2003 October Meeting Issue #60

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes
October 2003 Issue #060 (W O W, 60!)
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Split Rock, BREW BASH, Hilton Head, WHALES Party Boat Fishing, HOPS!

"Paul is dead." -Luke
"Better luck next year." -Chicago Cubs

10/31/03- Mr. and Mrs. Steve and Dana
11/01/03- Club Vote for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier (at BREW BASH)
11/01/03- Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day and WHALES BREW BASH at Luke's
11/04/03- Chris White and August at Heartland Union Square 7:30 pm
11/06/03- Chris White of White Labs at PALE ALES meeting Triumph Brewpub
11/14/03- Deadline for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier
11/20/03- WHALES Homebrew Club Meeting/SPECIAL PRESENTATION by Keith
11/20/03- Deadline for Split Rock Homebrew Competition
11/22/03- Judging for Split Rock Homebrew Competition (Leg of HBOY)
11/22/03- Judging for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier
12/02/03- Deadline for AHA Club Only #12 Barleywine and Imperial Stout
12/06/03- Judging for AHA Club Only #12 Barleywine and Imperial Stout
01/15/04- WHALES Homebrew Club Meeting
Apr/04 - AHA Club Only #25 Mead
May/04- BREW BASH hosted by Leo and Kim
05/13/04- Deadline for AHA Club Only (no #) "Extract Brew"
05/20/04- Judging for AHA Club Only (no #) "Extract Brew"

Our friends of the PALE ALES Homebrew Club in Princeton have invited WHALES to their next meeting at Triumph Brewpub on Thursday, November 6th 7:30 pm.  Chris White of White Labs (Brewing Yeast) will be their guest speaker.  Thanks Homebrew Joe (Princeton Homebrew 609-252-1800) for the invite!

President Keith and Janet held their annual Octoberfest Saturday, October 4th and all WHALES were invited.  As usual, and in spite of some not so nice weather, this event was  excellent and a good time was had by all.  The food, beer, and people were GREAT!  Terry (Onion Boy) has a photo album up on the WHALES private site and there will be more pictures
to follow.  Thanks again Keith and Janet!

WHALES held their first Party Boat Fishing Trip on Friday, October 17th.  We took the Atlantic Star fishing vessel sailing from Atlantic Highlands under the hand of Captain Tom Buban.  It is a good season for bottom fishing and the trip was non-stop action, all day long!  The first stop was a Porgies (Scup) hotspot and within 2 hours most anglers had between 30 and 50 keepers with coolers and buckets overflowing.  There were not too many shorts (10 inch minimum) to throw back.  In fact, many of the porgies were HUGE and did not need to be measured.  The next stop was for sea bass and the Captain anchored over a rough bottom with structure.  Here too, the action was just as hot.  We caught EVERYTHING!  Porgies, sea bass, fluke, flounder, blackfish, and even some triggerfish.  Once your bait hit the bottom you only had to wait 3 seconds and you would be reeling up a fish.  All in all, OUTSTANDING!  We fished near and around Sandy Hook, the fare was $37.00.

The October WHALES Homebrew Club meeting was held on the third Thursday of the month (as usual) at J.J. Biting Brewpub on Main Street in the heart of Woodbridge, NJ.  Attendance was much better than the previous meeting (Hurricane Isabel) and included Keith Da Man, Tattoo Joe, Almost Not A Bachelor Steve, White Castle Kenny, El Lukester, Motorcycle Mama Kim, Biker Leo, Irish Piper Mike, Big Johnson Tripka, Wine Man Gene, Crazy Jonathon popped in, as well as J.J. Bitting Master Brewer August Lightfoot.

Current tap offerings from August Lightfoot at J.J. Bitting are Victoria's Golden, Raspberry Wheat, Cali Steam Locomotive, Bad Boy Oktoberfest, Chocolate Cherry Stout, Bitting's Best Bitter, and Cask IPA.  The stout was a favorite with Bad Boy a close second.

Hairy Joe is now Tattoo Joe.  Joe, Val, and their daughter all went for tattoos.  Joe now sports a hop vine tattoo around his wrist.  How's THAT for devotion!

Keith opened the meeting with an AHA beef.  They really need to get the AHA Club Only competitions on a firm 2 year schedule.  The AHA has Mead, Imperial Stout, Barleywine, etc coming up and it is short notice for some of these styles that need to mature and age.  The AHA current Club Only schedule goes out to May of 2004.

Luke passed around and shared a Mead Maker book written by Ken Schramm.  The Yellow Jackets were flying out of the book with each turn of the page!

This was a bad year for hops.

Contact MT for Hilton Head.

WHALES next BREW BASH will be held at Luke's on November 1st, rain or shine.  The pre-judging and vote for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier will be held on this day as well.  If you have a Koelsch or Altbier, please get it or bring it to Luke's for the vote.  Also, the Club will be making a Bulk Hop Order Purchase at this time so bring your hop want lists.

Leo volunteered for a BREW BASH in May.

August noted that Chris White of White Labs will be doing a yeast blending presentation at Heartland at Union Square on Tuesday November 4th at 7:30 pm.

WHALES are going to Split Rock for the 12th Annual Great Brews of America Festival and 8th Annual AHA Homebrew Competition!  Gene has a place to stay that can accommodate 6 to 8 people and is 15 minutes away from the resort.  Keith and Janet are booking a 3 bedroom unit including Leo, Kim, and Luke + guest.  Tripka and Julianna are going as well.  Paff was not at the meeting but he is a Split Rock regular and we assume will be there too.

Speaking of Tom, MT says he has specialty grains available.

The Club has 4 officers; President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Event Coordinator respectively held by Keith, Paff, Kenny, and Luke.  If anyone is interested in one of these positions for 2004, a vote will be taken.  If not, let's hope the incumbents wish to continue.

Thanks Mike for a fine presentation on making multiple beers from one batch.  Mike made a base porter and spun off a hopped porter and also a spiced porter from the same batch of brew.  He brought samples of all three to dive into.

The "REGULAR PORTER" was the base recipe which was a Sierra Nevada clone.  August noted that the Sierra Nevada porter is too hoppy for the style.  MT's base porter was very good though.  Dead nuts perfect.

The "HOPPED PORTER" is something not usually done by brewers for the style of porter.  However Mike did it, "because he could."  This beer was similar to Sierra Nevada Porter according to August.  This portion of the batch was dry hopped with 2 ounces of whole leaf Cascades.  The dry hopping almost overpowers the porter.  When tasted with the eyes closed, it DOES over power the porter.  Good for hopheads!  Hoppy black beers are magical in their own way.

Next up, "SPICED PORTER".  Mike tried not to over do the spices in this batch portion, and it was done with much care.  He actually used an eye dropper to introduce vanilla and cinnamon.  Most everyone thought this beer was nicely balanced and a job well done.  Thanks Mike!

Steve's Lemon Ale- This was the beer we voted in to represent us in the last AHA Club Only.  It did not place in the competition but this concoction is truly unique and delicious!  Steve made 3 cases of this.  The first did not explode.  The second case did.  The third barley gushed.  Think of it as a lemon iced tea with a kick, truly a thirst quencher!  Unique with no barley, no hops.

Orange Honey Beer by Luke- This clear and very crisp brew was made with Anchor yeast.  It is orange/amber in color and has aged better since last tasting.  This batch was hopped with 12.7% alpha Nuggets and some Cascades.  The addition of a half ounce of Curiso orange peel is just right on the money.  It might be over hopped but it is still good checking in with the help of honey at 5.1% ABV.

American Brown Ale by Steve- Brown sugar aroma, light brown in color yet can see through.  Steve's excellent Brown Ales have represented WHALES in the AHA Club Only and also won him a Silver at War of Worts.  The Prime Tabs have been working for only12 days, so the carbonation process needs more time.  American Brown Ale is the style that Steve experienced a smashed carboy with.  Austin Homebrew was very good in replacing items/ingredients lost.  Brew Haulers replaced just the straps that busted when Steve moved his carboy.  This beer checks in at 5.8% ABV.

Bock by Kenny- Brewed as a Doppelbock and lagered by Mother Nature over the winter of 2002/2003 at about 35 degrees.  This was the beer that the wort chiller ran all night (passed out on couch).  The starter yeast was too big and could not fit into the carboy.  Thus, with very little air space, this was a hard batch to aerate.  Aside from all of the mistakes, this warming malty beer turned out "warming and splendid"!

Maple Porter by Leo- This beer has matured well and aged one year in Leo's basement.  The molasses notes have faded since our last tasting of this.  Keith's impression of this batch was "smooth, mellow, and balanced!"

Current 2003 HBOY Standings:
Keith- 20 points
Kenny- 20 points
Luke- 13 points
Tripka- 10 points
Steve- 9 points
Paul- 7 points
Paff- 5 points
Tom T- 1 point

With Split Rock and the AHA Club Only's #8 and #12 coming up, ANYTHING can happen in HBOY 2003!  Best of luck to all the brewers!

Well, that's all for now, CHEERS!
Kenny / Divorce Court Brew Labs