2002 April Meeting #41

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes                 April 18, 2002
by Kenny Schrader                                Issue # 041
Woodbridge  Homebrewers  Ales & Lagers  Enthusiasts  Society
Preview: Field Trip!  Ale Street News!  WHALES BREW on tap!
Quotes of month: Microsoft sucks.  I HATE our name!
 Dates:
04/29 Monday  - Pale Ales Club Meeting at J.J.Bitting
05/04 Saturday- AHA Big Brew
05/04 Saturday- AHA Club-Only IPA Competition
05/16 Thursday- Club Meeting
05/18 Saturday- Brooklyn Brewery Tour/Waterfront Ale House
06/15 Saturday- BBQ/Picnic at Swim Club
06/20 Thursday- Club Meeting
Divorce Court Brewery suffered a MAJOR computer failure
that completely devastated the entire hard drive.
Unfortunately, the 7 year homebrew database that had been
acquired over that time frame is virtually wiped out.
Recipes, label art, etc, are gone.  There was a very small
portion of records backed up on floppy.  We still have our
old 486 machine, and can salvage more beer related files
from there which we are thankful for.  There is also a mess
of miscellaneous paperwork floating about that needs to be
gathered and sorted out, and that will help us rebuild what
remains.  It's been a week's worth of late nights, starting
from a clean hard drive from scratch.  Installing an OS, in
this case Windows Me.  Finding and installing all of the
drivers and software for the video, audio, scanner, modem,
etc, and getting back on line.  It's good to be back!  And
yes, we'll be backing up much more diligently now, for sure!
On to happier (and hoppier) times, April 12th was the 5 YEAR
CELEBRATION ALE TASTING hosted by Luke in his garage.  There
was a decent turnout from Club hop-heads, and a good time
was had by all attending.  Full transcript below >>>>>>
Ale Street News published an article in the April-May 2002
edition about J.J. Bitting hosting the WHALES Club brewing
our 10 barrel batch on March 8th.  A photo of Paul snorting
mash fumes appears as well.  More below >>>>>>
The April 2002 meeting of WHALES Homebrew Club took place at
J.J. Bitting on the third Thursday, the 18th of the month.
We met at the bar and a bunch had dinner there prior to the
meeting quaffing pints of Brad's Bock and Hopgarden.
Attendance: Harry, Paul, Keith, Luke, Julianna, Tripka,
Piper Mike, Brad, Kenny.
Business:
Esteemed Prez Keith called the meeting to order at 8pm in
the main dining room.
May 1st is the deadline for entries into the AHA Club Only
India Pale Ale Competition.  Divorce Court Brewery is
HONORED to represent the Club in this endeavor!  This beer
style is a favorite among Club members and if our entry
does well it will be quite an accomplishment.  Imagine the
WHALES kicking ass in the IPA category!  That would be
sweet (and hoppy) as well as put us on the map.  Keith's
vision of Homebrew Club of The Year is one that is real and
obtainable if we make an attempt.  One of these years?  We
can do it if we plan to, no doubt.  We all make great beers,
we just have to enter our best ones in the categories the
AHA has Club Only Comps for.  PLAN AHEAD!
May 4th is AHA Big Brew Day.  The Club is up in the air on
this day, about brewing together.  Tripka is a possible
host, as well as Paff.  Mike's place would be OK for a fine
weather day.  Paff's would be better in foul weather.  Luke
wants to attend and bring a NEWBIE.  After all, that is what
the AHA would like us to do.  Teach a friend to brew on this
day.  If Keith goes, he would most likely do an all grain.
Of course, we can brew what ever we want.  The OFFICIAL AHA
brews to make however are either a Maibock or an Old Ale.
If you are fond of bees, simply brew a mead outdoors.
Results came in for our Club's entry in the AHA Porter
Event (Club only).  THANKS TRIPKA for representing us and
sending your brew in.  Much appreciated!  Mike scored a
28 which is better than results of previous attempts.
Tripka was seen last in the parking lot getting a false
bottom from Piper.  All-grain looks just over the horizon!
(You will share your next batch with the Club, right MT?)
The correct category is everything.  Tripka did better
entered as a Brown this time instead of Robust.  Good Job!
SALUTE to Special Events Coordinator, Luke!  On Saturday,
May 18th we have a FIELD TRIP!!!  The Club is taking a tour
of Brooklyn Brewery, followed up with grub and suds at the
fine establishment of Waterfront Ale House.  Meet on the
train station platform at the Woodbridge Station across the
street from Bitting to catch the 11:27am train.  Bring your
thirst and an appetite!
After the field trip details, Luke presented a report of
the SNCA 5 YEAR Tasting Event he hosted last Friday.  The
report was exceptional!  His notes are duplicated below for
your reading pleasure.  ENJOY!  (Not in the report... the
FIREWORKS!)  Also, in 1999 more SNCA came out after their
expansion.  Prior to that, this seasonal was very limited.
You would buy it once, for the entire year!  Now it seems
almost a commodity.
WHALES/J.J.Bitting 10 BARREL BATCH:
Written up in the ASN with a photo of Paul by Kevin Trayner.
Kevin had many errors in his piece though.  Brad still has
yeast left if you want to make a batch at home.  THANKS Brad
for your support!  Our beer will go ON TAP either Tuesday
(04/23) or Wednesday (04/24).  Brad pulled some off for our
first taste.  GOOD STUFF!  Tough part is coming up with a
name.  Color was an issue as well but that is a debate for
another day.  We may brew an annual batch at JJ's and rotate
styles.  Once again, to NAME this brew involved too much to
ponder!  After an hour of discussion, we just left it in
Brad's hands.
<Call me anything, just don't call me late for dinner!>
BEER TASTINGS:
Franziskaner Hefe, Weihenstephan Kristal Weiss, Aventinus
(WORLD CLASS doppel wheat with complex flavors and deep
dark chocolate notes.  A favorite!)  Sayerville Pale Ale
by Harry and Tripka.  Liberty, Perle <Pearl?>, and Cascade
to finish.  WHALES Weisen (or whatever you want to call it)!
MYSTERY Brew from DC Labs Brewery.  After some research, it
turns out this beer was the FIRST PLACE WINNER in the 2001
NETWORT 6 "Strong LAGER" category with a 33-34-35 score.  It
was second runner up for BOS.  Happy to retire the very last
two bottles with The Brew Crew!  Still searching to find the
recipe used.....  It won as an Eisbock.  I KNOW it was an
ale though, hehehe.
CHEERS!
Kenny/Divorce Court Labs Brewery
(backing this up on a floppy...   just in case.)    >>> more
Below, please find enclosed:
The Celebration Ale Report by Luke Kostu
************************************************************
Celebration Ale Tasting
12 April 2002
Location: Luke's garage
Present:  Luke, Kathy, Paul, Linda, Prez, Harry, Tripka,
Juliana
Tasting:  Celebration Ales 1997-2001 (Five years)
At Paul's suggestion, we did a blind tasting.  We mixed up
the years and numbered the cups 1-5.  Paul and I poured
served the beers.  With only 7 tasters (Linda bowed out), we
used 3 beers from each year and poured samples slightly over
5 ounces.  We both knew which one was the coveted 1997 but
honestly the others became unknowns.  Thank God we wrote it
all down.
The Results:  Everyone was asked to rank the beers from
favorite to least liked and asked to identify which they
thought was the oldest.  Although there were minor
deviations in opinions, the results were strikingly clear.
I will  generalize the majority opinion.
Ranking (Favorite to least liked):  1997, 1998, 1999, 2000,
2001.  Hmmmmmm.
Beer voted oldest:  1998
The Conclusion:
It was apparent early on that two beers (2000, 2001) were
lighter in color.  They generally had less body and were
less hopped.  The most recent year (2001) was noticeably
lighter than even last years brew.
From the beginning, 1997 and 1998 became the favorites with
the '97's representing the all around most balanced beer.
Not bad for an old timer.  The '98's were very good, but it
was commented that it was "the maltiest" and "BigFootish".
The 1999 brew was a transitional year.  Still a very good
vintage, it slipped slightly in the overall rating but
towered over it's counterparts in the next two years.
The 1998 vintage was voted "most likely to be the oldest
brew".   Several tasters agreed that it was really between
'97 and '98 but the 1997's were so damn good they couldn't
be the five year old beer. Please keep in mind that the
tasting was done blindly and the years were served out of
chronological order.
-Luke