But, seriously...Why?? (inventory items)

Discussion in 'Recipe Editor' started by J A, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Okay...I know at this point that I'm just bitching about things but I really don't understand what has motivated making changes to the recipe editor that result in a much more complicated, unwieldy interface with the inventory items.
    For the longest time I was able to choose my inventory items directly from the drop-down fermentables list, autofill and all. Items would sort nicely so it was easy to see at a glance how percentages were laid out. Everything was easy, streamlined, userfriendly and visually compact.

    Then, with the "new and improved" BF, I had to go to the separate inventory tab, scroll through and select the item, have it come up as a custom fermentable with extra space, etc. Custom fermentables don't sort with the rest of the ingredients which I find annoying. Fine...got used to that.

    Now I pull up an inventory item and brings up a dialog box with most of the information in the edit section of the inventory item - origin, category, type, etc. I already had an extra blank space for "brand" that wasn't doing me any good. Now I'm stuck looking at other fields that are completely redundant. I've already entered that info into my inventory...it's why I've gone to the trouble to set up an inventory in the first place. I'm not going to edit that information in the recipe and I don't need to know it for the recipe. I don't care about the origin for the purposes of balancing a recipe, I don't need to know the type, I already know it's a base malt. Each inventory item in the fermentable section now takes an entire 1/3 of the browser screen.

    Really...how can this be useful to anyone? Custom fermentables and inventory were easy to deal with before. Whose idea was it to make it all a stupid mess? I'm happy to go along with changes that improve my experience and even ones that I may not need but are obviously useful to others. I just don't get how this is better for anyone using this site or software.
    :mad::mad::mad:
    Rant over...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    @Yooper @TxBrew @Josh (Brewer's Friend)
     
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  2. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Well @J A you can do like I did and put up a whiteboard where we grind grains, list quantities with on hand grains and keep track there. I only use generic grain names (flip the switch in profile) in the recipe editor so that helps too. This idea they have of making things more techy is not one I agree with either.
    Over the years I have found good beer is made with the simplest recipes and base consistent processes. Maybe things will come around that they realise software works that way too. We are faced with a technical barrage of innovation and to stay on top BF needs to be accepting to all these new ideas. But to have hundreds or i don't really know maybe thousands of grains listed it is impossible to not get way complicated. Their only answer and i have hinted at this for a long time is for the brewer to be able to shut off what they don't use. They are leaning toward this so keep on brewing and ranting and maybe just maybe it won't turn into a site only programmers can understand. My thoughts anyway. And by the way I do miss the days when there was a short list of grains to scroll through and click on to make a recipe (including your custom fermentables). My how we have growno_O:(.
     
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  3. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Over the past couple years, there’s a couple members that I’ve come to respect and trust their judgment on, and definitely JA is one of them, although we brew completely different. But where we are similar (IMO), is the ‘Brewing on a Rail’ approach that seems to be what the brewing software has become.

    Heck... I pay for an annual membership and never use the software, save for a few calculators. I can’t even use the fermentation chart unless I “Brew it” through the software and cannibalize a recipe just to get the chart to work.
     
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  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Hear! Hear! Exactly the reason that I started buying and keeping specific malts in bulk for brewing. All my base malts are recorded in my inventory with values that come from the malt spec sheets. With a rare exception, I've pared my entire ingredient list down to 20 or so malts that cover every style I care to brew. I could just use generic malts with similar values for the purposes of recipe-building but that's a step backwards at this point. Ironic that the "improvements" would necessitate ignoring information specific to my brewing process in order to make the editor easier to use. :confused:
    @Mase , I appreciate your kind words. I don't pretend to be an expert but I have tried to be discerning and to educate myself as much as possible about brewing over the past few years.
     
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  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I had suggested some time ago that we have the ability to have a list of favorite malts that we can add to, delete from, as well as toggle on or off for when you are using a specialty malt that is not on your favorites list. Not sure if this would make your life simpler JA, or if it would make it even more complex...
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    We had exactly that...o_O
    We could add specific malts to the inventory and inventory items appeared seamlessly in the drop down for malts, etc along with any other malts we might want to include in a recipe. Those are still available but now they don't show up like all the other items in the fermentables list. It's a whole different process and it just keeps getting more and more cluttered.
     
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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I agree the fermentables list has become overcomplicated as well as the hops drop down. I'm not sure I'm getting your drift but when formulating recipie to make life easier I just click on all the malts and hops I want to use in my inventory list therefore ignoring the fermentables and hops drop down list altogether. That way only need to fill a custom fermentables out once.
    See screen shot... see most of them are at zero I just adjust the amount in recipie. Screenshot_20190318-153349_Samsung Internet.jpg
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I use the 3 letter search and it works fine
     
  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the inventory list is accessible and the information is already there and choosing from the inventory list has become the only way to access those rather than using the fermentables drop down. Have you formulated a recipe lately and noticed that each custom fermentable ingredient now shows all editable information in the recipe rather than just appearing as other fermentables? It's just another change that's popped up unexpectedly that doesn't seem to have a purpose or enhanced the functionality.
     
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  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to assume that you're toggled the share button on all you custom fermentables and that they're all in the fermentables dropdown list. I'm going to go back through my inventory and re-edit everything and see if that happens with mine. I did that on some items to see if they'd show up in the 3-letter autofill dropdown but it never worked.
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I'm talking about the standard menu, I don't use the inventory search
     
  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Then you don't use items that aren't already on the list.
     
  13. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Nope can't say I have but then again I just select from my already existing inventory malts.
     
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  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...it's the combination of inventory and custom fermentables that has been the issue.
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Seems like an issue tickling the back of my mind: Is Brewer's Friend becoming a "Siri, make beer" type of site? Shouldn't we assume some basic knowledge of brewing and ingredients rather than cluttering our pick lists with every conceivable possibility? Pale two row, ignoring batch to batch variation, is going to perform pretty much like pale two row from the next maltster. There are differences in crystals that might be worth annotating the maltster but a crystal 60 is going to perform much like any other in terms of conversion or extract by steeping, color, contribution to mash pH, etc. Are we loading on so many features that we're sacrificing usability? Are we changing things so quickly that people don't have time to adapt? I'm asking because I'm not seeing any kind of philosophy or target to the updates, just kind of random changes to the way things perform. I'd approach updates and added functionality from this perspective: Other than fixing identified bugs, will the change help a moderately skilled homebrewer make better beer. If the answer is "probably not," the feature or change probably shouldn't be made. It's just clutter, gee-whiz to the advanced brewer, confusion to the beginner. Now I know others brew differently than I and to be quite honest about it, Brewer's Friend does not allow me to record all the variables and levels I record during a brew day. I don't expect it to. What it does, at least the features I use, is to make a reasonable prediction as to the outcome based on the recipe I want. That's important to me. So what's important to others? I'm asking this as an honest question, not to start a flame war, but to know what's important and what's just fluff.
     
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  16. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    For this reason, I’ve asked directly and indirectly for a full blown option (like we have), and a customizable/ala carte type option.
     
  17. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    We have some solutions in beta, for you beta testers to check out.

    I want you all to know that we ALL are reading your comments and taking them very seriously. The other Admins and developers read it as well, but we don’t want to jump in. I just wanted to pipe up here to assure you that your posts are being taken into consideration and we are in discussion about what we need to do to make this work for everyone. So please keep commenting and sharing everything that you dislike or find “not as good” as it was. We strive to make Brewer’s Friend the best brewing software and you are the driving force behind all of it, so we definitely hear you.
     
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  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Yooper, we know you do.
     
  19. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what my question is directed at. What's the purpose of things changing in ways that don't seem to have a benefit to people who actually use the features? And when things seem to have settled into a form that isn't quite as useful but we learn to live with it, they change again and not for the better.
    I'm focused on one particular thing because inventory (custom fermentable) interface is what I built my whole routine around. It's become next to useless to me at this point. I've given up and I'll just build recipes like I did in the beginning using generic ingredients from the list and take notes on what actual malts I use and I won't even think about tracking amounts of hops and stuff.
     
  20. Brewmaster Tom

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    I've been away from the site for awhile (took a break from brewing) and I do not like what I have come back to. I had a nice list of custom fermentable (various DME/LME from my LHBS) that I can't seem to use anymore when building a recipe. From the little bit I've been goofing around it seems a lot harder to build a recipe now.
     
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