Quantcast

The $3.41 Challenge - Lobuck

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
Upon further consideration, it's a real PITA to price stuff at multiple vendors. So here's the updated rule #3...

3. You can buy your ingredients from ANY supplier. The actual price paid is irrelevant. For purposes of judging, your ingredient price is based upon the lowest price charged by any one of the following commonly-known online vendors: northernbrewer, austinhomebrew, morebeer.com. You are responsible for furnishing this information. Again, sale prices, special prices, and close-outs, do NOT count.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
orfy said:
When the rules etc are finalised, why not launch the competition in a fresh thread in a "General" section of the forum.
That's what I intend to do. At this point, even the thread's title is misleading. LOL
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
14,262
Reaction score
777
Location
Southwest
Toot said:
I was thinking about having two different "categories" for AG and Extract, not really putting them head-to-head, but if we get the relative amounts right, then I suppose we could do this as an open challenge for both AG and Extract brewers.

I should probably drop it to what? $1.35 for all grainers? Part of the idea is to almost FORCE people to use something besides 100% malt.

Using Orfy's recipe as a "test", it seems like his recipe ought to be positively mediocre! That tells me that his $1.34 cost per gallon ought to be right around the right range for AG brewers.
$1.35 is certainly going to be a challenge!

My logic was based on some quick price/recipe comparison using prices from More Beer and calculations from BeerSmith for a simple pale ale recipe.

If extract brewers spend 70% of a $3.41/gallon budget on extract, they're left with about $1.00/gallon to spend on hops, yeast, and adjuncts.

By contrast, if AG brewers spend 50% of a $1.50/gallon budget on grain, they're left with $0.75/gallon for other ingredients. I think it's possible to get down to as little as 30% of the budget for grain, leaving just over $1.00/gallon for the rest of the recipe, making it a pretty fair competition.

However, if you're compelled to drop it all the way to $1.35, that's gonna be a REALLY tight budget! I'm not entirely disagreeing with you - orfy already proved it can be done - I just wanted to show you the rest of my logic.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
Yuri. You missed my most recent proposal. At least though you're definitely making me think about this.

My most recent proposal was....

$1.35/gallon for AG Brewers
and
$2.01/gallon for extract brewers.

LME costs $2-$3 per pound. Grain costs a dollar per pound. To get the same fermentables that you get from a pound of LME, you'll need about 1.25 pounds of grain.

The typical beer needs at least about .75lbs of fermentables per gallon in order to really be beer. That's .75lbs times $2.25 per pound for LME equals $1.68 per pound. That leaves $0.33 per gallon for hops, yeast, and adjuncts.

For the typical AG recipe that's comparable to about .95 pounds of grain. That's about $0.98 per gallon. That leaves $0.37 for hops, yeast, and adjuncts.
 

jezter6

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
15
Location
DARLINGTON
Yuri_Rage said:
$1.35 is certainly going to be a challenge!

My logic was based on some quick price/recipe comparison using prices from More Beer and calculations from BeerSmith for a simple pale ale recipe.

If extract brewers spend 70% of a $3.41/gallon budget on extract, they're left with about $1.00/gallon to spend on hops, yeast, and adjuncts.

By contrast, if AG brewers spend 50% of a $1.50/gallon budget on grain, they're left with $0.75/gallon for other ingredients. I think it's possible to get down to as little as 30% of the budget for grain, leaving just over $1.00/gallon for the rest of the recipe, making it a pretty fair competition.

However, if you're compelled to drop it all the way to $1.35, that's gonna be a REALLY tight budget! I'm not entirely disagreeing with you - orfy already proved it can be done - I just wanted to show you the rest of my logic.
I think $1.35 was for max points, not the hard limit. I agree that the upper limit should be higher (giving a chance to actually come up with a GOOD recipe, not just a cheap recipe). The original goal was to make a decent (read: DRINKABLE) beer cheaper than you can buy it, not who can make the cheapest recipe to meet all the minimum standards. I'm sure someone can come up with something at less than $1.35, but the question of 'does it actually taste like beer' still remains, even at a $1.35 recipe.
 

jezter6

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
15
Location
DARLINGTON
I know it's a pain in the ass, but I think (to be fair to all contestants) that we get a 'master' price list together of say - 20 grains, 15 hops, and 10 yeasts - and let them battle it out.

My concern in the end is this:
Yuri submits his $1.72/gal recipe based on his findings of ingredients.
Jezter6 submits his $1.65/gal recipe based on HIS findings of ingredients.
Jezter6 and Yuri use some of the same ingredients that Jezter6 found cheaper. In reality, if we use the cheapest cost found, Yuri's comes in at $1.64, and tastes better to boot, but we score him at $1.72, missing the crucial bonus points to kick jezter6's behind.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
14,262
Reaction score
777
Location
Southwest
Toot said:
Yuri. You missed my most recent proposal. At least though you're definitely making me think about this.

My most recent proposal was....

$1.35/gallon for AG Brewers
and
$2.01/gallon for extract brewers.
We're thinking along the same lines, and this proposal sounds pretty good - must've been speed reading a little too fast to have missed it the first time. I like this challenge! Perhaps I shouldn't be trying to help you with the rules...I just realized that I'm not going to be able to compete! I'll be out of town for the next few months. I'll try and keep track of the competition while I'm gone. Good luck!
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
14,262
Reaction score
777
Location
Southwest
jezter6 said:
I know it's a pain in the ass, but I think (to be fair to all contestants) that we get a 'master' price list together of say - 20 grains, 15 hops, and 10 yeasts - and let them battle it out.
Actually, Toot already accounted for this by suggesting that we can use any ingredients, and the judging will be based on the lowest advertised price from More Beer, AHB, and Northern Brewer (perhaps we could expand this list...).

Besides, he already suggested that he'd like to see fermentables other than malt - it'll be hard to account for all of those in a "master list."
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
jezter6 said:
I think $1.35 was for max points, not the hard limit. I agree that the upper limit should be higher (giving a chance to actually come up with a GOOD recipe, not just a cheap recipe). The original goal was to make a decent (read: DRINKABLE) beer cheaper than you can buy it, not who can make the cheapest recipe to meet all the minimum standards. I'm sure someone can come up with something at less than $1.35, but the question of 'does it actually taste like beer' still remains, even at a $1.35 recipe.
The thing is... nobody except the people at BMC really have any clue just how cheaply beer can be made! Sure, we all can find plenty of articles about 12%ABV barleywines- we can all figure out how to make those, but what about going the other way? When subtleties of flavor take on added importance- when you are trying to justify every penny per gallon, what can you do?

Maybe people will experiment with invert sugar, table sugar, fruit sugars, brown sugar, etc. Maybe we one or two out of ten people will have a really tasty light recipe that costs next to nothing. Maybe they will all suck.

Perhaps the $1.35 figure is off. But my goal is to make it a difficult challenge, but one which a few people can actually attain. Maybe we'll sample 10 beers and decide that all but two of them really suck. If that happens, we'll "publish" those recipes here on HBT and maybe next year people will improve those recipes.

Or maybe ALL the recipes will suck, in which case we'll try again, but raise the limits by a dime or a quarter or something. But before we just raise the limits for fear of failure, let's give motivated brewers a chance at succeeding. :)
 

jezter6

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
15
Location
DARLINGTON
Agreed. I think maybe we need to look at $2/2.50 for the 'max' for AG/extract.

Let people go as far under as they dare, but if it sucks, at $1.35, you can go back and put 10c/gal extra ingredients to try and bring it to drinkable without going over the limit.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
Passload said:
Is this going to be an ale or a lager? Most newbies and myself do not have the lagering capability.
It can be anything you want. I'll post a complete description once we get all the rules squared away (I'm emailing back and forth with jezter6 to finalize them).

It definitely does NOT have to be a lager. It doesn't even have to be in the American style. If you can create a 12%ABV barleywine for $1.35 per gallon, then gawddamn!, I want to shake your hand! It's open to all styles and they will all be judged head-to-head. No style charts or anything. Just who can make a tasty beer without breaking the bank?
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
jezter6 said:
Agreed. I think maybe we need to look at $2/2.50 for the 'max' for AG/extract.

Let people go as far under as they dare, but if it sucks, at $1.35, you can go back and put 10c/gal extra ingredients to try and bring it to drinkable without going over the limit.
I think that's a very reasonable idea.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
You know? For everybody who shares their brew with a lot of other people... this is a GREAT way to have enough for everybody else without breaking the bank. ;)
 

jezter6

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
15
Location
DARLINGTON
Figured I would post this since I was having fun. This is 100% IN STYLE for an American Pale Ale.

Type: All Grain
Date: 12/27/2006
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Brewer:
Boil Size: 6.82 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.0
Taste Notes:

Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 58.8 %
1.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 17.6 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 11.8 %
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50%] (60 min) Hops 21.9 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50%] (15 min) Hops 10.9 IBU
0.50 lb Brown Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 5.9 %
0.50 lb Corn Syrup (1.0 SRM) Sugar 5.9 %
1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) Yeast-Ale



Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.6 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.6 %
Bitterness: 32.8 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 12.4 SRM Color: Color



Notes

2row - 0.49/lb - morebeer.com = $2.45
Munich - 0.56/lb - morebeer.com = $0.85
Crystal 60 - 0.64/lb - morebeer.com = $0.64
Dark Brown Sugar - 0.05/oz - peapod = $0.40
Corn Syrup - 0.19/oz - peapod - $1.52
Gain Total = $5.86
2oz Cascade - $0.75/oz - Freshops.com - $1.50
Nottingham Yeast - $1.60/ea - morebeer = $0.53
Total = $7.89 = $1.58/gal
 

MattD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
95
Reaction score
0
Location
Birmingham, Al
Sounds like fun guys. I might give this a shot, even though I'm a total newb. I'm just getting ready to do an AG set up, so we'll see how it comes out! Has anyone thought of a timeline for this beast yet?
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
MattD said:
Sounds like fun guys. I might give this a shot, even though I'm a total newb. I'm just getting ready to do an AG set up, so we'll see how it comes out! Has anyone thought of a timeline for this beast yet?
Meh.. I dunno. I want to give people plenty of time. Entries certainly won't be due before March 1. Maybe give people a little more time in case they want to do an extended lager and can't get on it right away..
 

jezter6

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
15
Location
DARLINGTON
I think March 1 is a perfectly good time. Gives people a chance to try some small brews out before they have to send in a competition beer (if going a quick ale method).

Hell, I'd consider doing 2-3 small 3gal batches to perfect the recipe.

Even then, March 1 is only (realistically) 2 months away. Considering the 1-2-3, you only get a few weeks of brewing before you have to mail something in. April 1 would be a great dedline for this kind of funny competition.
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
594
Location
Adams, MA
I'm not sure whether I'm in or not, but I had what I think is an absolutely brilliant inspiration this morning. I know I personally was thinking about this in entirely incorrect terms. Hell, I'm in!

One rules suggestion; I would allow freshops.com and hopsdirect.com, along with Austinhomebrew and the others, as appropriate pricing souces for hops.
 

jezter6

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
15
Location
DARLINGTON
bird - I'm in agreement. I don't know about some of the other sites, but looking around morebeer, I couldn't find hops by the pound. In my calculation I used freshops as my calculator.

The good thing is their prices are real easy - common hops are .75/oz, import/rarer hops are .85/oz. Makes things good and quick to compute.
 

jezter6

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
15
Location
DARLINGTON
I think, in the spirit of doing a cheap, drinkable, BMC type of brew this will be restricted to BEER flavored drinks only.

This would probably not include apfrelwine or clear malt fizzies.

Not to mention - 5 gal of 100% apple juice will end up being about $12-15 (using peapod as the source for grocery adjuncts) for 5 gallons, putting it way too expensive for use in such a contest.
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
594
Location
Adams, MA
Does it *need* to be BMC-like (pale, yellow water)?

'Cause a little bit of black patent and some roasted barley will cover up a lot of imperfections. Porters used to be made with all kinds of cheap adjuncts, too.
 

jezter6

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
15
Location
DARLINGTON
I think ANY beer qualifies. This isn't a style competition where we're judging color, mouthfeel and such to the style of a crappy light american lager. This is a taste only thing. The only requirement is that it's beer and not another alcohol.

Any color of beer is fine, it's just the more specialty grains you use, the more it costs per gallon. Although the rules aren't finalized, I think that if you spend the extra 10c/gallon to make it taste better, you're more likely to win against someone who has the lowest cost recipe that tastes like pee in a bottle.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
jezter6 said:
I think ANY beer qualifies. This isn't a style competition where we're judging color, mouthfeel and such to the style of a crappy light american lager. This is a taste only thing. The only requirement is that it's beer and not another alcohol.

Any color of beer is fine, it's just the more specialty grains you use, the more it costs per gallon. Although the rules aren't finalized, I think that if you spend the extra 10c/gallon to make it taste better, you're more likely to win against someone who has the lowest cost recipe that tastes like pee in a bottle.
Yes. This is mostly a price competition during the brewing process, but after that, it's a taste competition. The goal is definitely to make something tasty and delicious.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
jezter6 said:
April 1 would be a great dedline for this kind of funny competition.
For all the reasons you mentioned, I agree completely. April 1 is an awesome day to hold this competition!!!

One rules suggestion; I would allow freshops.com and hopsdirect.com, along with Austinhomebrew and the others, as appropriate pricing souces for hops.
I MAY add those as sources, however, someone suggested restricting this entire competition down to a SINGLE online vendor for pricing. The reason being to drive more internet traffic to his site and get people accustomed to using his website. In exchange, maybe get them to supply a gift certificate for the winner or maybe offer the winning recipe as a supercheap kit.

What do you guys think of that? I know it's better to have more sources to look through, but if the tradeoff was the ability to get some prizes, would that be worth it? I'm thinking this would not change the availability of ingredients- if the sponsor didn't have what you were looking for, you could use other sources... it'd still tend to drive traffic over to their shop.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
orfy said:
What about partial mashers.
A third price target?

I was thinking of mashing a couple of old socks to see if the had annything to the flavour!
A most excellent idea with the socks, but I am not sure of the best way to include partial mashers. What does everyone else think of that? Rule suggestions? Or is it too complicated?
 

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
116
Location
Cheshire, England
My $1.34 recipe was all from morebeer.com They have Bulk and individual pricing.

But although I'm taking interest in this and may do a small batch of my beer, I can't take part.
I will probably brew the winning recipes.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
I read a thread about harvesting yeast from chimay. To encourage low-cost brewing and inventive techniques, I am proposing the following rule:

Yeast must be priced as stated previously (one-third the cost of the yeast from an online supplier). However, if you harvest the yeast from a bottle of beer, you do NOT have to include the cost of the beer in your price calculation. The yeast will be considered "free".
 

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
116
Location
Cheshire, England
Yeast must be priced as stated previously (one-third the cost of the yeast from an online supplier). However, if you harvest the yeast from a bottle of beer, you do NOT have to include the cost of the beer in your price calculation.
Technique and pictures to be supplied?
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
orfy said:
Technique and pictures to be supplied?
Yes. Good thought. Since this is a recipe competition, your techniquies MUST be explained in detail, with pictures to enable others to copy your recipe.
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
594
Location
Adams, MA
Toot said:
A most excellent idea with the socks, but I am not sure of the best way to include partial mashers. What does everyone else think of that? Rule suggestions? Or is it too complicated?
Well, I was thinking of partial mashing - was thinking of including a modest amount of Munich for some additional flavor (covering up the lack of malt), but not wanting to have to buy Munich extract. But then, what qualifies as a partial mash? If I do a batch that's 90% AG and a half-pound of LME, is that a partial mash? That's substantially different, cost-wise, from just doing 10% Munich, 10% 2-row.

Oi, it's so complicated....
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
Thinking about the partial mashers...

For extract brewers, how about a "No Sparge Rule" and a "No strike water" rule.

In other words, you can't add water to grain (you must add the grain to the water), and you can't sparge it... meaning you can't use the filter bed to create hot liquor.


Two questions:
Is that restrictive enough to really prohibit all grain practices?
Will these recipes developed under the above rule be simple enough for most extract brewers to follow the recipe?
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
594
Location
Adams, MA
Eh....

If you can't sparge, that goes against the underlying concept, which is what is the cheapest way of creating a drinkable beer. Not allowing PMers to sparge, artificially constaining their efficiency, goes completely against that.

I'll prolly go the AG route, anyway. :D
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
Toot said:
I read a thread about harvesting yeast from chimay. To encourage low-cost brewing and inventive techniques, I am proposing the following rule:

Yeast must be priced as stated previously (one-third the cost of the yeast from an online supplier). However, if you harvest the yeast from a bottle of beer, you do NOT have to include the cost of the beer in your price calculation. The yeast will be considered "free".
Here's my draft proposal:

Yeast must be priced as stated previously (one-third the cost of the yeast from an online supplier). However, if you harvest the yeast from a bottle of beer, the yeast will be considered FREE, provided you sign a sworn affidavit stating that part of your purpose in purchasing the beer was to drink the beer and that you did, in fact, do so. You must further state that you did not pour any of that beer into your own recipe, nor did you purchase the beer strictly for the purpose of stealing the free yeast.
 
OP
Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
93
the_bird said:
Eh....

If you can't sparge, that goes against the underlying concept, which is what is the cheapest way of creating a drinkable beer. Not allowing PMers to sparge, artificially constaining their efficiency, goes completely against that.

I'll prolly go the AG route, anyway. :D
We all know that the cheapest way to get a drinkable beer is with AG. So go that route if it pleases you. :)

I expect AG'ers to get really inventive with their techniques. I expect Extracters to be respectful in the use of their additional spending limit. Sure, I want to allow all types of steeping, but nothing that can't be done with a basic beer brewing kit or common household items for the extract brewers.


The real reason I want to prohibit PMing is that it is in a bit of a limbo- it's too complex for most beginning brewers, and it's not good for all-grainers. So I won't say "No PMing", but my initial gut reaction is to throw a PMed brew up against the all-grainers.
 
Top