7 Best Home Brewing Software 2024 (Cheap Beer Software)

by Chris Von Wilpert, BBusMan • Last updated November 23, 2023

Expert Verified by Leandro Langeani, BBA

First-Person Perspective: We buy, test and review software products based on a 3-step rating methodology and first-hand experienceIf you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our rating methodology and how we make money.

Today there are 115 different brewing software. We spent 68 hours comparing the top 50 to find the seven best you can use to elevate your homebrewing game.

What is the Best Brewing Software?

  1. Beersmith 3 — best of the best
  2. BeerTools Pro — best user interface
  3. Brewfather — best cloud-based software
  4. Brewer's Friend — best for community support
  5. Brewtarget — best open-source software
  6. BeerAlchemy — best for Mac users
  7. The 5th Ingredient — best for customization

Our Verdict — Best Of The Best

Price: Starts at $14.95/year

BeerSmith 3 is a feature-packed, all-in-one brewing software that takes the guesswork out of crafting perfect beers at home. We think it’s the best because of its advanced recipe design capabilities, extensive ingredient and style database, and consistent results through step-by-step instructions.

The Best Part:

  • Exceptional recipe design capabilities. BeerSmith 3 allows homebrewers to craft great beers by providing accurate calculations, style matching, and step-by-step instructions for many styles’ recipes.

The Worst Part:

  • Steep learning curve. It might take some time for beginners to fully grasp BeerSmith 3’s comprehensive features and customization options.

Get it if you want powerful home brewing software that helps you craft exceptional beers with precision and offers extensive customization options for the perfect brew.

I recommend you get started with a 30-day free trial, then get the Platinum Subscription ($21.95/year).

(30-day free trial)

Best For

BeerSmith 3 is best for homebrewers of all skill levels who want to create consistently great-tasting beers by leveraging advanced recipe design features and an extensive ingredient database.

Top Features

  • Perfects your brews. BeerSmith 3's recipe formulation and management tools let you build, tweak, and store all your recipes in one place for quick access and future reference.

  • Worldwide flavor palette. BeerSmith 3's extensive ingredient and style database lets you delve into diverse combinations inspired by beer styles from around the globe.

  • The right water. BeerSmith 3 simplifies water chemistry adjustments by providing built-in calculators to help you achieve the ideal water profile for any beer style.

  • Inventory management. With BeerSmith 3's inventory and batch management features, you can track ingredients, monitor stock levels, and plan your brew accordingly.

  • Awesome brewers community. BeerSmith 3 connects you with fellow homebrewers worldwide, letting you share recipes, learn from each others’ experiences, and get expert advice through the forum.

Pricing

Beersmith 3 offers four pricing plans:

  • One Time Basic: $34.95 one-time payment, for casual brewers who want a simple, one-time desktop solution for crafting and storing a limited number of recipes.
  • Gold Subscription: $14.95/year for home brewers of all levels who want a more comprehensive tool with both desktop and web access — with up to 175 recipes in the cloud.
  • Platinum Subscription: $21.95/year for brewing enthusiasts who are deeply involved in the craft and possibly sharing their creations — this plan comes with even more cloud storage than the Gold Subscription, plus the ability to activate the software on an additional computer.
  • Pro-Commercial Use: $21.95/year for professional brewers or advanced homebrewers scaling up to a commercial level. 

Try Beersmith 3 today with a free 30-day trial.

Our Verdict — Best User Interface

Price: Starts at $24.95

BeerTools Pro is the most user-friendly home brewing software on the market. We think it’s the best user interface because of its user-friendly interface, comprehensive brewing features, and multi-device compatibility.

The Best Part:

  • Amazing hops control. BeerTools Pro lets you adjust your brewing process to get the perfect hop profile in your homemade beer.

The Worst Part:

  • No standalone web version. BeerTools Pro doesn't offer a fully functional web-based application, which limits accessibility for users who prefer working directly in their browsers without the need for installing desktop software.

Get it if you want top-notch brewing software that simplifies recipe formulation and helps you create the perfect homemade beer with minimal effort.

I recommend you get started with a 30-day free trial, then upgrade to BeerTools Pro ($24.95).

(30-day free trial)

Best For

BeerTools Pro is best for homebrewers of all skill levels who want intuitive and comprehensive software to help craft their beer recipes.

Top Features

  • Custom color profiles. BeerTools Pro allows you to adjust and experiment with beer colors to achieve the exact appearance you desire for each brew.

  • Efficient mash scheduling. BeerTools Pro streamlines your brewing process by optimizing time and resources through its intuitive mash scheduling feature.

  • Percentage-based recipe editing. BeerTools Pro simplifies recipe scaling and gives you greater control over ingredient proportions using percentage-based adjustments.

  • Seamless file sharing. BeerTools Pro makes it easier than ever to exchange recipes with fellow brewers, thanks to its smooth file import/export functionality.

  • Inventory and shopping lists. BeerTools Pro helps you stay organized by keeping tabs on your brewing supplies, managing ingredients, and generating shopping lists to ensure you're always ready for your next brewing session.

Pricing

BeerTools Pro offers six pricing plans:

  • BeerTools Pro 2.1 for macOS: $24.95 one-time payment, for homebrewers using macOS devices who want a lifetime copy of BeerTools Pro 2.1.
  • BeerTools Pro 2.1 for Windows: $24.95 one-time payment, for homebrewers using Windows devices who want a lifetime copy of BeerTools Pro 2.1.
  • BeerTools Pro 2.1 for Linux: $24.95 one-time payment, for Linux users who want to get a lifetime copy of BeerTools Pro 2.0.
  • BeerTools Pro 2.1 Multi-Platform Pack: $29.95 one-time payment, for brewers who use multiple operating systems and need versatile brewing software across all platforms.
  • BeerTools.com 3 month GOLD membership: $5.95/quarter for home brewers who want to test the waters and prefer short-term access to Beer Tools’ online community and premium features.
  • BeerTools.com 1 year GOLD membership: $16.95/year for dedicated brewers looking to access exclusive features and benefits on BeerTools’s community platform.

Annual subscription plans provide a 29% discount.

Try BeerTools Pro today with a free 30-day trial.

Our Verdict — Best Cloud-Based Software

Price: $24.99/year

Brewfather is the best online software for homebrewers who enjoy monitoring their brewing sessions on the go. We think it’s the best cloud-based software because of its seamless accessibility on both mobile and desktop devices, real-time inventory management, and effortless integration with popular brewing gadgets.

The Best Part:

  • Multi-device support. Brewfather lets you manage your brewing recipes and track sessions on any of your devices, from mobile to desktop.

The Worst Part:

  • Inflexible mid-brew adjustments. Brewfather might be less user-friendly when it comes to making changes during the brewing process, such as efficiency or timing, which could require additional effort to adapt your recipe on the fly.

Get it if you want an easy-to-use brewing software that keeps your recipes, inventory, and brewing sessions organized across multiple devices.

I recommend you get started with Brewfather’s 30-day free trial, then upgrade to the Brewfather Premium plan for $24.99/year.

(30-day free trial)

Best For

Brewfather is best for homebrewers of all skill levels who want a seamless brewing experience across multiple devices, anywhere they may be.

Top Features

  • Expansive recipe library. Brewfather offers a vast collection of tried-and-tested recipes, along with thousands of community-contributed recipes on their user-only forum, providing endless inspiration and guidance for crafting your brew.

  • Precise water calculations. Brewfather comes with built-in mash and sparge water calculators, making it easy to get accurate measurements for your brews.

  • Efficient batch monitoring. Brewfather helps you stay on top of your brewing process with its user-friendly batch tracking features, making it easy to track progress and manage multiple batches at once.

  • Seamless integrations. Brewfather connects effortlessly with popular brewing devices like Tilt Hydrometer, Plaato Airlock, iSpindel, and more, enhancing your brewing experience through real-time data and automation.

  • Offline functionality. Brewfather works smoothly offline and automatically syncs your data when you reconnect, keeping your brewing sessions uninterrupted.

Pricing

Brewfather offers a single pricing plan:

  • Brewfather Premium: $24.99 one-time payment, for homebrewers of all skill levels who want a multi-device brewing experience with unlimited access to features and updates.

Try Brewfather today with a free 30-day trial.

Our Top Three Picks

Here’s a quick summary of our top three picks:

  1. Beersmith 3 — best of the best
  2. BeerTools Pro — best user interface
  3. Brewfather — best cloud-based software

Here’s a quick comparison of our top seven picks:

Tool

Entry Offer

Pricing

Beersmith 3

30-day free trial

Starts at $14.95/yr

BeerTools Pro

30-day free trial

Starts at $24.95

Brewfather

30-day free trial

$24.99

Brewer's Friend

Free trial

Starts at $2.49/mo

Brewtarget

None

Free forever

BeerAlchemy

Free trial

$25

The 5th Ingredient

Free demo

Custom

Here are the top 50 home brewing software we considered in this review:

  1. Beersmith 3
  2. BeerTools Pro
  3. BrewFather
  4. Brewer's Friend
  5. Brewtarget
  6. BeerAlchemy
  7. The 5th Ingredient
  8. Brewtoad
  9. Brewcipher
  10. Bru'n Water
  11. Mr. Malty
  12. BrewPal
  13. Ekos 
  14. Brewmaxx
  15. BrewPlanner
  16. Brew Cloud
  17. Hopville
  18. BrewMate
  19. Qbrew
  20. Home Brew Recipe Calculator
  21. Kegbot
  22. FermentAble
  23. BrewersHub
  24. Parti-gyle Calculator
  25. EZ Water Calculator
  26. Ward Labs
  27. YeastCalc
  28. Brau Kaiser's Yeast Pitch Rate and Starter Calculator
  29. BrewStat.us
  30. BrewNanny
  31. iBrewMaster
  32. Homebrewer’s Logbook
  33. Untappd
  34. BrewGene
  35. Rackers.org Mash Calculators
  36. Can I Mash It
  37. OrchestratedBEER
  38. VicinityBrew
  39. BrewPi
  40. BrewNinja
  41. BrewingTechniques
  42. Katzenbrau Data Suite
  43. Brewers Lair
  44. BeerXML
  45. QuickCarb
  46. Brewing with Total Confidence
  47. Tilt Hydrometer
  48. Plaato Airlock
  49. MyBrewBot
  50. BrewCloud

What is the most popular brewing software?

When it comes to brewing software, BeerSmith 3 often takes the cake as the most popular choice, especially within the homebrew community. It's a comprehensive piece of software that covers the entire process of brewing beer, from recipe formulation to water adjustments and inventory management. One of its standout features is its advanced recipe formulation software, which allows you to create, tweak, and store all your recipes in one place. It also offers an extensive ingredient and style database, which is a nice feature for those looking to experiment with different beer styles from around the world.

BeerSmith 3 is available in both a desktop version and a web-based version, making it accessible on various platforms. The software also offers mobile versions, so you can make quick adjustments or check your brew day schedule right from your mobile devices. While it has a steep learning curve, its modern user interfaces and additional features like boil timers, mash calculations, and equipment profiles make it worth the effort. The software even connects you to a brewing community where you can share recipes and tips.

What software is used in breweries?

In professional settings, brewery management software is often the go-to choice. These are specialized pieces of software designed to handle not just the brewing aspect but also inventory management, sales, and distribution. While BeerSmith 3 does offer a Pro-Commercial Use subscription for those scaling up to a commercial level, larger breweries often opt for more comprehensive solutions that integrate seamlessly with their existing systems.

Some of these brewery software tools offer additional features like real-time gravity readings, automated water adjustments, and even AI-driven recipe suggestions. They are designed to manage the complexities of brewing at a larger scale, including inventory management software features that can handle raw materials, finished goods, and even keg tracking.

What is the best beer brewing software (Reddit)?

According to Reddit, particularly the r/Homebrewing community, the top two picks are BeerSmith 3 and Brewfather. BeerSmith 3 is lauded for its extensive features, from recipe book functionalities to precise water adjustments using tools like Bru'n Water. It's a beer recipe creation tool that offers everything from gravity estimation to mash calculations for both full and partial mashes.

Brewfather, on the other hand, is praised for its usability and cloud-based capabilities. It offers a mobile version that's highly accessible across devices, making it easy to manage your brewing sessions on the go. Brewfather also offers nice tools like efficient batch monitoring and seamless integrations with popular brewing gadgets. 

What is the new technology in the brewing industry?

The brewing industry is continually evolving with new technology. One of the most significant advancements is the integration of IoT (Internet of Things) devices into the brewing process. These devices can provide real-time gravity readings, temperature controls, and even automate water adjustments. Additionally, AI and machine learning are being used to analyze consumer preferences and even suggest recipe adjustments.

Another emerging technology is augmented reality (AR), which can assist in equipment maintenance and training. For instance, AR goggles can overlay digital information on physical equipment, guiding the brewer through complex maintenance tasks or new recipes.

Is Brewfather accurate?

Brewfather is generally considered a reliable and accurate brewing software. It's particularly popular for its cloud-based functionalities, allowing users to access their brewing data from multiple devices, including mobile devices. This makes it a convenient tool for those who want to keep tabs on their brewing process on the go.

Brewfather offers a range of features designed to make the brewing process more precise. For instance, it comes with built-in calculators for mash and sparge water adjustments, which are essential for achieving the desired water profile for different beer styles. It also offers gravity estimation tools that can help you predict the final gravity of your beer based on your ingredients lists and brewing process.

However, it's worth noting that while Brewfather is designed to be user-friendly, the accuracy of any brewing software is often dependent on the quality of the data input by the user. For example, if you're not accurate with your gravity readings or other measurements, the software's calculations will naturally be off. But as far as its built-in tools and calculations are concerned, Brewfather is generally considered accurate and reliable by the homebrew community.

The Bottom Line

To recap, here are the best home brewing software to try this year:

  1. Beersmith 3 — best of the best
  2. BeerTools Pro — best user interface
  3. Brewfather — best cloud-based software
  4. Brewer's Friend — best for community support
  5. Brewtarget — best open-source software
  6. BeerAlchemy — best for Mac users
  7. The 5th Ingredient — best for customization

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