BeerSmith: The home Brewing Software


It is quite possible that home brewers who frequent Indianbrewer.com, are aware of BeerSmith. For those of you who aren't (Like me, almost an year back) I'm going to give you an introduction to BeerSmith and what it can do for as a brewer.

BeerSmith is a software made just for home brewing. It lets you design your own beer with out guessing how it'll turn out. what the IBUs will be and SRM of the final beer. It estimates the gravity numbers among other myriad of things.

With BeerSmith you don't need conversion charts or calculate while brewing. For the advanced brewer it can do water adjustment calculations. For the intermediate brewer it can calculate the carbonation precisely for the style of your beer. For the amateur brewer it holds the potential to advance your knowledge about the subject.

I have been using BeerSmith for about 10 months now, when i bought BeerSmith I had brewed only 3 batches of 4 liters using a kit, with varying degree of success. Using BeerSmith I achieved consistency and I improved from 5 liters to 20 liter batches.

If you think 'this software is used by random brewers in their basements' like yours truly. you'd be wrong. famous homebrewers like John Palmer and Northern Brewers use it and recommend it. BeerSmith also gives you access to its cloud systems and you'll access to its forums plus a recipe database made by home brewers across the world.

(Great, now this post sounds like an advertisement)

you can download BeerSmith from beersmith.com. It comes with a trial of 21 days, after which you can purchase the software for $28 (its worth it). once you have BeerSmith downloaded and installed, it'll look confusing a bit but be patient.

To give you a demonstration of BeerSmith I will guide you through a construction of IndianBrewer Single Malt and Single Hop(SMaSH) Belgian IPA.

When you start BeerSmith you'll be greeted with a home page that looks like this.


(Fig. 1.)

Step 1- This Screen will present you with a popup of introduction to the software and its allied advantages. I recommend that you go through them. If you are as impatient as I was go ahead and close the popup(Fig 2.) and click on add recipe (Fig. 3.).


(Fig. 2.)


(Fig. 3.)

Step 2-  Now the screen will look like this (Fig. 4.). We will first name our beer  "Indian Brewer SMaSH" in the name field which is highlighted automatically


(Fig. 4.) 

Step 3- Select the type of brew. In this case all grain. change the batch size, boil time, equipment profile being used like so; (Fig. 5.)


(Fig. 5.) 

Step 4- Select the style of beer, for this brew we'll do a Belgian IPA style. Change the profile for mash, carbonation and aging (Fig. 6.), to single infusion, light body no mash out. carbonation to honey and fermentation to ale two stage. Adjust carb level to 2.8.


(Fig. 6.)  

Step 5- Notice the colourful bars just below the beer style. They show the guide to the style according to BJCP. We want to keep the black dots in the green area. The black dots will move as we add grains, hops and yeast. 
We will add grains from the options on the right (Fig. 7.). Once you add the grains in this case pale ale malt 6kg. you'll notice the approximate colour of the beer change to a beautiful blonde on the right. You'll also notice the black dots on the bars have moved. They now indicate approximate gravity numbers, EBC, IBUs and estimated ABV%. you can use this as a guide to achive your desired beer.


(Fig. 7.) 

Step 6- To add hops, again click on 'add hops' option on the right. a window will popup, with a list of hops and fields in which you can fill the quantity of the hops and at what time you want the hops to be added to the boil. In our case we will chose citra hops (Fig. 8.). Repeat the process till all the hops are the added. 


(Fig. 8.)

Add 20g Citra at 60 min, 20g at 30 min, 10g at 15 min, 10g at 5 min. Now the screen should look like this. 


(Fig. 9.)

Step 7-  Add appropriate yeast, for our beer we'll add Mangrove Jacks Belgian Ale Yeast (Fig. 10.) 


(Fig. 10.)

Step 8- Check out the tabs for information on mash tempratures, aging, volumes etc. (Fig. 11.). The starter tab concerns itself with making yeast starters. mash tab tells you the temperature and spare volumes etc. Go through all the tabs, DO NOT change or edit anything. 


(Fig. 11.) 

Step 9- Save the recipe (Fig. 12.). 


(Fig. 12.)

you will now see a screen like this (Fig. 13.). The second half of the screen shows the final recipe. It show ingredients, Mash steps, carbonation steps. This is all you need for the brew day. 


(Fig. 14.)

Step 10- Have a home brew. Our recipe is complete. 

Congratulations we have now successfully created a recipe. we can follow the same and achieve consistent results. After all consistency separates pros from the amateurs.

I urge you all to download BeerSmith and fool around with it as mush as possible. Do share your experience in the comments below. My email is sidharth.verma692@gmail.com i'd be happy to help regarding BeerSmith or otherwise.  


  

4 comments:

  1. Very useful post Sidharth !!
    I would like to add that users should create an equipment profile that matches their equipment setup.

    Most important parameters in the equipment profile -

    1. Efficiency - I suggest you start around 65%, and as your process improves you increase this number.
    2. Size of Mash tun and boil kettle
    3. Boil off rates.

    Using these customized settings will go a long way in improving the accuracy of the software.

    ReplyDelete
  2. well, yes i do that... i left those parts out to keep it simple. Have you had experience working with BeerSmith previously ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use it extensively for home and professional brewing.

      I have 3 equipment profiles for home -
      8 liters BIAB
      16 Liters with Mash tun with Batch sparge
      19 Liters with Mash tun with Batch sparge

      At the brewery we have fine tuned the Equipment profile after a few trails.

      Delete
    2. Oh nice ! I only have a 20L cooler and pot with fly sparge. What brewery do you work at ?

      Delete

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