2007 April Meeting Issue #102

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes April 2007 Issue #102

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




*May 5th AHA Big Brew (Keith Story’s Piscataway)

*June 2nd 12:00 to Dark Whales Picnic Piscataway

*July 21st Belgium Comes to Cooperstown (Cooperstown, NY)

* August 20th Club Only Comp (Strong Ales)


Check the member’s only AOL “WHALESCLUB” site 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 Luke know and he will invite you to the group.



"The large brewers are not tooled to do what we do.  They’ll have to build less-than-efficient breweries to make beer like we do.”  Eric Wallace, co-founder of Left Hand Brewing Company


The Tuesday April 17th meeting witnessed another great turnout at an always fantastic location.  JJ Bitings continued support of our monthly club activities is greatly appreciated. 


In Attendance was Rob and Kristen, Uncle Leo, Colin, Luke, Bill S., Big Bill C., Harley Steve, Newman, Prez, Gene, Gary, Keith, Neal, Brad and Jenn, New Guy Glen, Oak Tree Jay, and Jody.


The next WHALES Big Brew is scheduled for Saturday May 5th.  Keith Story volunteered to host this year’s big brew at his home in Piscataway.  Keith’s backyard looks as if it was designed and built to be a Big Brew site.  All grain brewers will start sometime after 8:00 AM, with the extract folks lighting burners around 12:00 PM.  Plan to bring some food and beverage to share.  I believe Keith will provide fire to allow for the cooking of meat products.  I am planning to bring my water filter fitted to run on hose connections.  All are welcome to use the filter for their brewing water needs.  The Prez has also agreed to pick up yeast from Bittings for the Big Brew.  Bittings uses WLP001 and a White Labs German lager yeast.  The Prez requested that a few folks drop off sanitized containers to ensure that enough yeast is available.  Please coordinate with the prez at Keitho42@aol.com.  Keith Story will supply a follow up e-mail with his address and directions for the Big Brew.


The WHALES Annual Picnic is planned for June 2nd.  The members in attendance agreed to have the picnic in Piscataway.  Keith S. agreed to try and reserve the park right off 287 for the picnic.  Keith will provide an e-mail with directions and the name of the park, if we can secure the preferred date.   All details will be finalized at our May 15th meeting.


Colin handed out a Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) report.  As of the March club only competition Gary and the Prez were tied for 1st with 7 points.  Points need to be tallied for the April club only competition and the Nationals.  Make sure that you send Colin the info on any entries sent to the Nationals.  Points are given for each entry, so be sure to get the easy ones.  In order to make tracking HBOY points easier in the future, 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 (Extract Only) Club Only Competition was conducted at the meeting.  There were 11 entries sampled for the COC.  Keith S. poured a nice Bohemian Pilsner, and English Mild, followed by Bill S’s American Pale Ale.  A pair of brown porters was served next by Neal and Colin.  Gene’s tasty Baltic Porter was followed by Big Bill’s abbey ale.  Newman’s Oatmeal Stout and Gary’s Eisbock were tasted next.  Last but not least was a pair of Impy Stouts from Uncle Leo and Gene.  When the dust settled Newman’s Oatmeal Stout stood victorious, which was closely followed by Gary’s Eisbock.  Gene’s Baltic Porter rounded out the top three.  The next COC is Strong Ales scheduled for August.    


The Whales Cider Barrel remained safely above the flood waters in Luke’s basement.  Luke agreed to sample the cider before the next meeting.  Until then we will continue to let the yeast work their magic. 


The Whales Bourbon Barrel Belgian Tripel was tasted as part of the flight.  Opinions differed as to whether or not the beer was a little sweet.  Consensus was achieved concerning the fact that there is nothing wrong with the beer that another 6 months in an oak Bourbon Barrel can’t cure.


A Club Beer Swap was conducted with several members creating nice mixed six packs of fellow members Homebrew.


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 May, June, and July meetings will be excellent opportunities for presentations as there aren’t any Club only Competitions planned. 


Uncle Leo informed us that dues continue to roll in, bringing the club Kitty to $820.01.  The club collection of White Labs vials got a major boost from Colin and the Brewers Apprentice.  Colin discovered that the Brewers Apprentice was collecting the vials but didn’t plan to do anything with them.  They generously donated 180 White Labs vials to the cause.


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 Flight:

A transcontinental flight of 10 beers and wines was served at April’s meeting.  The flight taxied to the runway with Uncle Leo’s Hefe and Colin’s Old Ale.  We fastened our seat belts for Leo’s Whales Belgian Double “sour”, and Jody’s robust porter started us down the runway. This was followed by Jody’s Dark Belgian Strong kicking in the afterburners.  Jay brought us to cruising altitude with a Dogfish Head Red and White, and Gene prepped the group for landing with an interesting tasting of three different wines made from the same grape.  First we descended on Gene’s zinfandel.  The gear was lowered over a nice white zinfandel. Finally Gene’s zinfandel port brought this f light in for a nice soft landing.      


Holly cow!!  We had 11 Beers in the club only comp and 10 beers and wines in the flight for a grand total of 21 different beverages to taste. 


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter