2007 September Meeting Issue #107

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes September 2007 Issue #107

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




* September 28th 7:00 PM Whales Bourbon Barrel Tripel Distribution

* September 29th Central Jersey Charity Beer Fest

* October 6th October Fest (Prez’s House)

* October 16th Whales Meeting at Harvest Moon, New Brunswick

* October 20th Anheuser Busch Classic Car/Bike Show

* October 20th Valhalla: The Meading of Life (HBOY Comp)

* October 27th Brewtopia Pier 92

* November 3rd Cider Day, Western MA

* November 10th “Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day” (Bobby’s House, Piscataway)

* November 17th Split Rock Beerfest and Homebrew Comp (HBOY Comp)

* November 20th Club Only Comp (Pilsners)



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 know and he will invite you to the group.



“Leinenkugels makes better beer now that Miller bought them.  It will license insecure people to like craft beers.”—Michael Jackson, (Rest in Peace, Mr. Jackson) 


The Whales gathered on Tuesday September 19th, at our Woodbridge home, JJ Bitings.  The Whales gratefully acknowledge the generosity of August and Mr. Cerami for their continued support of the club activities.    


Bitings 2nd floor hosted a large group of folks.  In attendance were Kristen, Uncle Leo, Big Bill, Colin, and new member Nick Fox.  Also in attendance were Rick and Heather, Luke, Bobby, Neal, Jody, Paff, Bill S. and his brother, Prez, Keith, Harley Steve, Mike, Gene and Gary.


The Whales spent a lot of time discussing a possible Philadelphia Pub Crawl in October.  Unfortunately, despite a significant amount of leg work by Luke, the group couldn’t get a quorum for a bus trip or over night event in Philly.  The group present decided to try again after the new year.


On 10/6 the Prez will be hosting an Octoberfest bash on at his home in Woodbridge.  The party starts around 12:00PM and finishes whenever.  Folks usually bring some interesting brews and donate them to a huge tub with ice.  This makes for an interesting and enjoyable afternoon.  Attendees should also plan to bring a dish to share.  This may be the last year for this annual extravaganza.   We look forward to seeing you there.


Prez is attempting to secure permission to host the October meeting at the Harvest Moon in New Brunswick.  As of the writing of these minutes, we are planning to have the October meeting in New Brunswick. Prez will send out an e-mail confirming the same later this month.


Cider Day is scheduled for Saturday November 3rd.  Gary is planning to make the trek to MA to obtain some special cider blends, and partake in the tastings and fun. The group also showed interest in brewing a Whales 2007 Cider Barrel.  Details will be worked at the October meeting.  Check out the planned events at www.ciderday.org.  


Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day (Big Brew) was moved to Saturday November 10th.  Bobby has agreed to host the Whales at his home in Piscataway.  The Big Brew events are excellent ways for brewers to get together and share techniques, gadgets, and interesting brews.  This event is affiliated with the American Homebrewers Association, and is geared towards introducing people to home brewing.  Bobby does warn that his backyard is void of a lot of natural height variations for all grain set ups.  Plan to bring something to give you any needed height.  Bobby does have a filtered water source.  We will discuss more details at the October meeting.


The Whales Bourbon Barrel Tripel will be ready for distribution to the participants on 9/28 at 7:00 PM.


The 1st Annual Central Jersey Charity Beer Fest will be held on Saturday 9/29 at Parker Press Park in Downtown Woodbridge.  There is a rain date of 9/30.  There will be 600 tickets sold for the event at $20 a piece. The gates will open from 1 PM to 5 PM, and the event will host live bands, food, and of course craft beer.  5 New Jersey craft breweries are set to serve at the event: JJ Bitings, Flying Fish, Triumph, Climax, and Pizzeria Uno.  JJ Bitings has sponsored the event, and August may be looking for some support from the Whales.  Paff will be looking to organize some volunteers to help the brewers, and set up a WHALES table.  Folks should contact Paff or the Prez at bumzbrew@comcast.net or Keitho42@aol.com to help.  Look for additional details soon.  


Luke gave a Whales Mead Barrel update.  Earlier in the week Leo, Harley Steve, and Luke racked Barrel A or Barrel 1 (the one at Luke’s house) to a very nice Laird’s Apple jack barrel.  Luke picked up the barrels, and once he explained what the project was, the guy at Laird’s gave him a very fresh barrel.  The kind of barrel that when you smell it, “it snaps your head back.” Luke brought some of the mead to taste for the flight.  The barrel at Leo’s house was scheduled to be racked on that Thursday.  


There were three entries for the September Club Only Competition in BJCP Category 5 beers (Bocks).  Leo bought a Maibock, Jody poured a Dopplebock, and Gary presented an Eisbock.  Conveniently enough we had one representative from each of the Bock subcategories.  All three were excellent examples of the style, and after the votes were all counted, Jody got the extra Home brewer of the Year point.  Jody’s Dopplebock will represent the Whales at the AHA Club Only Comp.   The next Club only Competition will be in November.  November’s Club Only Competition will be for BJCP Category 2 beers (Pilsners).   This category contains German Pilsners, Bohemian Pilsners, and Classic American Pilsners.


There was no change in the Home Brewer of the Year standings.  Gary is in first with 26 points, the Prez is in second with 19, and Keith was in third.  The next opportunity to get (HBOY) points is Valhalla Mead competition.  Following Valhalla are Split Rock, and the Pilsner Club Only Comp.  Please remember to send Colin the info on any entries sent to HBOY competitions.  Up to two points are given for just entering, so be sure to get the easy ones.  Please send an e-mail to Colin at colin.falkinburg@gmail.com with a list of your entries and styles submitted at each sanctioned competition.


The next and final HBOY competitions are Valhalla, The Meading of Life and Split Rock.  Entries for Valhalla are due on 10/13, and the competition will be held on 10/20 at Iron Hill Brewery in West Chester, PA.  For more info on Valhalla, follow the link to www.valhalla-mead.com.  Notice that entries to Valhalla only require a single bottle as compared to most of the beer competitions which require 2 to 3.  The last sanctioned Whales HBOY competition is Split Rock in Lake Harmony, PA.  The home brew competition is combined with the Great Brews of America Beer Fest.  The Whales have made going to Split Rock an annual migration.  Several folks have free tickets for the beer fest, and Luke is going to see if he can get Darin Reed’s tickets.  Darin took several firsts at last years competition, and has since moved away from the state.  For more information on Split Rock visit their web site www.splitrockresort.com/beerfest.


Gary took charge of the New Whales Shirts and Pint Glasses debate.  The embroidered logo will remain the same, and shirts will be purchased with this tried and true logo. 


Uncle Leo  had received the 11 beer books from White Labs, and they were examined at the meeting.  Mike V. was named the Whales librarian and he will put 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.


Several members are planning to make a trek to Brewtopia on October 27th.  Look for further discussion at the October meeting or on the Yahoo site to coordinate your visit with the Whales.


Folks are reminded that if they have ideas for updating the club’s website, Whalesclub.org they should e-mail them to Paff at bumzbrew@comcast.net.


Jody continues to update the WHALES brewing database data for 2007.  When you brew send me an e-mail at moffamily@comcast.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 September flight began with Bobby’s American Blond.  New member Nick, poured a spicy Hennepin clone, and Luke served up the hot young Whales barrel mead.  Bill S. poured a commercial Octoberfest from High Point Brewery, and Big Bill poured an Extra Pale ale.  Bill had to take some extreme measures to get bottle carbonation, but the flavor was not adversely affected.  Following Bill’s XPA, was Jody’s Robust Porter.  Closing out the September flight was Leo who “found” some bottles of the Whales Inaugural Oak Barrel Imperial Stout.  All were excellent beers.


Editor’s Note:  I have changed my internet service provider from Comcast to Verizon.  Please take note of the new e-mail address moffamily@verizon.net.  Additionally, if there is anyone who wishes to be removed from this distribution list please drop me a quick note.


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter