2008 February Meeting Issue #112

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes February 2008 Issue #112

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




* February 23rd War of the Worts (HBOY Competition)

* March 8th Whales NYC Pub Crawl, Park Slope Brooklyn

* March 31st – April 11th National Homebrew Competition Regional Entries Due

* April 15th Club Only Competition (Extract Beers)

* May 3rd “Big Brew” (TBD)

* August 8/2-8/3 Belgium Comes to Cooperstown (Tickets on line only 4/1)



Check the member’s only Yahoo User’s Group thewhales for the latest announcements and calendar updates.  Feel free to upload pictures, review beers/bars and post comments.  If you are a member and do not have access to the site, please let Bobby at rmierzej@telecordia.com know and he will invite you to the group.



“That barrel’s thirsty!! That’s all I know.”  Kings Keith, at the Flander’s Red Racking


The Whales gathered at JJ Bitings for their Tuesday February 15th, meeting. The Whales continue to enjoy the support of Mike and August.


A HUGE crowd of 30 Whales and Whales wannabe’s attended the February meeting.  In attendance were Kristen, Big Bill, Colin, Nick, Steve G., J.D., Brad and Jen, Rick and Heather, Luke, Bobby, Nate, Newman, Paff, the Schreyer trio (Bill, Steve, and Jim), Prez, Keith, Mike V., Gene, and Gary.  A large group of new attendee’s included: Neil, John, Jay, Mike D., Mark, and Karl.   


Luke described an extremely successful Big Beer Night held on January 18th.  A wall to wall gathering of Whales and friends made for a fun evening.  Throughout the evening a total of 39 different High Gravity brews were tasted.  The teeth floating average alcohol content was a whopping 9.98%.  Fun was had by all until they had to wake up the next morning.


Luke also presented the plans for the Whales 2008 NYC pub crawl.  The event is planned for Saturday March 8th, with a potential rallying point at the Woodbridge Train Station to catch the 12:53 train to Penn Station.  Stops were planned for “The Gate,” (24 taps flowing), “The Lighthouse Tavern,” and “4th Avenue Pub (24 taps flowing).  The timing of the stops at the pubs is very unpredictable, and folks best bet are to rally at either Woodbridge Station or Penn Station.  


The Perfect Porter Club Only Competition was held during the evening.  Unlike the few entries for the Dark lager COC, there were seven entries for the perfect porter challenge.  Presenting beers were Gary, Keith, and Newman with Brown Porters.  JD and Nate poured Robust Porters, Finally, Jim and Colin served Baltic Porters.  When all of the votes were tallied Jim’s Baltic Porter, carried the day, and earned Jim the right to represent the Whales in the Club Only Comp.


The group discussed the next major HBOY competition which was the War of the Worts XIII.  The WOW was held on Saturday February 23rd.  Brad and Jen announced that they would be judges at the competition.  Thanks to Brad, Jen, and Luke for organizing the Whales entries drop off.  The Prez and several others were planning to go to the competition to help out, and pick up the prizes for any winning entries.  Those in attendance get the best prizes, so Prez represents the Whales to ensure that we all get the good booty.


The Whales 2007 Homebrewer of the Year, mug was presented to Gary.  The beautiful mug was passed around and fawned over by those in attendance.  Congratulations Gary!


Gary announced that he had been in negotiations with August and Mike Cerami to coordinate another Whales Brew at JJ Bitings.  Gary proposed that the club would vote on a single recipe for 3 different styles of beer.  The club voted on a Wheat, a Brown, and a Bock.  The selected recipes would be presented to August and Mike to see if they approve one of these styles.  Once the recipe is chosen, the brew day will be scheduled for a future Saturday.    


Brad and Jen organized a Whales migration to the Unionville Vineyard to pick up an oak wine barrel to age the Whales Flanders Red beer project.  Several Whales made the journey to the winery to take part in tasting, and share some homebrews with the folks at the vineyard.  In appreciation of the tasty homebrews brought by the Whales the Vinter also gave the Whales 4 bottles of port to take home with the purchased Barrel.  Once the barrel was safely moved to Bobby’s basement, 60 plus gallons of a mild Red Ale was added to the barrel.  As was Brad’s batch which was inoculated with the Roseallare Blend.  The beer will be ready to distribute in about a year.  


The Whales Cyser project will be ready for distribution to the Lucky participants some time in April or May.


Luke announced that a he and Mike Tripka won a Best Of Show with their 2004 Braggot in the 9th Annual Domrus Cup.  This AHA Sanctioned mead only competition was held Feb 2nd in Savannah GA and is hosted by the Savannah Brewers League.  For more info go to http://hbd.org/sbl/


Brad and Jen continue to gauge interest in the Whales attending the National Hombrewers Conference.  The conference will be held in Cincinatti, OH from June 17th to the 21st.    If you are interested in attending drop a line to Brad at bradley.jones@bayer.com.


Brad and Jen spent some time talking about the Beer Judge Certification Program test.  The test lasted several hours.  It was composed of 10 essay questions and judging of 4 test beers.  Brad and Jen are hopeful that they pass the test, and they will get their results in several weeks.  They also downloaded a bunch of files on thewhales Yahoo site providing tons of info about the BJCP.


Big Bill made everyone jealous by describing the itinerary of his Belgian Beer tasting Roadtrip.  The tour travels the Belgian countryside and stops at the different monastic and farmhouse breweries and beer festivals. 


Mike V. gave a treasurer report at the meeting.  style="mso-spacerun: yes">  Folks are reminded that the 2008 dues are due and were raised to$40. 


This month’s installment for Beer in the News involved the generosity of the Boston Beer Company in releasing 20Klb of Hops for sale to small commercial brewers.  Sam Adams was going to sell 10Klb of EKG and 10Klb of Tettanger at a terrific price of $6/lb.  Bobby was pursuing opportunities with some local commercial breweries to get one of the 88lb shares of the hops.


This month’s Gadget Report saw Bobby showing off his high quality weldless sight glasses.  The glasses are made of stainless steel and pyrex.  The guards for the sight glasses were produced from the dip tubes in the Sanke kegs.  If folks are looking for high quality low cost sight glasses contact Bobby at rmierzej@telecordia.com, and he may be able to help you out. 


At the February meeting, Brad and Jen and Rick donated several books and movies to the Whales Library.  Brad and Jen donated some clone brews books and recipe books.  Rick donated a set of the Beer Hunters DVD’s, and the American Brew DVD.  Mike V. is the Whales librarian and will keep the database on thewhales Yahoo group to manage the newly created Whales library.  Mike checks the Database just before the meeting to see if anyone is on the waiting list for material from the library.


Jody continues to maintain the WHALES brewing database data.  Remember when you brew to send me an e-mail at moffamily@verizon.net.  In the e-mail tell me brewing date, how many gallons, what style you brewed, the OG, and what the % alcohol you expect.  I can also track wine, cider and mead as well. 


The club continues to seek out volunteers to make presentations at club meetings.  Members can discuss anything from beer styles, equipment, techniques, ingredients, or any other topics of general interest.  The club is also looking for folks interested in setting up some class trips to different breweries or local apiaries etc.  Contact Prez or Luke if you are interested in making a presentation or setting up a trip.  It is important to let Prez, Luke or Jody know when a presentation is planned for the meeting, we will be sure to allow enough time for it, and we will try to ensure that the presenter has the floor.    


The Flight:

The February flight saw 7 tasty homebrews.  Gary presented an early sample of theClub Cyser, and some of his own coconut mead.  Big Bill and Neil served two different Fat Tire clones.  Bobby poured and American IPA and JD served an American Pale Ale.     


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter