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Does anyone know of a solid application for pre-planning your homebrews? I have a really tight schedule, and determining when to start a batch can be a real hairball. There are lots of variables and points in time to consider.

For example, on a particular beer: I know I want my yeast on a plate for 36 hours, then 24 in the fridge, then equalizing for 6 before pitching, then 10 days in ferment, then 7 on dry hops, then 2 weeks keg conditioning, then ... you get the picture.

I'd love to be able to put these variables into something, then set either a start or end time for the entire process, and see where it all falls on a calendar. Then I can shift the whole process around until it fits my schedule, without changing the time between the individual variables.

I do this all manually on google calendar right now, but it's tedious and error prone to make changes. Thoughts?

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3 Answers 3

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Your bio suggests you might be comfortable with a more technical solution... Yahoo Pipes outputs to iCal, which should load in any popular scheduling software. It's not a one-step solution but you could whip up a calculator in there & tweak to your needs.

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Indeed, nothing pre-made has materialized, so I'm tackling creating exactly what I need from scratch. It'll be made available as a free web app that integrates with your existing Google Calendar in the near future. –  Carson C. Mar 28 '11 at 11:20

I know that there is a calendar feature in the new version of Beer Smith available at http://beersmith.com/ I am not sure if it will break down into all of those elements and shift them around at the same time though.

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I can second BeerSmith - although it is primarily a calendar for brewday + fermentation stages + lagering/conditioning timelines, perhaps you could expand the usefulness of it by making "dummy" brew entries.

For example, you create a recipe called "Yeast Equalization" and give it a ferment time of 6 days. You then add this to the brew calendar on the date you want to start that phase.

The recipe for your actual brew will take care of the fermentation and keg conditioning aspects. Not sure about the dry hopping - I don't have my copy in front of me to check.

What I did, when I wanted to really plan out a detailed brew activity calendar, including cleaning days, yeast propogation, etc... was to use an Excel sheet with colored cells representing each phase. It was very easy to cut/paste them around to try different configurations.

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