Feature Requests Archive A

Suggestions and discussion about upcoming features in future BeerTools Pro releases.

Print Inventory?

Postby FrugalBrewer » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:32 am

BTP really should have a function to print "Inventory".
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Re: Print Inventory?

Postby dasein668 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:16 pm

FrugalBrewer wrote:BTP really should have a function to print "Inventory".


+1. This was mentioned during beta, but nothing came of it. I think it would be a great addition.
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Re: Humidity Field ... and/or how about this idea?

Postby billvelek » Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:31 pm

FrugalBrewer wrote:Seeing as how BTP has taken great strides to include fields for very location/brewday specifics.....

Is it possible to have a boil off estimater? ... snip

Not to find fault with your suggestion, Frugal, but I think for anyone using propane or natural gas, which is probably most of us, it is going to be nearly impossible to set up an estimator that would be any more precise than our own experience, gained from a few brew sessions, because of continuous variability on the gas control knob and other factors influencing gas flow; on the other hand, it would probably work well for any system that has a more consistent energy input, such as electric stoves and heating elements with known kilowatt power. And if that were all there is to it, I'd think that Jeff and Lathe might be able to do something with this; i.e., 1 watt = 1 joule, and 2,250 joules converts 1gram ... (which equals about 1 cubic centimeter, but somewhat more due to expansion) ... of 100C water into steam. Although there might be some _slight_ variation in required power for water which is boiling at different temps due to altitude, humidity, and barimetric pressure ... (and I'm not so sure that there _is_ a difference because once the water is boiling we are then speaking only about the energy needed for the phase state change) ... I also think that those factors probably vary so little and also have such a minor influence in the big scheme of things that they probably aren't going to make even so much as a couple of percentage points difference. Couple that with the myriad other factors that will make a difference, too, such as:

1. -- both the gravity of your wort and the depth of your wort, which change constantly as evaporation occurs, affects the head pressure on the bottom of your kettle or on the immersed heating element, and that affects how quickly the steam bubbles can form (i.e., energy needed to boil);

2. -- how full your pot is and its geometry and makeup (type metal which affects conductivity and also possibly wetability of the kettle bottom, affecting boil rate, and the thickness of the metal affecting both conductivity of heat into the pot as well as heat losses through the sides of the pot); 'wetability' is a characteristic of how quickly bubbles will become free from clinging to the bottom, and is sort of like surface tension (a good example in a different context is the way water beads up on a freshly waxed car but doesn't bead on an unwaxed car due to differences in wetability);

3. -- wind if you are boiling outside (chill factor), which is generally never really consistent anyway, ... and if you are boiling inside the house the humidity increases as you boil off wort and so the program would need to somehow account for constantly changing humidity if it is, in fact, an important condition.

So I am going to predict that if Jeff and Lathe decide to implement such an overwhelmingly complicated formula and have any reasonable degree of precision and reliability ... then you can probably expect to see that feature added in about ... uhhhh ... maybe 20 years ... :mrgreen: ... (no offense, Jeff & Lathe).

I wasn't trying to tear apart your idea, Frugal; I just really like to talk about science.

Now for some practical advice on this topic, in my opinion the boil off rate is only important to get you into the ball park; with a bit of monitoring, you can easily get reasonably precise results from your kettle, and what you want to do is strive to boil off at a rate which will end slightly below your target volume, and then you can add boiled water to bring it back up to EXACTLY the level you want. This is how I monitor my kettle volume: my kettle is 12" in diameter, so 2" is almost exactly 1 gallon. I have a very thin stainless steel ruler (thinner is better because its displacement does not elevate the wort level); I merely dip the ruler into the wort and measure its depth, and I do that every 15 minutes using a timer, and adjust accordingly. It's simple, easy, and it works very well. You can very easily see a change of a quarter of an inch, which equals one pint. If I'm trying to boil off .5 gallon/hour, then I need to drop 1/4 inch per 15 minutes. Even when I have a decent rolling boil, I can still take reasonably accurate measurements and make minor adjustments.

Anyway, here is my suggestion for a new feature related to all of this: add a 'Volume By Temperature' function to the 'Units' tab on the 'Calculator', and/or add a "Kettle Volume at End of Boil" field. Currently BTP tells us our kettle volume at the beginning of the boil, and it tells us our volume when it is 68F and ready to go into the fermenter, but no where does it tell us what our end of boil kettle volume should be for our targeted 'Final Volume'. It would be nice to easily learn that if you want 5 gallons at 68F for your fermenter, you need to end your boil with 5.21 gallons of wort at 211F (not counting any trub and hops that will be left behind). Another nice feature, similar to that, would be to have BTP roughly calculate how much wort will be absorbed by your hops and therefore the volume available to your fermenter after draining your kettle and leaving the hops behind (predicting the amount of trub is probably not feasible, but I would think that if BTP knows the exact amount of hops added and whether they are whole or pellets, then it could reasonably calculate what portion of the kettle volume will be left behind due to hops).

By the way, a quick and easy way to find out your 'end of boil kettle volume' is to 'lock' your 'Final Volume' and then change both your 'Wort Boil Duration' and 'Water Volume Added' to zero, and the 'Kettle Volume at 211F' will show the volume you need at end of boil; while that's easy to do, I think that many brewers probably won't think to do that.

Cheers.

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request Brew Timer

Postby conman » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:17 am

Brew Timer,
I know this has been around and discussed before, but,.........................
I have been looking for a brew timer to go along with this wonderful program.
BrewTimer (http://www.hoppedale.com/brewerytimer) is the only one I have used that really fits my needs so far and if something similar could be added directly into Beertools it would be fairly complete in my book.
I remember somewhere I think, that it might be included in version 2.0, well if we get there, and it works as well as the BrewTimer, fully integrated, it will be great.
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Re: request Brew Timer

Postby conman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:22 am

conman wrote:Brew Timer,
I know this has been around and discussed before, but,.........................
I have been looking for a brew timer to go along with this wonderful program.
BrewTimer (http://www.hoppedale.com/brewerytimer) is the only one I have used that really fits my needs so far and if something similar could be added directly into Beertools it would be fairly complete in my book.
I remember somewhere I think, that it might be included in version 2.0, well if we get there, and it works as well as the BrewTimer, fully integrated, it will be great.



Bueller, .........Bueller............Bueller........
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Re: request Brew Timer

Postby jeff » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:38 pm

conman wrote:Bueller, .........Bueller............Bueller........

here
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Re: request Brew Timer

Postby conman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:55 pm

jeff wrote:
conman wrote:Bueller, .........Bueller............Bueller........

here


lol
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For the pros... and everyone else

Postby paintbomb » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:30 pm

I have used this program as a homebrewer for three years now and absolutely love it. Now I am on my way to opening my own microbrewery and would love to continue using it in production. I have tried to use the competitors software and always return to BTP.

Some features that would help in that transition.

1. More options for scaling recipes

- scaling based on efficiency. I would love to be able to change my brewhouse efficiency and have BTP scale my grist bill and hop schedule.

- scaling based on original gravity. Lets say i want to produce a beer with the same grist/ hop ratios, but want to make the beer 1% stronger or weeker. It'd be great to change the OG and have BTP change these values.

2. ability to lock water volume added. Lets say I over sparge and come out with a wort below my intended pre-boil gravity. I would like to be able to have BTP automatically increase my boil time to make up for the lower gravity wort.

3. Hop utilization factor for increased brewhouse size. It's be nice to set a factor for increased hop utilization going from a 10 gal batch to a 7 BBL batch. I dont necessarily expect there to be given values, but if I send a bottle of homebrewed IPA to a lab and compare it to the same bottle produced on a larger brewhouse, it'd be nice to be able to scale the hops using the lab numbers.

4. A calendar function like Beer Smith's would be nice. Good for keeping track of available fermenters etc.

5. I agree with others suggestions of having a batch feature where I have a base recipe and can have different sessions of brewing that beer. I currently do what most do by making a new copy of each subsequent batch, but maybe there is a better way.

6. having the ability to change the boil off rate to a flat % might be nice as I often get quotes on evaporation rates this way. This is a minor thing really.

7. Hop degradation over time would be nice. Lets say I add 100 lbs of "x" hop to my inventory in December. I brew with it for a couple months, but by July it has lost so many IBUs. A calculator for this would be nice. Even better yet if I do a new batch of a previous recipe using those hops, BTP would calculate how much more of them I should use based on degradation, perhaps only for hops 30-90 minutes in the boil. I'd imagine this would be a major pain in the !@#, but boy it'd be nice.
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Re: For the pros... and everyone else

Postby jeff » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:23 pm

paintbomb wrote:I have used this program as a homebrewer for three years now and absolutely love it. Now I am on my way to opening my own microbrewery and would love to continue using it in production. I have tried to use the competitors software and always return to BTP.

Some features that would help in that transition.

1. More options for scaling recipes

- scaling based on efficiency. I would love to be able to change my brewhouse efficiency and have BTP scale my grist bill and hop schedule.

- scaling based on original gravity. Lets say i want to produce a beer with the same grist/ hop ratios, but want to make the beer 1% stronger or weeker. It'd be great to change the OG and have BTP change these values.

2. ability to lock water volume added. Lets say I over sparge and come out with a wort below my intended pre-boil gravity. I would like to be able to have BTP automatically increase my boil time to make up for the lower gravity wort.

3. Hop utilization factor for increased brewhouse size. It's be nice to set a factor for increased hop utilization going from a 10 gal batch to a 7 BBL batch. I dont necessarily expect there to be given values, but if I send a bottle of homebrewed IPA to a lab and compare it to the same bottle produced on a larger brewhouse, it'd be nice to be able to scale the hops using the lab numbers.

4. A calendar function like Beer Smith's would be nice. Good for keeping track of available fermenters etc.

5. I agree with others suggestions of having a batch feature where I have a base recipe and can have different sessions of brewing that beer. I currently do what most do by making a new copy of each subsequent batch, but maybe there is a better way.

6. having the ability to change the boil off rate to a flat % might be nice as I often get quotes on evaporation rates this way. This is a minor thing really.

7. Hop degradation over time would be nice. Lets say I add 100 lbs of "x" hop to my inventory in December. I brew with it for a couple months, but by July it has lost so many IBUs. A calculator for this would be nice. Even better yet if I do a new batch of a previous recipe using those hops, BTP would calculate how much more of them I should use based on degradation, perhaps only for hops 30-90 minutes in the boil. I'd imagine this would be a major pain in the !@#, but boy it'd be nice.

Thanks paintbomb! I appreciate the careful layout of your comments; and we will refer to these and other points in this thread as we implement new features. In the meantime, efficiency scaling can be done by clicking the checkbox next to the efficiency field and then changing the efficiency. It's not as comprehensive as you might like but it should get you in the ballpark.
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Re: For the pros... and everyone else

Postby paintbomb » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:03 pm

Jeff, I can't believe I missed that checkbox. You just saved me a lot of work ;)

I have some additional thoughts on hops/inventory

So for hops in general, when editing the parameters there could be an optional field for approximate harvest date. Again this would be OPTIONAL, and geared towards hops in your inventory rather than the general hops in the database. Perhaps this box would be grayed out or something when not part of the inventory database. This date would be used in conjunction with the degradation value for that particular hop and the AA% would be updated in real time. This way when your looking at you hops several months from now, or buy from the same harvest you have a more clear idea of what you are working with.

additionally when calling up a recipe using fresher hops, maybe there is a way to have a right click option to "replace with" or "update from stock" or something where it would update the quantity or replace the hop based on the mg/L of alpha acids.

So lets say you have fresh 14%AA magnums as a bittering hop and extract 50mg/L from 1oz of them in a recipe. Six months later you brew the same recipe with the same batch of hops which have degraded to 12.5%AA. You could right click on that hop addition to "update from inventory" and BTP would change the hop addition to say 1.25oz keeping the original 50mg/L.

This would work similarly with replacing a hop. So if it takes 1 oz of 14% magnum to get to 50 IBUs and you want to change hops but keep the IBUs consistent, you could choose "replace with" and select some 7 % cascade and BTP would adjust the quantity to 2oz keep you at the same bitternes level.

Could theoretically work for grains as well, where the "replace with" command would keep the gravity contribution consistent but adjust the quantity for a more or less extractable grain.
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Re: For the pros... and everyone else

Postby jeff » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:03 pm

paintbomb wrote:Could theoretically work for grains as well, where the "replace with" command would keep the gravity contribution consistent but adjust the quantity for a more or less extractable grain.

I think I can probably help with this too. Select the ingredient in the recipe you would like to replace and then right-click the ingredient in the DB that you want to substitute. Choose "Replace In Recipe". Hope this will suffice for now.
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Re: For the pros... and everyone else

Postby slothrob » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:10 am

paintbomb wrote: - scaling based on original gravity. Lets say i want to produce a beer with the same grist/ hop ratios, but want to make the beer 1% stronger or weeker. It'd be great to change the OG and have BTP change these values.

There's a workaround for this, too.
Change the Final Volume (without the box checked) until you hit your desired new OG. Now check the box next to Final Volume, select "Scale", and set your Final Volume to the actual desired volume. This will result in a recipe with a new gravity and hops adjusted proportionally.
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Hydrometer/Refractometer reading

Postby gphall » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:28 pm

Ever, ehem, forget to measure your OG? I know I have. I would like to see BeerTools Pro incorporate the ability to use both a Hydrometer AND Refractometer reading to back calculate the OG.

If needed, I can work out the mathmatical details for doing this. Let me know if assistance is needed.
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