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How do you track your brews?

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chopps

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I've toyed with different caps but instead just got a big bag of pale coloured ones (yellow), on which permanent marker shows up nicely, then I just mark them with a gyle number (and sometimes a sub-gyle code when I've done a split batch with different yeast etc). I usually only have 2-3 gyles on the go at any one time, so it's fairly easy to keep track.
I buy sheets of circular labels and print them.
Marker seemed to fade - I think it’s the starsan residue.
 

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Northern_Brewer

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Showing my ignorance here, but what's a gyle / sub-gyle code?
Gyle is the brewing name for a batch. So for a simple brew, I'd just have a number code - 73 or whatever. It's fairly rare for me to keep it that simple though, I usually split a batch into gallon buckets to try different yeasts or dry hops or temperatures - in which case it might be 73PJ for the Proper Job yeast, or 73-23 for WLP023.

It's quick and easy to do, and if you want something fancier if you're giving the odd bottle away or something, then as squirt of propanol or meths will wipe off the markerpen and you can then do a proper label, or write on the bottle with white pen or something.

For cleaning off labels, yours or commercial ones, the best thing are stainless steel scourers like this :
1606513754308.png

They leave marks on crockery but are great for getting anything off glass, Pyrex or metal.
 

PaulRob

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If you all ready have the recipe, I use Brewtracker app. It allows you to put in notes, start date, then you can add og and fg and then bottle date, and you can also review each beer. Really simple way to track.
 

GeorgieV

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I use Brewtarget for recipe design and for recording brew day notes. It worked fine so far.
 

Drunkula

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being able to calculate key dates is certainly a big bonus of using electronic systems
Just for the days as a number :
=DATEDIF(B9, TODAY(), "d")

Clearly B9 would be the cell with the bottling date - and if C9 is the cell from the calculation this tarts it up to
weeks and days, then year/month/days in brackets like 19w, 2d (0y 4m 12d)

=INT(C9 / 7) & "w, " & MOD(C9,7) & "d (" & DATEDIF(B9, TODAY(), "Y") & "y " & DATEDIF(B9, TODAY(), "YM") & "m " & DATEDIF(B9, TODAY(), "MD") & "d)"
 

Didge

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I'm tech, but low tech. I just add details of each brew to a word document. No special formatting or tables, just the important stuff listed line by line. To be honest, windows notepad would work just as well for my needs.
I work with tech all day so it's the last thing I want to use when enjoying myself, however even I have to accept that paper and beer don't get on.

One recent discovery has been "re-peelable" labels that I found on Amazon. None of my brews are ever quite the same so I don't re-use them, but they do stick firm and peel-off very easily without leaving any residue. Unfortunately the labels aren't as large as traditional beer labels but they are just big enough to list the type of beer, the hops, the bottled date and the percentage ABV.

I hand write all my labels with a permanent marker pen, its practical but ugly. I store my bottles in batches, so I only ever need to label 1 bottle from each batch. The labelled bottle is always the last to get drunk, so I label the last one bottled to give the excess dregs time to settle. Although as I type this I'm wondering if I should be saving the best bottles until last.
 

Victor Churchill

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+1 for Trello. (Starting a "Show Us Your Brewing Software Tools" thread by stealth here?)
Also awesome for collecing resources and links to usful information/suppliers/etc etc.
Also.2, Chrome users should look for the 'Add to Trello' extension!

1606568045767.png
 

Slid

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I have a note book for scribbling in on the day and an excel spreadsheet with every brew on it, with headings as below. BHE is from BrewMate:

DateDate DescriptionMaltMalt MaltAdjunctSugarBrew H LitersOG FGAbvNotes
#StartedBottledBaseMashSteepEfficiencyIn FV
 

Duxuk

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I record in a notebook. I have books going back years. I use small coloured self adhesive spots on the caps of bottles to identify them and stick one by the recipe in the book. I never leave my beers aging for years so my 6 colour options are enough.
 

Dulwich North

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Also Excel, with 3 main tabs for diary-type entries, a master list which uses some formulae to extract key data like OG, and an inventory list. It also has tabs for ad hoc things like scaling a recipe or price comparisons. While I could also do something in WP or based on SQL database, I just find Excel quick and handy for the job. It's stored in the Microsoft cloud and I can access it on my PC, Mac or iPhone.

To control my bottles (PET and swingtop) I use neck collars made from coloured Washi tape (Hobbycraft), an idea I picked up from here. So in the Excel master sheet I see that a black collar with a red shiny star was used for a Nelson Sauvin IPA which is finished, and is now on the bottles of a new Biere de Garde. No doubt one day I'll make a mistake reusing collars, but it's quick and means no need to wash off label residue.
 
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muppix

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Just for the days as a number :
=DATEDIF(B9, TODAY(), "d")
I like this, and as soon as I get the hang of PHP I shall include it in my own solution, same for the days / weeks / months display. There's gotta be some cool ways of representing that graphically as well, i.e. overlaying the soonest-to-expire brews in one's arsenal over a calendar heat-map weighted for weekends and public holidays...

No wonder there's often a crossover between software devs and craft beer, hehe.
 

muppix

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I use small coloured self adhesive spots on the caps of bottles to identify them and stick one by the recipe in the book.
I love it! Effective, analogue, and I bet you get a sense of pride when you look back at the pile of notebooks you've filled over the years. That's one thing you can't easily replicate in digital format.
 

Dulwich North

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That's an Excel formula. Not sure why you'd want to do it in PHP.

In the third column the cell background and asterisk colour match the neck collars.

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 19.08.34.png
 

muppix

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I use neck collars made from coloured Washi tape (Hobbycraft), an idea I picked up from here. So in the Excel master sheet I see that a black collar with a red shiny star was used for a Nelson Sauvin IPA which is finished, and is now on the bottles of new Citra IPA.
I like it - reminds me of the cap & jersey icons you see in the racing pages of some tabloids, so you can pick out your favourite in the 15:30 at Cheltenham.

Also, Excel is pretty useful that way - as somebody who works with data a lot I'm a bit of a closet spreadsheet fanatic. Shame you can't zoom in and out of the data more easily, and embed photos / videos / random pages of feedback. Hopefully WP will give me some of that functionality, though I'm struggling with the crossover between plugin and theme right now.

Oh well. Some folk like Sudoku, I like beer and swearing at code. Judge gently ...
 

Cwrw666

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Hehe, cheers @Cwrw666 - not sure my brain was made to the same capacity as yours, but respect!
Not too much respect, please. How hard is it to do a brew on say, Saturday, put it somewhere the right temperature. Miss the next saturday, then bottle it the one after. Put the bottles somewhere warm and lo and behold the next saturday you can start drinking it if need be.
 

muppix

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How hard is it to do a brew on say, Saturday, put it somewhere the right temperature. Miss the next saturday, then bottle it the one after.
That bit's not hard at all, and right now I'm managing OK, probably because I'm just brewing with kits. My long-term goals involve messing about with AG brewing and trying new things, and that's where I'm going to come a cropper unless I can easily collate all my experience with, say, a certain type of yeast, or figure out where I went wrong when it comes to temperature. Or simply try to rank my brews, and unexpectedly find an entry like "don't do that, it turned out rank". 😁
 

Dulwich North

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I have written WP plugins and themes, and you certainly could do it. But just imagine all the coding simply for that little table and those cell/text colours. WP seems a lot of work - and might drive you to drink!

WP is pretty good at pasting Excel content, and you can even post directly from Word or (I think) Excel.
 

muppix

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I have written WP plugins and themes, and you certainly could do it. But just imagine all the coding simply for that little table and those cell/text colours. WP seems a lot of work - and might drive you to drink!
You're right, but I used to write quite a bit of code in a 'previous life' (though not PHP) and it's something I always wanted to get on board with, plus it beats doing crosswords etc. I'm trying to use only custom objects and fields with the hope of making this available as a plugin that anyone (any theme?) can use, and right now it's still a fun challenge. Not saying that won't change ... all good for now.
 

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