2003 July Meeting Issue #57

July 2003 Issue #057
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

PREVIEW: Club Only Vote, Vermont Getaway, BYO articles

"This beer tastes like fish water."
"Every beer we taste tonight will be better than this one (Pilsner Urquell)".
"Damn, Piper Mike showed up again."

07/25/03- Alice Cooper Film Fest at Luke's 7pm
07/25/03- Deadline for AHA Club Only #2 European Pale Lager
08/02/03- Judging for AHA Club Only #2 European Pale Lager
08/08/03- Vermont Escape on 70 acres buck naked by Luke
08/21/03- Special Presentation by Leo (???) yeah, right!  :-) ha ha
09/18/03- Special Presentation by Tripka, Porter
09/24/03- Deadline for AHA Club Only #24 Specialty, Experimental, Historical
09/27/03- Judging for AHA Club Only #24 Specialty, Experimental, Historical
10/16/03- WHALES Homebrew Club Meeting
11/14/03- Deadline for AHA Club Only #8 Koelsch and Altbier
11/20/03- WHALES Homebrew Club Meeting
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 Brews"
05/20/04- Judging for AHA Club Only (no #) "Extract Brews"

The WHALES Annual BBQ/Picnic was held on Saturday, June 28th at the swim club hosted by Joe and Val.  The turn out was EXCELLENT, as well as the weather, food, and beer.  We couldn't ask for a better day!  Ribs, red skin potato salad, London broil, bratwurst, hamburgers, pork loin, hot dogs, green salads, White Castle cheeseburgers, fruit salad, chili, desserts, beer, beer, and so much more beer we could not finish what we brought!  We had kegs upon kegs along with a multitude of both homebrew and commercial bottled varieties.  There was so much food and beverage brought that we could not possibly consume it all, although we sure tried!  Thanks to all for sharing their goodies, and special thanks to Joe for hosting the club.  An EXTRA special thanks to Joe's friend Bob, who slaved over the BBQ and grilled everything tossed his way to absolute perfection.  It was good to see one of the original WHALES members "Baloo" attend, along with his wife Estelle and two of their friends.  All in all, just one terrific event!

The WHALES club July 2003 monthly meeting took place on the outside deck of J.J. Bitting Brewpub on a glorious perfect summer evening.  We pulled up 4 tables together and had just a fabulous time under the stars and evening sky.  The attendance was strong, even in this hotter brewing weather.  Around the circle were Joe, Luke, Piper Mike, Kenny, Tripka, Julianna, Keith, Steve, Tom T, Gene, Leo, Kim, with guests Mary and Evin.

Every meeting has its good news and bad news.  For bad news, how about coming home and finding a shovel through your back window and your residence burglarized.  That's what Steve and Dana just went through.  Rings, cash, coins, poison the pet, etc...  What a fooked up world we are forced to live in.  That was a major rip off.

We are also forced to live with minor rip offs.  The AHA sent a bronze medal to DC Labs for its part in the Nationals Second Round.  The medal got ripped off.  There is a complaint filed with the Edison Post Office and the tampered (they call it "riffled") envelope is being sent to the Post Master in Boulder, CO for further investigation.

On to the good things, Luke is hosting The Alice Cooper Memorial Film Fest.  It's BYOB.  Wear a helmet.  Friday, July 25th 7pm.  Wildman Luke builds a big projection screen in his backyard on occasion, tosses up some cool flicks, and everyone is invited!  Door prizes, LARGE fireworks (thus the helmet), popcorn, dogs, you name it.  An Americana Drive-in Movie atmosphere at its finest.  The feature movie is Billion Dollar Babies.  Rumor has it that the new Led Zep will make an appearance as well.  When Luke plans something, it has always been something worthy to show up for!

Speaking of Lukester Plans, V E R M O N T is a goooooooooo, baby!  Slated for August 8,9,10th and with flexibility before and after this sounds like one wild event.  70 acres, a cabin with showers and kitchenette, good watering holes, plenty of room to camp, voila!

WHALES cast their votes for the brew to represent us in the first competition of the 2003/04 AHA Club Only Competitions.  This event is for BJCP Category #2 European Pale Lager.  The subcategories are #2A: Bohemian Pilsner, #2B: Northern German Pilsner, #2C: Dortmunder Export, #2D: Muenchner Helles.  Keith's Northern German scored two votes.  Steve's Bohemian Pils scored three votes.  The all grain Northern German brewed by Luke and Kenny scored five votes and with any luck will nail some points for the Homebrew Club of The Year by the AHA.

Please brew for the Club Only Competitions!  The dates are listed above, so plan in advance.  As long as we have at least one brew to submit, we stand a chance of winning.  President Keith's long time dream is for WHALES to earn the AHA Homebrew Club of the Year Award.  Lets not disappoint him.  Lets make it happen this year!  We CAN DO THIS.  It is not beyond our grasp.

In other news, there is a renewed interest for our monthly Special Presentations.  The dates are posted above.  Keith will be doing something towards the end of the year (October/November) on "Aging Beer."  He will teach us what styles are good to age, how to age, the use of oak barrels, etc.  Leo is penciled in for our next meeting in August.  Big Johnson MT claimed the month of September and will be speaking about porters.  Presentations can be as long or short as you please.  Also, there is no reason why there can't be more than one presentation per meeting.

Keith is pondering a WHALES beach trip sometime this summer.

Be sure to buy a copy of the next BREW YOUR OWN magazine.  They are supposed to be publishing a WHALES Club profile as well as a WHALES Homebrewer profile.  Photographs included!

Tripka has been in touch with the Star Ledger to see if they want to promote or support a Homebrew Competition.  If this happens it would be in conjunction with our friends of the PALE ALES Homebrew Club in Princeton.  If they want a group photograph, lets have Irish Mike take it.  (he he, that way he won't be in it!)

OK, on to the BEER TASTINGS!   Along with the blind homebrew tastings of Euro Pale Lagers, several members brought commercial samples to serve as "benchmarks."

1) Pilsner Urquell from Kenny- This beer was the typical imported SKUNK CITY GREEN GLASS YUCK that is being sold at premium prices for defective product.  People are so used to this off flavor that they think the beer is SUPPOSED to taste that way!  It's not.  This brand is the ultimate benchmark of a good pilsner but damned if you can ever find a fresh one.  It has a nickname PU for a reason.  Prez Keith also brought some of this "Bohemian" example.

2) Pete's Wicked Helles Lager from Keith- BJCP category #2D.

3) Beck's German Pilsner from Keith- This is a commercial version of category #2B Northern German.

4) Hansa Dortmunder from Keith-  Julianna remarked "This beer tastes like fish water."

5) Czechvar Premium Lager from Keith- This was the BEST of all of the commercial European Pale Lagers.  It was not skunky at all.  On the contrary it was fresh and very nicely crisp.

6) Hefeweizen by Gene- Gene started us off with a GREAT session of homebrew samples!  Outside on the deck it was very dark this evening, and difficult to judge the colors of beer.  This hefeweizen seemed to be on the dark side though, perhaps because it was an extract.  Color aside, this was one tasty wheat beer with that big banana hefe yeasty aroma that makes this style so delicious!  Very nice product.

7) Hefeweizen by Steve- Steve's wheat beer was so much lighter in color than Gene's and perhaps more of what the color should be for this style.  As was Gene's brew, Steve's hefe was totally SUPERB!  An excellent homebrew, very light and crisp.  Wow, back to back fantastic hefeweizens enjoyed on the outside deck of J.J. Bitting on a lovely summer evening.  This is heaven.

8) English Ale by Tripka- MT calls this his Bottington Pub Draft clone and it is right on the money.  This is a great drinking session beer with a big creamy head.  Mike has been on a roll for some time now with CONSISTENT EXCELLENCE in all of his batches.  Certainly, something all homebrewers strive for.

9) English/Brittish Pale Ale by Gene- Another good batch from Gene, this beer was an attempt at a Bass Ale clone.  Truth be told, this beer is better than Bass.  The beer is clear and sports a fine color.  OG was over 1060, and Bullion hops balance this out nicely.  Some thought this beer might be approaching an IPA level but it sure is easy drinking.

10) Munich Dunkel by Keith- WHALES had a field trip to Ramstein Brewery and Prez scored some lager yeast from that trip!  Keith used that Ramstein yeast to make a dopplebock, as well as this Munich Dunkel.  This beer was brewed March 15th and bottled May 26th.  8 weeks of lagering makes this beer very clean.  The all grain bill included Munich malt, 2 colors of Cara Munich, and just a touch of Chocolate malt.  Keith thinks this beer is very similar to a Schwarzbier.

11) IPA by Kenny- Divorce Court Brew Labs has made this the house every day drinking beer, made dozens and dozens of times over.  The recipe won a medal at last year's AHA IPA Club Only.  Made with only Centennial hops, this IPA usually ends up at 6.5% abv.

12) English IPA by Steve- Steve is also on a tear making consistently good brews.  This IPA was no exception!  Steve used his basic IPA recipe as before but with one difference.  He went with Burton Ale yeast this time.  The end result is a tad sweeter beer.

HBOY (Homebrewer of the Year) Update:
The following brewers are awarded points for brewing for the AHA Club Only European Pale Lager Category #2 event, and bringing them to our meeting for club voting.    Keith 1 point for entering.  Steve 1 point for entering.  Luke and Kenny split a point for entering, each earning 1/2 point each.  The point for being selected by the club is also split by Luke and Kenny, thus earning another 1/2 point each.  Here are the latest totals, as of our last meeting July 17, 2003:

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
Piper Mike- tied with Crazy John for last with 0 points

Well, that's all for now.  CHEERS!