2007 November Meeting Issue #109

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes November 2007 Issue #109

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




* December 18th Meeting (Harley Steve’s Carteret)

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

* January 15th Club Only Competition (Dark Lagers)

* 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.



“I set my beer down, but I can’t remember where I put it.  I think I must have (Ales)zheimer’s”--Ken Rich


Our Tuesday November 20th, meeting returned home to J.J. Bitting’s.  Thank you again to Mike and August for their continued support of the Whales meetings and activities.


Another large crowd of Whale’s members and friends were in attendance.  Those spending some quality time with the Whales included Gary, Gene, Keith, Prez, Jim and Bill Schreyer.  Also in attendance were Paff, Bobby, Heather and Rick, Luke, Brad and Jen, JD, Kings Steve, Nick, Colin, Big Bill, Uncle Leo and Jody.


November proved to be a busy month for the WHALES, our meeting started with a big thanks going to Bobby for hosting a terrific Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day on November 10th. Bobby and his wife were very gracious hosts for the large group of Whales who decided to brave the less than perfect weather.  Bobby managed to provide cover over his deck and a significant portion of his lawn to protect the brewers and brewing equipment from the inclement weather. The day eventually saw 65 gallons of beer and 5 gallons of mead produced by those in attendance.  Lots of guests contributed food and beer to the event, with special recognition to Harley Steve’s super chili, and the interesting selection of West Coast brews from Arizona dude.  Bobby did have to bring out the mop to clean up after the Whales who were found drooling over the 4 tap chest kegerator setup.


Gary spent some time discussing his experience at Cider Day.  Over the weekend of November 4th, Gary made the long trek to Massachusetts to pick up over 140 gallons of cider.  Gary highly recommended both the seminars and cider dinner.  There was additional fun had after the dinner standing around the camp fire sharing homebrewed ciders.   Upon Gary’s return on Sunday the 5th, Luke, Gary, and Big Bill helped unload Gary’s van and prepped the Whales Cyser Barrels.  The barrels did have a few days lag, but rocketed into full fermentation.  Those lucky enough to be in the cyser barrel should look for e-mail coordination of a racking day.


November also saw the last Home Brewer of the Year competition, Split Rock.  Like last year there were both a large contingent of Whales who made the migration to Lake Harmony, PA and Whales who cleaned up at the Homebrew competition.  The Whales took 11 out of 45, or 24% of all medals at Split Rock. The results included first places for Gene, Brad and Jen, Leo, and Big Bill.   Second place medals were achieved by Prez, Gene, Luke, and 2 for Brad and Jen.  Cleaning up with third place finishes were Jody and Keith.  The Whales in attendance had very nice things to say about the Split Rock beer festival, and had some fun after parties as well.


The group in attendance discussed the December meeting location, and the meeting will be held at Harley Steve’s house in Carteret.  Look for an email with directions to Steve’s house in December.


The location and date for the Whales Holiday Party was also selected at the November meeting.  The party will be held on January 12th at The Office in Bridgewater.  Look for additional details at the December meeting.


The November Club Only Competition was for BJCP Category 2 beers (Pilsners).   This category includes German Pilsners, Bohemian Pilsners, and Classic American Pilsners.  Prez and Keith presented a German and Bohemian pilsner respectively for the competition.  Both were excellent examples of the style, but Keith took home the extra HBOY point.  Keith and his Bohemian pils will represent the Whales at the club only competition in Folsam, CA. 


Colin updated the Home Brewer of the Year standings, and anointed Gary Weston as the Whales 2007 Home Brewer of the Year.  The final standings are Gary with 36 points, Leo was second with 26 points, Prez finished 3rd with 25.  Rounding out the top 5 were Keith with 20 points and Brad an Jen with 18.  This year a record 15 Whales will finish the year with Home Brewer of the Year points.


Brad and Jen lead a discussion around the 2008, National Hombrewers Conference in Cincinatti, OH.  Brad and Jen are gauging club interest in making a trek to the mid west for the conference.  Folks should be aware that the hotel hosting the convention is already sold out, but there are other hotels in the area, and you should get your reservations in soon.  Brad also spent some time gauging club interest in participating in the Club Only Night at the conference. Look for more discussions at future meetings.


Folks should begin to consider candidates for all of the club offices in 2008.  We will likely hold elections at the January meeting.  There will be definite vacancies going into 2008 with the Prez moving to North Carolina and Leo moving to Minnesota. 


Discussions around the Whalesclub.org website occurred late at November’s meeting.  Paff and Big Bill agreed to combine forces and update the website.  Send your fresh ideas for the website to bumzbew@comcast.net and aa2mb@comcast.net.    


This month’s Beer in the News is an article debunking the myth that the pilgrims had to get off the boat because they were running out of beer.  It appears that Anheuser-Busch and other

Brewers during the early 1900 had seen the writing on the wall regarding prohibition.  They embellished history to make it appear that the country was founded on beer.  


Bobby and JD led the Gadget Report with a quality and price comparison of the Perlick vs Shirron.  Both of these are forward sealing beer faucets that have huge advantages over the traditional rear sealing faucet.  Bobby felt that at a $10 or $11 difference in price, was not enough of a difference in quality to justify the Shirron.  Some folks have found the Shirron within $3 or $4 of the Perlick, and may justify the difference.  Both of the faucets are quality items, and will eventually find their way onto my kegerator as well.

   Colin also brought in another Brewers Apprentice sized haul of 130 White Labs vials.  These will be used to continue growing the Whales Library.


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 handed out the latest copy of the WHALES brewing database data for 2007.  To date there were over 736 gallons of brew on the list.  When you brew 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:

November saw an all beer flight including several award winners from Splitrock.   Bobby led the flight with his Peach Wheat, and he was followed by Big Bill’s gold medal winning ESB.  Colin next served his first “lager” a dopplebock.  Brad and Jen then served their silver medal winning Imperial IPA “Simcoe Smackdown.”   Keith poured a very nice Chocolate Honey Porter, and this was followed by JD’s spicy Trois Pistoles clone.  Finishing the flight was Keith serving the Whales Belgian recipe first without and then with Oak Barrel aging.


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter