Archive for News

On the Road to 1.0

I managed to avoid hangovers this weekend – at least, debilitating ones – and made more steady progress on Hopville. When I started thinking about releasing the site as fast and light-weight as possible, I reckoned there’d be three stages of the initial roll-out. With the addition of the recipe comments feature, I’m about half way done with the “second phase”. I suppose that means I’m about half way to a launch-ready site, and the current participants are unwittingly acting as Beta testers. Shhh…

New Stuff

  • Comments are now allowed on recipes, so brewers can share questions, compliments, and tips on their recipes
  • The points per gallon of sugar extract, as well as the lovibond rating of each fermentable ingredient, are now customizable.  Previously there were default settings for each ingredient, which were fixed and never displayed.  That was handy for keeping the interface clean, but continued design tweaks on the calculator are facilitating more customization options without huge costs in terms of clutter.
  • Added White Labs yeast strains, as well as Rice Hulls as a mash/sparge ingredient


Other Updates

  • Improved the way stylesheets handle the “printable” version of pages, so more information is displayed on the printed version, and a separate version no longer needs to be maintained
  • Fixed some bugs with “save” versus “save as” when updating saved recipes
  • Made the maximum weight per fermentable ingredient dynamic, dependent on batch size. Most people will never know this happened, but it’s much more convenient for folks brewing batches of 10+ gallons.

Current recipe count: 74

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Hopville hiatus

After hosting an out-of-towner and then catching a mild but brain-freezing cold, I got back into Hopville development last night.

  • Merged the recipe display code for Hopville and Beer Calculus. This will help keep them in sync visually and ensure that bug fixes on one will immediately apply to the other
  • Design improvements on Hopville recipe page
  • Bug fixes: handled recipe editing edge cases, added and fixed functionality to the favorites feature (where you can save other brewers’ recipes into your recipe file), fixed bug with changing hop forms in the calculator
  • Show IBU correction information only when applicable

No major feature additions but several are likely to happen by the end of the weekend.

Current recipe count: 59

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Beer Calculus gets outpatient surgery

Some small tweaks to Beer Calculus tonight. The malt results now represent color as degrees SRM (Standard Reference Method). This has always been the basis of the color calculation, but the result was left out in favor of a text description that was somewhat less helpful, and sometimes innacurate. Not only is SRM exposed, but its formulation has been upgraded to use the hopefully more accurate, definitely less linear Morey equation by default. Other items on the short list for Beer Calculus updates:

  • Allow editing of sugar and color contributions for each fermentable, so brewers who know the PPG and °L of their ingredients can customize their recipes.
  • Allow multiple equation choices for things like hop utilization and SRM calculation.
  • More of this information exposed on the printable version of the recipe page.

Current recipe count on Hopville: 10.

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Hopville launches. (Very softly.)

In the spirit of “launch early, launch often”, I pushed an embryonic version of Hopville out to the interwebs yesterday. Ultimately I’d like it to be a lively, free community site for homebrewers. Right now it has maybe 5% of its intended features and exactly 0% of the community members that will make it all happen. But since the existing features facilitate permanently storing recipes created on Beer Calculus – which was long overdue – I thought I may as well get Hopville out the door early.

Now I’m setting up a blog type thing where I can give development updates for those who care to follow along. Much like the site, the blog is likely to be empty, ugly, and located at temporary URLs for awhile. So it goes. The good news is, I got a great tip on some new references to use while upgrading the mathematical innards of Beer Calculus. The bad news is, I’m hosting out-of-towners this weekend and won’t be able to add any major features. More major ones to follow next week, and hopefully some minor improvements meanwhile.

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