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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:07 pm 
Here is a pre-release glimpse of the BIABacus for you whilst we re-write the site and finalise the release of the BIABacus.
Attachment:
BIABacus PR1.3T - American Pale Ale - NRB's All Amarillo APA - Batch A0.xls
(Above file corrected on 26th August 2014 9:30 am UTC) - Prior Downloads 30
Attachment:
BIABacus PR1.3T - Blank Style - Blank Name - Batch A0.xls
Please see notes here re Total Water Needed.
Your first thought will most likely be...

This looks way too hard :dunno:.


Your second thought will most likely be...

This is actually quite easy and quite interesting :drink:.


Getting Under Way

Open a beer and allow yourself 20 minutes for a first look. This will be enough time for you to see that the BIABacus is very fast to learn and there are many exciting features to investigate.

Firstly, open the NRB's All Amarillo APA file. Any full-volume BIAB Brewer can immediately scale the recipe by changing the numbers in Section B. Start with that and then take your time, exploring other sections. If something looks confusing, leave it and move on to another section.

Find a comfortable zoom level for the first sheet of the BIABacus. Having everything on one page has many advantages but is initially daunting. Finding the right zoom level will help you see the inter-relationships between the sections. This is a major educational feature of the BIABacus for new users and a major convenience feature for advanced users.

Post Your First Impressions in This Thread.

Your first impressions help the developers to do the best job they possibly can. Please take the time to post your first impressions here.

Before doing so, please read this entire post fully.

Asking Questions and Getting Help.

When the BIABacus is officially released, all the small '?'s on the sheet will take you to a relevant BIABrewer.info help post or thread. This is a large task and is taking a lot of time to do well. While you are waiting, BIABrewer.info has excellent members here who will help you with your questions. So as these people can find and focus on your questions, please use the following thread for now to ask BIABacus questions and post BIABacus files...

Use this thread to convert recipes to suit your equipment: A good way to use that thread is to do the best you can with the BIABacus and then include your file in your post, if possible.

We also have the BIABacus Pre-Release - Temporary Help thread. The current posts in that thread apply to PR 1.1 but many of the principles there are general and may answer your questions. We will give this thread priority over the next few weeks.

The two main posts to read there atm are...

Understanding the Limitations and Benefits of the BIABAcus
Questions to Ask Yourself when first Opening the BIABacus

I'll start this thread, a few posts below, with some of the answers we received from the last BIABacus betas.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:33 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:49 pm 
ADMIN NOTE: The last intake of betas's feedback is buried amongst a lot of emails. Here's the first we've found. As we get more time, we'll post some more of the feedback here and, with their permission, change authorship of the post to the beta.

The Blank BIABacus

Q. What are your first impressions?

Wow, that's a lot to look at, but after a few minutes it starts to look great. It's really easy to see where everything is compared to what I was doing on the old spreadsheet. Everything is on one page and it's not jumbled. Very useful calculations and conversion handy. The metric to American thing is a great plus. Kettle height volume is extra nice. Lots of things I never thought of but wish I had in a program like fermenter to packaging loss.

Q. Do you think you can work out the basic logic/flow of information?

Yes. I love how it is designed around source converted to what you need. It asks you all the right questions about the source recipe and tells you exactly what to do with your equipment on the other side

Q. Does it look easy enough to tackle or too hard?

Sure it could use refinements but it's a beta. It's the best thing I have ever seen as far as brewing software/calc. If you cant figure this out, then how are you brewing in the first place.

Q. Any other thoughts?

The maxi-biab thing on there is the best thing ever. I mash with little headspace but do a dunk sparge with the extra water the old calculator has been telling me to use for the volume I want. I cheated and said my kettle was a bit bigger than it really is. With the bag pulled I have room for that extra "mash" water that is now "sparge" water. I figure it helps with a few points of efficiency rather than using top up water later on, and using it actually has helped me hit the right numbers.
The calculator really helps me do this with less guessing

The All Amarillo APA

Q. Does this sample recipe clear up any questions you had above?

Sure does. Not that I had any questions but everything makes sense in theory and practice now.

Q. Can you work out the two fields you need to change to scale the recipe to suit your equipment? (Don’t worry about this question. It just means the kettle diameter and VIF in Section B)

Yea it's the easiest thing I have ever seen.

Q. Do you notice what happens when you type some numbers into some of the fields in the Maxi-BIAB Adjustments area? (This are is on the far right of the sheet. Try putting in some very large numbers as well.)

This is awesome

Q. Do you think you’d be able to input a recipe if I sent you one? In other words, have you worked out what the most important fields are?

You bet.

Other Feedback

Q. If you have used other software, do you think this will be easier or harder to learn than that software?

Easier, and it's a ***** spreadsheet. It's not something coded in 4 different languages and compiled into a self installing exe and it still manages to be better than things you have to pay for.

Q. Is there any other feedback you would like to provide?

I'm on linux and it's working great in open office. The size of things glitched a few times but resizing the window helped right away.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:51 pm 
Thanks :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :champ: :champ: :champ: :salute: :salute: :salute: :love: :love: :love: :love:

This post moved here from 'glimpse' thread


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:33 am 
Here are my first impression responses:)

Q. What are your first impressions?


My first impression was slightly overwhelming, followed by I like the colour and the layout seems like it will be clear. I was a little bothered by the overall width of the sheet. Probably only a problem due to the fact I tend to work with a screen in 1200x800 mode. Having said that I decided it would be easy to focus on the left hand details first and move to the right later. As it turned out the process of left right made sense as I read through the sections so I was happy. Another example of being overwhelmed was it took me 2 sessions of reading and reviewing the sections to realise that there were any report tabs at the bottom but this is just a familiarity thing.

Q. Do you think you can work out the basic logic/flow of information?


Yes the logic seems pretty clear to me my only question as I read through was the meaning/purpose of B. desired volume in fermentor and C. end of boil volume.

Q. Does it look easy enough to tackle or too hard?

Yes it looks easy enough to me

Q. Any other thoughts?

I did think was the grain bill extendible? Probably would not be needed but I know the 3 Shades stout I made had quite a lot of different grains. Though I did not get the recipe out to check if it it would fit. The only other thought is a good one, the sheet is much more comprehensive than I expected:)

The All Amarillo APA

Q. Does this sample recipe clear up any questions you had above?

actually as often happens it actually created more questions for me. For instance I was uncertain about what the various hop additions would do when I make changes.

Q. Can you work out the two fields you need to change to scale the recipe to suit your equipment?

no. I only thought you needed the fermentor volume I noticed no change from adjusting boil volume.

Q. Do you notice what happens when you type some numbers into some of the fields in the Maxi-BIAB Adjustments area? (This are is on the far right of the sheet. Try putting in some very large numbers as well.)

until this question I had not even realised the tools were there. This is something I will need to use as my system is a little small for the normal mash volume, I could see that by adjusting the sparge and or water added during boil I could balance the mash and starting boil volumes.

Q. Do you think you’d be able to input a recipe if I sent you one? In other words, have you worked out what the most important fields are?

Yes

Other Feedback

Q. If you have used other software, do you think this will be easier or harder to learn than that software?

I use beersmith at the moment. I think that this spreadsheet is probably easier to learn but more difficult to use. I would probably add worksheets of the grains and hops so I could cut and paste into the recipe sheet.

Q. Is there any other feedback you would like to provide?

What about water profiles and salt additions I use them with beersmith after calculating the additions in Palmers speadsheet. (not that I am a very experienced brewer:))
Also what about a linear graduated image for checking the estimated colour? And I noticed that the EBC/SRM seemed to alter as I scaled the recipe is this right? Is there a reason you use SRM instead of EBC?
And I really like the adjustment section at the bottom right I have not used it yet, but I know with the my small pot setup boil off is less than the usual estimates.

Cheers and thanks for the great work.
David

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:47 am 
Does this work properly with OpenOffice/LibreOffice or Excel only? I thought the goal was a web-based, platform-independent app.

Michael

BIABrewer wrote:
Here is a pre-release glimpse of the BIABacus for you whilst we re-write the site and finalise the release of the BIABacus over the New Year period.
Attachment:
BIABacus PR 1.0 - Blank.xls
Attachment:
BIABacus PR 1.0 - American Pale Ale - NRB's All Amarillo APA.xls

Your first impressions are important...


Please have a quick glance over the blank BIABacus to gain an overview of the lay-out. Then open the NRB's All Amarillo APA file. For most users, you can just change three numbers in Section B and the recipe will be scaled to your equipment.

If any red warnings pop up or if you wish to ask any questions on the BIABacus Pre-Release, please Use this thread to convert recipes to suit your equipment. Do the best you can with the BIABacus and then post your file up there if possible.

Please do not post the BIABacus Pre-Releases in any other thread or forum for now.

The BIABacus Pre-Release - Temporary Help thread already has some information in it that might answer some of your questions. The two main posts to read there atm are...

Understanding the Limitations and Benefits of the BIABAcus
Questions to Ask Yourself when first Opening the BIABacus

I'll start this thread, a few posts below, with some of the answers we received from the last BIABacus betas.

BB


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:12 am 
Michael,

This from the Tempory Help thread.
Quote:
Understanding the Limitations

Whilst the BIABacus has many extremely useful and powerful features unavailable in other programs, it is still just a spreadsheet. Desigining a spreadsheet that can be used in not only Excel but Libre and Open Office has imposed tremendous limitations on us. For example we cannot use any type of macro or drop-down list. This means...

1. Things like grain names, hop names or beer styles have to be manually typed in.
2. If a recipe contains a sugar or an extract, the user has to use an advanced section of the BIABacus.
3. The BIABacus displays metric and US units side by side however metric units are used in the input fields.
4. Try and change your spreadsheet settings so that the cursor does not move after you press ‘Enter’. This will stop the cursor jumping to strange places. Otherwise, focus on driving the BIABacus with your mouse.


I havent had the time to download/rewiew the program, but I do think that it should work on other platforms.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:05 am 
Yep, 2trout is right. The sheet displays much better in LibreOffice than OpenOffice (Open seems to show gridlines). In Excel the colours match the BIABrewer.info colours. In Libre and Open they don't. Longer field names might appear chopped off a little in Libre and Open on very low zoom levels. Zoom up a bit.

novaris has asked a few good questions as well. I'll leave them for Pat as I'm being lazy today :P.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:19 pm 
Wow! I can't believe after what seems like years of looking for a BIABacus release there actually is one! Woo hoo! :party:

First impressions:
* A spreadsheet? I thought they weren't doing a spreadsheet.. oh well I sort of like a spreadsheet :drink:
* Holy crap look at all the columns! Is that an error or is there really that many columns in this thing?
* OMG this thing is enormous.. it doesn't even fit on my screen! :geek:
* Ok.. I can see how this works. I just follow the letters. Its actually more approachable than the original calculator.

Using the BIABacus impressions:
* I like having the unit conversion.. saves me firing up windows calc - thanks! If only it was a little bit closer to the grain area as I have to scroll every time to use it when source recipes are in lbs.
* I like how as I enter the grains/hops one at a time I can see fields being updated in real time to the right.
* I like that I am getting a warming indicating the my mash volume is approaching kettle limits! Very nice!
* I wonder how I would possibly enter a recipe with more than 8 grain types in it? Maybe I'd just combine some of the grains?
* Initially I was confused and couldn't figure out where it showed me how many cm of water I needed to add based on my volumes.. but after I noticed the "..." I put it together and I quite like it.

Issues:
The Source Recipe Link text box is protected

Final thoughts:
I like it! It's very clear and well done. Serious applause to everyone who has worked or contributed to this. :clap: It must have been a major undertaking and I can't imagine how much time you have devoted to it. Thank you so much! You guys rock! :thumbs: :salute:

My only piece of constructive feedback is that it requires a lot of scrolling within the spreadsheet.. back and forth trying to navigate around things. I'm not a huge fan of that. I'm on 1680x1050 screen display which is fairly reasonable these days but I would cringe doing it on anything smaller. It would be impossible on my phone that's for sure! ;) You might consider having it layed out so that users only have to scroll vertically? I don't know if that's realistic or not but I think usability is suffering from the current layout. It might also address the initial "oh my god this thing is huge" reaction when you open it up.

Anyway - I hope that helps. Thanks again! I can't wait to play with it more and actually brew a batch using it :thumbs:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:20 pm 
Many thanks Lambert, OpusX, rdeselle, novaris and Ralphus for your feedback either here or in other threads. Your time is really appreciated. Here are some answers to some of your questions that may not have been addressed as yet.

novaris

I've just written a post called, 'Colour Questions,' here. I think we used SRM as the input for colour instead of EBC as their is less ambiguity. The EBC specs changed a little while ago but the old and new system seem to be both in use.

We haven't included a water profile spreadsheet as it is an advanced area, there are already spreadsheets around on this and the BIABacus is already large in file size. If we produce an online BIABacus program, we'd add that in an advanced area.

Gordon Strong has some very good points to make on colour and water in the podcast linked at the end of 'Colour Questions' post.

As for, 'Desired Volume into Fermentor,' in Section B, this is needed for the recipe to scale. Some more info on this was added a few days ago here. The question, "Can you work out the two fields you need to change to scale a recipe to suit your equipment," was actually removed from the original beta questions as it is ambiguous and poorly written. Hopefully this same new post will clarify section B for you.

EOBV-A in section C is critical for hop bitterness scaling. We'll write a whole help post on this as soon as we can.

Davis, thank you for such a detailed post. If the answers above are not detailed enough, feel free to ask more questions in this thread.

Ralphus

Thank you as well for such a detailed post.

The Source Recipe Link actually isn't protected. What's most likely happening here is that you are trying to paste a web address. Click on the cell and then click on the formula bar which is usually the lower most toolbar. Paste your web address there and then press enter.

Everyone

Because for the design, some sort of limit had to be put on number of grain and hop rows. Eight rows will cover most recipes. If you have more, ask how to deal with it in this thread.

As for the layout, initially it was hoped to put out the BIABacus as an online program where each section could be minimised and moved to suit each individual. Of course, this is not possible in a spreadsheet. We've tried to get the logic/layout done as best as we can so that all sections are close to their related sections but there are still some awkward bits. Three things for now...

1. Use the lowest zoom setting you can.

2. As Ralphus mentioned, the Unit Conversion Tool poses the most awkward navigation problem. What we could do is move it to a sheet of its own. This way the user could easily get to it. This could also be done for 'Extract Potential Adjustments'. All other sections probably need to stay on the first sheet due to their relationships.

3. Any section of the BIABacus, if unprotected, can be cut and pasted elsewhere. A little later on, we may set up a section for Enthusiasts where we can show them how to un-protect and re-arrange the BIABacus to suit their personal situation. The downside of this is that we wouldn't want altered copies floating around the net hence the thinking along restricting this to Enthusiasts. We do realise that the password can be hacked quite easily but we think that making it public would greatly increase the risk of poor versions spreading.

At the end of the day, the best outcome would be the continuation of the work done by Kostas and BIABrewer into bringing the program online. There's a lot more to the BIABacus than meets the eye and therefore, to write an online program that is good enough would require someone who can commit to it full-time for quite some period as well as a lot of time from our end. Such a commitment would need to be financially rewarded at some stage which is a whole other issue.

Our thinking atm is that even with it's inconveniences and limitations, the BIABacus in spreadsheet form is safe, fast to learn and has essential, powerful capabilities unavailable elsewhere. In addition, any initial inconveniences are soon ignored by the user.

A programmed online version would cost the user financially for very little 'real' gain. I also think a lot, if not all, of that gain we can actually create here as a community while still using the free spreadsheet form. A little later I'll pass on my thinking in this area.

Many thanks again,
Pat


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:16 am 
The final intake of betas were required to first read Limitations and Benefits of the BIABacus and were then asked to answer the questions below. Answering these questions may also help you to learn the BIABacus more quickly and/or contribute to it.

The Blank BIABacus

Q. What are your first impressions?
:argh: That,s alot of stuff! Don't panic, just look around :| . Ok, go read the Temporary Help thread :cool: . Making sense now.

Q. Do you think you can work out the basic logic/flow of information?
Grab your pot measurements and lets try and scale the beer you brew most. Yes, I can follow what I need to do, and how the flow works, just follow the letters!



Q. Does it look easy enough to tackle or too hard?
I can do it, so I think that most will be able to handle it.

Q. Any other thoughts?
While it is easy to follow, some sort of a "Start here at A, then go to B.... thing might be nice. For instance when I was total beginner, I think a "Start by measuring you brew pot and entering the values into section B" thing would have helped me.

The All Amarillo APA

Q. Does this sample recipe clear up any questions you had above?
I really had few questions once I got rolling.

Q. Can you work out the two fields you need to change to scale the recipe to suit your equipment? This question was quickly removed from the betas as it is ambiguous/badly-written. Basically, changing the fields in Section B will scale the recipe for you. Kettle diameter and height are the critical ones.
Yes

Q. Do you notice what happens when you type some numbers into some of the fields in the Maxi-BIAB Adjustments area? (This are is on the far right of the sheet. Try putting in some very large numbers as well.)

:idiot: I have not done that yet.
Q. Do you think you’d be able to input a recipe if I sent you one? In other words, have you worked out what the most important fields are?
Yes

Other Feedback

Q. If you have used other software, do you think this will be easier or harder to learn than that software?
For me, It will be easier, because it was made for BIAB, my chosen brewing method.

Q. Is there any other feedback you would like to provide?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:37 pm 
I posted up my first BIABacus scaling attempt last night and read comments this morning, and I really think that the BIABacus is awesome!

I do have a suggestion/ comment. As I plugged in numbers, sections that said "Source" in the heading were obviously for data from the recipe i was copying. Some of the other sections are more ambiguous however. Sections I,K,and L could be for source data if I can replicate it in my brewery, or it could be for my process, correct?

A quick statement explaining this could be useful in the appropriate sections.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:28 am 
I have done two brews with the new Biabacus and I really love it. My favourite feature is the distance from top of kettle measurements which are great for checking how things are going along without dipping a skanky ruler in your wort. I have found the estimates of the various volumes spot on. I have been buying my grain for particular recipes and adjusting the desired volume into fermenter so the original recipe and scaled recipe are the same instead of having the calculator tell me a different grain bill to buy. It works great. (Hope that made sense). I find most of the settings self explanatory. It is a bit slow on the ipad with the Numbers spreadsheet but I have been calculating on my other mac and then using the ipad just to give me the settings etc. on brew day. I'm wondering if an extra setting could be added to take into account the height change when a chiller is added. Of course it's easy to figure it out yourself but if a settings item were available for end of boil volume with the wrt chiller in it would be nice. If I could say one other thing that would be useful is a lookup for grain and hops that would fill in lovibond stuff and alpha acids etc. but I'm guessing it would add slowness and bloat to it and is not really necessary. All in all great job and really handy tool to have, congrats everbody for your hard work.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:50 am 
New Version - PR 1.1


PistolPatch has made some changes thanks to your suggestions above. You can find PR 1.1 and a description of the changes in this post. We haven't released it here yet as there are a few other changes we are working on but can't quite get right.

Let us know if you prefer the new layout in PR 1.1. With that layout, the, 'Unit Conversion Tool', is much easier to add to so if there are any more units you'd like to see there, please let us know.

2trout and porchfiddler


Thanks very much for the above feedback. It seems that. like the last group of betas, you haven't had any major problems with learning to drive the BIABacus. I think this means, at least for now, we can forget about publishing the Baby BIABacus which will avoid a major logistic and help structure problem we couldn't find a good answer to. Instead of the, 'Baby,' we'll probably just publish a set of tools which will be aspects of the main BIABacus.

You have brought up some good points above and yes, porchfiddler, what you wrote makes perfect sense re adjusting VIF. I'll try and address your and 2trout's other points below.

Improving Sections C to H

2trout, regarding Sections C-H versus Section I etc, PistolPatch has written some notes on this here. This is a good example of why we regard terminology and lay-out as critical. It's been the most time-consuming part of the writing the BIABacus. The wording and placement of a field, let alone a Section, has major ramifications. We've tried hundreds of different ways of dealing with Sections C - H and we are currently working on yet another layout.

Here's what we are exploring for PR 1.2. We are considering joining Sections E and F, This will mean you will see one long dark green heading that just says, "The Fermentables Bill'. The same goes for hops. So, the word source will be removed. We may also delete Sections C and D and move the relevant fields from there into the fermentables and hop section.

We're still thinking on this. Maybe it will be the breakthrough we've been looking for in this area?

Chiller Displacement

This would be an easy field to put in. The only danger in putting it in, is that increases the chances of the unskilled user making an error. In other words, it lowers the safety of the BIABacus. For example, the unskilled user might copy your recipe but forget to remove the chiller displacement value. It's hard to know what the right decision is on something like this and the more feedback we get makes the decision easier.

For now though, what you can do is use the, 'Height Adjustment', field under, 'Kettle Shape Adjustments' in PR 1.0. (In PR 1.1, it is called, 'Kettle Shape Height Adjustment.'). You would have to type this number in after your boil had started though.

Let's certainly think on this one.

Grain and Hop List

We had a grain and hop drop-down list in an earlier version of the BIABacus but it wouldn't work cross-platform. Even if it did, there's actually quite a large downside to having drop-down lists. I will only list the major problem here.

The biggest problem we had at that time was actually finding a good list. For example, on the grain side of things, there are so many different names for the same grain, you either need a massively long list to cover everything or a very inadequate small list that ends up creating more questions than answers. We'll re-visit this again though down the track.

Joshua did tell us about the Beer Legends site that has excellent information on hops. It's the best we've seen to date so use it to get information on hops for now.

Many thanks again guys,
Pat


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:25 am 
Pat wrote:
Here's what we are exploring for PR 1.2. We are considering joining Sections E and F, This will mean you will see one long dark green heading that just says, "The Fermentables Bill'. The same goes for hops. So, the word source will be removed. We may also delete Sections C and D and move the relevant fields from there into the fermentables and hop section...
I've just posted some pics of what we've been thinking on here. You can see them in this post.

Any brewer of any level can offer a very valuable opinion on the two pics. The more feedback on those two pics the better otherwise everyone will be relying on our best guess.

:shock:
PP.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:33 am 
Just to be awkward, i have no preference.
For me it would have been easier the first time i saw it if it was colour coded.
In the calculator, i liked the red text idea.
maybe something similar to distinguish what is original, what is required, what is essential?

Though really, i dont think it makes that much difference. It will be daunting for the newcomer, and invaluable to the experienced.
Oh, and i don't think you will ever please everybody. There are plenty of software houses that know this :shock:

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I spent lots of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I squandered
I've stopped drinking, but only when I'm asleep
I ONCE gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:21 pm 
Definitely know what you meant mally. It's a tricky one and several things were tried at various stages. Different colours made it look pretty dodgy unfortunately.

The solution we came up with was to make the important cells all sunkem. So white sunken cells are important imput cells. Green sunken cells are important result cells. Plain white cells are not that important, same with the green. In other places, bolding has also been employed.

Actually haven't had a look at that side of things for a while and several things have been moved around so we better take a fresh look. Lylo mentioned the same thing to me in a PM so you are not alone here.

Let us know if anything looks really odd.

Good on you mally :thumbs:.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:25 pm 
One other question about/request for the BIABacus;

I have just tried the recipe report tab (which is very useful), as previously i had to copy and paste from all the calculator tabs.
However, the one bit of info i was missing was the strike temp. I may have overlooked it but :scratch:

Its no huge problem, but i prefer to print my sheets and work from that, rather than slop wort on "phablets" etc!

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I spent lots of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I squandered
I've stopped drinking, but only when I'm asleep
I ONCE gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:47 pm 
Great question mally, as always, but I'm not sure I can give you a simple answer :dunno:.

I don't think strike temp can be included at this stage as it would require a whole new report and such a report would only be useful to you, not the community as a whole. Unfortunately, doing this is not as easy as we'd think. Here's why...

One really complex and most valuable side of the BIABacus is recipe integrity. In other words, if I give you a recipe, I want you to be able to copy it as best as is humanly possible. Most recipe reports are totally inadequate. (No, let's be honest for a minute, [i][b]all recipe reports I have seen are inadequate. There are many sites with thousands of recipes that cannot possibly be copied with integrity.[/b][/i] They make the assumption that every other brewer uses the same program, in the same way and that that brewer will actually understand/interpret the poor terminology so often used. (I haven't even mentioned the same equipment in that last sentence!)

I'm not sure I can explain this well but the BIABcaus enables a recipe integrity that nothing else comes even close to. From the simplest of fields such as, 'Recipe Credits' (in PR 1.E and above) through to the compact detail in the 'Chilling and Hop Management' section (in all current versions), everything has a purpose.

No other program has these fields and there's a heap of others in the BIABacus you won't see anywhere else that have the same, hopefully subtle purpose.

Let's imagine though that we included strike temp in the Recipe Report...

That would be good for you but what if you published that report on the net and a new brewer copied your strike temp when they had totally different equipment/volumes?

Down the track, I'm sure that BIABewer or the members here will come up with two or more reports. The main goal for now is to make sure that the current report conveys the critical info needed for copying/scaling. It's bloody hard!

Once that is done, the next priority will be looking at how the user can find high integrity recipe files. (Yep, even though I can't see a way that anyone could use the BIABacus to re-post a good recipe badly, they can still leave out critical info.) To combat this, BIABrewer.info is working on a recipe forum structure where only a few recipes will be 'BIABrewer.info' approved.

The idea here is that eventually you will be able to choose from say four high integrity APA's rather than 100,000 non-copyable APA's :roll:.

Does that make sense? I think I got drunk writing that post :lol:,
PP

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:32 pm 
Hi PP

it makes perfect sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.

I just looked at the recipe report as a printout for me, i had never thought about it as a tool to publish. Just shows how minds work i guess.
At the moment i just type strike temp = ** on the word document, so no problem. :thumbs:

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I spent lots of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I squandered
I've stopped drinking, but only when I'm asleep
I ONCE gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:33 am 
PR 1.2 is now available in the first post of this thread.


Readers of this thread and How to Convert Recipes to Suit Your Equipment will be abreast of what the changes are and why they have been made. Your questions, feedback and suggestions have been extremely helpful.

We think that PR 1.2 will be the final look of BIABacus 1.0. Any user will find a first glance daunting. We realise this and know exactly how we would like the BIABcus to appear to the user. Unfortunately for now we are limited to the spreadsheet platform.

The BIABacus is actually a lot more user-friendly than it first appears though. Just start by filling out Sections B and C and you'll find lots of interesting things will happen just to the right in Section K. A lot can be learned just by playing around in sections B and C.

Learning More.

Besides the actual BIABacus, we have been working on structuring and writing the help for the BIABacus. The structuring is quite difficult but we are nearly there. Some of the writing is easy and has already been done.

However, even after we do an official release a lot of help will take months to complete or write well. It will never be written perfectly.

Any BIABacus user, or any brewer generally, will/should have questions. Please don't go wading through this site for hours on end looking for an answer. Just ask.

One goal of BIABrewer.info is to look at what is being asked and work out how the brewer can find the right answer as quickly as possible, if there is one.

There are quite a few members here now that either will know your answer, know where to find it,know that there may not be an answer or that an existing answer may just be a myth. So, take a bit of time to study but don't struggle with your questions whether they be BIABacus or otherwise.

Cheers,
Pat

NOTE: A lot of the spreadsheet work here is done by PistolPatch who is away from home for the next two weeks. He apologises in advance for any mistakes in PR 1.2. He's been extremely rushed so has asked if you can advise of errors in this thread as it is important they are fixed now.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:00 pm 
Bumped to be kept in latest Active Topics.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:06 pm 
I’d like leave a stupid question. Yeasty says there is no such thing as a stupid question in posting advice, but I am going to try to prove him wrong.

I don’t believe I have cooked with a recipe in my life. I like the creative bit of cooking and don’t like being denied that aspect. My brewing is the same. Add some of this and some of that, and from my limited experience, I know how the taste might turn out. I’ll do small test batches to learn about different grains and hops. The key things I want to know from a program are the final alcohol % (ABV) and the IBUs

I set to work with BIABacus PR 1.2, downloaded it, and was stumped at the first hurdle, as I didn’t know what specific gravities I wanted. It probably wouldn’t be difficult for me to figure that out and I need to research and have a better understanding. All I know is how to measure specific gravities and put the readings into an online converter to give me the ABV.

Would it be a difficult thing to write into the program an option to enter desired ABV and let the program figure out the specific gravities? Every drinking person on this planet has a good understanding of alcohol %, but a good understanding of specific gravities takes some research. I thought it might make it easier for people to start with BIABacus. There’s probably a good reason to work on SG rather than ABV, or maybe I just need to do more figuring out with the program.

Is BIABacus primarily for scaling and converting recipes, or can people like me use it to invent alcoholic concoctions?

Thank you

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:45 pm 
Not a dumb question at all. Short answer: No. Final ABV depends upon the attenuation of the yeast (how efficiently and completely they convert sugar to alcohol). This attenuation is dependant upon factors beyond the control of the BIABacus (eg: age of yeast, dissolved O2 at at ptiching, pitching temp, pH of wort, fermentation temp, etc).

Make sense?

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