Requesting consistency in new calculator configuration

Discussion in 'Recipe Editor' started by J A, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I get that the recent changes calculator target/efficiency section are aimed at better accuracy. I know that a lot of thought and effort went into it. I also know that it's caused a hell of a lot of confusion and frustration.
    One reason for this is that when toggling between Fermenter and Kettle for target, different parameters are being used to derive resulting attributes.
    When using the Fermenter as target, changes boil time change everything.
    When Kettle is target, different boil times change nothing.
    When using Fermenter, changes in batch size change nothing unless the batch size is smaller than the pre-boil.
    When using Kettle, batch size changes everything, regardless of pre-boil size and changes in pre-boil change only IBUs.
    Pre-boil remains a user-input no matter what.
    Wouldn't it be simpler just to use the equipment profile boil-off to calculate pre-boil as well as using system losses to account for differences in kettle and fermenter calculations? Just make batch size the only user input and get the rest of the data from the boil-off, boil time, estimated efficiency and equipment losses.
    When a brewer has a limit on kettle capacity, they use kettle as a target if they need to max out and whatever goes into the fermenter is the same as what comes out of the kettle in all aspects other than volume. When fermenter capacity is the limiting factor, that target should be used so that there's no wasted wort.
    When the user-input batch size and boil time indicates that the pre-boil volume exceeds capacity listed in equipment profile, an error message should pop up.
    I doubt that making the change from user-input to forumula-derived for pre-boil volume would solve all the issues and confusion but it would make a lot more sense for that portion of the process.
     
  2. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I hope yooper is compensated well for her time as she seems to spend a lot of time mopping.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    ^^^Yeah!! @Yooper is the best and she has way, way more patience than I do! I'd never be able to put up with all the crusty old bastards and their curmudgeonly complaints. :D :D :D
     
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  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Glad you've got the brains to put into words what I've been thinking JA. I think your smack bang on the money.

    Sometimes our human pursuit of precision can make simple things complicated and eventually that pushes simple mided people like me away and back to pen and paper.

    Near enough has always been good enough for me.

    It sounds like the BF team are trying to please both the keep it simple camp and the calculations down to a pint glass camp. Somehow the two will have to meet in the middle hopefully on a harmonious understanding and a simple to use brew calculator interface :).
     
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  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    It can be done but I think any changes have to be made in such a way that they integrate across the entire thing and tie everything together.
     
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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Retrofitting all this stuff into the existing code has to be a b1tch. Better to start from scratch, some times.
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #7 J A, Sep 5, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
    Yeah...I doubt that there'll be any starting from scratch on the part of the coders but I can start over. I've put enough time into trying to figure out how and why the "new and improved" way of doing things is giving me numbers for a saved recipe that are different from estimated and measured values that are proven over multiple brews. I just don't trust that I can put together a recipe using the editor and have it come out right. I don't need that. I'll go ahead and pop for a BeerSmith subscription and let this one lapse when it comes up for renewal. I'm paying extra for the overlap but it gives me time to transfer recipes and get it established.
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm a lifer so I'll be hanging around. Hope we still see you here in the forums!

    In my professional life I work a lot with complex systems and brewing is definitely one of those. Problem with bolting on all these changes is it breaks something somewhere else! You can't model the entire brewing process with software, the effort is futile. A decent brewer doesn't need that anyway - the best I know fill in only what's important on their brew-day sheets. Key is they know what's important. Most of the "improvements" I've seen in the last six months do not fall into that category, rather into the "Siri, make beer" camp. That pre- and post-boil thing? You can't handle that on your own, you should turn in your kettle. Now making late additions work well, that's one that's hard to implement but useful: How do you calculate brew-day efficiency when you're putting a fourth of your sugar into the fermentor? Crickets. It's easier to add a meaningless tweak to efficiency calculations (why the heck is a homebrewer interested in efficiency calculations?) or a "Strike water" field that duplicates what I've already put into the recipe. So yes, I hear you. And that's two rants in one morning.
     
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  9. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    It's NOT because you sweet talked me, but the developers today have reverted the calculation back to the "old" way.

    Even I was greatly confused by the changes, and kept asking them questions because my results were not what I was expecting. I kept asking them again and again (they probably thought I was a bit dimwitted, to be honest) and they patiently explained things. It makes sense, and they are right about the calculations.

    EXCEPT most of us use "brewhouse efficiency" when we formulate recipes, and the changes impacted that adversely.

    While it's true that the OG is the same at the end of the boil as in the fermenter, the trub losses, wort left in the chiller, etc, mean that the volume changes affect the brewhouse efficiency that we use for our recipes.

    Please feel free to ask questions, beat us up, point fingers, etc- but please never stop talking to us. Your input is crucial in making Brewer's Friend the best brewing software available, and when we make a mistake we appreciate hearing about it.

    We are so sorry for the inconvenience this has caused all of you. We appreciate the posts, emails, screenshots, etc that you sent our way to help us know what did not work. Please accept my thanks (on behalf of all of us at Brewer's Friend) for the time and energy you put into this.
     
  10. Pricelessbrewing

    Pricelessbrewing QA Software Tester
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    Completely agree. It will also simplify the UI and force users to correct inaccurate equipment profiles that they otherwise may not catch.

    Honestly I find the target = kettle workflow confusing, OG is defined at batch volume and nothing should change that definition.

    Changing the efficiency type to kettle / mash and keeping the OG defined at batch size should be sufficient for any user and let's everyone compare recipes on an even field.

    @Yooper thanks for keeping up the discussion with us, and the devs!
     
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  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. ;) I still have a fair number of months left on my current membership and even if I find an alternative to using the editor and storing my recipes, I'd keep up a forum presence.
    I'll give a hearty Amen! to that! A lot of it seems to be in service of facilitating novice brewers who need a lot of hand-holding. Unfortunately, the effort to accomodate and entice the newbies (many or most of whom are likely using the editor for free?) totally gummed up the works for those of us who have built brewing routines using established norms.
    That was my position early on. And even then, the improvements didn't do anything to incorporate a batch size/boiloff/preboil interaction that would have been useful.
     
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