2007 December Meeting Issue #110


The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes December 2007 Issue #110

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996



* January 12th Whales Holiday Party @ The Office (Bridgewater)

* January 13th Breweriana Show & Sale (Clark, NJ)

* January 15th Club Only Competition (Dark Lagers)

* January 18th Luke's 17th Annual Big Beer Night (Luke's Garage, Woodbridge)

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


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.



We're pitching a Big Load so it doesn't matter. Bobby M.


Our Tuesday December 18th, meeting was held at the Whales Holiday retreat, Harley Steve's dining room. Steve and his families hospitality was greatly enjoyed and appreciated by all those in attendance. Thank you Steve.


The Whale's faithful in attendance were Kristen (where's Rob been?), Uncle Leo, Big Bill, Colin, Brad and Jen, Rick and Heather, Luke, Bobby, Newman, Prez, Keith, Harley Steve (obviously), Mike V., Gene, Gary, and Jody.


The Whales Holiday Party will be held on January 12th at The Office in Bridgewater. Uncle Leo agreed to make contact with The Office and handle the arrangements. Those in attendance also authorized the expenditure of club funds for beer and food at the event. See you there!!!

A dedicated group of members racked the Whales Cyser Barrel project on Sunday December 9th. Luke, Leo, Big Bill, Gary, and Keith spent some quality time sharing some brews and watching the pump move cyser to the secondary fermenter. The barrels will continue to hang out and get better at Gary's house.


The next Club Only Competitions will be for BJCP Category 4 beers (Dark Lagers). This category includes Dark American Lagers, Munich Dunkel and Schwarzbier. This club only competition will be held at the January meeting and will be the first opportunity to get 2008 Home Brewer of the Year, (HBOY) points. The Dark Lagers COC will be held on January 15th. The next COC will be held on February 19th for Perfect Porter. The perfect Porter competition will include BJCP category 12 beers, Brown porter, Robust porter, and Baltic Porter.


The next major HBOY competition will be the War of the Worts XII. The WOW will be held on Saturday February 17th. Entries will be accepted from 1/27 through 2/10. For more information on the War of the Worts XII visit http://www.keystonehops.org/wotw/. Prez has made the trek to North Wales, PA, for the War of the Worts. He also says that drinking beer at the Iron Hill Brewery at 9:00 AM is a great way to start the day.


Congratulations again to Gary Weston the Whales 2007 Home Brewer of the Year. There was some controversy at the December meeting. The membership discussed the loss of the HBOY plaque. No one remembers seeing the plaque after the 2007 Holiday party. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the plaque please contact Luke at lkostu@yahoo.com.


The group spent some time discussing the next Whales beer project. Brad had spearheaded the project and came up with a Flanders red recipe that will be aged in a Chardonnay barrel at Bobby’s house.  The brewing is to happen during the end of December or start of January.  The beer will be racked into the barrel on the weekend of the 29th.  At this time the bacteria will be added to sour the beer. 


Luke announced that the 17th annual Big Beer Night will be held on January 18th. The party starts on a Friday evening around 7:00 PM. The event has the rustic ambiance of Luke's garage, and is heated with a woodstove. The stove only raises the garage temperature about 20 deg over ambient, so dress warmly. The men should also be prepared to brave the wilds of Woodbridge as they will have to water the bushes. The event is open to all high test brews, both homebrewed and commercial.


The National Hombrewers Conference will be held in Cincinatti, OH from June 17th to the 21st. Brad and Jen are planning to make the trek to the mid west for the conference. Brad handed out a presentation describing some options for folks wanting to attend. Folks should also be aware that the hotel hosting the convention is already sold out. There are other hotels in the immediate vicinity, so if you are considering attending the conference you should get your reservations in soon. You can always cancel the reservation without any charge if you do it early enough.


Big Bill presented some Belgian Beer tasting Roadtrips that he was considering participating in. The tours travel the Belgian countryside and stop at the different monastic and farmhouse breweries. If you have interest in participating in one of these tours contact Big Bill at aa2mb@comcast.net.


Prepare your nominations and slogans for all of the club offices in 2008. We will hold club officer elections at the January meeting. Ask not what the Whales club can do for you. Ask what you can do for the Whales club.


Those in attendence discussed and agreed that the Whales dues would be increased to $40/yr. The reasoning was to simplify the payment of dues to be $10/qtr. Making change will be greatly simplified. Remember your 2008 dues are due at the January meeting.


Discussions continue around the Whalesclub.org website. The issue will be taken up in the Whales yahoo format, to discuss what the purpose and look should be for the site. Look for additional info and surveys on the yahoo web site.


This month's installment of Beer in the News concerned Miller Brewing Company's announcement that they will start producing Lite versions of craft beers. Miller plans to brew a Lite, blonde ale, amber, and some wheat beers. Also in the news was an article that Blue Moon Belgian White Ale has taken over the second spot for the largest craft beers. Blue Moon edged out Sam Adams Boston Lager, for the number two spot, but is still second behind Sam Adams Seasonal brews.


Bobby led the Gadget Report showing off a nice digital thermometer available from target.com for $15. Bobby has been pretty pleased with the simplicity and accuracy of this affordable thermometer.


Mike V. was named the Whales librarian and with Bobby's help set up a database on thewhales Yahoo group to manage the newly created Whales library. Members will have opportunities to borrow books from the library at given times.


Jody discussed the most recent update of the WHALES brewing database data for 2007. To date there were over 876 gallons of brew on the list. Jody will issue a copy of the latest data as an e-mail. 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.

Brad and Jen announced that they were heading to Vermont to take the Beer Judge Certification Program test. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to having some certified beer judges as members. We also asked Brad and Jen to consider making a presentation on what is involved in becoming a certified beer judge.


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:

A full flight of beers, meads, and ciders were enjoyed at Harley Steve's. Mike V. led off with a very nice Kolsch, followed by a sample of the Whales 2006 cider project from Leo. Gary then served his Prickly Pear Mead, and Jody poured a Northern Nut Brown Ale. Luke followed with a porter braggot, and Newman gushed over his new porter. Prez passed around his delicious IPA, followed by Rick serving some Well's banana bread beer. Brad next poured the two candidates for the Next Whales beer project. First candidate was a Braggot from Magic Hat, then he served a Flander's Red from Rodenbach. Big Bill followed with another Flander's red from Duchesse De Bourgoglie. Harley Steve closed out the flight with Magic Hat's Roxy Rolles.


Editor's Note: The December meeting closed out a very successful 2007 for the Whales. After reviewing my notes I will leave you with some interesting facts. As a club we have tasted 132 beers, meads, wines, and ciders during our 2007 meetings. That is average of 11 tastings per meeting. During the April meeting our tasting peaked with 20 samples. Attendance has also been HUGE in 2007, with an average of 20 people attending per meeting.


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter