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Brewing is a science and it is important to keep track of details in order to make improvements to your process and techniques, resulting in better beer.

How do you keep track of your process? Do you use a notebook and write out your details? Do you have a pre-made form that you fill out? Do you blog about it?

What do you recommend for the novice brewer?

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More info in this thread: homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/2039/… –  C4H5As Feb 2 '11 at 23:31
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I made a form in Microsoft Word - It has a space for all of the important measures. Make sure you record your ingredients, the time you do anything (mash, sparge, etc.) - also any temperatures, the specific gravity and volume before and after the wort boil, type of yeast etc.

Some of these might seem like overkill now, as a novice, but as you learn the subtle differences from changing each, you'll be able to go back and figure out why one batch tasted better or worse than another. Remember, if you don't write down the information at the time, you'll never have it later. I find a standard form helpful, as it reminds me of all of the things I need to be writing down, and there's a lot of info to record.

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I use BeerSmith to craft my recipes. On brew day, I print a copy of the brewing instructions. As the day progresses, I record the temperatures, volumes, weights, etc. As the beer ferments and I process it, I also take notes. All on the original brew sheet.

When I am not writing on the sheet, I keep it in a D-ring binder in clear page protectors. I keep them all in order of when I brewed them.

They come in handy, especially when brewing the same recipe multiple times.

I could in theory keep all this information back in BeerSmith, but I find paper and pen less restrictive.

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