Homebrewing Software: Brewblogger

It's been a while since I've done a homebrew update, so here it is. I've been testing two very distinct (and complementary) pieces of software for the homebrewer: Brewblogger and Beer Tools Pro. I will review the latter in a future post.

First up is the free and open-source Brewblogger, which is a web-based log of your recipes, brew day info, notes, and recipe formulation. It's a great way to keep all your data straight, and it can be hosted locally on your desktop machine or publicly for the world the see. Check out the full suite of features here:
http://www.brewblogger.net/index.php?page=features

The project is based on the classic pairing of PHP and MySQL and is released as open source software under the General Public License (GPL). Installation does require a small amount of manual tinkering with a configuration file, as well as creating a MySQL database and populating it with the supplied sample data. The instructions are fairly clear, but it may take some time to get it running properly if you are new to dealing with databases.

The default install includes a wide selection of ingredients, water and mash profiles, equipment profiles, and several other sets of data. You can also add your own ingredients and profiles if the default data set doesn't contain what you're looking for.

It also includes calculators for bitterness, specific gravity, mash efficiency, and a few others.

One really cool feature is that BrewBlogger can import recipes in BeerXML format. Most current recipe formulation software can export to BeerXML, which will save you from manually entering recipes into BrewBlogger.

Overall, BrewBlogger could be a total solution for brewers looking to track brew day information and formulate and archive recipes. It also can function as a web frontend to desktop software, such as Pro Mash, Beer Tools Pro, and others via the BeerXML export function.

Give that it's free, I see no reason not to audition it on your web server.