2007 March Meeting Issue #101

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes March 2007 Issue #101

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996





*2007 National Homebrew Competition Entries 4/2 – 13/ 2007

*Breweriana Show 4/15/07 Clark, NJ

*Club Only Competitions 4/17/07 Extract Only

*May 5th AHA Big Brew (Location TBD)


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.



"I’ve always believed that paradise will have my favorite beer on tap."  - Rudyard Wheatley


The Tuesday March 20th meeting was held at our favorite hangout J.J. Bitings.  Many thanks to August Lightfoot and Mr. Cerami’s continued support of the WHALES activities.   


There was an excellent turnout for our meeting.  In Attendance was Rob and Kristen, Uncle Leo, Colin, Luke, Bobby, Bill S., Big Bill C., Harley Steve, Newman, Prez, Mike V., Gene, Levi, Gary, Keith, Neil, Mike O. and Jody.


The next WHALES Big Brew is scheduled for Saturday May 5th.  The Big Brew is an American Homebrewer’s Association sanctioned event designed to promote homebrewing.  The club is seeking volunteers to host the next event.  This event is a great opportunity for new members to meet a good cross section of folks in the club.  It also is a chance to see everyone’s equipment and share techniques.  If you are interested in hosting, or want to know more of what is involved, pass along an e-mail to the Prez at Keitho42@aol.com.


The WHALES Picnic was discussed at the meeting.  The picnic is held in June, and the group will need to pick a date and location soon to make a site reservation.  The local parks will fill up very quickly over the next few weeks.  If you have any suggestions for a location please let the group know.  We should plan to choose a date and location at the next meeting to allow the site to be secured, and a beer permit to be obtained.


Gary informed the group of the upcoming Breweriana Show on April 15th.  The show offers opportunities to buy anything beer.  The show is held at the Polish Cultural Center in Clark.  It runs from 10 – 3, and there will be plenty of Craft beers and polish food to partake of.   Directions - GSP to exit 135, enter circle from ramp, take Valley Rd towards Linden, First right onto Broadway.


The Whales invaded Brooklyn for the Annual NYC Pub Crawl on Saturday March 10th.  The group stopped by the Brooklyn Brewery to take the tour and sample some excellent brews.  The next stop on the tour was Mugs Ale House where Split Thy Skull Brooklyn VIII was happening.  Many wonderful high gravity brews were sampled at Mugs.  Following Mugs was a trip to Spite and Divel (editor’s note: editor reserves the right to use phonetic spelling if he/she chooses).  Many exotic beers, cheese s, etc were happily consumed.  At this point the details of the rest of the day became very sketchy however, it is clear that a great time was had by all who attended.


Colin gave an abbreviated Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) report.  There were no changes in the standings from last months report.  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.


A Club Only Competition (Scottish Ales) was conducted at the meeting.  There were 5 entries sampled for this COC.  Gary served a Scottish Light, Prez poured a Scottish Heavy, Bill S, Big Bill, and Jody all served up Strong Scotch Ales.  All of the beers were good examples of the style. Jody took home the win and the extra HBOY point, followed by Prez in second and Big Bill in Third.  Jody will send a couple of Brews to Connecticut< /st1:place> to represent the WHALES in this COC.  The next COC will be at our April meeting and will be for extract beers only.


The next HBOY competition will be the Nationals.  As of now club members will be responsible for shipping their own entries to the nationals.  Entries are due between 4/2 and 4/13.  The first round of judging for our region will be judged at Home Sweet Homebrew 2008 Sansom St. Philadelphia, PA  19103.  Because this is the first round of judging, only one beer will be required for each entry.  If there is a club member who would like to coordinate a drop off, please send an e-mail with details.  Check www.beertown.org for more info on the nationals. 


Luke and his ex-wife have graciously volunteered to organize a shipment for the first and second rounds of the National Cider competition.  Because this is the first and second rounds of the Cider competition, you will need to provide three bottles of cider.  Please have all entries to Luke’s house by April 2nd.  The Cider competition will be judged at Halftime Beverages 2290 South Rd. Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.  Check www.beertown.org for more info on the nationals.  


The Whales Cider Barrel continues to ferment and condition in Luke’s basement.  The group in attendance decided to let ‘er be, and discuss racking and bottling at a later date.  


Keith and Gary updated the group on the Whales Bourbon Barrel Belgian Tripel.  Since the last meeting the gravity has dropped from 1.038 to 1.029.  Gary and Keith thought the beer was still a little sweet, but the group decided to let er’ be as well. The KINGS had no objections to continuing to sample the barrel, and report on additional progress.


The March Club Beer Swap did not come off.  We will retry the Beer Swap in April. This is an opportunity for members to try some different beers and share some of their own.  Prez or Jody will send a reminder prior to the April meeting.


Bobby made a presentation on fermentation activity vs. oxygenation level.  There was some great data on a well controlled experiment for varying oxygenation techniques.  Bob plans to repeat the experiment with varying yeast levels, and was soliciting feedback for ideas.  Check out some cool time lapse video of the experiment on www.Youtube.com.  Search for “BobbyfromNJ” to see the video. 


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 presenter has the floor.


Uncle Leo informed us that there is $745.01 in the treasury.  Leo also has 3 yeast certificates for White Labs Yeast Vials. The club continues to collect vials, so we can communally obtain free stuff from White Labs.


Jody distributed up to date WHALES brewing database data for 2007. At that point the WHALES had reported brewing 85 gallons of beer.  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 AHA “American Homebrewers Association” is looking for clubs from NJ to participate in Club Night at the National Homebrewers Conference.  They are looking to coordinate the shipment of beers in the NY and NJ area for club night participation.  If anyone is interested in coordinating a WHALES participation at club night contact Dottie Clapp at nhc_2007_club_night@yahoo.com.  More info can be found at www.beertown.org/events/hbc/index.html.


The Flight:

8 tasty brews were rolled out at the meeting.  Neal led the way with his Cream Ale, followed by Bobby’s Marzen.  Levi poured a fabulous APA containing 3 oz of hops added at end of boil.  Mike V. poured some of the Whales Belgian Tripel recipe that didn’t make it in the barrel.  Colin presented the group with a nice Brown Porter, and Neal followed with a Chocolate Brown Porter.  Rob and Kristen cleared the decks with an I2PA, “Not for the faint of Hops”, and Newman finished the flight with his Sunday Morning Oatmeal Stout. 


Wow, between the COC and the flight we had 13 great beers to sample.  See you next month. 


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter