Brew day notes, Brew journal

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Norwaystout, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Hey guys just wondering about your brew day notes. Do you use brewers friend to keep notes, or another notebook/journal? I have heard of people actually going as far as logging the weather outside on a brew day. Makes me feel like I should be keeping better notes. What is the extent in your note taking?
     
  2. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Cavan, Ontario, Canada
    I use Promash to keep notes. It has everything I need and is very easy to use. On brewday I keep notes in a binder and transfer to Promash after I'm done.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,548
    Likes Received:
    6,881
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Those notes are key to reproducing a brew. Imagine this: Three years from now you're really wanting to reproduce that Skunkworks slightly skunked IPA with cinnamon and eye of newt.... and you can't remember exactly how you made it. I use, in addition to the records archived here, a couple of Word-generated forms in a three-ring binder to record critical measurements vs. Targets, procedural notes, etc. Good notes help make reproducible beer.
     
  4. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use a home made version of Larry's original brew sheet:

    http://www.brewersfriend.com/brewday-allgrain/

    I have changed a few areas to suit my process, but this will get you started. I print a page, add the ingredients and notes by hand, and this page is the log for that beer. It goes in the binder and I can refer to it years later, and compare it to future brews that are similar but with minor changes. I usually don't name a beer until it is perfected to what I want. The more detail of your process, and the more tasting notes ( throughout the brewing, not just at the end), you will appreciate later when you are trying to re create a beer, or when you are trying to ferret out a problem.

    The main reason I started this is that from the moment of conception, to the design of the recipe, to the brewing, to fermentation, to packaging, to cold storage and aging, it may be three months or more before the beer is perfect to drink, and by that time I have brewed six or seven other beers that are in the pipeline, and my memory is compromised. With good notes I can overcome this.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,468
    Likes Received:
    3,625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    +1

    my best beer was in cold storage for 60 days, it was not a hoppy beer so it was perfect
     
  6. SwampWater

    SwampWater Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Cavan, Ontario, Canada
    I also made a Google blog with all of my brew sessions since 2008. Who knows if my computer will crash and wipe out all of my notes.
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,468
    Likes Received:
    3,625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
  8. T23

    T23 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Call me old-school but I log everything in A4-size notebooks. Every brew has a new starting page and generally goes on for 3-4 pages. Every entry has date/time first and everything gets logged, incl. tastings (flavour, aroma, colour etc.).
    I I use a recipe program online (I do now) I print out the recipe and cut it out and tape it on to the page. Same goes for water-chemistry calculation (I cut it out into 3 columns of very small type so it can fit on 1 page).
    Having a notebook like this is superior to online solutions in many ways. E.g. 100 years from now my progeny can poor over my notes and reproduce the beer if they want (no, it's not THAT good, yet :lol: ). Also I can spill beer on it without too much trouble and it is not susceptible to virus, hackers, varying electronic storage mediums being outdated or some cloud-service going bust.

    Whatever you decide to do, make sure you log 'everything'..
     
  9. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    T23, I do the same. Paper and notebooks. Mostly because that's what I have always done. Of course I started 20 years ago before there was any software, and the styles were more general (IE. Pale beer, Brown beer, hoppy beer). It is interesting to look back and read the notes of beers long gone and remember them. You are doing it right IMHO.
     
  10. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    622
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mentor, Ohio
    It'd be nice if you could load this doc (http://cdn2.brewersfriend.com/brewersfr ... nsheet.pdf) with info from your recipe just like the water calculater. Then you could just print out and list changes made during but not have to document the grain bill, hop schedule, mash etc.

    Austin????

    Brian
     
  11. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ok first thing first, from now on all my brews notes will be written by hand, then put online for copies/backup. I knew entering notes into my laptop while brewing didn't feel right. Also you can sanitize a pen easier then a keyboard ;-) Well I think I just got schooled on what I need to improve, my notes! I think the ease of scribbling down quick notes on a notepad is much easier then right to digital. The more notes the better I am getting also. I have had a few band aid batches before and I wish I could look back and single out why. Also I agree, notes are not just brew day, its finish to end. Especially to know when a beer is ready to drink. Thanks for all the info and links to good brew day note sheets.
     
  12. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    34 brew sessions ... 790 brew log entries
    I wish I was disciplined enough and of the right mind to keep paper notes in binders and such. But I know myself and I know that wouldn't work. All of my electronic files are perfectly organized.. many many years worth and I know where each thing is. My paper files are a complete mess and I can never find anything. The BrewersFriend brew session/logging is the bomb for me. Maybe someday I'll regret my dependence on the electronic cloud filing (and I need to get caught up with writing out pdf backup of my recipes and logs), but I know me, and know I'm not one to write legible organized notes by hand and keep those notes organized.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,548
    Likes Received:
    6,881
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Maybe one day there will be a zombie apocalypse or solar flare large enough to knock out the Internets. In that case, we'll be fermenting uneaten bread or any other starch we can get our hands on (but we will have a useful skill!). So I think the electronic versions are pretty safe.

    But then, maybe I should be printing all of my recipes and brew sessions. Who knows? :)
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,468
    Likes Received:
    3,625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    I print my recipes right before I brew and take it out the the garage and reference as I go along, if I made any changes I make comments on the sheet then create the recipe again on the site and call it 2 or 3, its very common for me to have a slight change like a weight, grain or a hop substitute at the last minute

    but in the end I do have a paper copy
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,548
    Likes Received:
    6,881
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Same here - I don't want my $600 tablet getting ruined by splashing hot sugary water on it! The advantage to paper is if you spill on it, you curse and reprint. Besides, I like taking my notes without having to go through the tech. So on brew day, advantage paper.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white