Friday, January 8, 2010

New fun tech...

So, while I have been using this lovely website to keep track of my brewing and progress (and will continue to do so), I have begun down the ever-growing spiral of needing to know MORE about my beer, track MORE information, and perform calculations that make my Excel spreadsheet and Access database skills look weak.  That's not to say I can't do it, but I reached a point where I decided it would be cheaper and easier to buy an off-the-shelf program to handle my math for me than to expend the time and energy writing my own brewing program.  Especially with so many nice ones out there.

So, I checked out ProMash (not bad) and I checked out BeerSmith (also not bad).  Ultimately, both appear to be designed by software/math/brewing geeks and not people with usability or graphic design skills (Promash looks like "Johnny's first hello world app" and BeerSmith uses icons reminiscent of Windows 3.1) but both appear to work just fine.  Ultimately I ended up choosing BeerSmith, mostly because that is the one I played with more, and it has some cool customizable reporting features, etc.

My hopes are to get a nice custom report that spits out formatted recipe blog entries for me (as well as perhaps some notes like this one) and I'll copy/paste it to the site.  Hopefully for YOU, this provides more detail if you actually read this about what I am doing and get a better feel for duplicating recipes, and for ME it provides more info about what I am doing so I can figure out what I still want/need to change.

Only time shall tell.

In other news, I picked up The Thief, a wine thief used for swiping samples from my carboy.  Got it from Homebrew Headquarters and this particular model allows me to put my spare hydrometer inside.  That's really pretty cool.  So I am going to just sanitize it in some Star San, and then use it to take some measurements on my Doh Ray Mead that's been patiently fermenting for a while.  I can then just drain the sample into a glass and see what I think...  Need to take a few measurements to see if it is done and then get to bottling that lovely beverage.

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