If you have never brewed beer, it is a great source of enjoyment to do so! This is not only a hobby but can be used to learn a new craft, a new skill. (A friend of ours has his own brewing company at Skyscraper Brewing served throughout Los Angeles)
About a year and a half ago I wrote an app review for qbrew, a homebrew software. At the time the only beer software for linux users. Now arrives BrewTarget, which in our opinion moves well into the brewmasters seat for linux users.
Walking you through the software itself is easy. For anyone who has brewed beer before you will understand it all. If not there is a handy manual built into the program.
There are several recipes built in you can get started with. Pilsners, Stouts, Irish Red, Hefeweizens and more. Pick a recipe or input your own (like our Ubuntu Bock below). Once your ingredients are set you have a ton of variables to change if needed. Batch size, fermentables, yeasts, hops and more. There is quite an extensive list of ingredients built in making this probably the BEST beer brewing software available and definitely the best free version. Consider donating to the developer.
One of the nice new features included actually shows you the projected color of your beer as well as bitterness rating and alcohol percentage. You will also enjoy the "brew day" tab which allows you to generate easy to read directions for your recipe.
BrewTarget allows you to print to a printer or PDF and allows you to export to the fairly common BeerXML format.
BrewTarget is open source and cross platform for Linux, Windows and Mac users. It is easily installed in Ubuntu 11.10 via the Ubuntu Software Center. If you are using an earlier version of Ubuntu and this program is not listed, you can download the DEB files on the developers website here: http://brewtarget.sourceforge.net/
Lets hope you will receive a beer brewing kit for the holidays! If not, the new BrewTarget software gives you plenty of good reasons to go out and start brewing.
You can download our Ubuntu Bock recipe below..
Ubuntu Bock PDF
Ubuntu Bock BeerXML