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Batches, we need some stinking Batches

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:35 pm
by DrBarr
As a amateur DBA, I really admire your database design. There is something that seems to be so conspicuously missing that I keep thinking I've missed it.
There should be a table in the database for "Batches". With the current setup, as far as I can tell, there is no where to store brew date or information specific to the "Batch" entity. I see that there is a place to type the actual OG in the recipe but that is batch specific, so I can't help but think that there isn't a place to store this. I would love it if I could track along that with primary, secondary and carbonation times, and anything during the batch worth note. I think that OG and FG and %ABV (among others) are all specific information that pertain to the brewing instance, not the recipe. I guess maybe most brewers don't make the same beer twice? Please consider this for future updates. This would make BT the end-all brewing software.

recipes vs. batches

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:35 pm
by slothrob
I don't mean to interfere with any suggestion you might have for improving BTP, but I wonder if you've explored the possibilities open for using the Recipe Inventory for organizing your recipes and batches.

This has typically been a complaint of people who are coming to BTP from one of the other brewing programs, where they've become used to the recipe/batch designation. But, personally not being that familiar with any of those programs, I've always been content with the BTP solution. Perhaps I just don't know any better, but I've found the ability to customize the recipe folders as a part of the Inventory to be quite useful for managing my recipes and batches.

The system that I've settled into involves a folder of Recipe Ideas, another with recipes in the pipeline To Be Made and another with Brewed Recipes (essentially my version of a batch). Since many of these recipes only get brewed once, they progress through this system and die in the Brewed Recipe folder. If I decide to revive or modify one, I open and rename the file from the Brewed Recipes folder to create a new recipe and put it back into the pipeline. This way my brewed recipes get filed by name and brew date, which fits the way I work and think.

I also have a folder of House Recipes that are favorites that get brewed again (though often with attempted refinements). It's easy to open one of these recipes, brew it and save it with an attached brew date to my Brewed Recipes folder, leaving the original intact.

I've seen that other brewers have more involved organization schemes, with folders broken down by year or month brewed, organizing more by time than recipe, which probably makes more sense to them.

If you wanted, BTP allows you to organize your recipes/batches by style, color, country of origin, whatever scheme you prefer. However, there's no reason you can't have a separate folder of basic recipes that you open at the start of a session, before saving the new batch to a new folder full of "batches".

Sorry for the long-winded answer, but perhaps it will help you use BTP in a more satisfying manner.

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:50 pm
by DrBarr
Not a bad idea rob and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
I don't immediately agree with your strategy for a few reasons. First, from a geeks standpoint, what you suggest is a DBA's nightmare. Logical entities should almost always exist as database tables. What you are suggesting is a workaround for something the database should do. This would eliminate the possibility of the same entity existing more than once. For instance, if you wanted to brew the same recipe you brewed last year you would have to move or copy it from "brewed" to "planned". And in doing so would lose the history of your brewery. It would be much easier and make much more sense if there was an entity for batch. Second, there still is not a way with your strategy to view efficiency, primary ET, or secondary ET for each time you brew a recipe. I understand what your are saying and it can be done that way, but it logically shouldn't.

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:09 pm
by dasein668
That makes sense if each batch is in fact identical to the previous batches. But in my case, they almost never are exactly the same. If nothing else, my hop inventory changes. The amarillo hops I spec'd in one batch are not the same as the hops in the next batch. They are from a different source or harvest year with a different AA analysis and thus are linked to different inventory items. Or I've tweaked the recipe due to improving efficiency. Or...

I understand your argument about efficient database design, but in practice, each batch for me turns out to be pretty much a unique item.

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:57 am
by DrBarr
I understand your argument about efficient database design, but in practice, each batch for me turns out to be pretty much a unique item.
For me as well since I never make the same recipe twice. I just think it would be great if there were a separate place to store information about the brewing instance. That way we could easily capture unique information about our brewery, i.e batches per year, average secondary time, average efficiency. Maybe I'm alone in this because of the database nerd in me but I think that the recipe should only have information specific to the recipe i.e ingredients. Everything else (OG,FG, brew date, racking date, bottling date, even mash schedule) is unique to the brewing, not necessarily the recipe. I would just love it if there were a calendar type function to BTP so I could easily see when I brewed what and the results for each batch.