Tag Archives: features

Dumb software annoys me

Hi Reader,

Has it ever occured to you that your brewing software should be smart enough to figure out what type of recipe you are composing? It bothers me that I have to change this for every recipe I make. Now, with a few simple rules BrewSession will determine if you are making an all grain or an extract with specialty grain (Ew/SG) or a whatever recipe. You will be able to override that guess, because well, you’re smarter than a computer, even if you are more lazy than a computer. 😉

This opens up the door to another little feature I’m excited about. BrewSession will present you with smart options about what extraction process corresponds to the recipe’s type. If the recipe is all grain you will get a full mash profile sheet, but for a Ew/SG there will be a simplified Extraction Details sheet. When BrewSession sees an extract recipe nothing of the sort will appear to reduce clutter and confusion. All of these nice options are controlled by the recipe type setting which you can leave up to BrewSession, or change for yourself:

BrewSession thinks this recipe is All Grain
Recipe Type Selector
Never mind the ugly colors and font, we will fix that.

Each time you add a grain, extract or adjunct BrewSession will check if the new fermentable alters the recipe type and updates accordingly. That makes one less thing that you have to change, getting you to brew-day faster.


Brew-day timeline

Hi reader,

When BrewSession goes live we should have an automated brew-day timeline generator! What does that mean?

Once you create a recipe there will be a link to the timeline which will analyze your recipe and try to intelligently list the steps you should take to brew it up. The boil is easiest and I have it mostly done:

  1. Bring the sweet wort to a boil.
  2. Add 1.5 ozs of 14.2% AA Horizon, boil for 45 minutes
  3. Add 2.0 ozs of 7.5% AA East Kent Goldings, boil for 5 minutes
  4. Add 1 tbs of Irish Moss boil for 10 minutes

See, wasn’t that easy? How about the post-boil?

  1. Chill the wort to 60-75° F and collect in your fermenter
  2. Add 3 gal sanitized water
  3. Aerate the wort
  4. Pitch Burton Ale Yeast into the fermenter
  5. Add 2.0 ozs of 4.8% AA East Kent Goldings to the fermenter

Oooh, dry hops. Print it out, take it to the brewery if you don’t have a ‘puter right there. Mashing/Extraction is a little tricky, but given a detailed recipe I think that BrewSession can be a big help on brew day.


On a side note, I pretty much have BrewSession back to the feature-level it was at before the crash and data loss. Took me about two months of hard work in the spare time I’m not working my real job. A big “Thank you” to my understanding wife for not grumbling (much) about the time I spend in front of my keyboard.

Track your BJCP scoresheets

I am at the beginning of pulling all the recipe bits together. Like some of the older brewing software available, you will be able to track each time you brew a particular recipe. I am calling each separate time a “brew session” and each recipe can have many brew sessions.

Part of the fun in making beer is participating in competitions. The BJCP sponsors hundreds of competitions each year and has given us generous permission to use their style guidelines in BrewSession. The results from each judge can be an invaluable tool for improving your beer. Tonight I set up the relationship that will let you enter and track each score sheet you receive. Each time you brew a beer you can attach any number of score sheets to that session. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could:

  • … track your recipe’s score variation over time?
  • … average the scores for all your sessions?
  • … view other member’s scores and recipes for the same style?
  • … check out how the judge scored other member’s brews in the same competition?

I am really excited about sharing recipes with members and seeing what links we can make.


It doesn’t have to start out so advanced

Merry Christmas. Here’s a little javascript brewsession present.


I was thinking about the ingredients table Greg designed. While it is good looking and we’ll definitely use it, I would rather see a very simple list to start with and give the option to have an “advanced view”. It occurred to me to let the user choose which columns they want to see. So I restarted work on BrewSession again with this prototype. It’s a work in progress, but a solid start.