A few weeks ago, while scrolling through the multitude of Facebook homebrew pages I usually frequent, I stumbled upon a post. This was the first time I heard about Simple Brew app. This app, which can be downloaded for all IOS systems, was created by Vincent Allen. This app allows homebrewers to create recipes for this homebrew. It offers much more too.
Upon downloading the Simple Brew app, which is free to download, you realize that there is a free two-week trial. After those two-weeks, you are then charged $29.99 for a one-year (prices may differ in countries other than the United States). At confirmation of purchase, payment will be charged to your iTunes account. Your account till be charged for renewal within 24 hours before the end of the current period.
My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give it a try. My purpose here is to walk through the process of creating a recipe and see how much I like this app. I know we all have several options that provide the same thing. Back in 2016, Homebrew Academy writer, Alex Flores, wrote up an article comparing ten different softwares. A little variety is never a bad thing.
The app is pretty intuitive and relatively easy to use. You are provided with an unlimited number of recipes that you can create. On the Apple App Store, I discovered the Simple Brew app features. They include the following:
- Cloud-base, offline-first ready
- Compatible across all iOS devices
- Accurate recipe vital estimations
- Design your recipe to BJCP Guidelines
- Step-by-step brew day instructions with mash and boil timers
- Over 1,000 ingredients
- East to use fermentation tracking
- Post batch statistics
- Unlimited recipes
- Unlimited custom equipment profiles
- Metric and U.S./Imperial units support
- New features and updates pushed regularly
Running Through the Process
I like the simple ease of this app. Upon logging onto the app, you are given four things to tap on the bottom of the page. They include: Recipes, Batches, Calculators, and Setting. There are instructions on the bottom helping the users to get started. Click on the “+” button on the bottom right. This is where you are able to give your recipe a name, set your style guidelines, include your equipment profile, mash profile, boil length, batch volume target, and actual batch volume. This is helpful for when your batches do not always match-up with your previous brew days.
After setting up your preliminary info, you click on the recipe name you just created and then press the “+” button again. This will give you the option to start inputting your ingredients for your beer.
You are also able to add to the batch. You can input information such as measured Original Gravity, Fermentor Volume, and Current Temperature. After inputting this information, you will be shown a graph that gives you a visual representation of your fermentation.
What I Like
I like the simplicity of it. It does not need to be overly complicated. This app does a good job at keeping it simple. I also like the variety of ingredients that are provided. We all know how vast and expansive the hop industry is these days.
I also really like the fact that there are timers built into the program. These become extremely helpful during a brew day. I know there are easy ways to do this without software. However, it is pretty cool to have thought of this simple addition.
While reading through the reviews, I also noticed the app developer commented on some of the reviews. I thought this was a good way to stay connected with what people are saying about the product.
I also really like the Calculators that are provided. This is tremendously helpful even after your brew day is complete.
What it is Lacking
Although I did say I liked their variety of ingredients, it is nearly impossible to keep up with all malt, yeast, and especially hops. For the hops that are not included, such as Sabro for example, there should be able to enter your own custom ingredient.
The price is also a point of concern for me as well. While I understand the work and dedication it takes to make this app function, the $30 a year will not really make me want to jump ship with what I am using already for free.
If you are in the market for a new app for your homebrewing recipe formulation, give Simple Brew a shot.
Former President of my homebrew club, Plainfield Ale and Lager Enthusiasts (PALE) in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL. I brew on my BIAB system with my incredibly patient and understanding wife, adorable 9 year old daughter, and 12 year old brew dog.