Pocket Brewer V3.5(BeerXML) Submitted to Marketplace

After what’s taken longer than expected I’ve submitted version 3.5 to the marketplace. If you check out the recipes section you’ll notice many of the recipes added and older recipes have both BeerXML and Pocket Brewer XML versions available.    Many of the older were converted during testing and I’ll probably continue and convert the rest.

The update will allow you to import and export recipes as BeerXML.    You’ll notice on the export emails produced by Pocket Brewer it’ll have a Pocket Brewer XML version first and a BeerXML version second.   The reason for this is BeerXML versions of recipes are far larger than the smaller XML I crafted for this application.   On the import screen I have had some issues copying/pasting the large BeerXML files or getting them out of Gmail/Yahoo accounts because they mail program tries to page the emails which breaks the import on a BeerXML file.    By putting my smaller XML first I can be sure that people can re-import Pocket Brewer produced files in the way they see fit.

Additionally there are a few things about the current Pocket Brewer which should be small to inconsequential to 95% of users.

  1. No mash schedule yet supported although it’s planned.    BeerXML has MASH and I am working on developing the functionality to build mashes in Pocket Brewer.   This is next as far as development is concerned and that’ll be available in the version which will roll out in the first part of 2012.  As is any mash in a BeerXML file is pretty much ignored.
  2. Yeast is not currently in milliliters so it gets converted to packs.   I always used the concept of packs since I buy yeast in packs and create starters.   I will at some point in the future use milliliters but expect that to get changed when you import/export BeerXML in Pocket Brewer.

I am excited and find it extremely easy using to get BeerXML recipes I find in to Pocket Brewer and turned in to permanent parts of my recipe library which is quickly growing.   Look for more recipes to be added and feel free to email me any recipes you’d like published to Pocket Brewer’s recipe section.   It makes it much easier to find them when you need them!

As always feel free to email me with questions, comments and requests.   Next update will be in a few months and primarily focus on the timers/alarms implementation.


BeerXML Work Continues

If you check out the Recipes Section you’ll notice that the first two recipes now contain code for both BeerXML and Pocket Brewer XML. I’ve successfully got the application importing and exporting BeerXML and have been testing. I still have to extend Pocket Brewer to import grain/hops/yeast in BeerXML that aren’t found in Pocket Brewer’s database.   Hopefully I’ll find some time in the next couple of weeks to get this part done and get the application updated in the marketplace.   It’s very promising as I’m able to import recipes I find all over the Internet that’ve been shared by many brewers.     It’s really going to add to Pocket Brewer


My Recent Pilsdaddy Brewed With Pocket Brewer

Just a fun post because I so happen to have six or seven beers and take a picture of my Pilsdaddy Pilsner which is one of my favorite beers. It’s a great recipe you should try if you love a Stella Artois tasting beer. The recipe can be imported to Pocket Brewer on the Pocket Brewer Recipes option.

Pilsdaddy Pilsner Lager

Pilsdaddy Pilsner Lager


BeerXML is next Update

I had intended to further write some features as outlined in my September 6th post(below) but a user wrote me to tell me they were trying to import a BeerXML recipe with no luck.   At that point I figured out BeerXML was a standard for sharing beer recipes something I hadn’t heard before.     Currently Pocket Brewer will only import and export the Pocket Brewer generated XML.     Given that I really like my import/export system it’d be awesome if I could tap in to that pre-existing system of shared Beer love that’s already out there.   So I’m going to shelve what I’ve been doing and work on that feature.    I have no long exactly how long it’ll take since I will have to implement imports for ingredients that currently don’t exist in Pocket Brewer.(currently Pocket Brewer limits you to the ingredients it comes with which covers most common brewing situations)    I am thinking a couple of months at this point?    I’ll post again in November on the matter.

Thanks for using Pocket Brewer.


What’s Next For Pocket Brewer?

In using my latest release of pocket brewer for my last couple of brews the things I’m missing the most and therefore will be the next things I add to the software:

  1. Mash Schedule Per Recipe – A programmable mash schedule with minutes, temperatures and amounts of water to add.   I am able to use the Pocket Brewer “adjust mash” tool but it would be nice to have it pre-programmed per recipe so I can view it and not have to calculate it in the field.
  2. Fermentation Schedule Per Recipe – It’s starting to become a nag to me that I have to put the fermentation schedule in the description of a recipe.   I want to program a schedule and later when Mango features are available set timers to tell me when it’s done.

The following Mango features I’m hoping to go ahead and develop:

  1. Mash, Hopping and Fermentation Schedule Timers – I want to get notifications like many other non-Windows Phone 7 software already do.   As most of us know Mango is when WP7 is supposed to really step in to the big boy arena of being useful.

I haven’t started on any of these features yet.   I would forcast them being done and published to the marketplace sometime in late October 2011.  




Version 3.0 live at Marketplace

I just got the notification that the app has gone live for version 3.0 today.    Here is a brief video showing the import functionality in regards to a Gmail account.   It also demonstrates the switching from metric to US units for recipes which now works.  The video looks better in a full screen mode.(don’t be too critical I’m no video expert)     More videos coming soon to demonstrate importing videos from recipes.


Version 3 Submitted to Marketplace

I’ve successfully submitted version 3 to the marketplace.   Given that Microsoft’s testers have no problems it should be available as soon as they’re done.    The biggest change as I’ve previously posted is import/export of recipes.   My suggestion to get started with this feature is to follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the recipes page(pivot) where all your recipes are listed.   There’s a new button to go to the import screen.
  2. You’ll see a selection box and a browser window.   Select the Pocket Brewer Recipes choice to start.(notice the top title will show waiting, loading to let you know what the browser is doing)
  3. The browser should show you a list of most recently added recipes.    Try just clicking one and it’ll navigate to a page for the recipe.   Once the top title says only “Pocket Brewer” then you can click the check button.
  4. If the recipe is successfully read from the browser you should see it’s name with a check box next to it.
  5. Check the box and press the check button again.   A message box should tell you the recipe was successfully imported.
  6. Press the back button on your phone to go back to your recipes list.   You’ll see the recipe imported.(notice that on the recipe import page there’s another back button.  This button is for the browser)
  7. Notice in the web browser on the Pocket Brewer Recipes option there is a search box in the website.   I have been tagging recipes accordingly so you can search for ale, lager, etc.

These are the basic steps to import a recipe.    Similarly the other choices in the drop down box will allow you to log-in to your Yahoo or Google email if you’ve exported a recipe from Pocket Brewer yourself.   You can re-import recipes this way.   You can also use the copy/paste functionality of the phone itself.     Notice on the import page there’s a button with two arrows.   Clicking that button will hide the browser and show a text box.    If you copy/paste the <RecipeClass></RecipeClass> data(and everything in between) from a recipe you exported from Pocket Brewer in to this box and click the check button it will import.

I will try to make a video in the next couple of weeks demonstrating the use of the import functionality.   Until then please feel free to email me for help.


Update Coming Soon Look For New How To Pages

Hi all! Update coming for Pocket Brewer in next 2 weeks.

With exception for testing I’m done with the import/export which is awesome functionality. I’ve started adding the pages for the how to use the import / export functionality on this website.   For me it really adds a lot of usability.   In addition to being able to save and bring back your recipes you can also import recipes from section I’ve added to Pocket Brewer where I’ll be adding recipes.    This gives new people or those just looking for a good recipe fast a place to import a recipe without having to build it themselves. Recipes Section is here with a few recipes already added. I’ll probably add around 20-30 to start and as I go more will be added. Of course if any of you want to email me a recipe I’ll be happy to add it!

The recipes section will also translate itself between units. Meaning my European friends will get their Kilos/grams and my UK friends will see appropriate liquid measures. Temperatures where appropriate will be right. However note that since we haven’t build the mash and fermentation functionality in to the app YET you should note that any recipe descriptions you import will not be translated. We won’t ever translate descriptions but I wanted to mention it because some descriptions on the recipe functionality from paragraph one contain notes on mashes with temperatures.


Pocket Brewer Update Coming Soon

I’ve been working on a couple of target items for July’s update of Pocket Brewer. First off I’ve updated the software so that the unit settings will show the recipe data in UK or European units. Up to this point it’s been only US units in recipes but I’m getting some downloads from overseas so it’s time to get that in there. The second item is pretty big and pretty cool to me. I’ve updated the to include a mobile version of the website and I’ve programmed a way to upload the exported Pocket Brewer recipes to the website. I’ve also created the functionality to import recipes I publish to in to Pocket Brewer on the Windows Phone. Additionally you can re-import an email you exported yourself to email via the copy/paste functionality of Windows Phone. When the functionality is published the website recipes section(Recipes Section) will get a lot more active with new recipes being added and built. I’ll try to build at least 100 myself from various sources and my own favorites.

Pretty cool eh? It really is to me because every time I debug the app on my Windows Phone it erases any recipes I have built in the phone. I know some users will love it because I’ve had a few requests already for some base recipes.

I still have some testing to do so look for this update to be published in late July.


What’s Next For Pocket Brewer

I’m about to start working on a few new features for the next small release.   First off I’m going to write the import/export functionality.    What this will do is allow you to use copy/paste to take a Pocket Brewer export and bring it in to the application.   This way you can share a recipe, delete a recipe from pocket brewer and bring it back in later or just backup in general.   This release can be expected some time in July.

In regards to timers for background alarms going off for the sake of running a mash schedule or boil schedule that’s still on the to-do list although it’s been put on hold until after the Mango update.   I want to see how that plays out before I create the functionality to avoid wasting time.

Finally I’ve gotten some great feedback via email on ideas for the app.   One of them being a recipe database and cloud backup.    This is definitely going on the to-do list although it may be slightly time consuming since I’ll have to create an entire content management system to manage the data for the recipe database online.

As always feel free to write me anytime with questions or concerns about Pocket Brewer.