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ProMash vs BeerSmith

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  • ProMash vs BeerSmith

    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!

  • #2

    there's lots of discussion on the ins and outs of both of these at Obviously aimed more toward homebrewing but . . . . I've used both and for no particular reason paid for beersmith over promash.
    Chris Burcher, Wolf Hills
    Abingdon, VA


    • #3
      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.


      • #4
        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.

        Pipeworks Brewing Company


        • #5

          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



          • #6
            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!


            • #7
              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.
              Mike Sulyi
              BillyGoat Brewing Company


              • #8
                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.


                • #9
                  I have been using Strangebrew for years now both starting out as a homebrewer and through 3 breweries now as a pro.


                  Mike Pensinger
                  General Manager/Brewmaster
                  Parkway Brewing Company
                  Salem, VA


                  • #10
                    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...
                    Pete Broyles
                    Riverport Brewing Co
                    Clarkston, WA


                    • #11
                      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.
                      -Lyle C. Brown
                      Camelot Brewing Co.


                      • #12

                        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.
                        Troy Robinson
                        Quirk Brewing
                        Walla Walla


                        • #13

                          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.
                          Last edited by grassrootsvt; 02-25-2010, 04:09 PM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pjbroyles

                            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.

                            Mike Pensinger
                            General Manager/Brewmaster
                            Parkway Brewing Company
                            Salem, VA


                            • #15
                              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.