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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Brew Builder


Today, I'm looking at a recipe program that's actually part of a retail website. So, let me start by saying I have no affiliation with this site. In fact they don't even know I'm writing this.

I'm certain there are other online retailers that have this feature. And, to be honest, I don't know why they don't all include this. Usually, you design your recipe, go to your favorite retailer (online or in person), and gather all your ingredients, hoping you haven't forgotten anything.

Here, you design your recipe from what's in stock. Then, when you're finished, click on the button marked “Buy Recipe”, and it all goes into your cart. You can't forget.

It works like any of the simple recipe programs. Decide on the style you're making, what size batch, and your mash efficiency (For a straight extract recipe, don't touch this.) Then, just go tab by tab, and choose your grains, extracts, hops, etc.

Under “Recipe Statistics”, you can see if you hit your target figures or not. Just under that is a running tally of what your recipe includes so far, as well as what you're spending (Yeah, that's important.)

Now, to be fair, there are both plusses and minuses to this. On the plus side, as I said, you design and buy all in one place. You save time and effort by avoiding having to transcribe your recipe from one place to another (and another, and another....). On the other hand, your recipe design is limited to what they have in stock. If you want to use something really exotic, or just weird, you'll have to guess at the effect.

With that in mind, I must say I've used it, and like it. I think it's especially useful if you have an idea of the kind of beer you want to make, but aren't sure of what to use to get there. Oh, and if you really like what you've come up with, you can save your recipe, and buy the same one again.

As a final word, of course, you aren't obligated to buy, so you can just play around at recipe design. It works well, and given the built-in lag of the internet, it's quite responsive. It can be a worthy addition to your toolbox.