PDA

View Full Version : ProMash vs BeerSmith



SpeakeasyBrewer
02-23-2010, 11:31 AM
Hey all! I'm a brewer for a micro-brewery. I have written several recipes for the company I work for but I'm interested in a program to put on my laptop to aid in recipe formulation. Can any of you give me thoughts on these two programs or even point me to one you think is better.

Cheers and thanks!

burcher
02-23-2010, 11:42 AM
there's lots of discussion on the ins and outs of both of these at hbt.com. Obviously aimed more toward homebrewing but . . . . I've used both and for no particular reason paid for beersmith over promash.

Jim Lieb
02-23-2010, 01:00 PM
I use Promash and everything works out for the gravity. I have never had the IBU's checked, so I am not sure how good that calculation works, but from a taste standpoint it is in the ballpark. I have never used Beersmith, sop I have no opinion on that program.

Jim Lieb
Rocky River Brewing Co.

beejay
02-23-2010, 01:27 PM
As a homebrewer I went for the newer Beer Tools Pro. It is much more user friendly than either Promash or Beersmith. However it does lack some features of the others like hop degradation, the calender in Beersmith, and the scaling factor for hops from homebrew to pro scale. In the process of opening my own brewery I thought I had to switch to one of the others, but found them intolerable for the most part. Beer Tools Pro is constantly updating their features and ingredient lists, which is a plus and I've been communicating with the developers to try to add in some more features for the pros. I think it's definitely worth a look.

cheers

Natrat
02-23-2010, 04:51 PM
I tried both of those...

I find them a bit ponderous....
My personal experience is that if you construct your own excel worksheet that makes the calcs for you then it is easy enough to update the material list yourself based on the crop values, etc that you get from your regional suppliers. Also, constructing your own spreadsheet reinforces your theoretical knowledge as to what is really going on in your brew.

There is a whole lot of extra information in Promash and Beersmith and similar programs. I'm not sure I'll ever need to know the brix contribution of aseptic apricot puree, but if I do, I'll find out from my supplier. I like the ability to tweak my spreadsheet to suit my system.

Having said all of that, it did take me a while to get hops usage to a point where it worked...some varietals scale differently from others.

Oh well, just my 0.02

nat

v2comp
02-23-2010, 05:32 PM
everyone has their own personal preference, but I use Beertools Pro as well.
I do use a custom Hop utillization excel spreadsheet though, but working with those guys, I think when we get to version 2.0 we may have some of these pro functions available.
even still, to each his own!:)

nchomebrewer
02-23-2010, 06:20 PM
I have been using Beersmith for all of my recipe formulations for the last 2 years and could not be happier. I tried Promash but wasn't that fond of it. Beersmith seems very straightforward and allows you a lot of flexibility.

I wonder about the scaling feature in Beersmith how well can you convert homebrew recipes into 10 or 15 BBL batches for a brewery.

Hope you find one you like too.

OPO Brewer
02-23-2010, 09:22 PM
Beersmith is easily worth the $30. Comes with tons of data and you can edit all of it if your products differ. I tried them both and my vote is with Beersmith. You can take them for a test drive.

beermkr
02-24-2010, 10:16 AM
I have been using Strangebrew for years now both starting out as a homebrewer and through 3 breweries now as a pro.

www.strangebrew.ca

R/

pjbroyles
02-24-2010, 10:35 AM
I have been using beersmith for a long time as a homebrewer and absolutely love it. After you figure out all the little things it does, it is truly an invaluable tool.

When we opened the brewery I thought I would need something more robust so I looked at ProMash. With a name like that, it had to be better. Wrong. There are things (like the brew log) that I couldn't find in promash so I stuck with beersmith and am more than pleased with it.

I know other brewers who use and love promash so I guess it's a ford/chevy thing. Use what works.

BTW I also use a free program called brewday timer which is really handy...

beerking1
02-24-2010, 11:14 AM
I have been using ProMash since the mid-90s. Got it as a homebrew prize and gave it a try. I like it, and use it for both homebrew and ProBrew. (I have to keep the two on separate computers, because it will only hold one set of system specifics, and only one set of inventories, per install.)

A couple of years ago, I won a copy of Beer Smith, and looked at it briefly. At the time, my reaction was, looks good, but I am not sure I want to take the time to learn a new program that mostly does what I already have a program for. Now, I am considering giving it another try because ProMash is no longer being updated. The guy's wife has cancer, and he hasn't worked on it for a few years now. there are several new hops and new malts that are not included in the program, and I don't have ALL the variables on them to add them properly.

troybinso
02-24-2010, 11:32 AM
beerking,

I have promash installed twice on the same computer. All you have to do is change the name of the folder in program files for the second one. So for me, I have a "promash homebrew" and a "promash mill creek" in the program files section of my hard drive. Two separate shortcuts on the desktop, and I changed the system settings for system colors so I don't get mixed up as to which one I am looking at.

grassrootsvt
02-24-2010, 02:45 PM
I'm with Nat on this one. I've been designing and brewing recipes for 10+ years - doing all of the hand work and math with a calculator and formulas that I have found flawless. Personally, i thought it made more sense to use these same formulas, that produced a beer in relation to my own understanding, by creating some excel spreadsheets. Color, extract, efficiency, hopping/bitterness, etc. I am working from the same frame of reference without turning it over to a program that may or may not have the same formulas that I am accustomed to. It works perfectly. Extract and mash efficiency are spot on...

Shaun e.

beermkr
02-25-2010, 05:49 AM
BTW I also use a free program called brewday timer which is really handy...

Is that the one that the one that Jon Shelton made (In Zymurgy a couple years ago)? If so I sent him some beers and he made an even more robust version for me that handles 10 hop additions, FWH additions, etc.

R/

Woolsocks
02-25-2010, 07:41 AM
I've used both and find they work about the same way but Beersmith is WAY easier to use IMHO. I have it set to do IBUs with the Tinseth formula, and find it undershoots for my system, but it's flexible enough you can adjust such things. Only downside is it's geared toward homebrew, but it works fine for microbrew.

Cethe
07-15-2010, 09:05 AM
i'm getting ready (within a year or so) to switch from 5gal batches to larger batches. and i'm also curious about beersmith's conversion of recipe's from small to large scale.

nchomebrewer
07-15-2010, 07:56 PM
i'm getting ready (within a year or so) to switch from 5gal batches to larger batches. and i'm also curious about beersmith's conversion of recipe's from small to large scale.

I am currently a homebrewer and have been using BeerSmith for a couple of years too. I am in the process of opening a brewery and have taken a couple of my homebrew recipes that we plan to scale up and Beersmith seems to convert them pretty closely. I have checked the grain amounts scaling up to 3-4BBL from 10 gallons and have checked the calculations using Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. The conversion calculates correctly according to the book. We plan to do test batches so there will be some tweaks before the final released scaled up product is released though too. Hope my experience helps

Mike

beertje46
07-19-2010, 06:04 PM
I've used ProMash for years. PM hasn't had an udate in years. It is like any piece of software, once you play with it enough you'll figure out how to use it best for you.

That said, I have just switched to Beer Alchemy. I use it for quick calculations and not so much formulations. I'm a spreadsheet and database guy so any fancy front end software is backed by solid math.

kugeman
05-23-2011, 02:58 PM
This is an old thread but thought I'd give it a bump. I've used Promash for a while but need to purchase a new program for my brewery and am contemplating a change. Does anyone have any new thoughts on the Promash vs. Beersmith debate?

nchomebrewer
05-23-2011, 04:29 PM
This is an old thread but thought I'd give it a bump. I've used Promash for a while but need to purchase a new program for my brewery and am contemplating a change. Does anyone have any new thoughts on the Promash vs. Beersmith debate?

While I am currently still a homebrewer I have also been using Beersmith for all recipes and brewing since 2008. I like it much better than Promash which I found difficult to navigate and Beersmith was just pleasing to my eye on the layout. When my brewery is up and running by year end or early 2012 I am planning to continue using Beersmith on the commercial level. There is also currently in beta testing and due out in June the release of Beersmith 2.0 http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2011/05/02/beersmith-2-0-a-first-look/ This new release seems to offer a ton of new features as well. I hope this helps but I don't think you can go wrong with Beersmith.

OffKey
05-24-2011, 07:12 AM
Just a heads up for anyone currently using promash, I wrote a converter that takes Promash recipe files and converts them to BeerXML files (used by beersmith, and BTP). You can download it at: http://outofkey.com/promash-file-converter/

It should allow you to fairly easily try out other software with existing recipes.

All the best

bk

Phil
06-20-2011, 02:33 PM
Use promash - with new ingredients files - up to 45hl.

I have used it since 20l brewing. I have tried a couple of others, BeerSmith inc. I still go back to promash - perhaps I just know how it works?

Thirsty_Monk
06-21-2011, 08:20 PM
Just a heads up for anyone currently using promash, I wrote a converter that takes Promash recipe files and converts them to BeerXML files (used by beersmith, and BTP). You can download it at: http://outofkey.com/promash-file-converter/

It should allow you to fairly easily try out other software with existing recipes.

All the best

bk
How about the session file?
Does it convert too?

OffKey
06-22-2011, 07:16 AM
It should convert those fine as well. The Promash session and recipe files are the same format. It leaves the files it is converting intact, so there is no risk of losing any data.

Thirsty_Monk
06-23-2011, 06:06 AM
It should convert those fine as well. The Promash session and recipe files are the same format. It leaves the files it is converting intact, so there is no risk of losing any data.

Thank you. I will try it.
I always wanted to extract data from session file and load then to database/spreadsheet for further analysis.

Beachwood
07-15-2011, 12:09 PM
I've been using ProMash for about 7 years and find it to be a fantastic tool. But for me it's all about how well you can correlate your tool to the task at hand. Almost without exception, when I formulate recipes on ProMash, my beers turn out as expected in taste, color, gravity, bitterness, etc... So in other words, I can look at a recipe on ProMash and feel comfortable knowing how that beer will turn out, even if it's something I've never brewed before. There are a host of other utilities in the software that are helpful, such as strike water temp and the CO2 calculator for determining priming sugar additions to name a few. It's also nice to be able to easily print a brew log for each beer that list ingredients, volumes, etc...

hunter
05-10-2012, 01:46 PM
I want to try ProMash, but I'm a mac user. I've been using BeerSmith but have had a hard time getting accurate water volumes with it. Looking forward to trying BeerTools Pro

Graydon
05-10-2012, 03:45 PM
I believe that if you wish to be the best, development of a tool like this teaches you more than you will ever learn using a pre-programed tool. I have been using tools of my own design for twenty + years, and I would never have developed the understand I have, if I used software off the self. Ultimately this is a personal decision about your own experience, and development.;)

Cheers
Graydon

dfalken
06-01-2012, 07:26 PM
I understand the mentality of wanting to make your own but when there are good tools out there and it doesn't make sense to reinvent the wheel especially if the tools are robust and have ton of features. I use beersmith and I think it is a great tool and I do understand the math behind everything, but I don't feel a need to have to create my own spreadsheets, why? In my first career as a programmer I learned the invaluable skill of taking what is already out there and putting it to good use.

LuskusDelph
06-02-2012, 07:11 AM
I want to try ProMash, but I'm a mac user. I've been using BeerSmith but have had a hard time getting accurate water volumes with it. Looking forward to trying BeerTools Pro

ProMash can run on a Mac...and you don't even need to install the Windows OS. Install a program called Crossover which allows you to run many Windows apps right within MacOS X.

If you're looking for the best Mac native brewing software though, that would be Beer Alchemy, no contest. It is miles above any of the others.