2008 November Meeting #121

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes November 2008 Issue #121

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996

www.whalesbrewclub.com

Another near capacity crowd of 38 Whales and friends filled the upper level of Bitings. In attendance were Big Bill, Chris C., Mike and Sharron, Craig, Nick, Adriene, Rob, JD, Brad of Brad and Jen fame, Heather and Rick, Luke, Bobby, Neal, Jody, Nate, Chris and Lisa, Newman, Paff, the Schreyer trio (Jim, Bill, and Steve), Jim S., Prez, Bob and Becky, Kings Keith, Harley Steve, Tom S., Mike V., Gene, Karl, Gary, and new visitors Brad S., and Kai.

Calendar

*December 16th Club Meeting Homelawn Fire Dept.

*December 16th Club Only Competition (Belgian French Ales)

*January 10th(???) Whales Holiday Party, Location TBD

*January 20th Iron Brewer Judging

*February 21st ??? War of the Worts XIV

*March 17th Club Only Competition (Beer with O.G. > 1.080)

Check the Whales website at www.whalesbrewclub.com for the latest announcements and calendar updates. Feel free to upload pictures, review beers/bars and post comments. If you are a member and do not have access to the site, please let Bobby at rmierzej@telcordia.com know and he will invite you to the group.

Quote:

“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad people drink bad beer. Think about it.” –Hunter S. Thompson

The Tuesday November 16th, meeting was held upstairs at J.J. Bitings. Thanks again Mike and August for your continued support of the club endeavors.

Another near capacity crowd of 38 Whales and friends filled the upper level of Bitings. In attendance were Big Bill, Chris C., Mike and Sharron, Craig, Nick, Adriene, Rob, JD, Brad of Brad and Jen fame, Heather and Rick, Luke, Bobby, Neal, Jody, Nate, Chris and Lisa, Newman, Paff, the Schreyer trio (Jim, Bill, and Steve), Jim S., Prez, Bob and Becky, Kings Keith, Harley Steve, Tom S., Mike V., Gene, Karl, Gary, and new visitors Brad S., and Kai.

The Whales December meeting will be held at the Homelawn Fire house. The fire house is only a few miles from J.J. Bitings, and it should be large enough to hold all of the Whales. Luke’s brother is a member of the volunteer fire department, and says as long as the Whales bring extra beer and forget to bring it home, the place is ours. Luke will send out directions before the December meeting. The group also decided to dip into the treasury to provide a little bit of food, and the Dunkelweizen brewed at the Central Jersey Charity Beer Fest will be on tap.

The club will be looking to elect officers at the December meeting. All positions (President, Treasurer, and Secretary) will be up available for any interested members. Specifically the position of secretary will be vacant at the end of this year. Both Bobby and Brad were nominated as potential candidates to serve the club. The group will also look to separate the jobs of treasurer and librarian.

Gary gave a good run down of the 2008 Cider Day festivities. There were several tastings and dinners. The Whales participated in a tasting of barrel aged ciders, where the 2006 laird’s cider barrel project was sampled. The tasting was hosted by Paul Corente author of several books on making and enjoying cider. Luke spoke to the crowd of about a 100 people describing the project. The team also procured 290 gallons of cider for personal use, and the kick off of 3 more Whales projects. Brad is hosting a New England Cider, Gary is hosting another Laird’s barrel cider, and Jay is hosting a Raspberry cider. More info can be found on www.ciderday.org.

The Whales version of the American Homebrewers Association Teach a Friend to Homebrew day was held on November 8th at Bobby’s house. About 20 to 25 people braved the rain to brew 50 – 60 gallons of cider. Bobby and his wife covered as much of the driveway as possible to keep the brewers dry. Bobby was also kind enough to open the taps on his kegerator to all of the thirsty participants. Thanks again!

Bobby spent some time discussing a new Funky Barrel Project. The Whales Flanders Red Project which has been residing in Bobby’s basement will be ready for distribution sometime soon. Not wanting to have a vacancy in this well conditioned barrel, Bobby has organized a new Funky Barrel Project. Bobby is looking to create a dry traditional Kriek. Look for additional details on www.whalesbrewclub.com.

The Whales 2008 mead projects have all been racked into their respective barrels for aging.

The next Club Only Competition will be held at the December meeting for Belgian and French Ales. The group will judge beers from BJCP category 16 for Witbier, Belgian Pale Ale, Saison, Bier De Garde, and Belgian Specialty Ales. This will be your first opportunity to earn Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) points for 2009.

The next and last major Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) competition is Split Rock. Thanks to Brad and Jen for delivering the club entries to the Lake Harmony in November. The Whales will also have a contingent of members going to celebrate the Great Brews of America Classic Beer Festival at Split Rock. Look for more info at www.SplitRockResort.com .

The Whales hosted a club only competition for IPA’s at the November meeting. A total of 13 entries were tasted. By category, Karl, Nate, Brad and Jen, Craig, Mike V., King’s Keith, & Jay entered American IPA’s. Big Bill, Jim Schreyer, Nick, & Neal entered English IPA’s. The only Imperial IPA was entered by the brewing team of Gary and Suzuki Steve. Overall, all of the entries were excellent, but Nate took home the extra HBOY point with 15 votes. In second was Brad and Jen and third were Gary and Suzuki Steve.

The November edition of Beer in the News saw students from Rice University engineer beer to have the same cancer prevention properties as red wine. The team’s “BioBeer” will be entered into a genetic engineering competition. Also in the news was Iron Hill’s limited release of Triple Bock with a 3D label. Just 1300 bottles will be released, the perfect holiday gift for your favorite Whales Secretary.

During the November meeting, the members in attendance overwhelmingly approved a new official Whales web site. The site was developed by Bobby and will serve the Whales well. Follow the attached link to see the new site. www.whalesbrewclub.com

Member’s in attendance were reminded that the hotel has been named for the 2009 American Homebrewers Association conference. The conference will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area. The hotel for the conference will fill very quickly, so if you are interested in attending it is worthwhile making reservations now. For more info follow the attached link http://www.beertown.org/events/hbc/index.html.

Mike V. is the Whales librarian and keeps the list of available books and DVDs on the new website in the Reference Library section. Mike checks the comments space in that section before the meeting to see if anyone is on the waiting list for material from the library. Sign up if you want to borrow a book from the Library.

Whales are reminded that their 2009 dues should be paid in December or January. The fee is still a very modest $40/yr.

Jody continues to maintain the WHALES brewing database data. Remember when you brew to send me an e-mail at moffamily@verizon.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 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 Gary or Luke if you are interested in making a presentation or setting up a trip. It is important to let Gary, 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 the presenter has the floor.

The Flight:

The November flight consisted of 6 beers, ciders, and meads. Jody served a sample of the Whales 2006 Laird’s Applejack Cider barrel. Luke followed with a nice blackberry mead. Bobby S. poured a nice St’ Paul’s Porter, and Gene allowed the member to taste a delicious Oktoberfest Rauchbier. JD kept the flight going with a spicy X-mas ale, and Bobby finished the flight with a commercial Kriek.

Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter (23 down and 1 to go…)