Lubberwort Brewing : A Review

Lubberwort Brewing Homebrew Application

UPDATE:

After using the site and writing the review most of the issues have been addressed. Most importantly, the ability to modify the Mash timer, and the ability to add notes.

 

THE REVIEW:

About a month ago I was cruising around the homebrew forums and I came across a thread for Lubberwort Brewing, a new brewing program, or more importantly, a web-based app for brewing.   I am always looking for something new, and enjoy testing out new offerings, so over the past few weeks I have been testing, trying, and offering feedback. As a final test, I will be using the site to brew up my American Wheat to see how it performs real world application.

Brew-Day with Lubberwort

Initial impressions

As I spent a few weeks playing with the interface, building brews, and comparing it to my standard site, I noticed that the streamlined straightforward interface was an awesome touch. Every time I thought “Damn, it would be nice if….” low and behold, a new update would be pushed out and I got to be amazed all over again. For a while, it was being updated almost every day it seemed, if not, at least every other day.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 08.12.58

Feature details

For such a new site, it is pretty packed with useful features. First and foremost, many of the features are available, even if you do not want to create an account, or log in if you already have an account. The ability to create recipes, and know if they fall within the accepted style guidelines is nice. The shared database and “Brew this Batch” make getting from grain to glass pretty fast. The number of shared beers is pretty small right now, but as member base grows, so will the recipes to choose from. Lubberwort also has the full complement of standard features, saving and loading saved beers and batches, custom profiles, and the ability to choose system units help to round out a pretty intuitive and straight forward creation process.

Screen Shot 1

Bio / Q&A

I had a chance to ask James, the mastermind behind Lubberwort a few questions; here is what he had to say:

  • TXB: TxBrewing
  • LWB: Lubberwort Brewing
  • TXB: Where does your Brewery call home?
  • LWB:     My “brewery” (if one would even call it that) is located in my home in Northwest Arkansas. It’s nothing more than your typical homebrew setup. What makes it special is that it’s made with my own two hands!
  • TXB: How long have you been brewing?
  • LWB:     I’ve been brewing for about 3 years, so not a real long time. But when I take up a hobby I always try to learn as much about it as I can. I’m still new to all grain and am looking for ways to improve that part of the site.
  • TXB: What is it about brewing that keeps you coming back?
  • LWB:     What keeps me brewing is the simple fact that I love to create things. Along with home brewing, another hobby of mine is the Arduino. I’ve actually built a temperature control module for my homebrew setup that automatically adjusts my burner up or down depending on the current and desired temperature. Another reason would be the pleasure I get out of pouring that first glass of beer out of the tap and enjoying the fruits… well… brews of my labor.
  • TXB: What is your favorite style to brew?
  • LWB:     I have a favorite style to drink, but I actually haven’t brewed one yet, and that’s an American IPA. I love the complex flavors and aromas and hope to make a good one someday. But at this time I’m getting ready to brew a new version of a Lager I did a couple of years ago. Want to get it ready for summer.
  • TXB: Why did you create this platform and app for the community?
  • LWB:     I created this application for several reasons. The first being that I wanted a place for brewers to be able to create recipes, brew them, and keep all their recordings and sessions in one place… for free. I realize there are other apps out there that do the same thing as mine, but they’re not all free, web-based applications. Another thing I hope to accomplish with this site is to give new home brewers a single place to learn and create. Home brewing can get complicated and finding good resources can be a challenge. My plan is to provide a site where these new brewers can learn while exploring their own creative avenues.

 

Now, as I move into a short list of Pros/Cons; understand that I am still learning my way around the app. Also, I can almost guarantee that James will start working on ways to address and improve his product before this actually makes it to print.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 08.15.25

 

 

PROS:

  • Web-based
  • Super easy to new brewers to use and understand
  • Free
  • Clean and attractive layout and design
  • Helpful hints and tips
  • Straight forward and easy to navigate

CONS:

  • Cannot edit timers
  • I could not get it to calculate strike temp

 

 

So there it is, please take a few minutes and stop Lubberwort Brewing and give it a chance to become a new tool for your brewing tool box.

Brew Day: American Wheat

Brew-Day

Date: March 3, 2015

Gallons to date: 10

Style: American Wheat <— (link to recipe)

 

I am still learning my system, heck I am still learning how to brew period.

This was a lot of first for me; my first wheat beer, my first time using Lubberwort Brewing, a new brewing application ( review to be posted soon), first time using more RO water than tap water, and maybe the first time I was able to get someone to take a few “action” shots for me while brewing.

A quick shot of the brew space, and the snow on the ground.  If nothing else Colorado is beautiful…but I can not wait to get back to TEXAS

Brew Space

The brew day, grain bill, and procedure were pretty straight forward, and for once, I didn’t have many issues. The main issue I , my own fault, for not paying attention to the mash like I usually do, but it was easy to recover from.

I conditioned and milled all my grains the day prior, as well as made the trip to purchase the 10 gallons of RO water I was going to use for this batch.  After the normal pre-clean cycle I heated my strike water and mashed in to hit a temp of 150 and set the timer of 75 min.

Mash-in 1

 

So about the one and only issue was that because I got side tracked, I forgot to stir the mash at the normal 20 min intervals. I know it should not be needed with a HERMS system, but I am still trying to get my efficiency  up, and I think this helps.  At the time the Lubberwort Brewing App did not have a way to modify the mash timer once started, so I just adjusted on the fly, and turned my 75 min mash to a 90 min mash and stirred as needed.

The mash went off without any other issues and I spared and transferred to the boil kettle where my new hop filter was waiting with he FWH additions of Sorachi Ace.

FWH

Looks kinda small in such a larger filter, but next brew will have about 9 oz and I should get a good test of the filter’s capabilities.

Set the PID at 85% duty cycle and away the boil went. After the boil I transferred into the primary and pitched the 2 one litre starters of 1056.

transfer

SAM_1177

Primary fermentation went smooth, after 15 days, I dry hopped with 3 oz of Galaxy, for 10 days….(forgot about needed to keg) then transferred to the kegs where it is waiting for a tap to open up of the Keezer.  All the samples along the way smelled and tasted great, and the aroma of the Galaxy hop has earned it a place in my next brew…A hop burst American IPA.