Vessel 'presets' or a 'browser' key for equipment

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Vessel 'presets' or a 'browser' key for equipment

Postby billvelek » Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:08 am

Jeff, I was right in the middle of composing a post when my computer crashed on Wednesday. Anyway, with the new version just loaded, I notice the same short-coming unless I am missing something.

After spending time setting up the data for my mash tun, including calibrating it, then later when I open recipes or start new sessions, I can't seem to find a way to 'select' the mashtun that I have already set-up in the previous session. The 'Presets' key is greyed-out, and my only option appears to be to create a new piece of equipment. Surely there is a way -- or should be a way -- for me to select equipment that I have already setup. What am I missing.

Cheers, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Bill Velek
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Postby Brant » Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:00 pm

I hope you had a great Christmas, Bill! About your question, I think the point that is missing is that the Presets are built into the software, not added by us users, so you shouldn't expect your equipment to appear there. What you need to do to get your equipment in any future session is to save them as part of your Templates, or to use the File / Make Default option. I hope this helps.
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Postby jawbox » Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:39 pm

Jeff/Lathe really need to create a database for vessels the same as they have for grains, hops, yeast, etc. Which I've been asking for for some time. Yes its frustrating to have to set up the vessels each time. I do not like template files. I'd rather have a database for my equipment so I can just create on the fly without the need for mutliple template files. Plus the info would be there for new users. Ah wouldn't that be nice having somebody already go through the calibration steps on commonly used equipment.

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More about vessels

Postby billvelek » Tue Dec 26, 2006 3:05 pm

Brant wrote:I hope you had a great Christmas, Bill! About your question, I think the point that is missing is that the Presets are built into the software, not added by us users, so you shouldn't expect your equipment to appear there. What you need to do to get your equipment in any future session is to save them as part of your Templates, or to use the File / Make Default option. I hope this helps.
Well, I tried saving my vessel in a template, but when I loaded another recipe on top of it, the vessel was gone; maybe I did something wrong, but as I continued to play with BTP, I then made it my default, and the next time I loaded a recipe, my vessel was included. So now I have it working -- whether it was due to my template or default setting, or both, I'm not sure. I'm sure Jeff gets tired of hearing this, but the UserGuide needs to be fleshed out to cover such things.

However, if it was due to the default setting rather than the template setting ... (I'll need to experiment some more) ... that is not as good as having a browser key, presuming there is just one default setting allowed at a time. The reason is because some of us have multiple pieces of equipment, and a browser key or some equivalent would make it easier for a user to make selections/changes. While I normally use one ice chest almost exclusively as my mash tun, I have a different one that I can just as easily choose to use because my bazooka is not permanently fastened and just coils on the bottom. Likewise re my kettles; sometimes I might chose to brew in the kitchen, splitting my wort between two 5-gallon pots on two natural gas burners on my stove, and other times I will use my 7.5 gallon turkey fryer pot on the propane burner outside. The truth is that even when I use propane, I pre-heat my wort on the kitchen stove to minimize propane usage. Anyway, if I get housebound due to snow and it happens to be well below freezing outside, I'd probably choose to do my entire boil on the kitchen stove instead of freezing outside. So, mostly because of that, I have to agree with Jawbox that a database ... or some expansion of what we now have available ... is really needed.

As for Christmas, I did very well: my kids gave me a kegging system, a thermostat to convert a freezer, and a book: "The Homebrewer's Garden" (re growing hops, etc.), ... and my wife gave me a digital scale, a digital thermometer, a larger measuring cup, and a set of nice beer mugs.

Hope everyone else had a nice Merry Christmas, too.

Cheers.

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Postby jawbox » Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:39 pm

I also had a nice xmas. Got a nice new refractometer and stir plate
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Postby jawbox » Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:43 pm

bill I have the same issues. I have mutliple pieces of equipment, so what i use varies based on the days brew session. All grain 10 gal/5gal, partial mash, extract etc etc.

I really think that btp is missing out by not setting up the software to have a equipment database. I'm sure this means changing the way the program is coded. But I think the benefits would be greatly appreciated by all.

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Postby Brant » Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:05 am

But what's the problem with entering all of your equipment into one template, and then setting up your Schedule for a particular session to pick only the pieces of your equipment that you are actually using this time? That's how I do it, and I think it is consistent with everything else in they way templates/defaults work in BTP. I think it is nice to be able to have all of my equipment available when I'm creating a recipe/session, even if some of it goes unused.

About a database for equipment, I agree that it would be nice to have a bunch of the common setups preconfigured in BTP. But I think the small variances in the equipment would lead to difficulty for us end users to pick the preconfigured equipment that identically matches what we have. I can't say how important it is to have an exact match, though.
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Postby billvelek » Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:35 am

Brant wrote:But what's the problem with entering all of your equipment into one template, and then setting up your Schedule for a particular session to pick only the pieces of your equipment that you are actually using this time? ... snip
That's a good idea; it just never occurred to me to do it that way since I haven't played with this enough. There are no check marks to select/deselect an item, but I see that we can just 'delete' the equipment we are not going to use. I do need to confirm whether it is the template or the default that stores the data for use with imported recipes. And while that method will no doubt work, it isn't very 'intuitive' in my humble opinion, nor is it ever explained anywhere in the User Guide. Don't get me wrong; I absolutely LOVE this program, but it definitely needs some work ... and I know that Jeff and company have been doing a great job of trying to address these issues as quickly as they can.

Thanks for the advice.

Cheers.

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Postby Brant » Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:31 am

But I'm saying that you do not need to delete or deselect unused equipment in a session. You can simply ignore it. The only places that the equipment pieces are used in BTP is in the Schedule (I think), where you set things like the Mash Vessel, Heating Vessel, Heat Source, and Collection Vessel. If you don't pick one of your boil kettles for any of those selections, then I don't think there is a problem leaving it unused in the Equipment List.

I have not really played around with Templates too much. I only have one "master template", which I later used to "Make Default" so that I don't have to load the template, anymore. It has everything except "Title,Author,Date", "Style", and "Ingredients" saved in it, so that all of my equipment, a default mash schedule, etc. are always available to me when I start creating a new recipe. I just downloaded a recipe from BT Gold, and my equipment was automatically included in it -- I'm assuming because I have it in my Default. But I just experimented with creating a new Template that contains nothing but Equipment, including a new, fake burner I just made up, and then I opened the downloaded recipe and loaded the template, and sure enough, my fake burner appeared, while the rest of the recipe/session stayed the same. So, as long as you load the Equipment template after loading the old recipe, your equipment will be available.
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Thanks, Brant.

Postby billvelek » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:36 am

Thanks, Brant. You've cleared things up a lot for me.

Cheers.

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Postby jawbox » Wed Dec 27, 2006 1:30 pm

brant don't you think having all that info in a universal database for everyone to use makes more sense than a template file?
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Postby Brant » Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:39 pm

Yep, it would be nice if there were vessels and burners that matched my equipment already in BTP, so that I would have had to just pick them, rather than doing the calibration steps myself. But you'd still want to save the list of your own equipment in a template (or as the default) after you picked the pieces from the large database, so that you wouldn't have to pick the equipment again each time you created a recipe. As I see it, having a db of equipment would only save us from having to calibrate our own equipment. Until more people post their equipment configurations and calibration info in the "Database for equipment..." sticky thread above, though, Jeff and crew won't have the data they need to create the database. I don't think we can really blame them for not buying/building every common type of mash tun and kettle themselves, just so they could measure them! ;)
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Postby bemert » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:18 pm

Honestly, I would prefer to add my equipment to the preferences button. This way the equipment you have to choose from is specific and calibrated to your brew system. This way you don't have a major list to choose from on each recipe.

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