2003 September Meeting Issue #59

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes
September 2003 Issue #059
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

2004 Hilton Head Beach commitments needed ASAP
AHA Category #24 Club Only Vote (Specialty/Experimental/Historical)
Hurricane Isabel attends WHALES meeting
Split Rock

52 x 10 = 520 however 52 x 30 = 1,560! (White Castle sliders).
Hophead forgot. (about last month's meeting)  He watched TV instead.
I need an assistant brewer..... nevermind.
Tripka, you don't make good beer anymore. You make CONSISTENTLY good beer!


  • 09/24/03- Deadline for AHA Club Only #24 Specialty, Experimental, Historical
  • 09/27/03- Judging for AHA Club Only #24 Specialty, Experimental, Historical October - Beer Dinner by Master Brewer Tom Paffrath of Basil T
    10/04/03- OCTOBERFEST! Hosted by Keith and Janet, all WHALES invited
  • 10/16/03- WHALES Homebrew Club Meeting/SPECIAL PRESENTATION by Tripka
  • 10/31/03- Wedding of 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
  • 11/14/03- Deadline for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier
  • 11/20/03- WHALES Homebrew Club Meeting/SPECIAL PRESENTATION by Keith
  • 11/22/03- Split Rock Homebrew Competition (Leg of HBOY)
  • 11/22/03- Judging for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier
  • Dec/03 - AHA Club Only #12 Barleywine and Imperial Stout
  • 01/15/04- WHALES Homebrew Club Meeting
  • Apr/04 - AHA Club Only #25 Mead
  • 05/13/04- Deadline for AHA Club Only (no #) "Extract Brew"
  • 05/20/04- Judging for AHA Club Only (no #) "Extract Brew"

We all watched Hurricane Isabel "brewing" in the Atlantic for a week, before she finally hit land on the third Thursday of the month.  Over 4 million people have no electricity now, and 25 people have died as a result of this storm.  Our monthly homebrew meetings just happen to also fall on the third Thursday of the month.  What seemed like Y2K all over again, luckily did not happen for us.  We had one of our smallest turnouts ever, BUT, we DID have a meeting at J.J. Bitting Brewpub and it was one of the best this Club has ever had.  THANKS to all for attending!

Attendance: 7 solid members with Mr. Keith, Mr. Steve, Mr. I-Pipe Mike, Mr. Tripka, Mr. Luke, Mr. Kenny, and Mr. Gene.

Steve's house is an official pick up and drop off point for CO2 cylinders.  If you need your CO2 refilled it will cost Club members $7.50 for 5 lbs, or $15.00 for 10 pounds.

A correction to last month's newsletter:  The prize Kenny's recipe won for the 2003 White Castle Crave Time Cook Off is not 52 sacks of 10 sliders.  The prize was upgraded to 52 CASES of 30 burgers!  That's 1,560 bombers to be consumed by October 2004!

Mike T had prepared a SPECIAL PRESENTATION for this meeting.  He was going to speak about making multiple different beers from one batch of brew.  Due to the low attendance this month, the Club chose to bump Mike's presentation to the October meeting.  Keith's SPECIAL PRESENTATION on Proper Beer Storage will in turn be pushed back to the November meeting.  We have a volunteer penciled in for January which leaves the rest of 2004 wide open.  VOLUNTEERS WELCOME!

Keith is looking to visit the 2003 Split Rock Festival as a WHALES group and split the costs of accommodations.  Please contact the Prez if you are interested.

The AHA's Teach A Friend To Brew Day is November 1st.  Our Club has always made this event a brew bash.  A "brew bash" is where many members gather at one location to make beer, either individually or in shared batches.  We've had bashes at Keith's, Paff's, Luke's, Tripka's and Steve's in the past and need a place for our next one.  If you would like to host the November Bash, please let us know.  Outdoor shelter (i.e., tarps) may be necessary. If the weather totally won't cooperate for the 1st, it was decided that the 8th might also suffice if an alternate date is required.
It was also decided that the Club vote for the Club Only AHA Competition Category #8 Koelsch and Altbier would be held on the Brew Bash date, instead of our regular monthly meeting date.  Our meeting date is too soon (mid October) because the deadline for the competition is mid November.  This also allows brewers more time if they decide to compete and make a batch.  Fair enough?

Keith is looking to get a Club hop order together, as well as other brewing basic necessities like bottle caps and muslin hop bags.  Tripka has good experience in buying hops in bulk poundage and will search out the freshest and best deals.  The idea is to save money by buying in bulk and splitting the cost among those that want it.  It was suggested that such a purchase be made from Club dues money but that would require an official vote as some members may not ever have a need for an item.  Non-dues money purchases among a group are certainly less complicated and that may be the better way to go.

The Dover Ocktoberfest is this weekend.

River Horse in Lambertville has happenings on the horizon.

The shore house event hosted by Piper was GREATLY enjoyed by all attending!  The sunset and boat ride are still being talked about.  Meeting the Brewer (Paff at Basil T's) was also a highlight.

HILTON HEAD BEACH 2004 EVENT hosted by Tripka's:
This event is slated for a late summer week of next year.  The house rent will be split by those attending.  It's beautiful and has everything!  If you are interested, Mike requests that you contact him ASAP as commitments need to be made this far in advance.

If you want to enter the Split Rock Homebrew Competition there is a good chance that you won't have to mail in your entries.  We may have a volunteer to drop off our entries a week in advance, saving Club members a small fortune in shipping!  Details to follow.

This monthly meeting was important because it involved a Club vote for an AHA Club Only Competition.  The competition is for Specialty/Experimental/Historical Category #24.  Any ale or lager beer brewed using unusual techniques (hot rocks, etc.), unique fermentables (such as maple syrup, honey, etc.), unique adjuncts (oats, rye potatoes, etc.), low alcohol, combinations of fruits and spices/herbs/vegetables, or historical beers (Entire, IPA with Brettanamyces, Louvain Pecterman, etc.).  Experimental beers that do not otherwise meet the other established style categories may be entered here.

We had three brewers brew for this Club Only Event.  Perhaps there were more but only 3 brews were present for the official Club voting on this Hurricane Eve Meeting.

Steve- Historical Beer
Brewman Steve recreated a beverage that was brewed during a drought dating back to 1784.  That drought and lack of rain water proved deadly for crops of hops and barley.  How devastating for beer makers!  Nonetheless, brewers did the best they could that year.  Steve has proved that as a homebrewer, he can brew anything fermentable.  ANYTHING, and make it taste good too.  This "brew" (not a beer) is awesome!!!  Steve used light and dark brown sugars.  There are ZERO malts and ZERO hops in his recipe.  Heck, he is duplicating a drought condition from centuries ago!  Leave it to a WHALE to attempt something like this!  This beverage used the juice of 9 lemons.  It also contains the dried leaves of the lemon balm herb.  This herb is hard to find but Steve got his in a vitamin shop.
OG: 1080
FG: 1030
abv: 5.6%
6 weeks fermentation with 1056 ale yeast
Delicious, must serve cold or chance of gush.  Still great tasting with nice dark sugar aromas.  Beautiful lemon iced tea notes.  If the judges don't mind a gush, this brew is sensational.  Truly historical and truly experimental.  Best of all, it tastes good and has a kick.  Steve nailed it, even with the gush.

Kenny- Experimental Beer
"Ginger Ale"
This beer was experimental in 2 ways.  One being the use of fresh grated ginger root.  The other being a test of the duration of old secondary yeast.  This brew is an extremely refreshing beverage, light yet flavorful.  5 cups of clover honey were used as well as 5 ounces grated fresh ginger.  The yeast was harvested from the secondary of an ale racked 04/29/03.  This experiment proves, SAVE YOUR YEAST!
Even after months in the refrigerator, this yeast kicked right in just by allowing it to warm to room temperature.  It was not restarted.  When the wort was warm, out of the brew kettle, this beverage was absolutely delicious to drink in its unfermented, uncarbonated state.  The ginger was very pronounced though, but that eventually mellowed as the beer conditioned in the bottle.  All in all, a very nice summer ginger ale worth a try.  OG 1056, FG 1007, ABV 6.25%

Luke's "Honey Orange Beer"
This fine beverage is a young 9 to 10 days in the bottle.  Very FRESH!  It is an Orange Honey Beer made with the assistance of Cascades, Nuggets, and a half ounce of orange peel in the later boil for 10 minutes.  There is also a couple pounds of honey in here.  This is a superb citrusy clean and fruity beer, just perfect for the summer.  It was fermented at 60*F and Luke figured the abv at 5.1% with an OG of 1052 and a final of 1012.  Nice job!

Just for participating, each of the 3 brewers who attempted a Specialty/Experimental/Historical receive 1 point in our Homebrewer of the Year Competition.  Congratulations to Steve, for being selected to represent our Club!  For being selected, Steve receives an additional point.  Best of luck in the Club Only!

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

After the Club Only vote, we had more homebrews.
Hopped Porter by Tripka:
This is one of the beers Mike was going to feature at his presentation about making more than one beer out of a batch.  Mike made 3 different porters from one brewing session.  A regular porter, a dry hopped porter, and a cinnamon vanilla porter.  We were treated to the hopped porter tonight.  Porter is not a style that is typically dry hopped.  When asked why he chose to do so, Mike said "Because I could."  The beer was served very cold and was quite poundable at a cooler temp.  It was also quite good after it warmed up a bit.  It was brewed with nugget hops and dry hopped with cascade.  It seemed very similar to a schwarzbier.

Next home made batch up was a Bacchus Red Merlot by Gene.  This wine from the Krooked Kreek Wine Cellars sported a high quality label, so we knew the wine maker was proud of this vintage.  Actually, it was Gene's first attempt at making his own vino.  This merlot is one year old, made September of last year.  It is dry and acidic, but very tasty!  He crushed his own grapes.  All 630 pounds of them!  That was 15 cases worth of grapes.  Gene used open fermentation and 3 different oaks; a medium toasted American, medium toasted French, and a heavily toasted French oak.  This batch yielded 225 bottles.  With all of the equipment purchase for this first batch of wine, Gene figures it cost him $8.50 a bottle.  Now that the equipment has been paid for, the next batch should drop his cost down to only $2.00 - $2.50 per bottle for ingredients.  We don't usually taste too many wines at our meetings but this was a treat!

Well, that's all for now.  Hoppy and Happy Brewing!  CHEERS!
Kenny / Divorce Court Brew Labs