Still Waiting for Extract Functionality and Brew Day Utility

General discussion on BeerTools Pro Software.

Still Waiting for Extract Functionality and Brew Day Utility

Postby splashmike » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:36 am

I purchased this program 3 months ago and was told when I questioned the fact that the software seemed heavily geared for all grain as opposed to extract brewers and lacked much of the functionality regarding brew day utilities that were present in many older software programs that many of these things were in the works and would be forthcoming. I've seen many updates (at least 4) in the last 3 months, but none of them address any of these issues. Rather, they all appear related to resolving extremely technical all grain issues. I am annoyed at having paid for something that is basically of little use to me as an extract brewer and offers much less functionality and utility then older programs such as Pro Mash and Beer Smith. The stickys are nice, but when will the features be added? This just isn't right.
splashmike
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:05 am

Postby just-cj » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:42 am

Mike, I'm not trying to be an !@#, but what kind of extract features are you looking for/expecting/hoping for? I agree that it can be frustrating when something you (I) think is a critical feature doesn't appear in update after update, but some details will help the developers decide where to direct their somewhat limited time and resources.
just-cj
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 7:36 pm
Location: Numazu, Japan

Postby splashmike » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:12 am

I think its all there in the "sticky" discussions and that the developers are aware. The problem is, if it is going to take a half a year to implement all this, someone please tell me this and just offer me a refund.
splashmike
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:05 am

Re: Still Waiting for Extract Functionality and Brew Day Uti

Postby bzwrxbz » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:28 am

splashmike wrote:... I am annoyed at having paid for something that is basically of little use to me as an extract brewer and offers much less functionality and utility then older programs such as Pro Mash and Beer Smith. ...


I am not sure if I understand how the program is of little use to you as an extract brewer. Are you not able to formulate the recipes with extract or something? I will admit, I have not used the program on an extract brew yet, but I would assume it is easier than an AG brew seeing that you do not have to deal with schedules and such.

For me, the thing I enjoy most about the program is the User Interface. On top of this, there is a lot of power in the engine... for example, the custom hop utilization plotting on the hop utilization screen. This can be used with extract brews as well.

As time goes on, thiings like "session" will be included, but for me, this is icing on the cake. I would much rather have things such as; fluid, easy to use schedule steps, than have the program plot out every minute of the brewday for me. I do understand that different people have different needs.

I personally do not see less functionality/utility in BTP than Beersmith (which I have, and have used). It is really a situation of "BTP has this, Beersmith does not have it"... "Beersmith has this, BTP does not have it"

It is a trade off... but given the amount of active development on this software... I believe that BTP will come out on top, for some of the reasons I have outlined above.

my 2cents...
cheers!
Fermenting : Ordinary Bitter, Hefe
Bottled : Too many bottles

WinXP PentiumIV Res:1920x1200 120DPI

Blog: http://hobbybrau.blogspot.com
User avatar
bzwrxbz
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:04 am
Location: The Cold North

Postby splashmike » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:23 pm

I am in agreement that this is a fabulous "recipe formulator" and that the interface looks very slick. But, as a complete suite of brewing tools, in my opinion, it lacks much of the functionality that already exists in other programs. I and others have posted on this in the stickys and other threads and it doesn't warrant repeating again. But what I would like to know is, what exactly is proposed as far as additional features in response to the discussions in the stickys and other threads and when will these things be implemented, if at all?

As a very basic example, there is no ability to calculate steeping time for a steeping grain. This is important if you are an extract brewer. I believe the developers have said that the feature is coded, but just not released for use. What's holding things up?

As far as active development, I'd agree, but the focus, in my opinion, has not been on the extract brewer, which is unfortunate.
splashmike
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:05 am

Postby slothrob » Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:20 pm

What needs to be calculated for steeping time?
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Postby splashmike » Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Currently, you can indicate that you want to boil hops for 60, 30, 10 or however many minutes. I believe you can also provide that you want to boild your extract for 60 minutes. You cannot indicate with respect to any steeping grain that you want to boil it for, say, 30 minutes at 150 degrees.
splashmike
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:05 am

Postby slothrob » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:25 pm

I don't make extract brews very often, but I have used BTP to put together extract recipes for others and a partial mash recipe for myself.

What I do is treat the steep/partial mash as a mash, and use the current mash schedule tools.

Just put the grains in the recipe, then go to the "schedule display", add a "one-step infusion" preset, then delete the "mashout" step (you probably won't do a mashout on a steep).
Now you can edit the "Mash In" info to set your steep volume and temperature, edit the "rest" for your steep time, and edit the "sparge" for your rinse volume and temperature.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Postby bzwrxbz » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:30 pm

slothrob wrote:I don't make extract brews very often, but I have used BTP to put together extract recipes for others and a partial mash recipe for myself.

What I do is treat the steep/partial mash as a mash, and use the current mash schedule tools.

Just put the grains in the recipe, then go to the "schedule display", add a "one-step infusion" preset, then delete the "mashout" step (you probably won't do a mashout on a steep).
Now you can edit the "Mash In" info to set your steep volume and temperature, edit the "rest" for your steep time, and edit the "sparge" for your rinse volume and temperature.


right, because steeping is essentially a mash, except you will typically not be cutting sugars due to lack of enzymes... well, unless you put the proper grains in :wink:

there is a technique that is getting popular in Australia that is essentially this, but on a larger scale. They call it BIAB (brew in a bag). Essentially, they bring the kettle to 150+ or whatever, put all of their grains into a BIG bag, and then "steep" it for an hour, maintaining temp with the burner. After, they lift the bag out of the water and proceed with the boil.

Essentially they have a super thin mash-thickness (like steeping)... and it seems to work ok.

cheers!
Fermenting : Ordinary Bitter, Hefe
Bottled : Too many bottles

WinXP PentiumIV Res:1920x1200 120DPI

Blog: http://hobbybrau.blogspot.com
User avatar
bzwrxbz
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:04 am
Location: The Cold North

Postby slothrob » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:49 pm

While it's important to know that a steep isn't a mash, they're still the same but for the enzyme activity. Might as well treat them the same.

Doesn't seem like the one big steep method would be very efficient, but some people swear by the quality of no-sparge mashing.

I've done a variation on this for a big partial mash, using a 5 gallon paint strainer bag (costs about $1) in a pot, except I used a typical mash thickness and kept it warm in the oven, then lifted the grain out and into a second pot with water for the sparge.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Postby splashmike » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:33 am

Slothrob:

An interesting work around. I tried this last night but I was first befuddled by having no directions to enlighten me as to how to do a mash schedule. After playing around a bit, it seems like I was supposed to enter factors such as my heat source, kettle, etc. I have not set these up because, as an extract brewer, I'm not mashing and don't need these values. Long story short, after spending some time to try and figure this out, I threw my hands up. This is far too tedius a process to simply get some steeping grains into the brew schedule. For that matter, I now notice that no extract malts can be assigned brew time values. This seems odd becauce I can assign a brew time to things like maltodextrine and servomyces. Anyway, thanks for your idea.
splashmike
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:05 am

Postby slothrob » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:20 am

You don't have to enter values for heat sources, etc if you're not using them. There's a lot of potential functionality that you don't need to use.
You only need to enter the values I indicated. Start there, it's reletively simple, then, later, if you take the time to enter values for your pots, etc, it will allow you to do things like know what temperature the water needs to be to hit a 150
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Postby bzwrxbz » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:23 am

splashmike wrote:...For that matter, I now notice that no extract malts can be assigned brew time values. This seems odd becauce I can assign a brew time to things like maltodextrine and servomyces. Anyway, thanks for your idea.


Maybe you misunderstand what extract malts are... they are basically concentrated wort. So, once it hits the water, this is your wort.

Now, extract brewing and all-grain brewing are identical once you start boiling the sugars. Your extract "brew time values" are on the upper left, and it is called "Wort Boil Duration". You fill in this textbox and that is all you need. I think it is common brewing technique to start your boil time when you have sugars in water, and boiling... whether these sugars comes from extract or a mash, it makes no difference.
Fermenting : Ordinary Bitter, Hefe
Bottled : Too many bottles

WinXP PentiumIV Res:1920x1200 120DPI

Blog: http://hobbybrau.blogspot.com
User avatar
bzwrxbz
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:04 am
Location: The Cold North

Postby splashmike » Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:50 pm

Slothrob,

I'll give it another go tonight.

As for the next post, its not that I did not understand that extract in water is wort, I guess I was trying to order the ingredient additions in some way that corresponded to boil time so that extract is first on the list, followed by hops, then other things like the servo, whirfloc, etc. But as you say, there's no way to assign a boil time like this to the extract because the program assumes its boiled for the full boil time (even if you were doing a late extract addition).
splashmike
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:05 am

Postby slothrob » Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:55 pm

It doesn't address your original desire to include the timing of Extract additions in the program, but, if you're intersted in my workaround, it might help you in getting done what you need to do.

I break the extract into 2 halves, the early and late addition.
Edit the extract, changing the name of one to "late DME" or something appropriate, so you can use the ingredient list as an orderred set of instructions.
When you want to se the effect on hop utilization, use the check box next to the late addition to uncheck it. This will show you the correct IBUs.
To check the effect onf the extract on gravity, recheck the box.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston


Return to BeerTools Pro General Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests