down at the top of the dialog. To install or uninstall an add-on you simply click on it and click the Install or Uninstall button. After installation the new ingredients or profiles will show up in the respective list.

Creating or Updating an Add-on

If no add-on exists for a particular malster or equipment setup (for instance) you can create your own. The first step is to go to the Ingredients or Profiles view and enter the data.

For example if I’m creating a new add-on for a particular craft malt house, I would go to Ingredients->Malt and enter the new items there. Wherever possible, use the specific data from the malt house web site such as color, dry grain fine yield, moisture, etc…to fill in the ingredient dialog.

If updating an existing add-on you would follow the same process except you would want to download the add-on first, then update or add new items as needed before exporting.

The final step is to export the items needed for the add-on. You can do this by individually selecting all of the items. The easiest way to do this is to use the search bar (top right area) first to find all of the items first, then select them using either Ctrl+click or Shift-Click.

Once all of your ingredients are selected, use the File->Export Selected command to export the selected items to a separate BSMX file. You can then go to File->Open to open the file you just selected and verify that it is complete and has all of the items you intended.

While the example above was for malt, you can do the same for any ingredient type including yeast, water profiles, etc or for any profile type such as equipment profiles, carbonation or aging profiles.

There is one special consideration when creating beer style add-ons. After creating the first entry for your style guide, you need to go to Options->Brewing and set the style guides to be displayed. Unless you select the new style guide you are adding (after the first entry was added) you won’t see the new styles listed.

Submitting an Add-on

Once you have the exported BSMX file containing your add-on data, simply use the contact-us page on BeerSmith.com to contact me and include the fact that you have a new add-on. I will send an email in reply and you can then attach the new BSMX file in response.

Once I’ve reviewed the BSMX file for completeness I will post it on the main add-on server for anyone using BeerSmith to use. I typically do this a few times each month to keep items up to date.

That is the basic process for creating an add-on if you either work with a smaller supplier or want to contribute to the BeerSmith community. 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…and streaming radio station) for more great tips on homebrewing.

Categories: Homebrewing blogs