Monday, January 2, 2012

Reviews: BeerAlchemy and BeerAlchemy Touch

I recently switched back to an iPhone from Androids. Why did I switch? Crappy battery life. That's another story for another day. Around the same time, my Dell laptop (which was only a year old) crapped out, so I bought a Mac. I had previously had a Mac but sticker shock drove me away. Anyhoo - I had been using BeerSmith (which is great) but found myself wanting for some OSX brewing software love.

Beer Alchemy has been all the talk lately, so I gave it a whirl. It has the distinct advantage of having an iOS app that can sync with the desktop version (or work on its own). The price is a bit steep at $29.95. It has the usual feature set - nice builtin ingredients list, mash profiles, etc. One thing that BeerSmith has that Beer Alchemy lacks is builting equipment profiles (dead space, thermal mass, etc.).

Clearly, the sync feature is great. The iOS application is very full featured with lots of builtin calculators for refractometer calculations, ABV, etc. One thing that's maddening about the iOS version is that adjustments of recipe parameters (IBU, OG, SRM) are all done with slider bars in the software. This makes it very difficult to get it set to the exact number you want. Also, it lacks a builtin countdown timer which I think would be an awesome addition (and one that I believe some Android brewing software has).

Also - note to others - if you've not used brewing software recently, make sure that the volumes that it's feeding you for your recipe are accurate for your equipment.

I learned this the hard way yesterday when I (ahem) made 3 gallons of dubbel.

Fortunately, topping up with water still got me close to my intended OG.

Would I recommend the software? Yes. Major limitations I've hit are above and workable.


  1. I've been using BA for awhile as well. My only gripe is the water and strike temp calculations- they are so very different from the results I see with BeerSmith and BrewPal (iPhone).

    Have you found any ways to make adjustments to the defaults?

  2. Mapu - have not figured out how to adjust defaults on the iPhone. Will post back if I do. Haven't noticed the issue with temps either, but I will admit I may have not paid enough attention.

  3. I made a batch today and the strike temp calculation was spot-on.