Men have many loves. Women. Money. Power. Cars. Sports. Beer. To be fair to beer-loving men and Mac users everywhere, I confess that some Mac apps I review are not thoroughly tested.
For example, an app that manages personal beer brewing is not high on my list of must-have review assignments. Yet here I am. Thanks to my husband’s love of me and beer, here’s an unqualified look at BeerSmith.
Personally Designed Beer
Mac users who are into beer brewing will enjoy BeerSmith. At least, that’s what my husband says. He’s brewed many bathtubs of beer, hasn’t been arrested yet, and neighbors keep coming back for more, so maybe he’s doing something right.
BeerSmith is a Mac app for brewing beer in your home (fear not; my husband stopped using the bathtub for brewing years ago).
Think of it as a one stop shop for all the accouterments you’ll need to brew your own beer recipe in the privacy of your own home. I’m sure that’s how Jim Koch did it with Samuel Adams beer. If only Koch had a Mac and BeerSmith back in 1984.
BeerSmith comes with hundreds of preloaded ingredients (hops, yeasts, waters, grains, etc.) so you can build a recipe that matches your tastes in beer.
As you mix and match the ingredients, BeerSmith adjusts the color, gravity, and bitterness on screen. Don’t want a beer that looks like a urine specimen? Change the ingredients a bit.
Nearly 100 beer styles are available in the beer guide. Basic recipes allow you to design unique beer or beer that’s comparable to the off-the-shelf cans and bottles.
Or, you can dig into advanced settings with grain brewing, batch sparging, brew-in-a-bag options, mashing, and more. True beer lovers know all this stuff. The rest of us just need the bottle to be chilled awhile longer.
BeerSmith manages and organizes your beer recipes, beer brewing logs, and ingredients. Also included are options for a shopping list and ingredient inventory support.
Good beer requires proper equipment that goes beyond the bathtub generation and BeerSmith has details on proper tool usage, yeast starter size calculator, and even a water profile tool.
BeerSmith even supports an online community of homebrewers. For me, the first bottle of my husband’s best brews taste pretty much like what we buy at Walmart, so maybe that’s a testament to BeerSmith, or my husband’s brewing talents, or my lack of taste when it comes to beer. I don’t pay much attention after the third bottle anyway.
As an app, BeerSmith seems relatively straightforward to use. Tabs across the top get you into Profiles, Ingredients, Tools with a click. The rest of the app is a database of recipes and recipe building techniques. I think of it as a cook book for beer brewers. So, it’s just a cook book. That, I understand.
I’m impressed with such phrases as Fermentation Profiles, Graphical Mash Profile Design, and the all-important Yeast Starter Tool. The Graphical Recipe Design option shows you what your beer should look like before you begin. I’d go for something like that while cooking burgers and sausages on the outdoors grill.