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jskags

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I've read thru many discussions on here and have not found what most folks use to document their batching. I'm interested in what many of you are doing. Are you using an Ap, are there journals available or the simple spiral notebook method. One thing I've taken from many of the forums is the need to document everything. My professional life has always been in food and beverage. Documentation is key. I am very interested in everyone's method of choice.
 

ChuckD

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I have the same questions. Currently I scribble down notes on dates, processes, and test results on some blank paper. Later I try to summarize it and enter it into a wine-making journal. I’d like to get it down to one step and preferably on the computer as my handwriting is abysmal on a good day. I’m leaning towards making my own word document… maybe with a few tables. Of course I’ll print them and put them in a binder so they don’t get lost in the ether.
 

BarrelMonkey

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For each wine, I have a spreadsheet with 4 individual sheets. The first has basic information about the wine (where the grapes/fruit were from, harvest date, $ paid etc.) The second has information about all measurements, additions, other actions and observations, listed by date. The third has miscellaneous notes which don't fit in the previous sheet (eg detailed notes on yeast preparation, rationale for tartaric/water additions, a picture of the ML chromatogram). The fourth is tasting notes.

I haven't yet been through a full harvest-to-bottling cycle with this system, but it's working out so far.
 

Neb Farmer

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I use small Spiral notebooks. I usually only make three different wines each year, and each wine only ends up taking three pages of information...max. So, a small spiral notebook works well for me and lasts several years before i need a new one. Another positive note ( no pun intended ) is that I can have my notebook handy no matter where or what I am doing in the winemaking process. In the vineyard or inside....always works!
Oh. They are pretty inexpensive, too. Of course, you WILL need a writing utensil. I use a pen.
 
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I have a small notebook that I write things in and do calculations on when testing Brix, TA etc. I then transfer the data to a simple excel file. I can use each column as a "running journal" of all actions taken for the wine. It is nothing fancy, but lets me capture the initial Brix, TA and pH, then document the SO2 and other additions. In doing so, I can confirm calculations etc.
There is software out there, but I have never felt the need. I think what I am doing now will evolve over time.
 

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jskags

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I have a small notebook that I write things in and do calculations on when testing Brix, TA etc. I then transfer the data to a simple excel file. I can use each column as a "running journal" of all actions taken for the wine. It is nothing fancy, but lets me capture the initial Brix, TA and pH, then document the SO2 and other additions. In doing so, I can confirm calculations etc.
There is software out there, but I have never felt the need. I think what I am doing now will evolve over time.
this looks great!
 

ChuckD

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For each wine, I have a spreadsheet with 4 individual sheets. The first has basic information about the wine (where the grapes/fruit were from, harvest date, $ paid etc.) The second has information about all measurements, additions, other actions and observations, listed by date. The third has miscellaneous notes which don't fit in the previous sheet (eg detailed notes on yeast preparation, rationale for tartaric/water additions, a picture of the ML chromatogram). The fourth is tasting notes.

I haven't yet been through a full harvest-to-bottling cycle with this system, but it's working out so far.
I like that idea because I could make a directory with folders for each type of wine. I could even graph stuff… I like visual data! I also like the layout that denden5136 uses.

Much to think about.
 

Raptor99

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I use a MS Word document for my wine log. The navigation pane allows me to see batches sorted by year > type > batch. Currently that document has 93 pages, so I am looking for a better method.

I have tried some of the apps out there, but I have been disappointed in them. Often it is way too much work to log a single entry such at a pH measurement. My side job is web development, so I am working on a Winemakers Notebook project. I have a lot on my plate, so progress is slow. When I am ready for some beta testers I will post it on this forum.
 

ChuckD

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I use a MS Word document for my wine log. The navigation pane allows me to see batches sorted by year > type > batch. Currently that document has 93 pages, so I am looking for a better method.

I have tried some of the apps out there, but I have been disappointed in them. Often it is way too much work to log a single entry such at a pH measurement. My side job is web development, so I am working on a Winemakers Notebook project. I have a lot on my plate, so progress is slow. When I am ready for some beta testers I will post it on this forum.
Ooooh. How many likes can I post!!
 

ChuckD

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I use a MS Word document for my wine log. The navigation pane allows me to see batches sorted by year > type > batch. Currently that document has 93 pages, so I am looking for a better method.

I have tried some of the apps out there, but I have been disappointed in them. Often it is way too much work to log a single entry such at a pH measurement. My side job is web development, so I am working on a Winemakers Notebook project. I have a lot on my plate, so progress is slow. When I am ready for some beta testers I will post it on this forum.
I can picture something that looks like a notebook with multiple “pages” for recipe, timing & notes, tasting, etc. I can do something similar in excel but I’m no programmer. I haven’t tried any apps or programs but what I have seen and heard isn’t good.

As for paper notebooks, too many seem disjointed and have you jumping all over the place to enter or find information. And none have enough room for my chicken scratching. I want something basically sequential from start to finish and expandable when I need it.
 

Raptor99

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A spiral notebook is good for sequential notes. My MS Word doc is essentially the same thing, except that I can search it for certain words.

I would like to ask questions such as:
* Which batches have used oak chips?
* What wines have included vanilla?
* What are the next tasks for all active batches?

For questions like these, a database is very useful. I can envision how this should work, but I need to finish building my wine room first :D
 

ChuckD

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A spiral notebook is good for sequential notes. My MS Word doc is essentially the same thing, except that I can search it for certain words.

I would like to ask questions such as:
* Which batches have used oak chips?
* What wines have included vanilla?
* What are the next tasks for all active batches?

For questions like these, a database is very useful. I can envision how this should work, but I need to finish building my wine room first :D
Sounds like we are on the same page (pun intended). Something you can fill out and view that looks and “feels” something like a spiral notebook but has the database behind it that can handle searches and data. Hopefully something I can load on an notebook computer.

Unfortunately I’m a somewhat sophisticated self taught user of spreadsheets, don’t really use databases. And can barely program a thermostat 🤣. I look forward to your program.
 

Jovimaple

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I have a spreadsheet with a worksheet for each "type" or flavor. For example, one worksheet is labeled Kits, another is Skeeter Pee, and another is Tomato. I have columns for start date, og, fg, abv, fermentation notes, rack notes, bottling notes, and tasting/other notes. Recently, I added a column at the far left that just says "Done" which allows me to filter to only active production wines if I want. I typically have 2 to 3 rows for each batch, so I also added a numbering column with the batch # and the second and third rows are designated with the batch number and then a or b. For example, 22B01 is my first batch of this year, and the 2nd and 3rd rows are 22B01a and 22B01b.

I recently added a worksheet for carboy inventory, too. And I already had a summary page with each batch, start date, abv, and bottling date. Oh, and I keep track of volume of each batch and total volume that I have made.

My dad found his old wine log booklets last year and gave them to me - 1 full and 1 not, so I also have been writing the basic info there. I tried using cheap notebooks for each batch to be able to keep more detailed notes than the log had space for me to do, but then I ran into the desire to search easily and that led me to creating the spreadsheet. So now I write the basics in Dad's old log and record the details on the spreadsheet.
 
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hounddawg

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Hum,
well you did ask,,, lol
growing up helping the old timers, of whom most could not read or write, after i became disabled ,, so to keep busy i went back to the little i learned from the old timers,, after better the 30 years being busy, all of a sudden i had time, so i went back and try to recreate what i'd learned long ago, so my first try, was about 16ish gallons blackberry,, 11 or 12 gallon pear/apple/crabapple, around 14 or 15 gallons strawberry, just racked all in to airlocked containers, then i got bad sick, spent 11 months in hospital, ten another year recovering, my nephew keep all airlocks full, after all but 2 years i finally , made it to my home, tasted like crap, smelled ruff at least it did thru my new tracheostomy tube, i was getting ready to dump it and start over, so i thought might as well use the internet, as luck would have it, i found WMT, not only did it all turn out right, but everyone wanted me to keep a log,, so over the first few years i filled 7 spiral notebooks,, put them away for any family members wanted them after i'm gone,
now i still make wines and i mark my ferment drums and carboys, then when i bottle all are labeled, so hoping they dont kick my but, i keep everything in my head, but only after i put it all on paper for others,,, so in my head with no logs, oh i fear those whom are going to tell me i know better, and they are right, and i did leave detailed notes on wine, melomels & meads, lol, but ive not jotted down notes in years, i make country wines, which is easy compared to grapes from what i've read on here, my gawd i am in aw of what these grape vinters can do,,, way beyond me,
and when i craft a wine new or repeats i make mainly 20 gallons of each at a time, of each type,
Dawg
 
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Originally I recorded my notes in a pocket-size 3 ring binder, and my notes from that era are VERY concise -- often 1 word descriptions such as "racked 4/2/85 SG 1.030".

Now? If it's a kit, I write on the kit instructions, otherwise I have blank paper. Everything gets transcribed onto my web site, so my notes are available as long as I have my phone. I tend to be a lot more verbose, which IMO is good. I record thoughts of the moment, which are interesting later and may be useful.

I tried a few winemaker's applications (Windows & web) and was dissatisfied with all, as either clunky, too much work, etc. I record certain information in an MS Access DB as I sometimes get curious about facts and trends, such as FG by wine type.

Even if I find an application I like, I'll continue records on paper, as it's the easiest thing to do while working on wines.

Any record keeping system works .... IF you use it consistently.
 

TCPT18

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For about 4-5 years I used Enofile. I really liked it overall. Had a few things that I did not like but worked around them. Last year after an update I lost all my data.....Needless to say i was not happy.
Went back to spreadsheets with work sheets. Sheet is set up for the time of production (ie spring 2021, fall 2021). Each wine has its own worksheet. It is a form that was shared on another site that I tweeked to my needs. I have the general ingredients and amounts required per gallon or carboy inserted in the original so that I have a quick cheat sheet. I copy this into each worksheet and fill in amounts, SG, ABV etc for that wine. Has a section for notes, changes, rackings, and tastings.

tried to post a file for this sheet but it would not upload... sorry
 
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