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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through August 31, 2006 * Gas prices effect homebrewing < Previous Next >

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Paul Erbe
Advanced Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 659
Registered: 05-2001
Posted From: 12.27.22.67
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 03:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My LHBS recently decided to take Dingemanns out of stock because the shipping costs from the distributor have gotten too high.

He now only carries Briess, Munton and Weyermann which come from a closer distributor.
 

Skotrat
Senior Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 2154
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 24.61.120.214
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul,

Y'up... Same around these parts. I have watched grain prices go up by 30-50% over the last year. Beer prices have been going up also. More reaon to brew
"Anger is a Gift"
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 2379
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.49.148.10
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 03:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Better get ready for a big increase in malt prices next year. The drought in the mid-west and Europe has really affected the barley crop for this year. Time to stock up I guess.
 

Paul Erbe
Advanced Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 660
Registered: 05-2001
Posted From: 12.27.22.67
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 07:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is a good side to this story. I just him an email today and he has decided to start buying from a closer distributor that carries a much wider range of product.

Briess
Castle
Crisp
Durst
Gambrinus
Gilbertson & Page
Rahr
Simpsons
Weyermann

Now I need to make up my mind on what I want to tack onto his next order. Probably a Marris Otter and a Pils malt.
 

Zack
Junior Member
Username: Soverythirsty

Post Number: 39
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 70.20.25.105
Posted on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 05:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There's an inflationary pressure equal to if not greater than that of energy on the price of food commodities.

Tacking the increase onto shipping is an easy way of passing the buck, but ultimately malt prices are trending up.

Unfortunate...
 

Marlon Lang
Advanced Member
Username: Marlonlang

Post Number: 615
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.155.97.154
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 12:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

IMHO, it is worse. Natural gas is the feedstock to make nitrogen fertilizer. Because of high oil prices, fossil fuel utilities have switched to natrual gas thus running up the price of natural gas. Now, along comes this idiot-idea about alcohol from corn. Growing corn requires a LOT of nitrogen fertilizer, and the cost of the alcohol energy produced exceeds the cost to produce it. Fact! But the futures prices for corn will go up and the farmers will switch acerage over to corn and reduce the barley acerage. So, we will pay more at the pump and drink less beer.
Life's a bitch and then you die.
 

don price
Advanced Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 890
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 65.32.230.81
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 01:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What color are those corn-belt states?

Want to be a billionaire? Figure out how to convert scrap paper into ethanol cheaper than using corn as a feedstock. Methanol is just to scary to mass market.

Don
 

michael atkins
Intermediate Member
Username: Mga

Post Number: 424
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 65.103.165.15
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 02:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon - I appreciate your analogy - but with the little bit of acreage that is now dedicated to barley and considering that most of it is in "feed" barley, it won't make a huge difference.

As for reducing our independence on foreign oil -drilling here in the USA "on shore or off shore" and alternative fules such as ethonal and bio-products are our future.

Gas prices are affecting me here in the midwest. Yesterday I drove 100 miles to Lincoln, Ne. and back,(total 200 miles) just to pick up some Edinbourgh Yeast, for my Scottish Wee Heavy!

We are used to it - We drive 60 miles or more just for a cup of coffee!
Love This Hobby!

http://msnusers.com/micksbrewery
 

Zack
Junior Member
Username: Soverythirsty

Post Number: 40
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 70.20.25.105
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 03:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

200 miles. That's about 4 gallons on my bike.

And I generally carry a couple of cold growlers in the saddle bags when I ride.
 

Marlon Lang
Advanced Member
Username: Marlonlang

Post Number: 617
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.149.166.229
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 02:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Michael,
We are in total agreement. Things like bio-deisel, wind power, oil shale, LNG, solar power, etc. indivudally will never be a great contribution, but together will be meaningful. It is just that as maker of fertilizer, I see what a boondogle this alcohol-from-corn idea is. My company's prognosticators are forcasting fence row to fence row corn next year.
 

Chris Vejnovich
Advanced Member
Username: Cjv85vmax

Post Number: 514
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 71.29.65.151
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 03:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon,

My step dad is a farmer so he could give a much better arguement/discussion on this...but I thought the whole nitrogen thing is why smart farmers rotate crops. You know soy beans one year and then corn the next. I thought seed corn robbed the ground of nitrogen and then soy beans put it back. Also, from the limited knowledge I have about farming in general it is my understanding that most farmers are trying to cut costs by using less fertilizers and sprays for pests by going with corn strains that have been bred to resist, or not require these treatments. This way the farmer is running their equipment less and incurring less maintenance costs. I know one year my stepfather spent 10K on a tune up for his main harvesting machine.

Micheal, we may have been through this before, but where are you located? I live in Lincoln.
 

dhacker
Intermediate Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 379
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 70.146.180.145
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Futures on corn haven't gone up appreciably in decades. If farmer's think ethanol production will be their panacea, they're fooling themselves. If the demand for corn is such that it drives prices up, then the cost of ethanol goes up, the value of producing it in the first place is lost, demand for corn ultimately wanes, prices decline and everything settles back to its steady state.

Now the wild card is the dopey government and its track record of subsidizing lost causes.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1090
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.52.18
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We all sit here and moan about energy prices. But how many of us would be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make a REAL difference? You know, ditch the detached house and acre of lawn 30mi from work by SUV/minivan/pickup and the fresh produce flown in from Argentina in February. Move into a 1.5K sqft apartment in the city, walk or bus to work, buy only local foods in season. If everyone out in the suburbs and rural areas used only as much energy per capita as an apartment dweller in Manhattan, the US might become a net exporter of energy again. But I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.
"...bits of me are scattered in the trees and in the hedges..." -- Graham Parker
 

Skotrat
Senior Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 2156
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 24.61.120.214
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 02:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul,

Some of us do try to make a difference. I know that my family is a big time energy hog but still...

I have a garden every year. This year I am raising pigs for the freezer, I am looking into "energy shingles" etc.

I also never commute to an office. If I am not on the road for work I work from my home office. My truck has less than the average nathional mileage put on it every year. I also use my truck as a truck on a regualr basis.

I do live in a somewhat large home I will give you that.

As for Manhattan... My energy costs are by far lower in New Hampshire. They are almost half of what it cost to live in a 2 bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

Energy prices effect/affect everything around us. There is no use maoning and groaning about it.

This I agree 100% with

-Scott
"Anger is a Gift"
 

Skotrat
Senior Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 2157
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 24.61.120.214
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 03:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

you know though...

The one thing that I would like to see in the US that is a well accepted fact in most of Europe is the way that you have to bring your own bags for groceries and what not when shopping there.

Europe also for the most part seems to recycle far better than we do in the states.

Growing up and living in Manhattan it was pretty much mandated that we had to recycle in the late 70's. When I moved to Chicago in 1993 it was just starting and here in New England it has really just started being widely done. Seems to me that is the biggest waste.
"Anger is a Gift"
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5799
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.66
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 03:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There may be regional benefits of transferring some of the wealth from Alaska and Texas to Iowa and Nebraska, but overall the net energy gain from corn-based ethanol is negligible. It would be better to consider producing fuel from crop residues and alternatives such as switchgrass that require less fertilizer.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1091
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.52.18
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 03:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Scott, I'm not trying to throw stones here. I meant the "we" part. I, too, heat and cool a detached house and my wife commutes to work. And we like our fresh asparagus in February. We do make an effort. We've chosen a much smaller house and yard than our socio-economic peers, drive small cars, recycle like crazy, etc. As I type this, I can hear all my neighbors' ACs running, but we have the windows open. But I'm also not willing to move to an apartment on the bus line from my wife's job or make any similar really deep sacrifice.

What I meant was more global. American society would need to change on a really massive scale to make a big difference. We just don't want to live near each other in cities. This is a deep, strong, and nearly universal urge. It would take a huge rise in energy costs to reverse the trend toward ever bigger houses and cars farther and farther away from the cities, something big enough to cause serious damage to the economy as a whole. We, as a society, want a lifestyle that depends on cheap energy, and that isn't likely to change soon.
"...bits of me are scattered in the trees and in the hedges..." -- Graham Parker
 

Skotrat
Senior Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 2159
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 24.61.120.214
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul,

I totally agree.
"Anger is a Gift"
 

Chris Vejnovich
Advanced Member
Username: Cjv85vmax

Post Number: 515
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 198.203.245.8
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 03:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Diversity is the key thing with alternative fuel sources I think.

But, like Skot is pointing out about the shopping bags and recycling thing. The best way is just to use less. If all the people who ran errands of less than 5 mi round trip used their bicycle instead of their SUV imagine the amount of gas we could save. And here is a novel idea that is probably not that new or novel. What if large and small companies put together lists of employees that lived with in a 5 mi radius of each other so that people could start making friends by commuting with their co workers. You would also build a better community I would think while saving gas. Sure there would be some people that would just not get along with each other, but it would be their decision to car pool. I wonder how much fuel we could save daily if just 5% below normal of all the cars in the U.S. were not started or driven. It is just amazing how many people commute to work alone, even though they work with 2-5 thousand other people in the same freakin building. They may even have the same damn day care for their children.

And I am no expert on ethanol, but it seems that many of the nay sayers like to leave out some of the facts about ethanol to make it look like a really expensive venture. I would agree that ethanol is not cheap though.

Clean diesel cars run off of a 10-20% biodiesel fuel seems like a better alternative to me. Mercedes seems to have the NO2 problems associated to diesels almost licked.
 

Skotrat
Senior Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 2160
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 24.61.120.214
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 03:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ahem,

what does the cheapest Mercedes run???

When will that technology be available to the Hyaundai (sp?) crowd?

10-15 years maybe?
"Anger is a Gift"
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3249
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 172.129.14.242
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 04:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The wife and I work together and our business is 1.3 miles from home. The grocery is just four blocks away. Having said that, we are considering buying a larger motorhome.

Dan

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Zack
Junior Member
Username: Soverythirsty

Post Number: 41
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 70.20.25.105
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 04:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This (propaganda) is about brewing... how?

Hey, but here’s something: how about all that energy and resources wasted on small batches of beer? Heating, chilling, ingredient delivery, supplies, tanks, CO2, electricity…

If you’re so concerned about saving the planet you should stick with macros. By the above criteria, Anheuser-Busch is the most responsible of the bunch.
 

Josh Johnson
Member
Username: Msujdog

Post Number: 104
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 167.73.110.8
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 05:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>If you’re so concerned about saving the planet you should stick with macros. By the above criteria, Anheuser-Busch is the most responsible of the bunch.<<

How so? They produce more trash than you and I could comprehend. In fact, I went to a wedding the other night where the only beer choices were Bud Light, Budweiser, and Bud Select....ALL IN THICK ALUMINUM BOTTLES.

It takes me 12 of those beers to feel the slightest twinge in my distal phalanx; by that time I've got 12 empty glass bottles that I probably wouldn't recycle except for the fact that I get a 10 cent deposit for each in Michigan. My local micro sells 60% of their beer at the pub, and the remaining 40% carry at least a 6% ABV average, so you're drinking much less.

On the other hand, I'm completely green at home with my brewing. All my bottles get reused. I've saved 7 corny kegs now that were destined for the junkyard. I brew on the kitchen stove in the winter and can turn down my furnace while I do it. During the summer, the hot water that comes out of my immersion chiller gets put into the load of whites, or it goes outside to water my plants. I grow hops in my backyard; the compost for the hops comes in part from the spent grain.

I could go on. But do I need to? This is my hobby, and it's fun as hell, and it's a lot better than my buddies who burn 40 gallons of fuel each weekend to go fishing on Lake Michigan.

(Message edited by msujdog on August 20, 2006)
 

Brad Petit
Member
Username: Voodoobrew

Post Number: 119
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.22.24.13
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 06:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe the true answer lies in the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor, which is capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of power from some kitchen waste, half a beer, and a wristwatch.

If only that greedy bastard Robert Zemeckis would share this technology with the rest of the world, all of our problems would be solved...
 

Zack
Junior Member
Username: Soverythirsty

Post Number: 42
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 70.20.25.105
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 06:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Seriously Josh...

Aluminum bottles? You mean cans, or glass bottles? Either way A-B isn't "produc[ing] more trash," you are by not recycling them (or you would be, but for the deposit I suppose).

As far as your brew setup goes; yeah, it's pretty green. But your kitchen stove isn't as efficient as your furnace, your chiller isn't as efficient as your hot water heater, and while you may not fertilize or spray your hops, your other ingredients certainly have a high carbon cost to get to your doorstep.

My only point was that A-B has economies of scale working on its behalf to a huge degree.

As for saving the environment, I don't buy any of it. After all, "environmentalism" pays pretty darn well:

http://www.sacbee.com/static/archive/news/projects/environment/graphics/executiv esalaries.pdf
 

Josh Johnson
Member
Username: Msujdog

Post Number: 105
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 167.73.110.8
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 06:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Zack, here's the bottle. Michigan doesn't support recycling of this yet to my knowledge, or if they do, the automatic sorters in the stores certainly don't.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2005-05-15-beer-makers-usat_x.htm

I think the bottle I got was broken, because it didn't make Bud taste any better.
 

Mike Huss
Senior Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 1222
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.21.247.190
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 06:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Saw this recently in Machine Design magazine. It's some food for thought on recycling. Don't get me wrong, we still recycle everything we can, but he makes a good point.

http://tinyurl.com/eosc5
 

Chris Vejnovich
Advanced Member
Username: Cjv85vmax

Post Number: 516
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 198.203.245.8
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 06:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Skot

When will the the diesel technology be available to the Hyundai crowd. Well, I imagine that diesels will never take off here in the U.S, (except for over the road trucking, which BTW uses an est. 30% of all fuel consumed by the USA).

But that diesel technology that Mercedes is working on will make it into some Chryslers I imagine if the U.S. market will buy them. Remember when only Honda had the VTEC variable valve timing thing, now every manufacture has it. I'm sure that the new diesel tech will be embraced either by choice or government mandate by GM/Ford/Chrysler for their trucks.

Anyway, I suppose we are all doing our part in a way by homebrewing and reusing containers and such. If you want to use less propane, then get rid of your converted sanke that soaks up a tun of heat and takes considerably more propane to bring wort to a boil and buy an Aluminium kettle. Ha Ha, I suppose that will start up the old argument over why one should not use Al....Ha Ha.

Anyway, peace out to all.
 

Zack
Junior Member
Username: Soverythirsty

Post Number: 43
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 70.20.25.105
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 07:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey, like the old bottle-top cans.

Let's get those things into the homebrew market.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3252
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 172.129.14.242
Posted on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 07:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe that the future lies in electric vehicles recharged by power generated by nuclear fission initially and eventually fusion. The waste issues will be worked out eventually. Burning fossil fuel as a primary power source is starting to create problems from environmental to political and economic.

Dan

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Paul Erbe
Advanced Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 663
Registered: 05-2001
Posted From: 12.27.22.67
Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There have been more efficient reactor designs for years. I remember reading an article on a design done at the U of Chicago that was actually able to use cores of uranium that had been reground over and over again making the waste almost negligible.

Problems lie more with the regulatory issues which makes building new facilities in the US almost impossible. Same is true for refineries. Newer cleaner refineries could be built but they are not because regulations make them cost prohibitive.

The Oil lobby is huge and lucrative for our lawmakers.