I have decided to write a review of a brew software that I had come across a long time ago, but had disregarded due to my liking of Hopville.com so much. I had recently signed up for BYOB magazine and I am liking the publication thus far. In the most recent edition they did some small reviews of several brew programs on the market. Some were pay to use and others free. The program that was both free and most highly rated of the free(and very close to the top when including the pay to use) was BrewTarget.
For starters, I had been using online calculators coupled with Hopville's recipe calculator, along with notions form several books when developing my brewday schedule. It always seemed like I was going three places to get one thing done. After tinkering with BrewTarget, I can see myself doing some one stop shopping. Here is a list of items to help show you why:
- Recipe Calculator
- Already has grains, yeast, hops, and additives in a menu for you to easily choose. Includes descriptions of each, and allows you to modify the properties of the default do not suit.
- Equipment Choices
- Can choose to use some standard brewing equipment to use to help calculate wort volumes before and after boil, along with temperature loss.
- A lot of brewers have different setups so this was nice. I put in our own setup in about 2 min.
- Mash Schedule
- You can choose to use a standard mash schedule that comes with the program, develop one your own, or use the Mash Wizard. I used the wizard on my Oatmeal Stout....it came out VERY close to what I did the day I brewed it last fall.
|Schedule prepared by the Mash Wizard.|
- The calculators it comes built in are also a huge plus. No more going to my websites to find strike temps, carbonation amounts, etc. BrewTarget comes with it all. Including a Refractometer tool, Gravity scale correction, convert units, priming calculator, and my person favorite, the Yeast Pitch Rate tool.
- Lastly, I wanted to mention the ability to export or import others recipes, and create a Brewday printout or a recipe printout.
- Overall, my experiences with it so far have been great. It is simple, yet handles some complex calculations with ease. Allows for the beginner brewer to jump in and create a recipe, and the advanced brewer to tweak his recipes to more specific measurements and details. The program can be as strict as you want, but at the same time very flexible. And the fact that it is free, makes it all the better.