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What is the best brewing log sheet to use?

One of the things I'm guilty of being terrible at is note taking. I know I should keep track of temperatures, times, tastes, and a bunch of other stuff. But I'm bad at it.

What are the most important things to keep track of? Do you have a template?

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marked as duplicate by Hopwise, hookedonwinter Feb 10 '11 at 15:58

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Check out some sample log sheets here: homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/2039/… –  Mark McDonald Feb 9 '11 at 7:47
    
Since this is a dupe, shouldn't we close it? –  Hopwise Feb 9 '11 at 16:47

4 Answers 4

I use BeerSmith for the recipe and the number calcs, but I have a template to write down key #s as I brew. Both the BeerSmith sheet and my template sheet with notes goes in a binder with sheet protectors.

I track factors around my mash: Strike volume, strike temp, resultant temp, did I add more water, the temp of extra water, temp post mash. I batch sparge so I like to monitor the gravity and volume of the first runnings, then again for the second runnings. I calculate the water lost to absorption. I record starting kettle volume and gravity. calculate efficiency.

Post boil I record the final volume and the gravity. I calculate the boil off rate.

[I also try and capture the daily temp and a rough estimate about humidity (high, med, low). This stuff is important to figuring boil off rate and strike temps season to season.]

You can be as anal as you want or as lax as you want. It really doesn't matter. But if you want to be focused on consisitancy and repeatability in the same recipe time after time you brew it, great notes are the only thing that's going to get you there.

If you are a brew that has never brewed the same recipe more than once in a year (which is most brewers probably) then notes aren't all that valuable.

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I use BeerSmith software. I put together the recipe, print out the brew sheet. I'll make notes on the sheet as I'm brewing if I need to and then add them back to the recipe after I brew. It's the lazy way to organize a recipe and get detailed step by step instructions and I can print off as many copies as I want which comes in handy for people asking for my recipe.

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Typically what I do is write on the package what I need to do with it. For example, I'll put on 1 can "60" in a big black magic marker, and then the hops gets another "60" as well. Then I write on the other can "15" since I'll add that at with 15 minutes left of the boil and mark any other hops/additives accordingly. The other thing I do is lay out my ingredients in the order they will be used. 60 minute additions right next to the brewpot, the flame-out hops farthest from the brewpot.

Typically I have a piece of scratch note paper that I record the OG, FG, and ABV.

Then again after computer programming for a whole week, I embrace the "aah, good enough" method of record keeping.

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I use this worksheet http://www.beernut.com/zen-cart/pub/worksheet.pdf from my LHBS. Maybe a little basic but it works for the extract kits I use. I find it very helpful from batch to batch and just keep them all in a brew binder.

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