2003 August Meeting Issue #58

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes
August 2003 Issue #058
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Paff RULZ at Basil T, Multi tasting with major crowd, Vermont Vacation

"Piper Mike is the only guy that can lose more stuff than he brought."
"Piper Mike should run the Lost And Found.  After all, it's all his stuff anyway".

Speaking of stuff, there is a TON of it on the calendar.  It is hard to keep up...  Here is an attempt-


  • 08/31/03- BBQ hosted by Steve and Dana, all WHALES invited
  • 09/06/03- BBQ hosted by Mike M and wife, all WHALES invited
  • 09/18/03- Club meeting, Special Presentation by Tripka "Porter"
  • 09/18/03- Club Vote for AHA Club Only #24 Specialty, Experimental, Historical
  • 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
  • 10/16/03- Club Vote for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier
  • 10/31/03- Wedding date Steve and Dana
  • 11/14/03- Deadline for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier
  • 11/20/03- WHALES Homebrew Club Meeting
  • 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
  • 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"

The August 2003 Meeting of the WHALES took place at J.J. Bitting on the third Thursday of the month, the 21st.  The Club was fortunate to have access to the deck this fine summer evening.  The Bitting Brewpub upstairs deck is a WONDERFUL place for our meetings.  Aside from a passing train or few, it is so great to be tasting world class beers under the stars with such fine company.

You would think a hot August homebrew meeting would have a low turn out.  On the contrary, this meeting blew out the stops!  Those in attendance, special guest Barnaby as well as a guest of Piper, Kim, Leo, Gene, Mike T, Julianna, Tom Paff, Tom T, El Lukester, President Keith, Steve, and Kenny.  Joe the Bartender also popped in for a quick taste.

Luke hosted his Alice Cooper Memorial Film Festival July 25th and it was a great success!  The GIANT homemade projection screen in his backyard kicked out Billion Dollar Babies as well as some Zep.  Luke attended our August meeting so we can assume the fireworks display amounted to only a minimal jail time sentence.

As you know, we filed a complaint against the Colorado Post Office for "rifling" a stolen Bronze Medal in the AHA National Homebrew Competition Second Round.  The United States Post Office came up with officially no clue.  Thanks to Gary Glass of the AHA for getting out a replacement medal to Divorce Court Brew Labs!  Much appreciated!

Divorce Court Brew Labs also won FIRST PLACE in the White Castle National Crave Time Cook Off!  Some may argue this is not beer related, but others know better.  In any event, it is worthy of mention.  The grand prize is a sack of 10 White Castle Hamburgers a week, for 52 weeks.  White Castle will have a video on their website of the judge's session, as well as the recipe.  At the moment they still have the 2002 winner high lighted but that should be updated soon.

The Vermont Escape Getaway hosted by Luke had a great turn out!  The rain turned out as well for a spell but everyone that went enjoyed.  The group made visits to both Long Trail brewery and Harpoon Brewery.  Long Trail was serving up 30 ounce glasses of the potent Double Bag for $6.00 a fill.  Harpoon's offerings included an IPA, Octoberfest, Amber, and Munich Dark.  They also made a recent 100 barrel batch of specialty brew.  Of course, it seems that any WHALES event creates the necessity for a Lost and Found Department the following day.  I-Pipe Mike lost damn near everything he brought including but not limited to his sleeping bag, pillow, sun glasses, tie down straps, measuring cup, and T-shirt.  Way to go Mike!

Results of the Euro Pale Lager AHA Club Only came back and WHALES did not score this time on a Pilsener brewed by Luke and Kenny.  4 judges scored this a 26, 27, 30, and 33.  This beer (Pissoff Divorce) may not be a Northern German Pils, but is sure tastes good to the brewers!

It was decided by Keith that the Split Rock Competition in November would round out our HBOY (Homebrewer of the Year Contest).  This year is our first annual HBOY Competition.  Our President would like the winner to receive a special mug each year to keep.  There will also be a permanent plaque posted at our host brewpub J.J. Bitting with the names of all of the winners added each year.  You can score points for HBOY several ways.  All of the AHA Club Only Competitions are fair game.  To recap the scoring system you earn 1 point for entering the Club Vote Prejudging for all AHA Club Onlys.  Earn an additional 1 point for being selected by the Club to represent WHALES.  Aside from the AHA Club Onlys, there are 3 other AHA sponsored competitions you can earn points in.  Those are the War of Worts (February), AHA Nationals (May), and now Split Rock (November).  Earn 1 point for entering one brew.  Earn 2 points for entering more than one.  Earn points for placing as follows:  Gold (5), Silver (3), Bronze (1), Best of Show (BOS 3).  Current standings are:
Keith- 20 points
Kenny- 19 points
Luke- 12 points
Tripka- 10 points
Steve- 7 points
Paul- 7 points
Paff- 5 points
Tom T- 1 point
Balance of members- 0 points
Irish Mike- 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 points !!!

HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS are in order for our very own Tom Paffrath (WHALES Treasurer).  As you may have read in all the local beer rags, Paff is recognized now as the official head brewer of Basil T's in Tom's River!  Tom had no brewing records to go by from the previous brewers, so he is really relying on his own expert brewing knowledge to create the products.  Tom has made fresh batches for 6 weeks now.  What is very impressive is that he is using his own yeast now, started from smack packs and grown to massive pitching quantities!  He's fixed a broken fermentor, and repaired the bent mash screens by running them over with an SUV.  The screens get bent from stuck mashes, hopefully Paff will have none.  Tom has acid washed the equipment and is basically starting from scratch, his way.  Tom needs help on Fridays, if you can help out.  The beers of Basil T's have been renamed by the new brewer.  Tom plans to have a "Meet the Brewer" event about September 5th, 6th.  Contact Tom for details and once again, GREAT JOB PAFF!

Paff is running our public website whalesclub.org and it is renewal time.  The Club voted unanimously to renew the registration for another 2 years.  Our private website is also still up and running after some difficulty with the invitations.  The bugs were worked out, and as always all contributions are welcome!  (Remember, the only way to see the private website is with a personal invite.)

Brew Your Own magazine did not publish our Club Profile yet.  Look for it in a future (hopefully next) edition.

Steve and Dana have invited all WHALES to a BBQ on Sunday, August 31st.

Keith and Janet have invited all WHALES to an Octoberfest the first weekend of October.

Piper Mike and wife have invited all WHALES to a BBQ down at the shore house on Saturday, September 6th.  E-mail Mike M for details if interested.  "It is a day thing, bring whatever."

Leo did a fascinating 15 minute presentation about smoke and beer.  He detailed how the flavor of smoke was introduced into beer due to early malting practices, etc.  Coke, straw, wood, and ferns all contributed to smoke flavor in early brews.  Leo brought 2 commercial smoke flavored beers for us to sample.  Those were Rogue Smoked Ale and Heavyweight Cinder Bock from the brewery of Tom Baker.  Many thanks Leo!

After all Club Business, we dove into our tasting session which included many fabulous brews!
1) Hefeweizen by Tripka- easy drinking summer beer with residual sweetness
2) Belgian Wit by Paff- dry, served a bit too warm
3) Pilsener by Luke and Kenny- super Saazed up hoppy Pils
4) Tom's River Red by Paff- commercial homebrew at Basil T's
5) Pale Ale by Paff- Basil T's pale ale from July 4th, a bit astringent
6) American Brown by Luke- could use more hops
7) Weizenbock by Tom T- yeast from JJ and checks in at 7.2% abv
8) Schwartzbeir by Tom P- dark lager
9) Bock by Kenny- thumbs up, wort chiller nap episode
10) Rock Art Barleywine from Vermont by Keith- clearly mislabeled,
this was not a barleywine at all. (commercial Ridge Runner)

Til next time, CHEERS!
Kenny / Divorce Court Brew Labs