2009 January Meeting #123

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - January 2009 - Issue #123

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society - Est. 1996



February 16th - Club Meeting - Iron Brewer Judging

February 21st - War of the Worts XIV

March 1st - JJ Bittings 2ndAnnual Chili Cookoff

March 6th - 15th - Philadelphia Craft Beer Week

March 7th - Philly Craft Beer Fest - Philadelphia, PA (update: event is sold out!!)

March 7th - 8th - Split Thy Skull - Mugs Ale House - Brooklyn, NY

March 17th - Club Meeting - Club Only Comp (Beer with O.G. > 1.080)

March 20th - 22nd - Atlantic City Craft Beer Fest - Atlantic City, NJ

May 30th - Tickets are now on sale for SAVOR American Craft Beer & Food Experience - Washington, DC



"Being laid off is bad news, but the good news is now you have time to homebrew" - Homebrew Joe from Princeton Homebrew.



Check the Whales website at (http://www.whalesbrewclub.com) for the latest announcements, meeting minutes, and calendar updates.  Feel free to upload pictures, review beers/bars, and post comments in the forums.  If you are a member and do not have access to the site, please e-mail Bobby M. at (bobby_m@whalesbrewclub.com) and he will invite you to the group.

Just a friendly reminder that it's that time of year again for club dues.  Annual club dues are still a very modest $40 per member and can be paid directly to our club treasurer, Mike V. (Mike_V@whalesbrewclub.com), at the February meeting.



The Tuesday January 20th meeting was held upstairs at J.J. Bittings with another near capacity crowd of 35+ Whales and guests in attendance.  Thanks again to Mike and August for their continued support of the clubs endeavors.

We had the pleasure of having Homebrew Joe from Princeton Homebrew as a guest speaker at the meeting.  Joe discussed the overall history of alcohol.  Topics ranged from the ancient medicinal uses of alcohol, to its use in religious ceremonies, to the role of women in the production of beer (ale wives), to Prohibition.  We would like to thank Joe for his time and for his presentation and ask that he come back again soon.

The Whales held two votes; one for whether or not the most recent past president should be an automatic appointment to the Steering Committee and one for the election of the clubs Steering Committee members.

The vote was near unanimous that the most recent past president should be an automatic appointment to the Steering Committee and our most recent past president, Keith Seguine, graciously accepted the automatic appointment to the steering committee.

Paper ballot elections were held for the remaining three steering committee positions.  The nominees were: Jennifer Jones, Heather Keegan, Luke Kostu, Keith Story, Bobby Mierzejwski, Jody Moffet, Bill Comella, Rick Middleton, and Tom Paffrath.  The votes were cast and tallied and the three additional members to the Steering Committee were Luke Kostu, Bobby Mierzejwski, and Jody Moffet.

There was a recap of the Whales holiday party that was held on January 10th at the Stuff yer Face in New Brunswick, NJ.  Good times were had by all and the food and beer were most excellent.  Most notable were the plethora of calzones and the fast emptying pitchers of Old Rasputin Impy Stout.

Bobby M. (bobby_m@whalesbrewclub.com) gave everyone an update as to the status of the Kriek Funky Barrel Project.  After a smooth primary fermentation using only the yeast and bacteria that was already in the barrel from the previous Flanders project, Bobby added 1 gallon of sour cherry concentrate which is equivalent 90 pounds of fresh cherries.  After the burst of fermentation activity subsided, Gary and Luke contributed their shares so the barrel is now 95% full.  It will take some time for the bugs to do their work so the barrel will slumber in Bobby's basement for the majority of 2009.  We'll see if we can't get Bobby to bring in some occasional samples so we can taste the beer as it progresses.

All 3 of the Cider Barrel Projects (New England, Raspberry, and Common Cider) are doing nicely.  Each of the three barrels contents were transferred to secondary and are now ready for the secondary/aging process.

The Imperial Porter Project is coming along nicely as well with a planned racking into a Laird's Applejack Brandy Barrel sometime in February or March.  Please contact Jody (Jody_M@whalesbrewclub.com) or check the "2008-09 Imperial Porter Barrel Project" thread in the Forums section of the WHALES webpage for additional information.

The next Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) competition will be the War of the Worts XIV.  The competition will be held on Saturday, February 21st, at an empty storefront in the same shopping center as the Iron Hill Brewery in North Whales, PA.  Brad and Jennifer Jones have volunteered to be judges in the competition and will be more than happy to pick up any awards or prizes for any WHALES who are not in attendance.

The next Club Only Competition will be for beers with an O.G. > 1.080.  The competition will be held at the March 17th club meeting.  This will be another opportunity to earn Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) points for 2009.  This competition covers beer styles in the following table.

BJCP Category


5C, D

Dopplebock, Eisbock


Strong Scottish Ale


Baltic Porter


Imperial Stout


Imperial IPA



16C, D, E

Siason, Bière de Garde, Belgian Specialty Ale

18C, D, E

Belgian Tripel, Belgian Golden Strong Ale, Belgian Dark Strong Ale

19A, B, C

Old Ale, English Barleywine, American Barleywine


Fruit Beer over 1.080 OG


Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer over 1.080 OG

22B, C

Other Smoked Beer over 1.080 OG, Wood-Aged Beer over 1.080 OG


Specialty Beer over 1.080 OG

The judging for the Iron Brewer competition was moved from the January meeting to the February meeting to allow a little more time for the brewers to perfect their beers.

There was no Beer in the News for the month of January.

Members were reminded that the AHA's 2009 National Homebrewer's Conference will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area this year.  The conference runs from June 18th - 20th and a small contingent of the WHALES plan to be in attendance.  The host hotel for the conference has already been filled but there are additional hotels in the area.

Dave Newman (Dave_N@whalesbrewclub.com) is the Whales librarian and will keep the database on the club website under the "Whales Physical Library Collection" section.  Newman will check the database just before the meeting to see if anyone is on the waiting list for material from the library so sign up if you want to borrow a book from the Library.

Jody continues to maintain the WHALES brewing database data.  Remember when you brew to send him an e-mail at (Jody_M@whalesbrewclub.com).  In the e-mail tell him the brewing date, how many gallons, what style you brewed, the OG, and what the % alcohol you expect.  He 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 (gary_w@whalesbrewclub.com), Luke (Luke_K@whalesbrewclub.com), or Brad (brad_j@whalesbrewclub.com) if you are interested in making a presentation or setting up a trip.  It is important to let Gary, Luke, or Brad 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.



1.  Keith Seguine with a homebrewed German Pilsner

2.  Craig Easton with a homebrewed American Pale Ale

3.  Nate Monk with a commercial 6-Grain ale with honey and chamomile

4.  Jay DiSimone with a homebrewed Braggot

5.  Tom Paffrath with a homebrewed Weizenbock

6.  Nick Fox with the clubs Flanders project

7.  Keith Story with a homebrewed Imperial Porter

8.  Matt Meitzner with a homebrewed Holiday Porter

9.  Tom Paffrath with a homebrewed Old Ale

10.  Karl Weiss with a homebrewed Applewine

11.  Brad and Jennifer Jones with a homebrewed Peach Mead

12.  Gary Weston with a commercial Ramstein Eisbock

13.  Brad and Jennifer Jones with a commercial St. Bernardus Abt.12